Smart security cameras and floodlights provide the ideal way to keep an eye on your property. Combine them into one unit, and you get the best of both worlds. These devices leave nothing in the dark since the strong floodlights work together with the camera to provide high-definition footage without relying on grainy night vision.
With smart controls, you can customize smart security camera settings, like motion-detection modes, to avoid keeping glaring lights on all night long. We've tested the top models on the market to bring you this list of the best, so you can rest easy and let your security camera take the night shift.
Best floodlight security cameras: Our top picks
Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
Don't miss a single detail, day or night
This Ring Floodlight Cam Pro offers everything we look for and more, with a wide-angle lens, advanced motion detection, smart features like real-time alerts, and a great price.
- Floodlight and lens cover a wide-angle range
- Easy to use and connect to other smart home devices
- Two-way intercom
- Affordable subscription service
- The lighting timer could be more customizable
- Somewhat pricey
We were immediately impressed by the first Ring Floodlight Cam when it came out, and the Pro model is even better. But even with its enhanced and advanced features, this security camera still lands in the same, affordable price range. With an easy installation, easy-to-use interface, and excellent camera specs, this small-yet-powerful floodlight camera is worth every penny.
Some of the stand-out features include the clear 1080p video feed, the clear two-way audio that functions as an intercom, and extremely accurate motion detection. This latter feature has 3D radar detection and something called "Bird's Eye Zones," which work together to reduce false alerts and improve its overall precision. You can then enable it to send alerts to your phone, as well as trigger the floodlights.
Customization is a big part of what makes the Ring Floodlight Cam Pro a clear winner since its capabilities are both extensive and easy to use. For example, you can set timers for the lights, as well as remotely control them from a smart device. There are also privacy zones, which allow you to block out areas of the video to enhance privacy and false alerts. Add to that the comprehensive control center, with options to add accounts, restrict access, manage devices, and more.
Surprisingly, the Ring Protect subscription is quite affordable, currently only about four dollars a month. It's the only way to actually save the video files, but compared to most competitor's subscription fees and restrictions, it's worth it.
Wyze Cam Floodlight
Low cost, high returns
The Wyze Cam Floodlight might be a bit more basic than its higher-cost competitors, but it still offers excellent FHD surveillance and bright, powerful floodlights for a bargain.
- Straightforward installation
- Great for multi-camera systems
- Surprisingly sharp video quality in low light
- Low-cost subscription for cloud services
- Occasional trouble auto-reconnecting to Wi-Fi should the signal drop
- Motion detection sometimes activates from car lights
Wyze has something of a reputation as the affordable option in the security camera market, but that's not a bad thing. The Wyze Cam Floodlight is a great example of why low cost doesn't necessarily mean cheap in quality, as it has almost all the smart features that we need.
For starters, the hardware is more than serviceable, with bright 2600-lumen floodlights, an IP65 waterproof shell, an emergency siren, and even the coveted "two-way audio" intercom system. The result is a sturdy piece of security tech that can withstand the elements and keep its inner electronics operational.
As far as software goes, the Wyze Cam Floodlight offers plenty of smart features, most of which you don't even need to pay the subscription fee to use. These include color night vision, AI-powered motion detection, controls for adjusting the brightness, and a slew of customizable settings like timers and schedules. Of course, all that is via the Wyze app, which you can upgrade with the subscription service (a couple of bucks a month) to unlock cloud storage.
It certainly suffers from a few drawbacks, such as a weaker ability to connect to a router's Wi-Fi over long distances and a resolution limited to FHD. Some people have reported difficulties with installing it on metal siding and other materials. But at the end of the day, the answer for its affordability is simple: the Wyze Cam Floodlight is a bargain.
Arlo Pro 3 Outdoor Floodlight Camera
No wires, no problem
With 2K video and up to 3,000 lumens of brightness, the Arlo Pro 3 is a top-notch floodlight camera in its own right, and the wire-free design is just the cherry on top.
- Installs quickly on almost any surface
- Strong, sharp night vision
- 2K video resolution
- Clear, sensitive microphone
- Relatively higher subscription cost to unlock cloud storage
- Additional batteries are kind of pricey
We've admired the Arlo Pro 3 since it first came out, and now, with this floodlight version, we like it even more. Of course, photography nerds (like us) get more excited by the 2K video, AI-driven motion detection, and Hi-Fi audio, but anybody can appreciate the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera's power. In fact, its simplicity and ease of use is what makes it so awesome.
Most smart cameras are wired, but this one uses a detachable, rechargeable battery to eliminate the need to run cables around your abode. This makes installation exceedingly easy, and it also allows you to place it in a greater number of areas. Of course, this means you'll have to charge it when the battery runs dry, but Arlo's lithium battery can deliver weeks of juice before needing a recharge. It also charges rapidly, and you can buy extra batteries to have on hand and ready to go if you really don't want to miss a second of surveillance. It'll cost roughly $50, and the cost goes up more if you choose the cloud storage subscription.
Arlo's subscription service, called Arlo Safe and Arlo Secure, allows you to save a whopping 30 days of footage to the cloud, so it's more storage than you'll probably ever need. There are different plans to choose from, and they vary in the services they provide and the monthly costs. It's worth looking into the differences to see which features are worth paying for, but we ultimately regard the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Cam as a solid choice even without the premium subscription.
Google Nest Cam with Floodlight
Premium protection doesn't come cheap
The Nest Cam with Floodlight boasts all the advanced tech that we've come to expect from Google, and it offers great value for the admittedly higher price.
