Home security cameras have become incredibly popular for keeping an eye on your property when you’re away. Outdoor cameras are especially useful for monitoring yards, driveways and other exterior areas.
Ring is one of the biggest names in home security cameras. They make a range of video doorbells and outdoor cameras that are easy to install yourself. Two of Ring’s most advanced outdoor cameras are the Spotlight Cam Pro and Spotlight Cam Plus.
These two cameras look almost identical on the outside. But there are some important differences in features that impact their performance and price. In this in-depth comparison, we’ll look at all the key details to help you decide if it’s worth spending extra for the Pro.
Overview of Ring Spotlight Cams
Before diving into the details, let’s quickly summarize what Ring’s Spotlight Cams are all about.
What They Are
- Outdoor security cameras for monitoring your property externally
- Have bright spotlights to illuminate nighttime viewing
- Capture video when motion is detected
- Send notifications to your phone when activity occurs
- Have speakers for two-way talk
How They Work
- Installable on walls, eaves or ceilings
- Available in wired or battery-powered versions
- Connect to Wi-Fi to stream video to your phone
- Video is stored in the cloud on Ring’s subscription service
So, in a nutshell, Spotlight Cams are outdoor cameras that light up when needed and send alerts to your phone so you can see what’s happening at home.
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro vs Plus
Even though both of them have similar features, which might be confusing to choose the right one depending on needs. So, which one should you get?
Well, read this comparison and find out for yourself.
|Specs||Ring Spotlight Cam Pro||Ring Spotlight Cam Plus|
|Motion Detection||3D Motion Detection, Bird’s Eye View, Custom Motion Zones up to 30 feet||Advanced Motion Detection with Customizable Motion Zones|
|Field of view||140° horizontal, 80° vertical||140° horizontal|
|Connectivity||802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @2.4GHz and 5.0GHz||802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @2.4GHz|
|Audio||Two-Way Talk with Audio+ and advanced noise cancellation||Two-Way Talk with Audio and advanced noise cancellation|
|Video||1080p HDR, Live View, Color Night Vision||1080p HDR, Live View, Color Night Vision|
Now let’s look at how the Spotlight Cam Pro and Plus models compare for different features.
Starting with the form factor, both of these spotlight cameras look very identical in a first glance which is very common for Ring devices. Both of them are available in Black and White versions and feature almost the same weight.
Even the installation process is the same as well and straightforward, so there is nothing to worry about, even if you have never installed a security camera before.
Moreover, these spotlights have LED lights built-in, which is more than enough to brighten up any dark space, making it ideal for a patio, poolside, backyard, and other hard-to-monitor areas.
Not only that, you can mount them either vertically or horizontally according to your needs, and if needed, you can also rotate the camera up to 360 degrees. So, nothing can hide from your eyesight!
2 Way Talk
Two-way talk has become a very common feature for security cameras; even the cheapest cams, like Lumary Floodlight Camera, also have it. And the thing we liked most is the Advanced Noise Cancellation with phenomenal voice clarity.
Yes, now you can talk to your neighbors or delivery guy without any distortion since every unnecessary sound like wind whispers, car engine, and others automatically will be filtered out! That is a neat goal from Spotlight Cam Pro.
Video and Audio Quality
A security camera lives and dies by its video and audio quality. You want clear footage and sound so you can easily see and hear what’s going on.
Both the Pro and Plus capture video at 1080p HD resolution. This gives sharp, detailed video that’s perfectly fine for most outdoor cameras.
The Pro model does support HDR (high dynamic range). HDR helps maintain image quality in scenes with both very bright and very dark areas. But most camera tests show the HDR provides only a marginal improvement.
Verdict: For resolution and basic image quality, the Plus and Pro are virtually identical.
Things get trickier when the lights go down. Both cameras switch to night vision mode using infrared (IR) illumination. This emits IR light that the camera sensor can see but humans can’t.
Again, the night video quality is similar between the two models. The cameras evenly light up areas using their integrated IR LEDs.
One difference is that the Pro model has more IR LEDs (4 vs 3 on the Plus). But lab tests measuring illumination distance found negligible difference.
Verdict: Night video quality is essentially equal on both models.
Hearing what’s happening is just as important as seeing it. The Pro touts an Audio+ feature for improved sound quality.
In testing though, there’s little discernible difference between the audio feeds of the Plus and Pro. They use the same speaker and microphone hardware.
You can clearly hear conversations up reasonably close. More distant sounds are understandably muted. All in all, the audio is what you’d expect from built-in security camera mics.
Verdict: Don’t expect crystal clear audio, but it’s perfectly usable for both models.
One area where Ring cameras fall short is video compression. Streaming HD video takes a lot of bandwidth, so Ring uses compression techniques to shrink the video stream. This reduces quality to some degree.
