Smart WiFi Flood Lights: 2023 Buyer's Guide
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Being able to control your lights remotely via a voice assistant, remote control, or your smart phone, offers significant convenience and energy saving benefits over conventional flood lights. The options for smart lighting inside the home are extensive, but taking things outside still leaves us with more limited choices.
Thankfully there are a few good products hitting the market now, and if you’re not looking for an integrated lighting system that needs a hub then WiFi is the way to go. These lights will just connect to your normal home WiFi network and allow you to control them in various ways.
Of course, remote control isn’t the only thing we can do once our lights are on our network. Integrating these with a smart home platform leverages the convenience benefits to provide for automation possibilities, either by using various sensors, schedules, or even who’s at home. I’ll note which platforms are supported for each product below.
The brand Novostella will feature heavily in this list as they are the most established in the WiFi smart flood light space, offer a good warranty, and have consistently high customer satisfaction ratings. I’ve found most other brands to be fly-by-night market sellers with no company background or guarantee of longevity outside of those from the more expensive security camera makers.
Quick picks for Smart WiFi Flood Lights
Types of Flood Light
When you hear the term ‘flood light’ there are three main types of light fixture that people will think of. Let’s cover that up front before we look at the best examples on the market in each of these.
Washer flood lights
These are flat panel fixtures that can be mounted on a wall, ceiling, or placed on the ground in the garden. They are intended to either light up a feature such as a wall, plant, water fountain or structure, and often allow you to select a color to do this with as well. Because they provide an unfocused light over an area they are known as washer lights, as they ‘wash’ the target with light and color.
Of course these can easily be used to light a general area as well, with higher output models able to cover larger areas effectively. Combining these types of lights to illuminate the walls and gardens around an area in different colors can create a striking effect, and is often how these are best used.
Security flood lights
These types are more focused on illumination rather than aesthetics, and are typically coupled with a motion sensor that will turn the flood lights on when someone moves in their vicinity. As such they are strictly white in color, although some are now offering the ability to adjust the color temperature and brightness.
Security flood lights are intended to be used to provide temporary light for moving through an area as well as acting as a deterrent to intruders.
Flood light cameras
A logical extension of security flood lights is to add a security camera as well. These options have become increasingly popular for their additional home security benefits, but also add to the cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are WiFi Flood Lights powered?
While some types of WiFi devices can run on batteries for prolonged periods, lights draw a lot more and will run those batteries down pretty fast, especially at higher brightness levels. Because of this WiFi flood lights tend to be permanently powered and will need a wall socket or hard wiring into your house electrical circuit. Washer lights will usually be a simple plug-in affair requiring an outdoor power outlet, while security lights will need to be wired in as they are intended for mounting on the house itself.
What is an IP rating?
An IP rating is a standard set of test criteria for specifying Ingress Protection, that is the ability of a device to withstand stuff getting inside it. Specifically it measures the penetration resistance of dust and water.
This system was devised to provide some level of consistency between manufacturer’s claims of water and dust resistance since these claims were often without any basis of comparison or verification beyond pure marketing hype.
The two numbers after ‘IP’ are the ratings for dust and water, with an ‘X’ indicating no testing was done for that value. Ratings run from 1 to 8, being worst to best.
Best Smart WiFi Washer Flood Light
What I Like
Novostella has become the leading name in hub-free outdoor smart lighting with a range of different flood lights as well as light strips and security lighting. I’ve chosen the 60W Bloom Flood Light as the best overall flood light as it has a massive 6,000 lumen output with a full range of color options. Of course, you can dim the light if you don’t always want it that bright but having that available gives you the most options in terms of effect and placement. They also have other power options in their Blaze range from 20 to 100W, but not as bright as the Bloom model.
On the subject of placement, the higher end Novostella models include a built-in antenna to overcome limitations with WiFi range. After all, your router is going to be inside, so placing devices outside can often lead to limited signal strength. The antenna boosts that up to two and a half times, which will help.
The rear body is a powder coated aluminium with an integrated heat sink on the back, and a plastic front. These higher-powered flood lights can get hot with prolonged use, and the heat sink helps keep it cool so it can be used inside as well as outdoors. The housing has been certified at IP66, which means it will hold up very well in the weather and out matches many cheaper models for durability.
The smarts are built on the Tuya platform, and through the Tuya Smart Life app you can enabled either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for control, and the app also supports Siri Shortcuts, but this isn’t a smart home platform per se, and full HomeKit support is not available.
Having to sign up for the Tuya may be a concern for some. It’s a huge China-based IoT company that focuses on providing the connectivity and control for third party device makers to use. Tuya don’t make their own products, but they do provide a universal app that allows all device models on that platform to be controlled from one place.
