Lighthouse AI Indoor Camera Review

Please note: as of December 2018, Lighthouse has gone out of business. 

If artificial intelligence is important to you, you probably already know about the Lighthouse AI Indoor Camera. Now, I don’t want to give too much away, but trust me when I say that this camera’s artificial intelligence capabilities are super innovative. They better be, being in the camera’s name and all!

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Lighthouse AI
Lighthouse AI

The Lighthouse AI camera boasts voice search, two-way audio, and amazing facial recognition. 

I wanted to see for myself how the Lighthouse AI works, not only in terms of artificial intelligence, but also video, audio, night vision, and more. Of course, I’ll be putting the camera through our Necessary Features Test, which combines objective specifications with my personal experience. I’ll also be checking in with Lighthouse customers to see what they thought of the mobile app, the command center to any modern security system. Let’s go!

Promised Features

Like I said before, the Lighthouse AI is boasting some awesome features, like:

  • Voice search
  • 1080p HD
  • Two-way audio
  • Facial recognition software and the ability to tell future events

Let’s open the box and see what I think. You know what they say about judging a security camera by its box and website!

First Impressions

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Lighthouse AI Camera

The first thing that jumps out to me about the Lighthouse camera is its size. At eight and a half inches tall, it’s a lot bigger than most security cameras I’ve seen, which makes me concerned that it’d be conspicuous. Nope, this definitely isn’t something an intruder would miss.

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Lighthouse AI Camera

Despite the camera’s size, I found the design somewhat elegant. It has a rubber bottom with a fixed base, unfortunate because you can’t rotate the camera around. I like the off-white color scheme contrasted with the black lens. On the back of the camera, I see a space for a power cord but no port for an SD card- a bit concerning, but we’ll talk storage later.

Necessary Features

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Lighthouse AI Necessary Features Test

Where would we be in this world without the Security Baron Necessary Features Test? Let’s see if the Lighthouse AI is really all that the box promises.

Video

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Lighthouse AI Video Display

As much as I hate to start on a negative note, it’s pretty evident that the video display isn’t great. Although the camera is 1080p HD, it can’t zoom at all and its field of view is a bit narrow at 112 degrees. Therefore, I had to give the Lighthouse AI half marks for its video.

Night Vision

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Lighthouse AI Night Vision

All I have to say is…yikes. At least the night vision is infrared LED- that means that anyone the camera is recording won’t be aware that they’re being recorded. So that’s cool. Unfortunately, the camera only has four infrared LED sensors, so the quality of the night vision isn’t great. Half marks for night vision.

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Lighthouse AI
Lighthouse AI
Lighthouse AI

The Lighthouse AI camera boasts voice search, two-way audio, and amazing facial recognition. 

Audio Quality

Redemption! The Lighthouse AI has two-way audio so you can easily communicate with whoever’s in the room. This can come in handy for chatting with your kids when they come home, or telling an intruder to leave if you do end up having an emergency. I think that the two-way audio works really well with the Lighthouse’s artificial intelligence features, but we’ll get to that a bit later.

Storage

Having both cloud and local storage is important so you can ensure that your footage is never lost. Unfortunately, the Lighthouse AI has no local storage options, so you won’t be able to download your footage to a desktop or hard drive. They do, however, give you 30 days of free cloud storage- you just won’t be in complete control of your footage. For this category, I have to give the Lighthouse half marks for its lack of local storage.

Smart Platform Integration

To my dismay, the Lighthouse AI has no smart platform integrations. I’m a little surprised that the camera can’t integrate with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, especially considering its incredible artificial intelligence capabilities (detailed below). However, the Lighthouse does have built-in language processing so you’ll be able to command it using your voice– it just won’t integrate with a large smart home system. Half marks for smart platform integration.

Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence on Lighthouse App

Artificial intelligence is by far the strongest feature of the Lighthouse AI. The camera has person detection, pet detection, and facial recognition. That means that you’ll only be notified when people are in the area you’re recording. After all, there’s no need to be alerted every time a car drives by your window or your dog runs across the room. On top of that, the camera can tell you exactly who is in your home after learning the faces of your friends and family.

What’s most important about facial recognition, though, is not the familiar face alerts, but the unfamiliar face alerts. If someone unfamiliar to the Lighthouse AI is in your home, you’ll be notified immediately, whether it’s the plumber or an intruder. The camera’s advanced artificial intelligence capabilities lead to smarter, more specific notifications only about things that matter. You can be notified when your family, friends, or any  hired help comes home as soon as it happens.

But it doesn’t stop there. The coolest thing about the Lighthouse’s artificial intelligence, in my opinion, is that you can ask it about future events.

“Let me know when my kids come home.”

“Alert me when the dog sitter leaves.”

“What time did the mail come today?”

Compare that with most security cameras, which can only show you footage without extracting any data, and the Lighthouse AI knocks it out of the park for artificial intelligence. Think of it like a doorman who, over time, learns who your friends and family are and, in contrast, who might not be welcome in your home. Like a doorman, you can command the camera using your voice, but unlike a doorman, you can search by name, time, or date in the Lighthouse app and receive convenient mobile notifications. Plus, you don’t have to worry about those pesky Christmas bonuses and health benefits- the Lighthouse works 24/7 for free.

