The Best Smart Outdoor Lighting for Backyards, Pathways, and More

The Ring Solar Pathlight, shown outside by the edge of a house.
Photograph: Rachel Cericola

Our decide

Ring Solar Pathlight

Straightforward to put in, good trying, and continuously charging, the Ring Photo voltaic Pathlight supplies gentle wherever you want it. And it gives scheduling, snooze choices, and the flexibility to link with different Ring lights and units. It does require the Ring Bridge.

Who it’s for: Anybody who has a poorly lit walkway, driveway, or yard can set up these lights with out doing any wiring. Path lights are terrific for guiding individuals safely alongside a walkway, stopping you or your guests from trampling flower beds, and guaranteeing that you just don’t slip and fall into the pool. Smart path lights illuminate mechanically, solely when wanted. Additionally they look nice, so you’ll be able to set up them to spotlight the best-looking areas round your property.

Why it’s nice: The Ring Solar Pathlight rapidly, cleanly, and cheaply supplies a sublime bright-white information (3,500Okay) for you and your company by areas that will in any other case be dicey at the hours of darkness. It doesn’t require operating wires underground and into your own home or changing batteries each six months. And you’ll management it centrally with an app or let the built-in movement sensors mechanically flip it on and off.

We nonetheless love the earlier Ring Pathlight, however we discovered this new model to be brighter (when measured with a lightweight meter) and extra handy, because of an embedded photo voltaic panel that prices the included rechargeable battery. The battery might be charged through USB as effectively. We absolutely charged it throughout setup, and after two stable months (in a location the place it receives a lot of daylight), the battery meter nonetheless exhibits 100%. Just like the battery-operated mannequin, the Ring Photo voltaic Pathlight doesn’t constantly blast out white gentle all evening lengthy. As a substitute, it’s triggered by movement or Alexa voice instructions, or you’ll be able to flip it on manually by the Ring app. The movement settings are adjustable, as is the brightness stage of the sunshine. At 80 lumens, its full brightness is a fraction of what a typical bulb produces, however that’s nonetheless sufficient to gentle the best way and create a pleasant ambiance.

The Ring Pathlight, shown outside at night, illuminating the edge of a staircase.
The Ring Pathlight, our earlier decide, is a non-solar, battery-powered model with almost equivalent options, however its batteries must be changed periodically. Photograph: Rachel Cericola

Ring, an Amazon-owned firm, is well-known for Wi-Fi–related doorbells and cameras (see our guides to the best doorbell camera and the best home security system). Ring Smart Lights, nonetheless, require using a Ring Bridge, a tiny field that connects to your property Wi-Fi router and hyperlinks all Ring Smart Lights collectively and with the Ring app. Not like different hubs on our checklist, the Ring Bridge makes use of a proprietary wi-fi sign to make the connection. Ring claims that Ring Smart Lights work “hundreds of feet” away from this tiny hub. In testing I used to be capable of management the unique Ring Pathlight I’d arrange throughout the road in a neighbor’s yard, 185 toes away from the Ring Bridge inside my home.

We used the Ring app to show lights on and off individually and as a gaggle. We used each an iPhone and an Android cellphone, with the latter having a barely totally different structure within the app however performing the identical capabilities. Each apps have brightness controls, sensor settings, and scheduling, in addition to the choice to link units collectively, in order that when one gentle activates, others mechanically activate. Or you’ll be able to set off different Ring units, too. As an example, we simply linked the Ring Spotlight Cam to the Pathlight so that each time it detected movement, the digicam would create a recording. You can even fine-tune how typically you get movement alerts: Flip them off altogether, put them on a schedule, modify the sensitivity so that they aren’t as sensitive, or snooze them for 30 minutes, one hour, 4 hours, or the remainder of the day. Each apps maintain tabs on when triggers occur, underneath the Occasion Historical past panel. The app even contains entry to Ring’s Neighbors feature, which mechanically sends user-generated alerts about crime and security in your space, until you flip these notifications off.

Flaws however not dealbreakers: Ring’s mannequin conserves battery energy by not permitting you to schedule the lights to be on full brightness for lengthy durations of time—you’ll be able to manually flip them on and go away them at full energy for as much as 15 minutes solely. (The unique Pathlight has a dusk-to-dawn function that maintains a minimal low gentle stage at evening and then turns up the brightness in response to movement; the Photo voltaic Pathlight lets you do the identical or set a customized on/off time.) If in case you have Alexa, you’ll be able to schedule your Ring Pathlights by that app, however solely in the identical one-, five-, 10-, and 15-minute increments. If you need steady lighting of a pathway at full brightness, take into account different units that aren’t battery-powered.

The Ring Bridge makes use of proprietary wi-fi know-how to hook up with its hub, so you’ll be able to’t swap it out for one thing just like the Amazon Echo Plus or the Samsung SmartThings Hub. Additionally, Ring lights presently work solely with Alexa (Amazon is Ring’s dad or mum firm). Should you use Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit, chances are you’ll wish to choose for one in every of our different picks.

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