• June 20, 2024, 9:57 pm

The best light bulb security cameras of 2023 SoftAIT

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Update : Saturday, November 18, 2023
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You value the safety and security of your home and/or business, so it never hurts to take precautions—and light bulb security cameras can help. These ingenious devices are the size and shape of a traditional light bulb and can be easily installed anywhere you have a light socket. They’re compact, discreet, and—best of all—extremely affordable. While they may look like a light fixture at first glance, they’re actually fully equipped cameras with infrared motion detection that can capture high-quality video. They also offer several other benefits, such as wide visibility, WiFi connectivity, two-way audio, and more. And, thanks to the clever design, they don’t require any additional mounting brackets or wires, making setup no muss and no fuss. If you’re in the market for peace of mind but don’t want to lay out a lot of cash, these best light bulb security cameras should definitely be on your radar.

How we chose the best light bulb security cameras

How do you go about selecting the best of the best when it comes to light bulb security cameras? The most important element that we considered was security. How well does the product fulfill its obligation of protecting you, the resident or businessperson? After ascertaining that, we looked at a variety of additional factors to choose the best light bulb security cameras. These included WiFi connectivity, range of visibility, use-case, and more. Next, we compared the many on the market by looking at both consumer responses and reviews from our industry peers. Lastly, we cross-referenced these points to elements such as price and quality, arriving at our final list.

The best light bulb security cameras: Reviews & Recommendations

The PopSci writers and editors have experience covering wireless security cameras and other home security accessories. We’ve used that experience to narrow down the options. Now all you have to do is pick the one that suits your needs, screw it into a light socket that you already have, and pair it to an app to let you help protect your property in seconds.

Best overall: Galayou 360 Light Bulb Security Camera

Specs

  • Picture resolution: 2K
  • WiFi: 2.4GHz
  • Storage: TF card and cloud (subscription required)

Pros

  • Color night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons

  • No 5GHz support
  • Not waterproof

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better, all-around deal for the best light bulb security camera than this offering from Galayou. This company knows security cameras, with a variety of well-reviewed products in its catalog.

We highly recommend the 360 Light Bulb Security Camera for a number of reasons. First, it has a stellar picture, with 2K Ultra resolution. This kind of clarity means you can easily make out faces and license plate numbers. This also extends to when it’s dark, with color night vision on board for clear viewing when the sun goes down. Security functions include motion tracking–detection plus following—as well as a siren warning and 360 viewing thanks to the 355-degree pan and 65-degree tilt range.

You control the Galayou 360 Light Bulb Security Camera with a smartphone app. It also supports connectivity to Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control. The included two-way audio means you can even use it as an intercom.

Lack of 5GHz WiFi connectivity may be a deal-breaker for some, and it’s not waterproof, meaning you’ll need to be careful when setting it up for outdoor use. However, with its wealth of functions and excellent affordability, this should be your first choice when shopping for the best light bulb security camera.

Best value: RakeBlue Light Bulb Camera

two RakeBlue Light Bulb Cameras over a white background

Specs

  • Picture resolution: 1080p
  • WiFi: 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Storage: Cloud (subscription required)

Pros

  • Color night vision
  • Includes two camera units
  • 18 months free cloud storage

Cons

If value for money is a driving factor in your choice for the best light bulb security camera, look no further than this two-pack from RakeBlue. For the same price as some single-camera products, you can get two cameras and expand the range of your security.

In terms of features, these cameras have motion detection and tracking with 350-degree pan and 90-degree tilt, effectively removing blind spots. While it’s not 2K, the 1080p resolution should be enough for most applications, and the color night vision can come in handy. The two-way audio allows you to speak with people remotely. As with most light bulb security cameras, you interface with the camera via a smartphone app.

While you’re restricted to cloud storage (there’s no card support), RakeBlue does offer a year and a half of free cloud subscription. You’ll have to pay after that, so factor that into your total cost.

Best budget: GuFamily Light Bulb Security Camera

GuFamily Light Bulb Security Camera smartphone and a plug over a white background

Specs

  • Picture resolution: 2K
  • WiFi: 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Storage: TF card and cloud (subscription required)

Pros

  • Support of up to 16 simultaneous app users
  • IR-cut filter for better night vision
  • Includes AC adapter base

Cons

Sometimes, the cheapest option is the best option. If that’s the situation you find yourself in, GuFamily’s Light Bulb Security Camera offers plenty of functionality at an extremely affordable price.

With 2K resolution and 360-degree coverage, you’ll be able to see clearly and comprehensively. There’s also IR-cut for clear night vision, although vertical panning stops a little short at 52 degrees. When you’re unable to check the camera feed via the smartphone app, it’s good to know there are motion detection and app alerts. Additionally, GuFamily’s camera utilizes a human filtering function to minimize false alarms. WiFi connectivity is also good with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz options on hand. Additional bonuses include up to 16 simultaneous app users and an AC adapter base for indoor use.