The amount of compression is similar between the Plus and Pro models. So you’ll notice graininess and pixelation in the footage from both cameras when zoomed in. This is an area where Ring still lags some competitors.
Verdict: Heavy video compression degrades the 1080p footage from both Spotlight Cams.
Motion Detection & Alerts
A security cam’s ability to detect activity and send notifications is arguably its most important function. You want it to pick up any important activity while ignoring irrelevant movement like branches swaying.
This is an area where the Spotlight Cam Pro pulls ahead of the Plus.
The Plus model relies on passive infrared (PIR) sensors to detect motion. This works well for detecting people and large objects that emit body heat. But it can miss smaller or colder things like animals.
The Pro adds a radar sensor for more reliable motion detection. This dual PIR and radar system detects people, pets, cars and more. Radar ensures the Pro won’t miss movements that a PIR-only camera would.
Verdict: The Pro’s radar detection is less likely to overlook motion events.
Both cameras allow you to set up motion detection zones – rectangular areas in the camera’s field of view where you want to detect activity.
But the Pro offers much more control here. You can set up complex polygon-shaped zones to match detailed areas of interest. The Plus is limited to simple rectangles.
Verdict: The Pro lets you really fine-tune detection to exactly where you want it.
Bird’s Eye View
A unique bonus of the Pro is the Bird’s Eye View feature. When motion is detected, it maps the movement path on an aerial view of your property.
This helps provide geographic context to events. You can easily see where someone walked from the street to your front door, for example.
Verdict: Bird’s Eye View is an exclusive Pro perk that adds awareness of motion paths.
Both cameras support Smart Alerts, which uses AI to distinguish people from other motion. This reduces unwanted notifications from things like passing cars or animals.
Smart Alerts work equally well on the Pro and Plus. It’s a helpful feature on both to cut down on superfluous alerts.
Verdict: Smart Alerts equivalently benefit both cameras.
How quickly you get notified of activity is critical too. Faster alerts let you assess and respond to events in real-time.
In testing, the Pro and Plus are equally speedy, pushing notifications to phones typically under 10 seconds after motion is detected. That’s plenty fast enough.
Verdict: No difference here – both deliver alerts quickly.
You can fine-tune each camera’s motion sensor sensitivity to your needs. This lets you control how easily it detects activity.
Both allow easy adjustment of sensitivity. But again, the Pro’s combination of PIR and radar gives it an edge at accurately detecting motion across various sensitivities.
Verdict: The Pro’s dual detection delivers more reliable sensing across all sensitivity settings.
To stream video, the camera has to send data to your phone and Ring’s servers. A more robust WiFi connection means fewer playback issues.
The Spotlight Cam Plus only connects via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi bands. The Pro adds 5GHz Wi-Fi support for dual-band connectivity.
5GHz generally provides faster speeds with less interference from other wireless devices like Bluetooth. So the Pro has an advantage in setups with many other WiFi products and congestion on the 2.4GHz band.
Verdict: Dual band 5GHz support gives the Pro better connectivity potential. But both work fine for most users.
Power and Installation
Run power to the camera, mount it securely, and make sure it’s connected to your WiFi. Those are the basics of installing a Spotlight Cam. Let’s compare how the process works for the Pro and Plus.
Both cameras come in plug-in and battery-powered versions. This gives you flexibility to use wired power if available at your install spot, or go wire-free.
The battery cameras run on Ring’s removable, rechargeable lithium battery packs. They last around 6 months on a charge depending on usage.
Verdict: No differences here. Both offer the choice of wired or battery power.
Mounting and setup are quick and straightforward for both models. The process is identical:
- Mount the bracket on the wall/ceiling
- Attach the camera to the bracket
- Connect power cord (if plug-in model)
- Connect to WiFi in the Ring app
The whole process can be done in 10-15 minutes even if you’re not technically inclined.
Verdict: Easy DIY installation for both cameras.
Smart Home Integration
One appeal of Ring cameras is they integrate with Ring’s ecosystem of home security products. You can sync your Spotlight Cams with other Ring devices.
With Ring Alarm
If you have a Ring Alarm security system, your Spotlight Cams can act as external sensors. Motion they detect can trigger your alarm system to activate.
This feature works equally with the Pro and Plus models. Any activity the camera picks up can kick off alarm events if you want.
Verdict: Full integration with Ring Alarm on both cameras.
With Ring Doorbells
Seeing who’s at your door and in your yard at the same time provides complete property awareness.
Spotlight Cams fully integrate with Ring Video Doorbells, enabling you to view feeds from both simultaneously in the Ring app.
This integration is available whether you have the Pro or Plus cam. They work cooperatively with Ring doorbells out of the box.
Verdict: No difference – both serve as integrated additions to Ring Doorbells.
