Best WiFi Flood Lights: 2022 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. The options for smart lighting inside the home are pretty good now, but taking things outside still leaves us with limited choices.
Thankfully there are a few good products hitting the market now, and if you’re not looking for a 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.
Types of Flood Light
When you hear the term ‘flood light’ there are two main types of light fixture that people will think of. Let’s cover that up front before we look at the bet examples on the market.
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.
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 will always 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 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 100W Blaze Flood Light as the best overall flood light as it has a massive 10,000 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.
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 power 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 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.
Best WiFi Party Flood Light
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 weather proof 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 Flood Lights
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-re motion sensor.
It’s also tuneable 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 it’s 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.
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.
It’s a very similar product inn 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.
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.
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 automated them for different situations.
Of the limited choices we have for 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.