Remember CES? That seems like a year ago now, doesn’t it? It’s actually only been three months since Ring first previewed its refreshed smart lighting products and smart bulbs there in January. True to their word, Ring’s smart lighting team has released these new products on schedule—both the solar lighting and smart bulbs. They’re all now available at Amazon, Home Depot, and other retailers.
Ring first introduced its smart lighting bridge and connected, outdoor lighting products about a year ago. At the time, we tried the inexpensive pathlights and Ring’s motion sensor. The pathlights are a clever design—they’re battery operated, motion activated, and very, very bright. You can’t say that about most battery-powered lights! That said, we didn’t like the cooler color temperature of the light. It didn’t mix well with traditional, in-ground yard and garden lighting (Ring makes the Transformer for that). And the lens design made the light very glary since it was in your direct line of sight. Ring’s motion sensor offers the best range we’ve seen, using a proprietary, long-range protocol. We had some clever uses for Ring’s versatile sensor.
New Solar Lighting Products
Ring’s new revision of the pathlight corrects the line-of-sight issue and eliminates customers’ concerns about its battery requirements. The light source is now in the cap of the pathlight, significantly reducing glare. And Ring has replaced the first generation’s four D batteries with one rechargeable cell. After an initial charge by USB, a new solar panel atop the cap trickle charges the cell to keep the light at full brightness—80 lumens, matching the first generation. At CES, Ring indicated the battery should go for about six months before needing to be recharged again by USB. The new removable cap makes that easy. Unfortunately, the new light’s color temperature is a relatively-cool 3500K—cooler (i.e., less yellow/more blue) than most garden lighting applications.
Ring has also completely redesigned its steplight. The old Mr. Beams bulbous design is replaced by sharp, angled lines. Also topped by a solar panel, the new light comes in at 50 lumens—brighter than its predecessor. It’s also deeper, though, making it less suitable for mounting on the actual edge of a step.
Rounding out Ring’s new solar lighting offerings, an added SKU for the battery-powered floodlight now comes with Ring’s large solar panel. The…unique design of the floodlight fixture itself is otherwise unchanged, and it still sports a whopping 1200 lumens of light.
Two New Bulbs
Ring has also launched the new smart LED bulbs it previewed at CES. We know…you’re probably asking why they need to get into that commoditized space. But Ring isn’t chasing the companies selling connected bulbs for around your home. Think security. Ring now offers a standard (A19) bulb that lets your tie other outdoor fixtures into your Ring system. When the doorbell senses motion, the light at your door could go on. Similarly, new PAR38 flood lights can turn any security floodlight into a Ring-powered smart light. So any fixture can now tie into any Ring sensor or camera around your home—even your Ring Alarm system. We think this is a brilliant, targeted application. And sure, you could do the same with a competitor’s smart bulb or switch using Alexa or SmartThings or another ecosystem. That’s great for some. This is great for everyone else.
The new products launched at the start of April and are all available now. Everything but the A19 bulb comes in black or white, so you can pick what works best with your exterior finishes. Pricing on all of these products remains quite reasonable. [Shameless affiliate links follow:] The new solar steplight and pathlight come in at just under $30 and $35, respectively. Their predecessors also remain available at slightly lower prices. The new solar floodlight is about $90 ($10 less than buying the solar panel separately). The new standard LED bulb is about $15, and the security floods are about $25 a piece. These products all require the Ring Bridge to tie into your other Ring products and app, and Ring offers starter kits to reduce that cost. It’s worth noting that the solar products can all function independently—without the app or bridge—controlled entirely by their own sensors.
One More Thing
A number of Ring customers have noticed some connectivity issues with their Ring lighting. For most, this appears as devices disconnecting and reconnecting repeatedly throughout the day. Ring is aware of the issue and plans to push out an update soon to stabilize the connection.