For over a hundred years, the use of light bulbs has remained the same. Bulbs play an important part in our lives, but I’m sure you would agree that it could use a touch of innovation. There are smart light bulbs that can be controlled using a smartphone and there are also those that can change to different colors like Philip Hues. However, few bulbs have touch home security quite like Snap — an outdoor floodlight with a camera.
An Ordinary Floodlight with an Exceptional Camera
A floodlight and a surveillance camera had a baby and named it Snap. The floodlight lights up your house and deters thieves and if one is dumb enough to still go for gold, the camera is there. From a home security standpoint these two are couple of the year.
Snap’s floodlight is like any other floodlights, except of course, for the app control feature. Maximum lumens of 810, color temperature of 3,000K, a LED lifetime of 25,000 hours, and annual energy cost of around $1.69 – this bulb is a winner.
But if we turn our heads to the camera, we can see even more promising features. Let’s start with video quality. According to Snap’s creator Sengled, Snap can record in Full HD (1080p). If that’s true, it makes Snap one of the best outdoor security cameras. It offers a 140-degree wide angle view, night-vision ( with the help of 2 large IR LEDs), 4x digital zoom. And though we rarely see outdoor cameras with a two-way voice feature, Snap has that too.
Yet, Snap’s camera has even more to offer. It can detect motion for one. Its complex algorithms allows you to create up to 3 motion zones for each camera. However, because of the complexity of it, motion detection will only be available if you subscribe to a monthly cloud-storage plan which will soon be released along with the actual Snap floodlight. The only thing we know to date about this subscription is that it will be available in a 7-day and 30-day cloud storage option.
The Snap camera connects to servers using Wi-Fi. It has dual band Wi-Fi on-board compatible with 2.4GHz and 5GHz routers. Because of that, its connection is completely wireless. Power? Nailed it. Snap draws power from the bulb socket.
Finally, Snap is weatherproof. It has an IP54 rating meaning that it is protected from dust and water splashed.
Snap will be accompanied by an app which will be available to Android and iOS users as soon as Snap is released. For now, this is what we know about what the app can do:
- Turn the light on/off.
- Receive motion alerts.
- Activate 2-way voice.
- Stream videos live.
- Access recorded videos from the cloud.
- Setup multiple Snaps under one account.
- Setup motion-detection zones.
- Create schedules for the light.
Snap Installation is a Snap
Since there are no wires to mess with, installation is simple and straightforward.
1. Twist Snap into floodlight fixtures.
2. Download the app, create an account, and pair all your Snaps to your account. You can have as many Snaps an you want. Just make sure your Wi-Fi connection can support upload speeds for optimal video quality.
3. You can now use Snap!
Should You Buy It?
Snap has a whole lot of features that add to home security. If they deliver as promised, it would be one of the best outdoor cameras off the shelf. HOWEVER … Though the pre-order price of $99 isn’t bad, the question mark around the monthly fee is a red flag. Without a subscription, the camera will lack motion detection and storage which are essential to home security and there is no telling if the cost of these plans will be reasonable or outrageous.
Considering how promising Snap sounds and the recognition it received at CES, it’s a risk I’m thinking about. Keep in mind that backing a crowdfunding project is always a risk.