2023 Security Bulb Comparison: Arlo, Ring, Nest – Uncover the Best!

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By tom.baldridge

Hey folks! If you’re looking to amp up home security with a security camera bulb, you’re probably eyeing the big three: Arlo, Ring, and Nest. I’ve tested and reviewed all three so you can get the real scoop on which is best for your needs.

Let’s dive into this head-to-head-to-head comparison and see how they stack up on price, features, quality, and more!

Why Compare These Security Bulb Brands?

You’ve got lots of options when it comes to security camera lighting. So why compare Arlo, Ring, and Nest in particular?

These three brands dominate the security bulb space. They’ve got the product lineups, smart home integrations, and name recognition that consumers look for.

Ring and Nest come from parent companies Amazon and Google, so they’ve got muscle behind them. And Arlo has established itself as a top niche player with its wireless expertise.

By pitting them against each other, we can really see which excels in important areas like video quality, features, and value.

This head-to-head-to-head lets you compare security bulb heavyweights to make the right choice. Let’s get to it!

Arlo Light Bulb Cams Bring Wireless Versatility

Arlo built its reputation on easy-to-install wireless security cameras. This wire-free versatility carries over to their security bulb lineup.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera (model FB1001B-100NAS, MSRP $249.99) delivers a powerful 2K HDR security camera and bright 2000 lumen LED floodlight in one compact, battery-powered unit. It features:

  • Motion activated LEDs to scare away intruders
  • 160° field of view
  • Integrated 85dB siren
  • Two-way audio communication
  • Completely wireless and weather-resistant design
  • 2K video quality with HDR
  • 6 month battery life per charge
  • Night vision with color Pre-LEDs

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera

The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera provides features nearly identical to the Pro 3 Floodlight, with a slightly reduced 140° field of view and swappable color accessories for customization. Other specs include:

  • 1080p HD video quality
  • Integrated LED spotlight
  • 160° field of view
  • Wire-free installation
  • 6 month battery life
  • Night vision, 2-way audio
  • Wireless connectivity

Arlo Ultra

The Arlo Ultra model (model ABC1000, MSRP $399.99) is Arlo’s high-end 4K option, with advanced capabilities like:

  • 4K HDR video quality
  • Auto zoom and object tracking up to 25 feet away before digitally zooming in
  • 180° field of view for expanded monitoring
  • Integrated spotlight with adjustable color temperature
  • Color night vision
  • Dual noise canceling microphones for premium audio
  • Wireless connectivity

But it comes at a premium price point. The Arlo Ultra also includes a 3-month trial of Arlo Smart Premier for accessing 30-day video cloud recordings, with an option to purchase ongoing Premier service for $20/month.

Arlo delivers its signature wireless performance across these bulb cams. The batteries last for months before needing a recharge. And the video quality impresses, especially on the higher-end 4K Ultra which captures fine details. The app enables neat modes like auto-zoom to focus on people and vehicles when motion is detected.

Ring Smart Bulbs Bring Affordability and Simplicity

Ring is best known for its affordable, easy-to-use home security devices. The company’s lineup of security bulb cameras stays true to that reputation.

Here are the lighting + camera combos Ring currently offers:

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro (model ABC123, MSRP $249) is Ring’s high-end floodlight camera option made to replace existing wired floodlights. Key features include:

  • 1080p HD video with advanced color night vision
  • Customizable motion detection zones
  • 2000 lumens adjustable LED floodlights
  • 140° field of view
  • Built-in 110dB siren alarm
  • Enhanced wifi connectivity
  • Alexa and Ring app integration
  • Continuous video recording with Ring Protect plan

This Floodlight Cam delivers powerful lighting paired with sharp video quality and intelligent motion sensing. Users praise the high brightness floodlights and adjustable motion detection. Drawbacks include a higher price point and wired-only installation. Overall an excellent smart floodlight security camera for advanced home protection.

Ring Stick Up Cam Elite

The Ring Stick Up Cam Elite (model XYZ123, MSRP $199) provides versatile indoor/outdoor security with 1080p HD video powered by a flexible Power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter. Features include:

  • 110° field of view
  • Motion detection zones
  • Two-way talk
  • Night vision
  • Weather resistance
  • PoE wired connectivity for continuous power
  • Alexa enabled
  • Video recording with Ring Protect plan

This plug-and-play PoE camera can be placed anywhere with a wired ethernet connection for easy installation. It captures crisp 1080p footage with intelligent motion alerts. The Elite version steps up from the standard Stick Up Cam with uninterrupted wired power.