Finally, the Lighthouse uses artificial intelligence technology from self-driving cars to create a 3D model of your room, which helps the camera to better understand what its seeing. This will help ensure that you don’t get false alerts from something like a shadow or pet.

Learn more about the best indoor cameras for artificial intelligence.

Convenience

Setting up the Lighthouse AI was very simple. First, I downloaded the Lighthouse Camera app, plug my camera in, and connect it with the app. The app gives you step-by-step instructions, so the entire process took less than 10 minutes. Full marks for convenience!

Value

At $299, the Lighthouse AI is one of the more expensive home security cameras on the market. While I’m loving the two-way audio, easy setup, and artificial intelligence features of the camera, it misses the mark in terms of video, night vision, storage, and smart platform integration. I can’t give the Lighthouse AI full marks for value.

Mobile Application

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Lighthouse AI App Livestream

Let’s talk about the Lighthouse Camera app. From here, you can check in with your home, ask your camera what happened today, ask about future events, communicate with the people (or animals) you’re recording, and receive notifications. You can also sound the camera’s built-in siren if something’s wrong, which is incredibly useful if you have an intrusion while you’re out.

This all sounds great, but I want to know what Lighthouse customers thought of the app. On the Apple Store, the app got a 3.9 star rating, while it did much better at Google with a 4.5 star rating. Clearly, the app works better for Android rather than iPhone users, but I’m pleased to see that the majority of the app’s reviews on both platforms were five stars. Personally, I found the app very user-friendly, so I’m not surprised at its positive ratings.

Comparisons

Okay, so I’ve told you everything you need to know about the Lighthouse AI camera. Now let’s talk about its competition. Here, I’ve selected the Canary All-In-One and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, both indoor cameras with great artificial intelligence just like the Lighthouse. Let’s see who comes out on top.

Canary All-In-One

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Canary All-In-One

Like the Lighthouse AI, the Canary All-In-One has person detection. Unfortunately, it’s not included with the camera and is part of a monthly membership, along with livestreaming, 30 days of cloud storage, and two-way audio. Given the Lighthouse gives you all of these features included, plus more artificial intelligence capabilities, I’m giving the Lighthouse the win for artificial intelligence, storage, and audio. Please note that the All-In-One membership also includes local storage, so it’s really a matter of your personal preference.

The Canary All-In-One definitely redeems itself when it comes to video, night vision, and smart platform integration. It has 1080p HD video, the ability to zoom three times as opposed to the Lighthouse’s zero, and a wide 147 degree field of view, 35 degrees more than the Lighthouse. Plus, it has three times as many infrared LED lights as the Lighthouse, in addition to integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Your choice will come down to what you value. If you’re more interested in better A.I, storage, and audio, the Lighthouse wins, but if you want superior video, night vision, and smart platform integration, I’d go with the All-In-One. Keep in mind that the All-In-One costs $180 less than the Lighthouse, so that will probably be a major factor in your decision.

To learn more, read our review of the Canary All-In-One.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor Camera

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Nest Cam IQ Indoor

The Nest Cam IQ costs the exact same amount as the Lighthouse AI camera, so your choice will come down to value.

Let’s talk about the ways in which the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is superior to the Lighthouse AI: video, night vision, and smart platform integration. The Nest Cam IQ has 1080p HD, an 130 degree field of view (18 degrees wider than the Lighthouse), and the ability to zoom in 12 times (compared to the Lighthouse’s total lack of zoom). The Nest Cam IQ Indoor also has a whopping 16 infrared LED sensors- that’s four times as many as the Lighthouse AI! Needless to say, the difference in the camera’s night vision is stark. Finally, the Nest Cam IQ has integrations with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and even Philips Hue lightbulbs. Compare that with the Lighthouse’s complete lack of smart platform integrations and the winner is clear.

The Lighthouse does have super artificial intelligence when compared to the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, which only includes person detection and requires a monthly subscription to get facial recognition. In the same vein, the Lighthouse has better storage than the Nest Cam IQ. While neither platform has local storage, the Lighthouse gives you 30 days of free cloud storage, while Nest will charge you $30 for the same time period. 

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Nest Aware Storage

Overall, I think the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is a better value that the Lighthouse AI. Sure, the Lighthouse AI has better artificial intelligence. But the Nest Cam IQ covers the basics, like video and night vision, much better.

For more information, check out our review of the Nest Cam IQ Indoor Camera. 

Recap

Let’s summarize.

The Lighthouse AI Indoor Camera has some great qualities, like:

  • 1080p HD video
  • Two-way audio
  • 30 days of free cloud storage
  • Built-in language processing enabling you to do voice commands
  • Person detection, pet detection, facial recognition, and ability to ask about future events
  • East setup
  • Good app 

Its negatives, on the other hand, include:

  • Bulky design
  • No zoom
  • Narrow field of view of 112 degrees
  • Poor night vision
  • No local storage
  • No smart platform integrations
  • Expensive 

Let us know if you have any additional questions or comments. Otherwise, that brings us to the end of our Lighthouse AI Indoor Camera review! If you want to learn more, read our review of the best home security cameras. 

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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