Ring is one of the many companies Amazon acquired on its road to dominating home automation.
Once called Doorbot, the world-famous Video Doorbell started their journey on Shark Tank back in 2013. Despite being made an offer, founder Jamie Siminoff declined. The rest, as they say, is history.
The security specialist has surged forward and expanded since those heady early days. We’ll be exploring just some of the very best Ring products of 2019 and beyond so you can see how far the firm has come.
It seems fitting to kick off this post with a look at the multiple variants of their famous video doorbell.
You’ve got a choice of 4 video Ring doorbells:
Since all of these doorbells perform the same core functions, we won’t give you a blow-by-blow account of each. Instead, we’ll just summarize what differentiates them.
Whichever model you choose, stay connected with coming and goings at your smart home even when you’re away. You’ll enjoy alerts pinged to your smartphone anytime someone’s at your door.
With the first generation Ring Video Doorbell, you can communicate with two-way audio and you’ll see all footage in full HD 720p. Night vision ensures you can do this around the clock.
If you’re at home but your phone is in another room, invest in Ring Chime and you’ll be notified throughout the house. Use a wedge kit or corner kit if you want to alter and enhance the viewing angle.
This older model comes in 3 finishes to fit in with your decor.
The rebooted Ring Video Doorbell 2 ramps up the quality of the video footage to 1080p HD. With Live View in place, you can access video and audio on demand.
This second iteration comes in either a hardwired or battery-powered version to suit your needs. You’ll also get a rechargeable battery pack thrown in and a pair of interchangeable faceplates in satin nickel or Venetian bronze.
If you step things up to Ring Video Doorbell Pro, you’ll get updated motion detection along with both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi connectivity.
Doorbell Pro only comes in a hardwired version so you’ll use the existing wiring of a doorbell and installation is straightforward. This model is not the best choice for renters.
You can also customize motion zones and you’ll enjoy all the core functionality of Doorbell 2 without needing to dig any deeper.
With Ring Video Doorbell Elite you’ll get the stability of power over Ethernet.
This is a pro-grade security solution with a superior field of view – both horizontal and vertical - along with that rock-solid connection.
You’ll get 4 faceplates you can swap out and infrared night sensors to stay connected around the clock.
But what if you’re not so tech-savvy? Don't worry, there are other Ring products out there!
Well, why not choose Ring Video Doorbell with Expert Installation and Training Service? You’ll have everything set up by the pros and you’ll even get some basic training so you can hit the ground running.
With your doorbell in place, you can start building out some other tech to encircle your whole home with that fabled Ring of Security. An alarm kit is a great way to get started.
Ring Alarm Security Kit
One of the core advantages of the Ring Alarm Security Kit is the way you can seamlessly integrate it with any other Ring products you have or intend to buy. This future-proofing is essential for any successful smart home ecosystem.
We’re unfailingly honest here at Smarthome, and we’ll readily admit that this basic security system lacks some of the refinement of the competition. That said, the price reflects this and brings the alarm within almost anyone’s reach. Also, the array of benefits vastly outweighs the relatively minor drawbacks.
There’s a fully wireless base station, a keypad for arming and disarming, a motion sensor and contact sensor along with a range extender. This package is incredibly generous considering the sub-$200 price tag.
Given that you’ll likely have more than a single point of entry to secure, you can buy extra sensors cheaply and easily. You can also double up on other components if the bundled kit doesn’t fully meet your requirements. This flexibility is one of the key selling points.
Set-up for this Ring product couldn’t be quicker or easier. You’ll be up and running in minutes without any question of calling in professional help.
A back-up battery keeps your property secured for a full 24 hours in the event of any power outage. This adds a secure extra layer of security.
In-app control is seamless and you’ll get alerts pinged to your smartphone if the sensors are triggered.
The inexpensive professional monitoring via Rapid Response Monitoring Services is effective and you won’t be locked into a contract. However, once you test this service, you’re highly likely to stay with it.
With a Ring Video Doorbell and this punchy Alarm Security Kit set up, the next obvious step is to pepper your smart home with some security cameras. These will not only act as a solid deterrent against would-be-intruders, but you’ll also be able to capture any security breach on camera and the footage can help bring that burglar to justice.
Luckily, Ring has you completely covered on this front…
With a broad spread of security cameras to protect your smart home both indoors and outdoors, we’ll examine these 3 variants so you can see which Ring product would work best for you:
The one-of-a-kind Floodlight Cam steps things up in terms of both functionality and cost. That said, it’s still keenly priced considering what you get in return and well within most reasonable budgets.
There are a number of similarities between this and Spotlight Cam, but the models also vary in a few ways.
While the camera itself has a comparable image quality, the brightness of the floodlights – a whopping 1800 lumens – puts the sub-300 lumen output that the remainder of the Ring range has to shame.
Now, that’s not to say those other lights are bad, just that the Floodlight Cam is much, much brighter. If you’re looking to secure a larger area, this is certainly the best option by far and why we’ve led off with this model.
Since it is battery-powered, you’ll enjoy the freedom of mounting this camera just about anywhere you want and you should get roughly 6 months of use out of the battery before it needs recharging. Floodlight Cam comes equipped with slots for a pair of batteries. So, when you're mounting your floodlight, you should keep in mind how you'll access the batteries, so you don't have to unmount it when it's time to change them out.
If you want to be sure that your house and garden are as safe as possible, we’d strongly recommend considering this supple and hard-hitting Floodlight Cam.
Ring’s rugged Spotlight Camera come in 3 versions:
You’ll pay a slight premium for the solar-powered model and the wired and wire-free models come in at roughly the same price.