While there are concerns around this, it’s fair to note that Tuya is aware of the apprehension people may have and maintains no less than 5 independent security certifications to ensure their systems and software are robust and protect privacy.
Best WiFi Flood Light for Parties
What I Like
Not long ago I wouldn’t have had a ‘party’ category, but the Novostella AuroraLux is a unique product in the outdoor flood light market. It has a similar physical design to the Blaze range with the same IP66 weatherproof rating but allows for multiple colors to be projected at the same time in various animated sequences.
This color sequencing is done via a number of preset modes in the app, but you won’t be able to access those via a voice assistant as they don’t support this kind of functionality. Nonetheless it’s a cool feature for those specific occasions such as parties, or for use as small stage lighting where setting it up via the app won’t be a big deal.
When multiple AuroraLux floods are combined together, you can get some very nice varying light patterns and effects, so it’s worth checking out.
You won’t get the same brightness out of the AuroraLux as the Blaze, it’s rated at 60W instead of 100W, but that’s still at the high end of the range when it comes to outdoor floodlights of this type. It also has more plastic in the body than the Blaze range.
Like the security light above, this is also a 120V North America product release at this time. Unfortunately, it’s not available to ship elsewhere.
Alternative WiFi Washer Flood Light
What I Like
As an alternative to Novostella, and there aren’t a lot of viable choices here, I’ve picked this 40W Flood Light from Wixann which appears to be a Novostella knock-off at a lower price.
It’s a very similar product in terms of physical specs with the same kind of external WiFi antenna, and an IP66 weather proof rating. It’s also dual voltage, like the Novostella floods, and runs on the Tuya platform.
There’s not a lot of info about these guys, and they’re likely one of many rebadged mass market sellers. It’s notable that they don’t specify their warranty duration, so it’s likely not worth much beyond Amazon’s return period, and there’s no telling how durable these really area.
Customer reports may be good at the moment, but over time we’ll have to see.
Best WiFi Security Flood Light
What I Like
In the security light category, I’ve again gone with a Novostella model, the new Novostella Security Flood light. While there are other good smart security lights on the market, they either don’t use WiFi and require a hub of some kind, or they fall short in features or brightness.
Novostella has topped the competition here with a three light model with a combined output of 4500 lumens, and each panel plus the motion sensor can be independently positioned to suit your installation. The lights themselves are not only bright, but you can tune the color temperature from warm to cool, and they’re also dimmable allowing for a mode that allows them to stay on at a low brightness when motion is not detected.
Not only is there a built in infra-red motion sensor, but an ambient light sensor as well to ensure the lights don’t come on unnecessarily.
There’s no plug here, you’ll need to hard wire this into your home’s electrical wiring. As such this is only available in North America, possibly due to different wiring standards in other locations.
Otherwise, the same considerations regarding the use of the Tuya platform apply as above.
Alternative WiFi Security Flood Light
What I Like
UME is a smaller brand that offers a decent alternative to Novostella’s security light. The UME Smart LED Security Light has two light panels with a combined output of 3000 lumens, and a standard infra-red motion sensor.
It’s also tunable from warm to cool white light and sports a generous 5-year warranty. It has a lesser IP54 weather rating, but that should still be sufficient to keep it safe when mounted in an elevated position, as it would be.
The motion sensor is adjustable in its sensitivity, and records a log of activation events for you to check through the app.
This is a lesser-known brand and, while the warranty is very generous and the limited customer ratings are positive, there’s no telling if they’ll be around to honor it down the road. It’s also only available for North America.
Best Smart Flood Light Camera
What I Like
When it comes to smart flood light cameras you typically have a fixed hard-wired camera with a set of flood light panels linked to it’s motion detection capabilities. Smart security maker Eufy has gone further with their Floodlight Cam Pro 2 making the camera a full pan/tilt model with a 2K resolution and the ability to identify and track moving objects on its own.
On top of the camera, you’ll have the ability to talk to people remotely via the app, and it includes a 100dB siren you can trigger to deter intruders.
You’ll need an account on the Eufy app, but there’s no cloud storage or monthly fees to worry about. Video clips are recorded on the camera’s own internal storage, good for about 30 days of typical usage.
The light panels can be rotated both vertically and horizontally for best placement in your specific situation, and the lights can be adjusted in both brightness and color temperature through the app. Powering all this, as is typical with these types of flood lights, requires a permanent power supply, so you’ll need to hard wire this into your wall.
Eufy has had some controversy around some fairly egregious oversights in their security design. They’ve responded to this by addressing the issues, and plegding to regularly engage third party security auditors going forward. That’s the response we would expect from a credible company, but we’ll have to see if they follow through effectively.
Despite that, the features on this model are a standout in the field, it performs really well, and there’s no cloud to worry about, so you’ll have to decide if their past issues justify moving on to my other recommendations.