- Familiar Face software detects friends and family
- Excellent intercom quality
- Easy integration with other smart home devices
- FHD resolution with HDR
- Wiring can be tricky for the inexperienced
- Most advanced features are only accessible by subscribing
Google Nest is a big name in the home security market, and its Nest Cam with Floodlight model lives up to the hype. But with excellent hardware specs and one of the best smart home software services, it's no surprise that it comes with a premium price tag. If you have the budget to fit the medium-cost monthly subscription fees, the Nest Cam with Floodlight model is well-worth the investment.
Some of the most well-received features include advanced motion detection, FHD live video feed, and "event history," which provides a video log summarizing all the interactions over a three-day period. Fancy features aside, the Nest Cam also nails the basics, with quality night vision, customizable floodlight schedules, and reliable wireless connectivity. Alerts are available via the free version, as well.
To take full advantage of the Nest Cam's potential, you'll have to subscribe to Nest Aware. The monthly fee varies depending on the specific services, but it generally costs less than ten dollars a month to access features like "Familiar Face," which avoids false alerts by recognizing welcome guests and family members. It also enables you to set up direct call lines with local emergency services, which can be integrated into your smart home setup.
Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera - 3 Pack
The more eyes the better
If you want to get greater coverage with a multi-camera setup, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight package can provide all the color vision, FHD footage, and illumination you need.
- Compact and discreet design
- Strong, reliable wireless connection
- 2K video quality
- Full retail price isn't cheap, though sales are common
While we've sung the praises of the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, the Arlo Pro 4 is also excellent, with a slightly modified design that makes a big difference. Unlike its predecessor, this camera is our top choice for multiple-camera setups, since the cost per cam is lower when you buy the bundle. They're also considered "spotlights" rather than full-blown floodlights, which means you can distribute their lights across multiple areas without blinding your visitors.
Still, the spotlights are powerful enough to discourage intruders, and they can provide better image clarity when trying to distinguish faces and license plates. These cameras also include Arlo's exceptional color night vision technology just to add to the arsenal.
Most importantly, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera is as wireless as its predecessor. That means installation is just as simple, and it's a boon for multi-camera setups, with no messy cables to account for. Of course, with multiple cams, you'll probably want to buy a couple of extra batteries to swap them out when needed. It's also a good idea to get the subscription since reviewing multiple video feeds at once is difficult in real-time.
The bottom line: What's the best floodlight security camera?
The competition is fierce, but the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is our top pick. It has all the latest features, from motion detection to floodlight scheduling, that make it a simple yet powerful piece of security tech. Plus, the subscription service is affordable, so the cost-value is clear.
Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
But if the Ring Cam is still out of your budget, the Wyze Cam Floodlight is an inexpensive option that still delivers the goods, with FHD video feed and smart home compatibility. Another great choice is the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Cam since its wireless design makes installation a breeze.
How we chose the best floodlight cameras
We take home security seriously, so recommending the right options isn't something to take lightly. In fact, we used our experience in professional photography to analyze these devices, since choosing a camera for pro gigs and one for security have a lot in common. After all, the clarity of the image and the technology behind it decide how well your security camera will perform. Here are the main features we look for.
- Camera resolution: There are more factors that impact a camera's image quality than just the number of pixels. For example, a FHD camera is good, and a 4K camera is even better. However, some systems limit the quality of live video feeds, while others have HDR to enhance the image and bring out greater details. Thus, we assess the power of a camera's resolution by considering the whole picture, and we recommend you look into the fine print.
- Floodlight power: Luminosity will determine how well you can actually see a visitor, whether welcome or not, who passes before the camera. A bright light will also discourage folks from intruding in the first place since they'll feel more exposed. The strength of a camera's floodlight is measured in lumens. The general rule of thumb is that 1,000 lumens can illuminate about 200 meters. Of course, brightness drops off with distance, so in this case, brighter is better.
- Smart connectivity: Every company has a unique system for connecting to the smart camera, and all of them provide a bevy of customizable controls for monitoring your camera. The especially good ones allow you to view the camera feed in real time from your phone, and some even let you speak through an intercom or save files on the fly. It’s a good idea to look through the list of smart features to see which ones meet your needs. Most important, however, is researching any subscription services that come with the camera, since many require a monthly fee to unlock certain features.
- Extra features: There are tons of additional features to add strength to a security system. We especially like sirens, some of which are blaring and loud and certainly won't let you sleep through a break-in. Others include battery back-ups and multiple frequency bands to connect to, both of which ensure you don't lose your connection. But if you want a simple system, consider which features you'll use before deciding on a model.
Does using a smart camera cost a subscription fee?
No. Nearly all smart security cameras will work without paying for a subscription. The most basic features, like two-way audio, live video feeds, and motion detection, will likely be included in the free, non-subscription version of the software. However, you may not be able to use more advanced features, like cloud storage and high video resolutions, without subscribing. Again, this is all dependent on the model in question, so it's a good idea to do the research before you decide.
Where is the best place to set up a floodlight camera?
The actual location is up to you, though most people prefer to surveil their garages and points of entry, like the front door. But wherever you place it, we recommend installing it high and out of reach. This not only expands the field of view but also lets the floodlight do its thing to illuminate a greater area. Even options with intercoms (often marketed as "two-way audio") will have loud enough speakers to be heard when placed up high. We recommend a spot that's out of reach for the average 5'6" person, so we recommend you use a ladder and a spotter for extra caution.