The battery-powered and solar Spotlight Cams actually use the same battery but the latter comes with a solar charger you can also buy separately at a very reasonable price.
The signal is pretty decent and if you need added reach, you can pick up a range extender for added boost and to amplify alerts.
Controlling everything in the intuitive Ring app is super-simple, and you can use that single dashboard across all your Ring products for streamlined user experience.
Image quality trumps the Stick Up Cam and live-streaming allows you to communicate using two-way audio if required.
You can tweak motion detection to include everything or only people. A neat little slider simplifies adjustment. You can also create custom motion zones to further protect any weak spots in your security flank.
Whichever Spotlight Cam you choose, you’ll get a nice layer of protection all around the perimeter of your smart home. If you want to increase this Ring of Security further, you’ll appreciate the way you can piece equipment together and have everything singing from the same hymn sheet with no concerns about compatibility.
Third-party interoperability could certainly be improved, but if you’re content to commit to Ring products, this is academic.
Stick Up Cams
Stick Up Cams give you a choice straight off the bat.
The battery-powered version comes with a nifty quick-release battery pack, while the wired alternative demands a separate Power over Ethernet adapter. Only you know which type would sit best in your smart home. Although broadly similar, the wired variant in this Ring product gives you an enhanced field of view along with customizable motion detection.
As with all the best security cameras, any triggering of the smart sensors leads to an immediate alert sent to your cell phone. This allows you to remain fully connected to your home, even if you’re away on a business trip or kicking back on vacation.
While security cameras perform a vital role year-round, they can be extremely useful over the holiday season. You'll be able to ensure that the steady flurry of incoming Amazon packages stays safe if they arrive during the working day. Let’s face it, an opportunist thief would need to be pretty dumb to try lifting a parcel in full view of any Ring camera. If the sight of the Stick Up Cam doesn’t put them off, the shrill siren should have them heading for cover when they trigger the sensor.
Video footage comes out in full HD with 1080p resolution. You’ll get piercing night vision too so your home stays protected 24/7.
Treat yourself to Echo Spot and you’ll can activate real-time video with a simple voice command.
Everything you need comes in the box, so you should have your Stick Up Cam exactly where you want it in little more than 10 minutes.
With the solid foundations of a first-class security system laid down, what else do Ring products have to offer?
Ring Smart Lighting
After buying LED specialist Mr Beam, Ring launched a broad and deep range of smart lighting earlier this year which we looked at in detail right here.
We’ll briefly summarize the main components of this outdoor lighting system so you can automate your yard with Ring products in style.
- Smart Lighting Bridge
- Floodlight (Battery-Powered or Hardwired)
- Steplight (Battery-Powered)
- Pathlight (Battery-Powered)
- Spotlight (Battery-Powered)
- Ring Transformer
Smart Lighting Bridge
The Smart Lighting Bridge allows you to get all your outdoor lighting working together in sync.
With a proprietary protocol – this is one reason Ring acquired Mr. Beam – communication range extends to a massive 1000 feet.
Using one bridge, you can connect up to 50 devices with the bridge hooking up to your home WiFi. With this Ring product, you’ll be able to build your Video Doorbell or security cameras into the mix for a robust all-round security solution.
Floodlight (Battery-Powered or Hardwired)
The Floodlight Starter Kit comes in a battery-powered and hardwired version. Both come with the bridge thrown in.
If you only want the floodlights, you can buy them separately without the hub, but this represents superior value.
A pair of lights and a sensor combine to fully illuminate your yard any time motion is detected. The battery-powered model gives you 3500 Kelvin of bright white light rated at 600 lumens. Opt for the hardwired alternative and you’ll be flooded with light of 2000 lumens. You will mount this floodlight on your existing junction box.
Range of motion detection extends to 70 feet with the wired model and 45 feet for the battery-powered variant. This should be more than enough to dissuade any casual intruder long before they hit your entryway.
Steplights are a wonderful way to add some accent lighting to your decking or outdoor stairways.
Packing integrated motion sensors, this Ring product gives you a muted 35 lumens of white light. Whether you want some mood lighting for your BBQ or you just want to climb the steps at night in safety, these dinky additions to the Ring range are well worth considering.
As with the entire smart lighting range, you can use these steplights in tandem with other Ring tech as long as you have that bridge in place.
If you’re tired of tripping on a dark pathway at night, the Ring Pathlight will neatly show you to the door triggered by your arrival.
Available as single lights or in packs of 2 and 4, you can also grab a starter kit with the bridge included.
Also, brightness is 80 lumens so you won’t be blinded as you step out your car.
These lights also ensure no burglar can sneak up your pathway to the door at night unseen.
Design is elegant so these pathlights set off any entranceway while adding in a valuable extra dimension of security.
The mid-range Spotlights come in somewhere between the brightness of the Floodlight and the mood lighting levels of the Pathlight. 400 lumens of brightness gives you a sharp blast of illumination in a targeted area.
These lights work well for securing any dark and gloomy spots that are out of range for the other lights in your system.
Installing this Ring product is a breeze and fully wire-free.
The Ring Transformer enables you to smarten up any older landscape lighting you already have in place.
The low-voltage transformer works with a wide range of fixtures in the 12V to 15V range.
As you can see, Ring has come a long way since those Shark Tank days. The only question that remains is, which of these devices will you get first?
As an added sweetener, if you sign up for our email newsletter, you’ll benefit from 20% off your first order so why not use that to build out that Ring of Security?
Bookmark our blog and come back soon! We post every weekday and we have a packed schedule for July. We’ve got all the latest smart home news as usual, detailed product reviews from members of our team and some great how-to guides for you. See you soon!