Best Budget Flood Light Camera
What I Like
Budget smart home device brand Wyze has their Wyze Cam Floodlight that could well be enough for many people at a lower price point. It’s a more basic offering that delivers 2600 lumens from two LED lights. A basic 1080p camera is attached with an independent infra-red motion sensor and a USB port on the back.
The USB port is a novel inclusion that allows you to add a second Wyze cam pointing in a different direction that can be triggered at the same time. The camera will record limited clips to the Wyze cloud for free, but if you want longer clips, or any kind of smart detection, such as human or vehicle, you’ll need to pay for a Cam+ subscription.
The Wyze app is a bit limited when compared to more expensive brands, which is to be expected, but it may leave you wanting better control over your camera recordings and motion detection.
The Cam+ subscription is also per camera, so if you have multiple cameras it could get quite expensive.
Best Battery Flood Light Camera
What I Like
When it comes to flood light cameras, you’ll almost always find they need to be hard wired to a junction box on your wall. The Alro Pro 3 Floodlight is fairly unique by being battery powered. The floodlight design is also unique, being a single integral curved LED panel that gives excellent coverage across the cameras viewing area.
While the camera is not movable, Arlo has an auto-zoom and track feature that takes advantage of the 2K resolution to help zero in on objects of interest. The camera will automatically zoom in on the source of the motion, and track if within the frame. You’ll only see this with recorded clips though.
In order to support the impressive 3000 lumen output the Alro Pro 3 has an elongated body housing a large removable battery pack. This can be easily taken out when charging is required without having to take down the camera from the mount. You can also purchase extra batteries and a charging dock to keep them ready for hot swapping if you don’t want any downtime.
Alternatively, you can pair this with an Arlo solar panel to keep the battery permanently charged and never have to worry about it.
Arlo is a cloud-based service, but you don’t need to sign up for a plan if you don’t need to record. Without a subscription you’ll still get basic motion alerts and the ability to pull up the live feed in the app from wherever you are. You can also configure various modes to trigger automated behaviors like turning on the floodlights or siren.
Without an Arlo subscription you’ll lose out on many of the benefits of a WiFi security camera. You’ll need to get one if you want any kind of recording of events, and to get better motion filtering and alerts like restriction them to when people are detected. The design of the camera could also make installation tricky in corners given the fixed LED panel, but this isn’t a concern otherwise as the 160 degree field of view will cover any other situation pretty well.
Things To Consider
The biggest consideration with outdoor lighting is always how to get power to where the lights will be placed. With low voltage LED lights this a bit simpler as these usually use an extendable weather-proof cable that can tap off to each light along it’s length. With flood lights this isn’t possible as they draw too much power.
You’ll need to have outdoor power outlets available for each flood light, either near where you want them placed or with weather proof-ed extension cords. That can be a bit messy, but there’s no other option in this case.
For security lights it’s a neater proposition, but just as much work as you’ll need to hard wire these at the point of installation. They often use a standard electrical junction box, but not always, so buyer beware.
Color or White?
While you can get plain white flood lights, the cost differential is so minor that going with full color models is a no brainer. You’ll get so much more versatility from them, and the ability to do white anyway if you so choose.
Smart Home Integration
Having WiFi control of your lights is ensures you can control them remotely, set timers, and group them for convenience. Integrating these with a smart home platform adds further functionality, and the ability to all those things from a central app along with other smart devices you may have.
The addition of voice control will typically be a benefit here as well, which provides convenience by removing the need top pull out your phone to make changes to the lights.
Unfortunately, when it comes to WiFi flood lights the integration options are a bit limited. There are non-Wifi alternatives that support other platforms, though. You’ll need some kind of hub in these cases, but it could be a small price to pay for a better user experience.
Some alternatives worth looking at would be the Ring Flood Light, and the Philips Hue Discover.
The Wrap UP
Adding flood lights to the outside of your home can create both ambiance and utility. Doing so with WiFi enabled smart lights can be done for about the same price and extends the versatility of that lighting so that you can control all of your outdoor lights at once, and even automate them for different situations.
Of the limited choices we have for non-camera WiFi flood lights, the best picks are to be found from one particular brand, Novostella. These lights are well built and are backed by a company with an established brand and customer good will. There are others around, but these tend to be cheap mass market products from re-badged sellers with no company presence at all.
Conversely, floodlight cameras are available from many reputable brands like Ring, Arlo, Reolink, and Eufy. Of these, the best option in terms of features and performance right now is the Eufy Floodlight Cam Pro 2. You get a high quality 2K camera that support 360 degree pan and tilt action, auto-tracking of moving objects, local storage, and a 3000 lumen light output.