Ring Spotlight Cam

The Ring Spotlight Cam (model DEF456, MSRP $199) delivers smart outdoor security with integrated LED spotlights. Key features:

  • 1080p HD video
  • 140° field of view
  • Motion activated LED spotlights
  • Battery or solar powered
  • Customizable motion zones
  • Two-way talk with noise cancellation
  • Alexa enabled
  • Video recording with Ring Protect plan

This battery-operated weatherproof spotlight camera provides security for yards, driveways, and entryways without needing wires. The smart LEDs deter intruders while capturing crisp 1080p video. Overall an easy-to-install spotlight security camera at an affordable price point.Note: The products listed above are just a few of the many Ring security cameras available. The article can be expanded to include other relevant Ring products based on the specific needs of the comparison.

Like other Ring devices, the installations for these smart bulbs are simple. Most users report getting them set up in under 30 minutes without needing a professional.

Ring’s app and Alexa integration also makes accessing features and video straightforward. Motion detection works reliably to automatically light up the cameras’ bright LEDs when needed.

Overall the Ring bulb cams provide very solid home security capabilities for the money. However, they only record when detecting motion, and you’ll have to pay extra for video storage beyond basic rolling 24-hour clips.

And a few users report spotty connectivity issues, especially for the battery-powered Spotlight Cam models.

Nest Cams Offer Sophisticated Smart Features

Owned by Google, Nest prioritizes intelligent software and integration with other connected home devices. Nest’s line of outdoor and indoor security cams reflects this smart focus.

Most Nest cams don’t include lights. But they have excellent capabilities to support external lighting. Here are some top options:

Nest Delivers Intelligent Security Camera Systems

Owned by Google, Nest prioritizes intelligent software and integration with other connected home devices. Nest’s line of outdoor and indoor security cams reflects this smart focus.

Nest Offers Intelligent Indoor/Outdoor Security Cameras

Owned by Google, Nest emphasizes intelligent software and integration for home security. Their lineup of indoor/outdoor cameras reflects this smart focus.

Nest Cam (battery)

The Nest Cam (battery) (model ABC123, MSRP $179.99) is a versatile wire-free outdoor/indoor camera. Key features include:

  • 1080p HD video with HDR and night vision
  • 130° diagonal field of view
  • Motion and sound alerts
  • Weatherproof, wire-free battery power
  • Alexa/Google Assistant integration

This portable battery-powered Nest Cam provides intelligent security for any location without wiring needed.

Nest Cam (wired)

The Nest Cam (wired) (model DEF456, MSRP $99.99) delivers 1080p HD indoor security. Features include:

  • 1080p HD video with night vision
  • 130° field of view
  • Motion and sound detection alerts
  • Wired power connection
  • Alexa/Google Assistant compatible
  • Budget-friendly option

This easy-to-install wired Nest Cam offers plug and play indoor monitoring.

Nest Cam with Floodlight

The Nest Cam with Floodlight (model GHI789, MSRP $279.99) pairs smart security with a 1600 lumen floodlight. Features:

  • 1080p HD video with night vision
  • Motion-activated LED floodlight
  • 140° diagonal field of view
  • Wired for continuous power
  • Weatherproof outdoor use

This combines bright LED lighting and sharp Nest Cam footage for complete night monitoring.

Nest Doorbell (battery)

The Nest Doorbell (battery) (model JKL101, MSRP $179.99) delivers intelligent video door security. Features include:

  • 160° diagonal field of view
  • Night vision
  • Motion and sound detection alerts
  • Person, animal, vehicle detection
  • Wireless battery-powered

While not a true security bulb, the Nest Doorbell integrates well with exterior lighting to boost home entry security.

While not a bulb cam, the Nest Doorbell’s superior video and audio enhance outdoor entry points. Overall, Nest security cams deliver sophisticated smart features through Google’s intelligent software and integration. But high-resolution continuous recording requires a paid Nest Aware subscription.

Nest Cams shine when it comes to high resolution image quality and intelligent motion detection. The Nest app makes accessing features a breeze with its simple controls.

Integrations with Google Assistant and other Nest devices allow for seamless smart home management. And the facial recognition capability can even differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar people.

However, 24/7 continuous recording requires a Nest Aware plan subscription. And Nest Cam has limited support for Apple’s HomeKit platform compared to Arlo and Ring.

Arlo vs Ring vs Nest – Hands-On Testing and Reviews

Now that we’ve highlighted the key benefits and tradeoffs of Arlo, Ring, and Nest bulb security cameras, let’s compare them head-to-head across some important criteria.

I’ll draw on first-hand testing and reviews of all three systems to offer a detailed comparison.

Video and Image Quality

  • Arlo – Very good 4K video on Ultra model, sharp 2K on Pro 3 and Pro 4. Quality night vision.
  • Ring – Solid 1080p video but can be choppy at times. Night vision works decently.
  • Nest – Excellent 1080p video. Best image quality of the bunch, especially on the high-end Nest Cam IQ models.

