I remember when I first stepped into my backyard at night after installing the Ring Floodlight Cam, only to be half-blinded by the floodlight! Okay, I wasn’t actually blinded – but it certainly felt like it at first! The 3,000 lumen (total) floodlights can be quite bright, which led me to wonder whether it’s possible to adjust the brightness levels? Well, the short answer is…
No, it’s not currently possible to dim or adjust the brightness of the Ring Floodlight, but there are various other options available to achieve similar results.
The Ring Floodlight Cam is an interesting smart camera because it’s also a fairly bright floodlight, having two 1,500 lumen LED bulbs adding up to 3,000 lumen output (a typical ceiling bulb has around 1,000 lumens brightness):
There is a fairly big passive infrared (PIR) sensor at the bottom of the Ring camera which provides 270° of motion-detection range – pretty much everything other than the wall behind it!
The camera itself is also wide angle, capturing 140° of video around it. What this all means is that when someone (or an animal) approaches the Ring Floodlight Cam:
- As long as it’s within the 270° detection angle and up to 30 feet (10 metres) away…
- … the Ring camera will notify you, and also start recording.
- If it’s day time, the two floodlights won’t come on. But if it’s dark out, they will come on.
This is all great, other than the fact that if you go near your Ring Floodlight Cam when it’s dark out, you could be hit by the strong 3,000-lumen light coming from it.
This happens to me because I have my Ring Floodlight Cam mounted by my backdoor, so anytime I go out to my garage or to my bins, one of the lights (1′ from my door) hits me full-beam in the face! Ugh.
I am getting used to it now as I anticipate the light coming on and don’t look directly at it, but being able to dim the light would be a nice feature – something the next section explores more.
If you read the light settings for the Ring Spotlight Cam, you’ll see that there’s a section covering dimming down the light. Since this is possible on the cheaper (Spotlight) model, surely dimming is possible on the more expensive Floodlight Cam, right?!
Unfortunately it’s not possible to adjust the light’s brightness on the Ring Floodlight Cam, since it uses fixed LED (light emitting diodes) and the unit isn’t designed for sending lower voltages (or pulsing current) to the LEDs to allow for dimming.
Whilst this might seem like a design flaw, a floodlight is generally designed to be bright and pump out large amounts of light – so adding extra wiring and LEDs to support dimming wasn’t really high on Ring’s priority list when building the Ring Floodlight Cam.
Fortunately there’s a few options open to you if you want to improve the lighting situation on your new Ring camera.
The good thing with the Ring Floodlight Cam is that there’s two separate lights, and these are mounted on arms that allow them to be adjusted to face slightly different directions:
Whilst you can’t get a massive range of motion on them, I was certainly able to move them enough to not blind me when I walked out of my back door! The main thing to avoid is one of the lights directly facing a common walk-way: it can face near it and hence still illuminate it well, whilst not blinding people walking nearby!
Equally if you’re running new cable for this camera or you’re able to move the existing cables, you can try re-locating your whole Ring Floodlight Camera so that it’s facing away from these common walking areas.
When launching the Ring app, you can go into your Floodlight Cam, select “Device Settings” and then “Light Settings” to see the following lighting options:
The first and third option allows you to turn the lights on and off either manually, or automatically on a schedule. These can be useful if you’re having an outdoor gathering and you don’t want your Ring Floodlight going off all the time.
Whilst you can’t dim it down (which would probably be better), turning them off completely during a gathering would be better than having them randomly come on at full beam!
The second option – motion zones for lights – is also useful:
Whilst this also doesn’t offer dimming options, it can be really useful to stop the floodlights from coming on in certain cases. For example, if your back door is on the left and you have a walkway on the right, you might want to turn off the lights on the “left” side so you won’t get blinded when you open your backdoor – whereas the light will still come on if someone is coming down your walkway.
Equally you can choose to have the lights turn off after a set amount of time. I wanted this fairly long so I changed it from 30 seconds (the default) to 3 minutes, but you might want to lower this option right down so that the amount of time you’re blinded by the Ring Floodlight Cam is reduced!
You know how you buy black sun screens (made out of mesh-type fabric) for your car windows? Well, whilst these are mainly designed to block UV and IR light whilst keeping visible light coming through, they still block some visible light.
Therefore whilst it’s a bit of a ‘DIY hack’ solution, you could actually buy mesh fabric and put this over the two floodlights. This will act to reduce some of the light coming from the floodlights, resulting in a simple dimming effect.
You can either glue this fabric on for a more permanent solution, or potentially fashion a plastic edging or ‘cap’ which goes around the floodlight (and stick the fabric mesh to this), for a more removable solution.
This is kind of like making giant sunglasses for your Ring Floodlight Cam – bonus points if you put some wire between the two ‘mesh caps’ to reinforce this look!
As I mentioned towards the start of this article, the Ring Spotlight Cam actually does contain dimmable lights. Of course, the brightness is a lot less overall (providing just 300 lumens of light) so you could argue that you wouldn’t need to dim it anyway, but if you find that the Ring Floodlight Cam is too bright, it could be an option.
The Ring Spotlight Cam comes as both a battery and wired-in option, so if you don’t already have wiring, the Spotlight Cam’s battery option might be much more convenient for you anyway. It also has a built-in siren and all the usual Ring options (such as people-only detection, rich notifications and recording to the cloud when motion is detected), so it could be work checking out if you want an outdoor light but feel that the undimmable 3,000 lumens of the Ring Floodlight Cam would be too much for you.
More details on the Ring Spotlight Cam are available on Amazon: