In the market for a new Ring camera? Simple: just go to Ring’s website, and choose from their… wait, what? They offer FOURTEEN cameras? Who even needs FOURTEEN cameras?
If you’ve ever felt like this, worry not. This video walks you through everything you need to know to make your purchasing choice a little easier.
I cover the Ring Indoor Cam, the Ring Stick-up Cam, the Ring Spotlight Cam and the Ring Floodlight Cam – and why they sometimes have four or five variations each (such as battery, solar, Power over Ethernet and plug-in options).
The individual timestamps for each section are:
- 0:00 Intro
- 0:50 Similarities
- 2:05 Difference #1: Install Placement
- 3:10 Difference #2: In-Built Lights?
- 3:42 Difference #3: Siren
- 4:31 Power Method (battery vs powered)
- 5:33 Ring Indoor Cam
- 6:02 Ring Stick-up Cam thoughts
- 7:23 Ring Spotlight Cam (why it’s pointless)
- 8:15 Ring Floodlight Cam
- 10:13 Wrapping Up
Read more info on the WiFi jamming point I mentioned.
Hello, I’m Tristan. Last year I started working on a YouTube video which explained the difference between every single Ring camera and doorbell. But it was too confusing and it gave me a migraine, so I just did a video covering all of Ring’s doorbells instead. However I’m now back and migraine-free: so today’s video explains the difference between all FOURTEEN of Ring’s cameras. Yep, they have fourteen.
Well, technically it’s only four different types of products – but some of those have four or five variations each, so… yeah, it gets confusing. Maybe that’s why you’re watching this video: you went to buy a Ring camera, but you gave up and went for a drive on Swindon’s Magic Roundabout instead. It’s easier to navigate than Ring’s product line-up, to be fair.
Right, so at a high level, Ring’s four types of cameras are the Ring Indoor Cam, the Ring Stick-up Cam, the Ring Spotlight Cam and the Ring Floodlight Cam. The best way of discussing their differences is to instead discuss their similarities. Bear with me. All fourteen models record in what Ring calls “full HD” (and I discuss this point more in another video).
All of these cameras start recording when motion is detected, and send notifications to your phone (none record 24/7). You can configure notifications on all fourteen devices to either not receive notifications at certain times, or to only receive notifications when a person is detected, which can be quite useful. All fourteen models also support “two way talk” – basically allowing you to talk through the Ring app so that people near your Ring device can hear you and speak back. All models also work well with Amazon Alexa – you can either view the video feed through an Echo Show, or you can get motion and doorbell alerts through a traditional Echo.
So all of the core Ring features exist on all fourteen models. The first real difference between these models is where you want to install it. The cheapest model – the Ring INDOOR Cam – can only be used indoors. Surprising, eh? It has no weather-proofing, so using it inside your home or an outbuilding is fine, but mounting it outdoors naturally is not. Then we have the Ring Stick-up Cam which IS weather-proofed and so you can use it outdoors – although it doesn’t have any in-built lights so you’ll have to rely purely on night vision to see people. Whilst it’s good that the Stick-up Cam is weather-proofed, it also costs 40 dollars (or pounds) more than the Indoor Cam – so there’s no real point in buying the Stick-up Cam if you’ll only ever use it indoors. The other two types of Ring camera – the Ring Spotlight Cam and Ring Floodlight Cam – are then purely designed to work outdoors. They have built-in lights that activate when someone walks past, so you wouldn’t really want to use these indoors! Plus they don’t come with a standing base to place on a shelf – they are purely designed to be wall-mounted outdoors.
So the install location is the first main difference. The second big difference to discuss is whether they have in-built lights. The two purely-outdoor cameras – the Spotlight and Floodlight – have lights built in. The Floodlight Cam’s light is pretty powerful, as you’d expect, although the light in the Ring Spotlight is less than 400 lumens, which is quite weak. This compares with the Ring Stick-up Cam – which can be installed outdoors – but it doesn’t have a light. Finally the Ring Indoor Cam doesn’t have any sort of motion-activated light.
The next functional difference is a siren. The Ring Spotlight and Floodlight Cams are both designed as security devices, so they have built in hardware sirens that you can activate manually through the Ring app and they pump out 110 decibels (this is quite loud – a passing train is around 85 decibels). And as of December 2020, you can finally link this siren to your Ring alarm system so if your Ring Alarm triggers, so do the sirens on your Ring outdoor cameras. The Ring Indoor and Stick-up Cams “sort of” have sirens. Basically within Live View mode, there is a “siren” button which will play a sound at the highest volume possible – but this is still much quieter than the proper hardware sirens in the Spotlight and Floodlight cams.