Best outdoor: Symynelec Light Bulb Security Camera Outdoor

Symynelec Light Bulb Security Camera Outdoor and a smartphone

Specs

  • Picture resolution: 2K
  • WiFi: 2.4GHz
  • Storage: TF card

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • View up to 9 cameras and 20 users
  • Voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons

  • Pricier than some other cameras

While most other cameras on this list advertise indoor and outdoor use, they are not waterproof, meaning you’ll need to use them in a covered area. Not Symynelec’s Light Bulb Security Camera Outdoor. Thanks to its waterproofing, it’s rated for outdoor use in a variety of weathers.

Other than waterproofing, it features a number of standard and attractive options. It records images at 2K, making it easy to recognize small details like faces, numbers, and letters. The smartphone app is fairly comprehensive as well, supporting up to nine cameras with access for 20 people, making it a good solution for large yards and businesses. There’s even Alexa and Google support.

While it may be pricier than some other cameras, the waterproofing will ensure that the camera won’t stop working outdoors when you need it. If you have a lot of land to cover—farms and other agriculture-related businesses, take note—this is the camera for you.

Best for monitoring: LaView 4 MP Bulb Security Camera

LaView 4 MP Bulb Security Camera and smartphone on a white background

Specs

  • Picture resolution: 4 MP
  • WiFi: 2.4GHz
  • Storage: MicroSD card and cloud (subscription required)

Pros

  • High resolution for a light bulb camera
  • AI to filter our false alerts
  • Voice control via Alexa

Cons

Light bulb security cameras are meant to provide security monitoring at affordable prices. Because they’re easy on the wallet, you don’t expect them to have high resolution like a wired camera. However, if you prefer something with a clearer picture, LaView’s 4 MP Bulb Security Camera is the way to go.

With four megapixels, it has the clarity of image that you require even up to 30 feet. Along with this, you get solid detection and motion-tracking at up to 17 feet, plus an AI algorithm that filters out false reports. The range is 355 degrees and not a full 360, although there is Starlight color night vision for peace of mind even when it’s dark. It also plays well with Alexa for hands-free voice operation.

This 2.4GHz camera is our choice for when monitoring is your top priority.

Things to consider when choosing light bulb security cameras

Compared to some other home security devices, light bulb cameras aren’t too complicated. They all mount the same way—in a standard E27-size socket—meaning there isn’t too much to worry about when choosing the best light bulb security cameras. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Where you plan to use the camera is important. Most can be used indoors or outdoors, but not all are waterproof. If your chosen location is outside but not in a covered location, you’ll want to go with waterproofing. You’ll also need to decide how clear you want the picture. Most are either 1080 or 2K. Regarding WiFi, most support 2.4GHz, but only some are also compatible with 5GHz. Keep that in mind if that’s important to you.

The remaining options will largely depend on the area that you want to monitor. Range of viewing and number of supported cameras are two things to consider. Lastly, if Alexa compatibility is a deal-breaker, ensure it offers that.

FAQs

Q: Are light bulb security cameras worth it?

In short, yes. A light bulb security camera is an affordable way to effectively monitor and ultimately protect an area, such as a front porch or room in your house. WiFi light bulb cameras are the way to go if you need to keep an eye on something and don’t want to bother with wires and installation.

Q: Do light bulb security cameras work when the light is off?

Light bulb security cameras are all equipped with some kind of night vision, enabling them to function even when there’s little or no ambient light. They have their own LEDs, meaning they can create light to properly record.

Q: Do you need WiFi for a light bulb camera?

WiFi is required to properly set up a light bulb camera, as it pairs to your smartphone via an app wirelessly. Most require 2.4GHz frequencies, but some can also handle 5GHz. Additionally, many are able to save video to the cloud, although this requires an additional subscription. Some may not function properly without WiFi.

Q: What are the disadvantages of light bulb cameras?

Light bulb cameras generally have a more limited field of view compared to larger, wired cameras. The quality of light may also be poor, as they have to rely on a limited set of on-board LEDs. They also may require WiFi to operate properly.

Final thoughts on buying the best light bulb security cameras

Light bulb security cameras are an elegant solution to a casual security problem. You want to keep an eye on an area of your home or office but don’t relish spending a lot of money on the camera itself or installation. By keeping a few variables in mind—indoor or out, supported WiFi frequency band, and picture resolution—you can find the best light bulb security camera to meet your needs. Extras, such as Alexa compatibility and number of people allowed for simultaneous viewing, are the icing on the cake.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.



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