Budget Pick: Wyze Cam V3
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
In March 2022, Bitdefender released a report detailing security flaws in all Wyze cameras. New and existing device owners should ensure that theyve installed all updates to resolve the issues, and owners of v1 cams should stop using them. We have more details about this incident in Security, privacy, and outdoor security cameras.
The Wyze Cam v3 is billed as weather resistant, which includes not only the ability to withstand low and high temps but also water resistance. In our testing, it stood up well to rain and moisture when installed with the base on a flat or vertical surface like a wall. But when we installed the v3 upside down under an overhang, the weather seals failed and the camera was flooded. That shouldnt happen in the settings, youre able to flip the image, which means the v3 is meant to be installed upside downbut wed caution against doing so.
The Wyze Cam v3 can capture 1080p video at 20 frames per second with a 130-degree viewing angle. The v3 even has color night vision, which delivers color images when there is just the slightest bit of light present . Although this is not quite as vibrant as what youd see during the day, its really good. Owners can turn off that option or set night vision to Auto, so the system will flip to black-and-white night vision when it gets too dark out.
Security Privacy And Outdoor Security Cameras
Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously and investigates as much as possible how the companies whose products we recommend deal with customer data. As part of our vetting process for outdoor cameras, we looked at all of the security and data-privacy practices behind our picks.
We also reached out to the companies that produced our top picks and had them answer an extensive questionnaire to confirm information that we thought should be of primary concern for any potential buyer .
A bigger concern is whether a camera can be hacked by outsiders or whether your video is adequately secured against misuse by the camera manufacturer. Three of the four companies that sell our recommended picks told us they do not share user data with third-party companies Ring said it will share data with analytics servicesbut that is something users can opt out of.
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How The Wyze Cam V3 Has Held Up
For just over a year, senior editor Grant Clauser has had the Wyze Cam v3 installed in his backyard. And he said hes found the app easy to use and that overall the camera captured good-quality video. Im impressed with how well the magnetic mount has held the camera in place through heavy wind, ice, and snow, Grant said. One foible he has noticed: The camera attracts moths at night, which triggers the motion detector and so generates a lot of unnecessary alerts. Moths look like monsters to the camera.
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Halloween Outdoor Lighting Ideas: 25+ Spooky Ways To Light Your Yard
Looking for some ways to add spooky Halloween outdoor lighting to your yard? These ideas are sure to make your house the coolest one on the block!
Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, which is why I always go all out with Halloween decorations like my haunted house decor and my annual Halloween graveyard. But no matter whether Im doing indoor or outdoor decor, I think lighting is what makes or breaks a good Halloween display.
Its no secret that I love Halloweenand I especially love doing up my yard with Halloween lights.
And theres no missing my house on the block. I definitely dont subscribe to the less is more school of Halloween decorating .
Its been many years since I created my first yard haunt with lighting .
However, since then Halloween decorating seems to have taken on a life of its own.
Every year I learn a few more lighting tricks to help make my yard look spooky. So the list keeps getting longer!
Keep reading to find my favorite Halloween outdoor lighting ideas.
Who This Is For
Having problems with someone stealing packages off of your steps or with trash pandas in your garbage cans? A Wi-Fi surveillance camera on your front porch, over your garage, or attached to your back deck can give you a peek at whats really going on outdoors. A camera not only alerts you to dangers and guests but also creates a record of the events that happen outside your home, so you wont miss a minute of action.
Outdoor Wi-Fi cameras are great for keeping tabs on who is coming into your yard and around your property. But these devices are not always great for keeping tabs on street activity and even the far edges of your own property . We asked all of the companies behind our picks what owners should realistically expect in terms of video quality, and we found that users should be able to detect movement 30 to 40 feet away. But faces and license plates may start to get fuzzy around 30 feet awayand that number could drop substantially depending on lighting conditions.
If thats not enough peace of mind, and you want to step it up to 24/7, all-bases-covered security, you should go with something thats connected to a monitoring service. For more information on whats out there, see our guide to the best home security system.
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A home security system is all about peace of mind. It can alert you to an open door or window, frighten away prowlers, and call for help should you need it.
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Almost Spooky Porch Sconce
We know Halloween is technically over, but if youre one of those people who welcome the occult all year round, then youll love this almost spooky Caleb metal lantern sconce .
