Ring Spotlight Cam Wired Review

Table of Contents

When it comes to an outdoor security camera, I’m looking for something with some serious durability. Living in New York, the weather can be everything from torrential downpour to snow to a blazing sun, so I need something that can work all year-round. Of course, I don’t want to sacrifice quality, especially when it comes to video, audio, and night vision. Can the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired measure up to Security Baron’s esteemed Necessary Features?

In this review, I’m testing out the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired in terms of the three categories above, plus storage, smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence. I’ll also be going over its installation process, plus judging whether it’s a good value overall. By the end of this review, you’ll have a great idea of whether the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired is the right indoor/ outdoor camera for you. Let’s get started!

Get Best Offer
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

This indoor/ outdoor camera boasts 1080p HD video, person detection, plus integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the most popular voice assistant around. 

Promised Features

What differentiates the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired from other indoor/ outdoor cameras is, what else? Its spotlight. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I was a robber, I’d be pretty scared of a security camera that also has a built-in LED light and a siren. Plus, it has a ton of other great features, like:

  • Huge temperature range: Working in temperatures from negative five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired is a good option for most climates.
  • Person detection: This camera can tell people apart from other moving objects, making your notifications matter more.
  • Integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant: Amazon owns Ring, which is why it’s no surprise that the camera works with their voice assistant, as well as the second most popular voice assistant from Google.

This all sounds fantastic to me, but let’s actually open the box and see how it all works.

First Impressions

Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired. Photo provided by Ring.

There’s no mistaking the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired for anything other than a camera. Like the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, it’s a bit of a weird shape, but of course, this camera plugs into the wall. Of course, it has lights built in plus a siren, making it more than just a security camera. You’ll be able to activate the siren from your phone to scare away anyone that looks suspicious, which is a cool feature. Of course, the camera being plug in, you’ll never have to worry about charging a battery. Keep in mind that to use this camera, you will need an outdoor power source of some kind. It’ll plug into standard power outlets, and of course, you’ll need Wi-Fi so it can communicate with the Ring— Always Home app. The camera has a mounting base with an adjustable angle so you can see exactly what you want to see, which is always a good quality.

Ring Spotlight Cam Wired At Night
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired At Night. Photo provided by Ring.

Of course, this camera is meant to be used outdoors, which is why I’m a fan of its large temperature range and IP rating. Like I said, it works in temperatures from negative five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, plus it has an IP rating of 55, meaning it’s dust-protected and can handle water projected by a nozzle 6.3 mm or smaller. As long as you don’t spray it with powerful water jets or immerse it in water, this camera can take pretty harsh weather conditions. And that’s it for design!

Necessary Features

If you’ve read any of my other camera reviews, you know what’s coming. It’s none other than Security Baron’s Necessary Features Test! This is the section where I can into the nitty gritty technical specifications of the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired in terms of video, night vision, audio, storage, smart platform integrations, artificial intelligence, convenience, and value. Let’s see how it fares for each category!

Video

The Ring Spotlight Cam Wired has 1080p HD video, the industry standard, plus a wide field of view of 140 degrees. I’m a bit disappointed that the camera doesn’t zoom in at all, as I think this would be a useful feature particularly for outdoor use, but overall, I’m going to give this camera full marks for its clear video display.

Night Vision

Now, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired has motion-activated LED lights, meaning they’ll turn on as soon as they detect motion. However, the night vision you’ll see will be infrared, which helps you see better in the dark.

Audio Quality

So not only can you shine a light and blare a siren if you see a suspicious person with your  Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, but you can also speak to them through the camera’s microphone. That’s right, this baby has two-way audio, yet another way to prevent a break-in— or just to tell your kids to pick up their toys and come in for dinner. Either way, it’s a convenient feature that’s great for your security. Full marks for audio!

Storage

ring-protect-plans
Ring Protect Plans

As far as storage goes, I like cameras with both cloud and local storage. You always want to back up your footage at least twice. That way, if one method fails,  you still have a backup. Of course, you want to keep the footage in case you do have a break-in and want to help the police identify your perp. With Ring, to get any cloud or local storage you’ll need to invest in a Ring Protect Plan. As you can see from the above chart, the plans are super affordable and give you a ton of cloud storage. Compare this to Nest, which charges $30 a month for half the amount of cloud storage, and you can see how truly affordable Ring’s plans are.

With the Ring Protect Plus plan, you’ll also get 24/7 professional monitoring, which makes the most sense if you have the Ring Alarm security system. But that’s another topic for another review! Despite the fact that storage is not free, it’s so affordable that I’m going to give the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired full marks for storage.

Smart Platform Integration

If you’re already part of the Amazon or Google ecosystems, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired will be a simple addition, as it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. I’m giving the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired full marks for its Alexa integration.

