Best Floodlight Security Cameras

I tried three popular models from Arlo, Eufy, and Ring to see which one is the best driveway security guard

Daniel Wroclawski installing a floodlight camera on a garage Photo: Daniel Wroclawski/Consumer Reports

If your house has floodlights, odds are they’re placed in areas that are also ideal mounting spots for security cameras: hardwired for power, high above the ground and facing open areas like yards and driveways that you want to keep an eye on.

That’s why floodlight security cameras are such a compelling option. You get a camera, floodlight, and siren in one package and, in most cases, you don’t have to worry about recharging batteries every few weeks or months like you do with other types of outdoor wireless security cameras. And as a bonus, you can control your floodlight from your phone or smart speaker.

Floodlight cameras are different from conventional outdoor security cameras, though they’re frequently made by the same companies. Wireless cameras are often battery powered, smaller, and less noticeable. They can be a better option in places where you don’t need a powerful light turning on every time a person or animal passes by, and they’re easier to set up. All you have to do is plug them in or charge up the battery, connect them to WiFi, and you’re ready to go. With most floodlight cameras, you have to shut off the power at your breaker box, get up on a ladder, remove the old floodlight, and wire in the new fixture (or call an electrician to do it for you).

I installed a prerelease press sample of the new Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro for my early review. I then bought another for this evaluation to confirm that the sample functioned the same as a consumer unit. Now in its third generation, Ring’s new floodlight camera features a number of improvements, such as radar-equipped 3D Motion Detection, high dynamic range (HDR) video with color night vision, and better WiFi connectivity.

I also purchased the battery-powered Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera and the Eufy Floodlight Camera. All three feature full HD (or better) security cameras with bright 2,000 to 3,000 lumen floodlights (a typical household lightbulb is 800 lumens), built-in sirens, and two-way audio for speaking with visitors, and come in black or white finishes.

In addition to floodlight cameras, you’ll see a number of spotlight cameras on the market, some made by the same manufacturers. Spotlight cameras can be a great option if you’re looking to keep watch over a small area, and they can be easier to install because most run off battery power. Floodlight cameras tend to provide broader, brighter light, and they’re ideal for monitoring a large, well-trafficked area like a driveway or yard. Those are the cameras I focused on for this review.

Here’s a quick look at each model:

Floodlight Cameras at a Glance

Editor’s Choice
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera
Price: $250
Where to buy: Amazon, Arlo, Best Buy, Lowe’s, and Target.
Free video storage: Three-month trial of 30-day storage plan.
Storage subscriptions: $3 to $20 per month.
What we like: Its ability to detect people, animals, and vehicles.
What we don’t like: Its outdoor power cord is sold separately and costs $50.

Good Hardwired Option
Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
Price: $250
Where to buy: Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ring.
Free video storage: One-month trial of 60-day storage plan.
Storage subscriptions: $3 to $10 per month or $30 to $100 per year.
What we like: The straightforward setup process and reliable motion detection.
What we don’t like: It lacks object detection for vehicles, animals, and packages.

Good Value
Eufy Floodlight Camera
Price: $180
Where to buy: Amazon, Eufy, Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart.
Free video storage: 4GB of local storage.
Storage subscriptions: None.
What we like: Recordings are stored in the camera’s internal memory; no recurring fee required.
What we don’t like: It doesn’t offer as many smart features as other models.

As a group, the cameras worked quite well, providing outdoor lighting in line with traditional floodlights, as well as video recordings and motion detection on a par with regular wireless security cameras. That said, there were some clear differences between these models, and one might be a better fit for your house than another.

The Arlo is the only option that can run off either a rechargeable battery or an optional power cord (provided you have an outlet nearby). The Ring model can either be installed into an outdoor-rated electrical box or run off a power cord, while the Eufy can only be installed into an electrical box. As a result, the Eufy is best suited for replacing existing floodlights, while the Arlo and Ring are better suited for renters, or if you want to place a floodlight in an area where one isn’t already present.

The Results: Which Floodlight Camera Should You Choose?

To test these cameras, I installed them over my garage to keep watch over my driveway and front yard. For the battery-powered Arlo floodlight, I purchased a third-party mount to attach it to the gutter over my garage. (The Arlo comes with a screw-in mount, but I’m trying to reduce the number of holes I put in my house’s siding for these types of reviews.) For the hardwired Eufy and Ring models, I rotated them through the standard electrical box that typically houses my own floodlight camera over my driveway and front yard.

I lived with each camera for at least two weeks, observing video quality and alert accuracy. I also tried out their Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrations, which let me view video feeds and, in some cases, speak with visitors via Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub smart displays. There were a few features, such as the Arlo’s package detection, that required a bit of staging on my part to properly evaluate. Fortunately, Amazon, FedEx, and UPS don’t leave packages in my driveway, where they’d likely become speed bumps. That’s where the camera was aimed, however, so I ended up delivering a package to myself by placing a large shipping box in my driveway.

Read on for summaries of my experiences with these floodlight cameras. For more details on installation and setup, video quality, and smart features, click on the links for my in-depth reviews of each camera.

If you’re in the market for regular wireless security cameras or video doorbells, see our comprehensive home security camera ratings. Top-rated models include cameras from Arlo, Google Nest, and Ring, and video doorbells from Google Nest, Logitech, and SimpliSafe.

Editor’s Choice

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

Arlo floodlight camera attached to a garage roof.