This is my favorite type of lantern, says Smith. I love that you can add a flickering bulb on the interior that makes it look like fire, and I love that you can choose them to be sconces or to hang like a pendant. This is the perfect look for fall, but it can also carry you through winter as well.
Upgrade Your Bathroom Mirror
Everyone loves a clean, updated bathroom, said James Watson, owner ofOmaha Homes for Cash. What is the one thing in the bathroom that is constantly looked at? Sizes typically influence the price, however, most mirrors can be purchased for under $100.
And if you dont want to completely replace your mirror consider this suggestion from former mortgage broker, Danny Marshall ofMortgage Rate Guru: Just adding a frame to your builder-grade bathroom mirror will instantly give it a lift.
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Other Good Outdoor Security Cameras
We tested a number of outdoor security cameras that we didnt prefer as much as our current top picks but that are still good choices. Note that we do not long-term test these models .
If you want free cloud storage: Our previous longtime pick, the Arlo Pro 2, is still a good buy, if you can find it. Stock seems to be limited on the web, and its mysteriously missing from the Arlo website. Were pretty sure this model will be going away at some point, although we cant get the company to confirm that. Once this model is retired, we wonder if Arlo will continue to offer seven days of free cloud storageanother thing it wont comment on.
If you dont have an existing outdoor light: The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is our favorite battery-operated floodlight camera combo. It uses a removable, rechargeable battery to blast a bright 2,000 lumens , and in our tests its daytime 2K video was very good. Nighttime images werent as good, unless the subject was standing directly in front of the camera . After months of testing it, we expect the battery to last about three months, depending on usage.
Our Pick: Eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
If you want to shine a bright light on your yard or driveway while also providing video surveillance, we recommend the Eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro. It combines a 2K pan-and-tilt camera with a 3,000-lumen floodlight that replaces your existing outdoor lightswhich means it needs to be hardwired rather than plugged into an outlet. Although it doesnt offer versatile placement, like our other picks, that pan-and-tilt feature allows you to scan your property from the comfort of your couch, office, and pretty much anywhere else. Also, we found the Eufy Floodlight to be reliable with alerts, offered the best lighting of any floodlight we tested, and has options for both local and cloud storage . Unlike the EufyCam 2 Pro, this model doesnt work with HomeKit and HomeKit Secure Video.
The Eufy Floodlights camera produced excellent images during the day and at night with black-and-white night vision, ambient lighting from our house, and especially the integrated floodlight. Packing 3,000 lumens, the Eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro has the brightest lights of any hardwired floodlight we tested. In the Eufy app, lights can be turned on by pushing the three little dots in the corner of the camera entry and then clicking on the light bulb icon.
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Sustainability And Outdoor Security Cameras
Many readers are concerned about how the manufacturing, shipping, and normal use of the products we recommend impact the world we live in. Wirecutter takes that seriously too, which is why weve asked the manufacturers of all our picks to answer some basic questions about the materials they use, the life cycle of their products, and related questions about their overall sustainability. Although our product recommendations are based completely on the criteria outlined in How we picked and How we tested, we offer this information to supplement the decision of any reader who uses environmental impact as a deciding factor in their purchases. We also recognize that this may not paint a complete picture of a products supply chain and overall environmental impact.
Outdoor security cameras are not fundamentally designed as sustainable products, but all of the manufacturers of our picks said they use recyclable packaging materials and offer refurbished modelseither directly, through select third-party retailers, or via limited events during the year.
Change Out A Main Light Fixture Or Two
Replacing dated or worn light fixtures can really make a big difference in the appearance of a home, said Mike Stewart, realtor and owner ofMike Stewart Professional Real Estate Corporation. People like new. When you are selling a property, having modern or stylish light fixtures that match the rest of the homes decor can really help get potential buyers excited about your property.
You can find hundreds of light fixtures for under $100 on Amazon that will upgrade your home. Or take a trip to your local home improvement store to check out its selections.
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Warm Copper Wall Light
Why do we love this gorgeous Hammerman high-rubbed copper wall light so? Not only will it illuminate your entryway with the perfect warm glow every evening, but it also looks incredible as an unlit stand-alone piece.