Artificial Intelligence

what-is-person-detection
Person Detection

Artificial intelligence may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but believe me, it’s a major part of most smart security cameras today. Typically, it refers to person detection, which lets the camera differentiate between people and other moving objects like cars, animals, or even trees swaying in the wind. This will make your notifications more specific than just that your camera detected movement. The Ring Spotlight Cam Wired has person detection, which is why I’m giving it full marks for A.I. But it doesn’t stop there.

what-are-activity-zones
Activity Zones

The Ring Spotlight Cam Wired also allows you to set activity zones, which is especially useful for an outdoor camera. Activity zones let you tell the camera exactly where to look and where to ignore, so you don’t receive a bunch of unnecessary notifications. While you care if someone is in your driveway, you don’t need to be notified every time a car drives by your house. Overall, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired’s A.I features are going to lead to stronger, more specific notifications, so monitoring your home’s security comes as easily as possible.

Get Best Offer
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

This indoor/ outdoor camera boasts 1080p HD video, person detection, plus integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the most popular voice assistant around. 

The Ring— Always Home App

ring-always-home-app-review
Ring— Always Home App

A smart security camera is nothing without a mobile application. The Ring— Always Home app, specifically, is where you’ll livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, control the siren, view storage, and receive neighborhood crime and safety alerts. The app has decent ratings, a 3.3 from the Apple store and a 3.4 from the Google Play store. While I wish the app’s ratings were a bit higher, this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for anyone.

“I like that the App developers take user suggestions seriously. We happen to have the professionally monitored alarm system tied into the cameras. Works seamlessly,”

wrote Android-user Christopher Cook in a recent four-star review.

Comparisons

How does the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired compare with other indoor/ outdoor cameras? I chose the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and the Nest Cam Outdoor as comparisons, as they are extremely close competitors. Let’s see who comes out on top.

Ring Spotlight Cam Wired vs. Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery With Light On
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery With Light On

Naturally, I’m going to compare the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired to its sister camera, which is essentially the same thing save for the power source. Unlike the wired camera, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is charged by a rechargeable battery, which has a quick-release pack. You can add a second battery for backup or a solar panel to make the camera charge continuously, which is pretty cool. Of course, being wire-free, installing the Battery camera will be easier than installing the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, however, if you don’t get the solar panel, you will occasionally need to recharge the battery.

Aside from this feature, the two cameras have the exact same features, save for artificial intelligence. While the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired has person detection, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery doesn’t have any A.I capabilities, which is a shame. Both cameras are currently available for $199, but if I had to choose, I’d go with the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired. Sure, it’s installation process will be a bit more complicated, but it will be more convenient in the long-run, plus I love that it comes with person detection. I’d only go with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery if you’re sure you don’t want to have any wires.

For more information, read our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.

Ring Spotlight Cam Wired vs. Nest Cam Outdoor

nest-cam-outdoor-review
Nest Cam Outdoor

Another camera at the exact same price point is the Nest Cam Outdoor, one of Nest’s more affordable offerings. While the Nest Cam Outdoor’s temperature range is slightly smaller than that of the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired at negative four to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it actually has a higher IP rating. Both can handle similarly sized water jets, but the Nest Cam Outdoor is completely dust-tight, as opposed to dust-protected. The Nest Cam Outdoor lacks the LED lights and siren of the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, which is also something to keep in mind.

Let’s talk about what these cameras have in common. Both offer 1080p HD video, the industry standard, infrared night vision, two-way audio, person detection, and  integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, you’ll need to invest in Nest Aware to get person detection with the Nest Cam Outdoor, which can be pretty expensive. Also, if you want more than three hours of cloud storage, Nest Aware is a necessity. As you can see, Ring’s cloud storage options are much more reasonable. Plus, the Nest Cam Outdoor doesn’t offer any local storage, a decently-sized drawback.

nest-aware-storage
Nest Aware Storage

However, there are some ways in which the Nest Cam Outdoor knocks the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired out of the park. While the latter can’t zoom in at all, the Nest Cam Outdoer can zoom in eight times, although its field of view is slightly more narrow at 130 degrees. It also integrates with Philips Hue light bulbsallowing for automated triggers. Plus, if you buy Nest Aware, you’ll also get facial recognition, making your notifications even more specific than they already were!

These cameras are good for different things. Although they cost the same amount, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired will be much cheaper in the long-run in terms of cloud storage, so I’d get it if you’re looking for something more affordable. However, for superior video, an integration with Google Assistant, or better durability, go with the Nest Cam Outdoor.

To learn more, read our full review of the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Recap of the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

Overall, I think the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired is an awesome camera for its price of $199, but it doesn’t make sense for all users. Let me break it down for you.

Go with the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired if you’re looking for…

  • Alexa integration: Alexa, show me the footage from my Ring Spotlight Cam Wired!
  • Person detection: For more specific notifications, person detection is a necessity.
  • Spotlight and siren: This camera works harder to prevent break-ins than any other I’ve seen.

But avoid it if you’d like…

  • Google Assistant integration: The Nest Cam Outdoor might make more sense if you’re already in the Google ecosystem.
  • Free cloud and local storage: While Ring has incredibly low storage prices, I wish it came with free cloud and local storage on some level.
  • Zoom: You won’t be able to zoom in on the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, making it not the best option for close details.

For more great options, check out my list of 2019’s top 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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