Photo: Daniel Wroclawski/Consumer Reports Photo: Daniel Wroclawski/Consumer Reports

Price: $250
Where to buy: Amazon, Arlo, Best Buy, Lowe’s, and Target.
Available colors: Black or white.
Free video storage: Three-month trial of 30-day storage plan.
Storage subscriptions: $3 per month for 30 days of cloud storage for motion-triggered video clips and smart alerts for one camera, $10 per month for unlimited cameras, or $15 per month for unlimited cameras with emergency response. Continuous video recording costs $10 per month for 14 days or $20 per month for 30 days.
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri (with Arlo Pro Smart Hub, sold separately), Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings.

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is the most versatile of the bunch, thanks in part to its multiple power options. It can run off either a rechargeable battery or plug-in power cord, sold separately for $50, which connects to the bottom of the camera and can run up to 25 feet to connect to an outlet. It gave me the most headaches, though, specifically during setup. I couldn’t get the camera to complete the process because of a failed firmware update and ended up having to call Arlo support. But the rep was helpful and walked me through resetting the camera and running the setup process again.

Once it was up and running, however, the Arlo outshined the other floodlight cameras.

It offered crisp, clear video footage and fairly accurate motion detection with helpful AI-based alerts for people, animals, and vehicles. The only hiccup: The camera never detected packages. I placed a large box in the driveway and moved it around, but the camera never recognized it. (I reached out to Arlo about this problem and was told that a rep was going to help troubleshoot it. I’ll update this article once that’s done.) Keep in mind that an Arlo Secure subscription is required for cloud video storage and certain features, such as the AI-based alerts. (The cameras use algorithms to tell if a person, animal, or vehicle is in the video.)

We didn’t run any of these floodlight cameras through our data privacy and security tests, but it’s worth noting that other Arlo cameras and doorbells we’ve tested have received ratings of only Fair for data privacy but Excellent for data security.

Read our full at-home review of the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

Good Hardwired Option

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Ring floodlight camera attached to a garage roof.

Photo: Daniel Wroclawski/Consumer Reports Photo: Daniel Wroclawski/Consumer Reports

Price: $250
Where to buy: Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ring.
Available colors: Black or white.
Free video storage: One-month trial of 60 day storage plan.
Storage subscriptions: $3 per month (or $30 per year) for one camera for 60 days of storage, or $10 per month (or $100 per year) for unlimited cameras.
Works with: Amazon Alexa.

The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro (that’s a mouthful!) delivered the smoothest experience of the three floodlight cameras, especially when it came to setup, but it doesn’t offer as wide an array of features as the Arlo. In my at-home evaluation, the Ring floodlight camera captured detailed, crisp video (though the clips sometimes looked oversaturated) and very accurate motion detection, thanks to the camera’s radar-based 3D Motion Detection system. (The other cameras use either their image sensors or infrared sensors to detect motion.) The floodlight cam can be mounted to a round outdoor electrical box. Or if you opt for Ring’s $20 plug-in mount (which comes with a 20-foot power cord), you can install it wherever there’s a nearby outlet.

Because Amazon owns Ring, it comes as no surprise that the floodlight camera works with Amazon Alexa for voice control and even lets you use two-way audio via your Alexa smart speaker or display to, say, yell at raccoons rummaging through your garbage cans. I tried it out using my Amazon Echo Show smart display and it worked very well, loading the live video feed quickly and letting me speak to visitors with ease. Keep in mind that a Ring Protect subscription is required for cloud video storage and person detection (see above for pricing).

As for data privacy and security, other Ring cameras and doorbells we’ve formally tested to date have ratings of Good or Fair for data privacy and Very Good for data security. But Ring has taken some heat from privacy advocates for its partnerships with local police departments. For more information, see our guide on what to do if the police ask for your recordings.

Read our full at-home review of the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Good Value

Eufy Floodlight Camera

Eufy floodlight camera attached to a garage roof.

Photo: Daniel Wroclawski/Consumer Reports Photo: Daniel Wroclawski/Consumer Reports

Price: $180
Where to buy: Amazon, Eufy, Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart.
Available colors: Black or white.
Free video storage: 4GB of local storage.
Storage subscriptions: None.
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant.

The Eufy Floodlight Camera offers one key feature the other two cameras lack: It stores all video footage locally on the device, which means there are no recurring monthly fees. Sure, it’s not as feature-rich (for example, it lacks AI alerts for people, vehicles, etc.). But it costs about $70 less, offers great video quality, and comes with the basic features of the Arlo and Ring models, which will cover most consumers’ needs, such as monitoring zones for blocking motion alerts from certain areas (say, a busy street or sidewalk) and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

One important note: In May 2021 Eufy had a security issue where its users were able to access cameras owned by other Eufy users. The company says that only 712 people were affected and that it’s working to put additional safeguards in place to prevent future problems.

In our previous lab tests, other Eufy cameras and doorbells received ratings of Fair or Good for data privacy and Good or Very Good for data security.

Read our full at-home review of the Eufy Floodlight Camera

This product evaluation is part of Consumer Reports’ “Outside the Labs” reviews program, which is separate from our laboratory testing and ratings. Our “Outside the Labs” reviews are performed at home and in other native settings by individuals, including our journalists, with deep subject matter experience or knowledge and are designed to offer another important perspective for consumers as they shop. While the products or services mentioned in this article may not currently be in CR’s ratings, they might eventually be tested in our laboratories and rated according to an objective, scientific protocol.

Like all CR evaluations of products and services, our “Outside the Labs” reviews are independent and free from advertising. If you’d like to learn more about the criteria for our lab testing, please go to the Research and Testing page on our website.

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Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).