The copper already mimics the fall season and its colors, which are typically warmer, deeper hues, says designer Carmen Smith, of Living Letter Home. This copper light will add even more warmth to your outdoor space in a simple, classy way.
How The Arlo Pro 4 Has Held Up
Senior staff writer Lauren Dragan said that while testing the Arlo Pro, she found the low-battery alert tended to trigger when there was still about 20% leftwhich translates to a few weeks left of battery life. And she came up with a good solution to alleviate the hassle of waiting around for the battery to recharge: We bought a backup battery and so swap it with the old one when we get a low battery alert, which works well.
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Our Pick: Ring Stick Up Cam Plug
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Works With Ring
The Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-In can run off an outlet or from a battery. It comes with a thick AC cord for indoor use and a weather-resistant adapter for outside. If you dont want to get tangled up with a cord, you can add a rechargeable battery, or just buy the battery-powered version of the camera . The Stick Up Cam delivers reliable notifications that can distinguish between people and general motion, as well as clear audio and 1080p video. And although some people dont appreciate Rings partnerships with law enforcement agencies, Ring has made that program optional for users and implemented several other noteworthy privacy and security protocols.
In our testing, the Ring Stick Up Cam typically sent smartphone notifications within 3 seconds of action. The image isnt as sharp, and the 130-degree field of view isnt as wide as whats offered on the Arlo. But the audio and images are clear, and you can zoom in on live and recorded video for a closer view. When general motion and a human are present on the same screen, the Ring will identify the first thing detected . However, this is similar to how the Arlo and Eufy operate.
And finally, under Device Settings, you can set Privacy Zones, which completely block your neighbors property from view. This setting allows you to create a black box around your neighbors property so that they will never be filmed or even caught off-guard in a live view.
How The Ring Stick Up Cam Has Held Up
Ive had the Ring Stick Up Cam installed on our home since 2021. Even though Im an atypical userI like to move my cameras around way more than the average personthe camera has held up well. Though I recommend plugging the camera into a power outlet to get better, more accurate recordings, I have found being able to use a battery pack especially useful and convenient. I like that I can just throw in a battery and place it somewhere new for a few days to capture critters in my backyard.
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Why Trust The Spruce
The Spruce contributor Theresa Holland has several years of experience covering gardening products. She’s well-versed in indoor planting essentials, including pots, watering tools, plant food, and grow lights. To write this post, she considered products that have been tested and vetted by Spruce reviewers and chose products for their functionality, power, and features.
To Our Valued Customers
We regret that due to technical challenges caused by new regulations in Europe, we can for the time being no longer accept orders from the European Union. If you reside in the UK you can continue to order from our UK websites or shop from our locations and partners. Visit West Elm at www.westelm.co.uk and Pottery Barn Kids at www.potterybarnkids.co.uk.
Matters of consumer privacy and rights are paramount to our brands and we will continue to work diligently to make our products available to you. The pace of global regulations is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our products everywhere.
We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding. Thank you for your patronage.
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Why You Should Trust Me
I first started testing smart-home devices more than 20 years ago, when the only smart-home devices were X10. Ive been covering smart-home gear for Wirecutter since 2016, and Ive had my hands on everything from in-wall light switches, LED bulbs, and water-leak detectors to video doorbells, indoor security cameras, and security systems. Ive also written tech articles for The New York Times, Wired, and Mens Health, among others.
What To Look Forward To
We have just started testing the Eve Outdoor Cam, a hardwired floodlight model that works exclusively with Apple HomeKit Secure Video. It records 1080p resolution video, has a 157-degree field of view, and provides two-way communication.
Cync offers wired and battery versions of its Cync Outdoor Smart Camera. A solar panel can also be added to the battery model. Both cameras support 2K video and night vision, have a digital swivel head, work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and have options for cloud and local SD storage.
TP-Link has two outdoor cameras as part of its Tapo smart home line: the Tapo C310 Smart Outdoor Home Security WiFi 2K Camera and the Tapo C320WS Smart Outdoor Home Security WiFi 2K QHD 4MP Camera. Both cameras record 2K video, include person detection, and have options for cloud storage and 24/7 local storage on a microSD card . The C320WS also has a Starlight Sensor designed for low-light conditions.
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