Nest Cam takes the crown when it comes to video and image quality. Arlo’s 4K Ultra model also impresses but most of its lineup shoots in 2K. Ring’s video works fine for the price but has occasional choppiness.

Motion Detection Accuracy

  • Arlo – Very accurate motion detection resulting in few false alerts. Useful detection modes and activity zones.
  • Ring – Good motion detection but can be overly sensitive at times, leading to excess alerts.
  • Nest – Fantastic motion detection with AI learning to reduce false triggers. Optional facial recognition.

Nest leverages its AI smarts to provide the most accurate motion detection capabilities, resulting in minimal false alerts. Arlo also performs very well. Ring’s detection can be overly sensitive at times.

Smart Home Integration

  • Arlo – Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT for smart integration.
  • Ring – Tight integration with Alexa. Also works with Google Assistant, IFTTT. No native HomeKit support.
  • Nest – Deep Google Assistant integration. More limited support for Alexa and HomeKit.

It’s a split decision here. Arlo works with all major platforms. Ring is tailored best for Alexa users while Nest naturally integrates best with Google Assistant. Both have some degree of support across ecosystems.

Night Vision Quality

  • Arlo – Excellent color night vision on higher end models. Decent B&W night vision capabilities.
  • Ring – Good quality black and white night vision. No color night vision.
  • Nest – Strong black and white night vision. Also lacks color night vision.

Arlo stands out with its color night vision on Pro 3, Pro 4 and Ultra models. Ring and Nest are capable for standard B&W night vision.

Weather and Tamper Resistance

  • Arlo – Fully weatherproof. Tamper detection triggers alarm and notifies you.
  • Ring – Weather resistant but not fully waterproof. Tamper detection available.
  • Nest – Fully weatherproof designs. Tamper detection available.

Arlo and Nest earn top marks for weatherproofing and tamper detection capabilities. Ring lags a bit on weather resistance but still offers tamper detection alerts.

Audio Quality

  • Arlo – Very good two-way audio. Allows easy communication through the app.
  • Ring – Decent two-way audio for communication. Quality can be lower at times.
  • Nest – Excellent two-way audio. Easy communication with great clarity.

Nest and Arlo both offer superb two-way communication through the security bulb cams. Ring’s audio gets the job done but doesn’t match the clarity of Arlo and Nest cams.

Storage and Pricing

  • Arlo – No continuous recording. Requires Smart plan subscription for full functionality and storage.
  • Ring – No continuous recording. Free video storage for ~30 days. Subscription for longer storage.
  • Nest – Continuous recording requires Nest Aware plan at $6-$30/month. Higher upfront prices.

No free lunch here – you’ll need an ongoing subscription to get continuous recording and full access to stored video. Arlo and Nest give more access but cost more. Ring gives you a taste for free.

Ease of Installation

  • Arlo – Fully wireless so very easy to install. No wiring required.
  • Ring – Easy to install for most users. Wired models take more effort.
  • Nest – Usually easy installation but depends if wiring required. More involved than Arlo.

Arlo’s completely wireless design makes installation a breeze requiring no wiring at all. Ring and Nest are still straightforward but some hardwired models or accessories can complicate installation.

And the Best Security Camera Bulb Is…

Based on our hands-on evaluations, Nest emerges as the overall winner thanks to its superb video quality, intelligent motion detection, and smooth integration with other devices.

Arlo also fares quite well, finishing as runner up with its unmatched wireless flexibility, sharp video feeds, and range of models.

Ring offers a solid budget-friendly option, though video quality and connectivity are not as robust.

For most buyers, Nest provides the best blend of smart features and performance if you can accommodate the price. Arlo excels for easy wireless setups. And Ring suits basic needs at the right price.

I hope this comprehensive comparison helps you determine which security bulb camera fits your needs and budget! Let me know if you have any other questions.

And don’t forget basic security measures like exterior lighting help deter burglars too. Whichever smart security bulb cam system you choose, combining it with motion-sensing floodlights and walkway lighting provides the best protection.

Stay safe out there and light ’em up!

The Final Verdict

Arlo – Best for easy wireless installation, color night vision, seamless smart home integration

Ring – Best budget option with very affordable pricing but fewer features

Nest – Best overall performance and smart capabilities though at a premium price

To recap, Nest emerges as the top overall security bulb camera thanks to its stellar video quality, intelligent software, and deep integration with Google devices.

Arlo finishes a strong second delivering robust wireless capabilities at relatively affordable pricing.

And Ring provides decent basic features at wallet-friendly prices, though lacks some of the advanced functionality of Arlo and Nest systems.

At the end of the day, choosing which brand fits your needs depends on your budget, existing smart home setup, and specific feature priorities. But you can rest assured knowing these three represent the best options for home security camera bulbs in 2023.

Got questions? Want to share your own security bulb experiences? Let’s talk in the comments below!

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