There are so many do-it-yourself home security options on the market, frankly, it can be daunting. So when Bluerams approached us to take a look at their Spotlight camera, we took the opportunity to put it in the hands of someone – a friend Matt, who runs a home-based business with regular visitors arriving all throughout the day – who has never installed or used a DIY camera before seeing what the experience is like.
What is that?
The Blurams Spotlight camera is, as the name suggests, a DIY Spotlight security camera, with package detection. This is a simple smart assistant (Assistant and Alexa) enabled, Wi-Fi unit that has hardwired power to keep the unit running as long as your premises has power. Being a camera designed for outdoor use, it’s no surprise that it’s IP66 rated to ensure its longevity when constantly exposed to the elements.
In the box you will find everything you need for a basic setup, including the camera, power adapter, bracket (suitable for wall, roof or fascia mounting) and the template to attach the camera at the chosen location and some basic instructions.
As is the norm with this style of camera, within the app there are plenty of settings to wade through. This is linked to your camera and provides you with motion notifications and presence alerts on your property. If these alerts occur after dark, the floodlight will turn on and not only provide better vision for your camera, but also provide safety for those approaching if there is low light in the area.
Here are some of the camera features that contribute to the quality of the user experience:
- Optional 24/7 local recording by installing an SD card
- Double antenna to improve Wi-Fi connection
- Parcel detection for home users who regularly have deliveries
- A siren and light option to draw attention to unwanted guests
So on paper there’s a lot to like, but let’s take a closer look from a new user’s perspective.
Configuration: the application and the placement of the camera
While the final decision on camera placement fell to Matt to maximize coverage, I provided him with some basic best practice advice.
Setting up the camera was very easy in the app and there’s the usual range of settings you’d expect. As a new user, Matt took his time working on the app and customizing its settings. There were no hassles though, it was easy to figure out and do the job itself.
When we discussed the setup process, Matt said:
It was a very simple process, I connected the camera to my WI-FI and my app before installing it.
To determine the best location for the camera, I connected the power supply to an extension cord, this allowed me to position and view on the app, before mounting and safely running the cables.
Since I already had a power outlet in the roof cavity, it was easy to run the power cable to the camera.
The image and audio quality captured is excellent, at 3MP it delivers a really clear and crisp video stream. Keep in mind though that you will need around 2.5 Mpbs of upstream speed to feed a steady stream outside your home. Another facet that was noted when discussing with Matt is that the audio quality is excellent. Minimal noise distortion and no real wind noise to speak of and easy to hear voices within range of the camera.
From a practical standpoint, I like that you can buy and configure a single camera and build a system over time. Or, if you prefer, you can buy several and create a system from the start. It’s this flexibility that makes Wi-Fi camera systems so appealing to buyers looking to set up on a budget.
Local or cloud storage
Of course there are storage options, we have already mentioned the local storage option which is great for quick access to your data but also makes the data somewhat vulnerable if your camera is easily accessible. There are also cloud options ranging from $1.99 per month for a single camera to store 3 days of footage, to $14.99 per month for 30 days of storage. Depending on the cost, if you’re using multiple cameras, it will get expensive quickly, making the ongoing costs of Ring Protect or Arlo Secure a more effective option in the long run.
Activity zones and notifications
There are a few annoyances with the app, especially the notifications. Matt received many notifications on his phone, despite setting activity zones and lowering the sensitivity to low. Although I didn’t directly see it happen, apparently the noise of the car passing by triggered notifications that would get very annoying very quickly.
That being said, the speed of notification and the accuracy in terms of person, animal or vehicle are very good.
Final thoughts – This is a good place to start if you’re unsure about security cameras
The Bluerams Spotlight Camera is a great place to start if you’re new to home security. You can plug in one or more to build your home security setup the way you want.
It’s a fairly cost-effective solution at US$39.99 per camera, however, the problem then becomes your storage solution: local or cloud, both with their own drawbacks of easy data loss or high ongoing costs. It has reasonable AI detection of people, vehicles, and animals with an easy-to-navigate app.
The floodlight adds a good level of security if you install it on a driveway or driveway. As a first cameraman, Matt is really happy with the end result. It’s not for everyone and for a cost there are better cameras available, but if you’ve been thinking of getting a cheap camera, head over to Amazon and check out the Bluerams Spotlight Camera.
Many thanks to Matt for allowing us to use his time and home for the Bluerams Spotlight camera review.
Due to shipping costs, Bluerams did not request the return of the review device.