Arlo’s latest addition to its growing family of home security cams, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera ($249.99), is a battery-operated 2K HDR camera and floodlight combo that requires no wiring. It installs in minutes and is packed with features including intelligent motion alerts, color night vision, auto zoom and tracking, dimmable LED floodlights, and a built-in siren. You have to subscribe to an Arlo Smart Plan to access recorded video and take advantage of some of the camera’s features, but its superb video quality and ease of use earn it our Editors’ Choice for smart floodlight cameras.
Design and Features
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera doesn’t look like your typical floodlight. The front assembly contains a slightly curved 3.4-by-8.7-by-0.7-inch (HWD) panel with a black camera assembly in the center and two white LED lights on either side that you can turn on manually using the app or have them light up when motion is detected. The lights are dimmable and have a 4,000K white color temperature and a maximum output of 3,000 lumens.
Embedded in the assembly are a motion sensor, a warning siren, a microphone and speaker for two-way audio, two infrared LEDs, and a status LED. There’s also a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio, which means you can use the camera without a hub, unlike the standard Arlo Pro 3. However, if you already have an Arlo Smart Hub, you can pair it with the Floodlight to store video locally if you have a USB storage device connected to the hub.
The entire front assembly slides into a white 3.0-by-2.1-by-6.0 inch (HWD) weatherproof enclosure with a magnetic charging connector, a button that releases the camera assembly from the enclosure, and a mounting mechanism with tilt and swivel maneuverability. The enclosure attaches to your house using a small round mounting plate held in place with three included mounting screws. Also included are a USB charging cable and a plug-in adapter. Behind the front panel assembly is a removable rechargeable battery pack rated to last several months under normal use. To charge the battery, simply slide the camera assembly out of the enclosure, remove the battery, and bring it inside. If you’d rather not deal with charging the battery, you can purchase an outdoor magnetic cable ($49.99) to provide constant power from an AC outlet, or you can pick up a solar charging panel ($79.99).
The Floodlight’s camera captures video at up 2K (2,560 by 1,440 pixels) and has a 160-degree field of view. It delivers color night vision with minimal light or when the floodlight is on, otherwise it uses the above-mentioned infrared LEDS for black-and-white night vision. It has a 12X digital zoom and supports automatic zooming and tracking which zooms in on a moving object and follows its movement.
The camera will record video when motion is detected, but you have to subscribe to an Arlo Smart Plan to see it. The Floodlight comes with a free 30-day trial plan, but after that plans go for $2.99 per month for a single camera and $9.99 per month for up to five cameras and include 2K video recording and 30 days of rolling storage. The Smart Plan also gets you Advanced Object Detection that knows the difference between people, animals, and cars; package detection notifications; custom alert settings; Arlo’s e911 service that lets you contact local authorities with the press of a button; and cloud-based activity zones that let you set custom motion detection zones.
The Pro 3 Floodlight uses the same mobile app (for Android and iOS) as every other Arlo camera including the Pro 3 outdoor camera and the Video Doorbell. It opens to a Devices screen that contains tabs for each installed camera and has a thumbnail of the last captured activity. To view a live stream, tap the play arrow. To view it in full-screen mode, tap the two arrows in the upper right corner of the video screen. At the bottom of the screen is an On/Off button for the lights, a dimmer slider, and a gear icon that takes you to the Device Settings screen. Here you can enable/disable the camera, check the battery level, adjust light brightness, set light duration, and configure the Dusk to Dawn ambient light sensor. Video settings include Auto HDR, Auto Zoom and Tracking, Video Mode (wide, standard, full), and Power Management settings (Best Video, Optimized, Best Battery Life).
Along the bottom of the main screen are Devices, Library, Mode, and Settings buttons. The Devices button takes you back to the opening screen and the Library button takes you to a screen with video thumbnails of motion- and audio-triggered events. Use the Mode button to arm and disarm motion detection and create detection schedules. The Settings button takes you to a screen where you can configure Smart Notifications, upgrade your subscription, configure e911 settings, and change the order of your cameras on the Device screen.
Installation and Performance
As with all Arlo devices, installing the Pro 3 Floodlight was easy in testing. I already had the app on my phone, but you’ll need to download it and create an account if this is your first Arlo device.
I tapped Add New Device in the app, selected Lights, and then selected the Pro 3 Floodlight Camera. After a brief tutorial showing the tools you’ll need, I tapped Continue to pair the light with the app and followed the instructions to connect the Floodlight directly to my Wi-Fi (you can also choose to connect it to an Arlo hub if you have one). I entered my Wi-Fi credentials when prompted, separated the camera from its mounting housing, installed the battery, and confirmed that the LED was blinking blue. A QR code appeared on my phone’s screen and I held it in front of the camera. When the camera chimed I tapped Continue and the Floodlight was added to my network. I gave it a name, waited a few minutes while the firmware was updated, and the pairing was complete.
Attaching the Floodlight to the outside of my house was also easy. I kept the camera separate from the housing and let the battery charge while I used the included mounting screws to attach the mounting plate to my siding. I attached the mounting housing to the plate, tightened the mounting screw to secure the housing to the plate, and slid the camera assembly into housing. I used the app to confirm a solid Wi-Fi signal and to test the light, and the installation was finished.
The camera delivered very sharp imagery in testing. Daytime video showed excellent color quality and night vision video was sharp out to around 25 feet or so. As with other color night vision cameras such as the Vacos Cam, nighttime color quality isn’t nearly as vibrant as daytime color, but it’s still better than black and white. The Pro 3 does exhibit some barrel distortion, but this flaw is minor and doesn’t detract from overall picture quality.
Motion detection worked well. Alerts arrived instantly and were properly identified as a Person, Animal, or Motion, and recorded video stored in the cloud was sharp and arrived quickly. The Auto Zoom and Tracking feature did a fine job of locking onto moving objects and following them throughout the camera’s field of view. My IFTTT applet to have a Wyze smart light bulb turn on when the Floodlight camera detected motion worked perfectly, and the camera had no trouble responding to my Alexa voice commands to stream video to an Amazon Echo Show device.
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is an excellent choice for DIY homeowners looking to monitor activity around the outside of their home. It’s completely wireless and is a snap to install, and it delivers sharp 2K video with full color night vision. Motion alerts arrive quickly and the zoom and track feature works well, as do Alexa streaming commands and interaction with IFTTT devices. You have to subscribe to an Arlo Smart Plan to view recorded video and to use some advanced features, but the fee for a single camera is nominal and doesn’t prevent the Pro 3 from earning our Editors’ Choice.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera Specs
|Integration||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT|
|Field of View||160 degrees|