Ring has tied their cameras deeply into Alexa too. You can say voice commands to Alexa to pull up live feeds from Ring cameras using an Amazon Echo Show or Fire TV.
Alexa support works equally with both the Pro and Plus cams. You have full voice control over either model.
Verdict: Alexa handling is identical for both.
Unique Features of Ring Spotlight Cam Pro
The Pro does contain a handful of other extras not available on the Plus. Let’s quickly look at those.
When viewing motion events on the Pro, you can see 2 seconds of black & white video from before the motion was triggered. This “pre-roll” footage provides helpful context.
The Plus lacks pre-roll capability, only showing video from after motion starts.
Color Night Vision
In night mode, the Pro can capture color footage when its spotlights are active. The Plus night vision remains black & white.
Color can potentially provide more usable detail in dark footage. But its practical advantage is minor most of the time.
Only the Pro has traffic detection smarts to tell cars apart from people based on movement speed. An interesting perk, but very niche.
Verdict: The Pro’s exclusive features are cool extras, but unlikely to be deal-breakers for most users.
Of course, the better feature set of the Spotlight Cam Pro comes at a higher price:
These Ring product prices reflect what’s listed on the company’s website as of September 2023. However, prices are subject to change over time. While the official Ring site shows the full retail pricing, consumers can often find significant discounts on Amazon and other retailers.
You’re looking at $50-$60 more for the Pro model. Is the bump worth it for the upgrades? Let’s recap the key differences:
- Radar + PIR motion detection
- More flexible motion zones
- Bird’s Eye motion mapping
- 5GHz WiFi support
- Color night vision
For many home security camera needs, the Spotlight Cam Plus will be plenty capable at a more appealing price point.
But the Pro does objectively provide enhanced awareness, detection, and connectivity. For large properties or tech-savvy users, spending extra for those advantages may be justified.
It comes down to deciding if those Pro perks are worth it to you personally based on how you plan to use them.
For most buyers, the Plus likely represents the smarter choice. But the Pro is a fine option for those who want maximum detection intelligence.
Verdict: Plus Is the Better Value, Pro Offers More Awareness
Let’s summarize the key findings from our comparisons:
- Video quality is essentially equal from both cameras
- Audio is similar, though not excellent on either model
- Motion detection is noticeably improved on the Pro
- Smart alerts and notification speed are the same
- The Pro has advantages in motion zones, Bird’s Eye views and WiFi connectivity
- Installation and smart home integration are identical for both
In the end, both deliver core security camera functionality at a high level. For many users, the Spotlight Cam Plus hits the sweet spot of great performance for the money.
But the higher-priced Spotlight Cam Pro does objectively provide advanced motion detection and awareness capabilities beyond the Plus. If you need maximum monitoring intelligence, it may be worth stretching your budget.
Also – “If you’re not a tech-savvy guy and are okay with simple, easy-to-go features, then Ring spotlight cam plus will be the right option for you. Otherwise, if you’re more into top-notch features, want to see everything in detail, and never want to miss a moment of the event, then Ring spotlight cam Pro is absolutely right for you.”
No matter which you choose, Ring’s Spotlight Cams are easy-to-use outdoor cameras that help you feel more secure at home. Pick the model that best fits your needs and budget. Both are great options for protecting your property with video and light.
If you’re interested to know about other Ring cameras, then you can check out this comparison of the Ring Floodlight Wired Pro vs Wired Plus. Furthermore, you can also have a look at this other comparison between the Nest Cam Floodlight vs Ring Floodlight Pro.
Ring Spotlight Cam FAQs
How Bright Is Ring Spotlight Cam?
The Ring Spotlight Cam has a light output of 300 to 375 lumens, depending on the model. The Ring Floodlight Cam, on the other hand, has a much brighter light, with a light output of 1800 to 2000 lumens. The Ring Floodlight Cam is substantially brighter than the Ring Spotlight Cam, making it a better choice for areas that require maximum brightness.
Is Ring Spotlight Cam Plus Waterproof?
The Ring Spotlight Cam Plus is water-resistant with an IP55 rating, which means it can withstand heavy rain and water jets, but it is not fully waterproof and should not be submerged in water. The device is suitable for outdoor use and can tolerate liquid pressure similar to water jets, making it suitable for outdoor security purposes.
Does Ring Spotlight Cam Have Color Night Vision?
The Ring Spotlight Cam Plus features color night vision, which adds color to video in low light for improved clarity and motion detection. This feature can be turned on or off in the Ring app by:
- Opening the Ring app
- Tapping the menu
- Tapping Devices
- Selecting the device you want to adjust
- Tapping Device Settings
- Tapping Video Settings
- Toggling Color Night Vision on or off
The color night vision feature enhances the clarity of video captured at night by adding color, providing improved visibility in low-light conditions.