Moving on, before I discuss the specific differences between all the variants, I wanted to discuss how the power method affects your Ring camera. Because Ring cameras record when motion is detected, your Ring device needs to constantly be aware of its surroundings (in other words, to start recording when motion is detected). But any battery-based device will need to conserve power – it’d be pointless having to charge up your Ring camera every few days. As a result, battery-based Ring cameras aren’t quite as good as plugged-in or hardwired ones. They are more likely to miss motion altogether, or to start recording late – meaning that sometimes you only see the back of someone as they are leaving. For this reason, I tend to avoid Ring’s battery cameras completely and only ever use plugged-in ones – but if you can’t run power to a particular location, a battery-powered Ring camera is better than nothing.
And that brings me onto the model-by-model comparison. The Ring Indoor Cam is easy: it has all the features I mentioned previously, and it only has one power mode: it must be plugged into a power outlet. Simple. I have the Indoor Cam in my garage and it works really well. The bracket on the Indoor Cam allows you to wall mount it if you would like, or you can sit it on a shelf. It’s also quite cheap at $60 (or £50 in the UK), although during Amazon sales it’s often much cheaper.
The next type of Ring camera is the Ring Stick-up Cam. As I touched on earlier, this is weatherproofed so you can install it outdoors if you’d like. The bracket also supports shelf or wall mounting, which is convenient. It also has four different power methods: battery (which lasts for 6 to 12 months), plug-in (via a power outlet), solar and PoE. The battery and plug-in options are fairly obvious, but what about solar and PoE? Well, the Stick-up Cam Solar is basically the Stick-up Cam Battery BUT it comes with a $50 solar panel which connects to the battery and keeps it charged up. Unless you install the Stick-up Cam in the shade, you shouldn’t need to recharge the battery.
The other variant is the Stick-up Cam Elite. This uses PoE – power over Ethernet – to supply both power and internet connectivity to the device. Ignoring the high price tag of the Elite, this is quite a nice product because all the other Ring cameras are Wi-Fi based and Wi-Fi can be unreliable – it can have blips, and it can also suffer Wi-Fi jamming attacks, which will take your Ring camera offline. The Ring Stick-up Cam Elite is immune to this. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend Ring as your only household security device, I think it’s always a good idea to have a PoE security camera installed somewhere in-case your Wi-Fi fails (or is jammed).
Next up we have the Ring Spotlight Cam series. It’s pointless, don’t buy it. Right, onto the Ring Floodlight Cam. What do you mean I can’t just say that? [sighs] FIIINNEE. The Ring Spotlight Cam… is pointless. It costs $199 (or £179), which is double the price of the Ring Stick-up Cam. Yes it has a light and a proper siren, but guess what? The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus has a siren and a MUCH BRIGHTER LIGHT, for 20 bucks LESS. The only sensible option here is the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount which comes with three flush-mounting brackets meaning they are more versatile than the Ring Stick-up Cam’s brackets, plus they can be mounted to an electrical junction box for a neat overall finish. Beyond that, ignore the Ring Spotlight Cam unless it’s on sale for a great price.
Rant over, now I really am moving onto the Ring Floodlight Cam. There’s FIVE variants of this… sort of. I spoke about this more in another video, but the original Floodlight Cam came out in 2018 and it offered 1,800 lumens brightness, a loud siren and all the usual smart functionality you expect. It’s a pretty nice product, and I have one mounted in my backyard. Ring then scrapped this in 2021, offering the Wired Plus and Wired Pro instead. These can be wired in, or plugged in for an extra $20 (but the plug-in version isn’t available in the UK at the time of filming).
I actually really like what Ring did last year. Ring actually improved the original Floodlight Cam (by making the light brighter at 2,000 lumens, and allowing dimming) and then they dropped the price – giving us the Floodlight Cam Wired Plus at $180 (or £180). Thanks Ring! Beyond the lighting improvements and a nicer design, there’s no real functional difference between the original Floodlight and the Wired Plus. However the Wired Pro at $250 (or £220) DOES offer some nice new features. It has built-in radar technology – similar to the Ring Doorbell Pro 2 – which means that motion detection works better, plus you have more configuration options for motion detection. This technology also allows the Ring Floodlight Pro to build up a “bird’s eye view” map of where people have walked – which could prove useful if a potential burglar is scoping out your property.
Finally, the Floodlight Pro offers dual-band Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This COULD be useful because 5 GHz Wi-Fi can be faster and the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band is sometimes overloaded. HOWEVER one big drawback of 5 GHz Wi-Fi is that the Wi-Fi range is more limited, and its signal drops a fair bit when going through walls. So you might not want 5 GHz Wi-Fi on an outdoor camera anyway.
And that’s just about it. Phew. There’s quite a lot of choice in Ring’s camera range, but if you ignore the Ring Spotlight Cam (did I mention that it’s pointless?!), your choices become clearer: an indoor-only camera, a cheaper outdoor camera with a range of power options (but no light) and the Ring Floodlight range. And that’s really what the choice comes down to: many of the standard Ring features are available on all FOURTEEN of these cameras, but how you want to install and power it is often the key factor in your buying decision.
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