Arlo has made some of the best security cameras we've tested, just look at the Arlo Pro 3. In our review, we found it to be one of the best security cameras on the market... that is unless you’re someone who has a large backyard area or long driveway that’s far away from any light source.
That's where the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight comes in.
The new camera is a great option for those who want a powerful floodlight to use with their security camera without having to get different devices to work well together - plus, unlike the original Pro 3, it doesn’t require a base station.
The only catch? At $250 (£259, AU$449), it isn’t necessarily cheap.
Price and release date
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight was released in May 2020 and is available now straight from the Arlo website as well as most retailers.
It comes at $249.99 / £259 / AU$449 for the standard model, which we’re reviewing, or $299.99 for the camera with a solar panel that can be used to keep the camera charged up without having to worry about charging it yourself.
If you’ve used or seen an Arlo security camera in the past, you’ll immediately recognize aspects of the Pro 3 Floodlight’s design: the device has a white body, with an oval black front that houses the camera sensor, microphone, and a small speaker. The only real differences on the front of the camera are the fact that there’s no spotlight above the sensor - since instead, there’s the main floodlight that surrounds the camera module.
The back of the camera is a little longer than the standard Pro 3, which helps it offer a larger battery. It makes sense - with the battery in the regular Pro 3, you would presumably run out of juice relatively quickly considering the addition of the floodlight. Arlo rates the device as offering a six-month battery life, though we weren’t able to fully test that during this review.
You can buy additional batteries for $50 if you’re worried about not having your camera up and running during the few hours it takes to charge every six months, which we appreciate, and the device charges through a MicroUSB port, which is fine - but it would have been nice if it had USB-C instead.
The entire device is around seven inches long and six inches wide, so it’s not necessarily subtle - but it looks good in general, so it shouldn’t be too much of an eye-sore in most setups.
Setting up the camera is thankfully very easy - and even easier than other Arlo cameras considering the fact that you don’t have to use it with a Base Station. Setting the camera up involves two different phases - connecting the camera to your account and Wi-Fi, and putting the camera up physically.
You’ll start by putting the battery in the camera, downloading the app, and either signing in or creating an account. You’ll then be able to add the camera by following the on-screen instructions, which basically just involves selecting your Wi-Fi network and entering the password. It’s very easy.
After that, you’ll need to mount the camera to its permanent location, and doing so is also pretty easy. The camera comes with a base that you can simply screw into a wall or ceiling and then twist the main camera onto that base. It’s absolutely simple, and you don’t really have to worry too much about screwing the base into the perfect spot considering the camera can be positioned with a ball joint too.
Once the camera is set up, you really won’t have to interact with it unless you want to or something happens. The camera should automatically turn the floodlight on when it detects motion, and at the same time it’ll start recording.
Speaking of the floodlight, it’s easily bright enough for the vast majority of use-cases. Arlo rates the floodlight as offering a brightness of up to 3,000 lumens, and it’s bright enough to where the company warns against looking directly at the light. It’s easily bright enough to illuminate a dark driveway or entryway - and thankfully, if you find that it’s too bright, you can adjust the brightness.
The actual camera is pretty high-quality too. It’s not a 4K camera, like you’ll find on the Arlo Ultra, but it is still an above-average 2K. There’s a 160-degree field-of-view, plus you’ll get features like two-way audio, motion tracking and automatic zooming, and so on. The camera even supports HDR and12x zoom.
The field-of-view on the camera is solid, and while it’s not as wide as the Arlo Ultra, which has a 180-degree field-of-view, we never really felt like we were missing much. If you happen to have a really large driveway or front porch, you may get use of the wider-angle sensor, but most will be happy with what’s on offer here.
Of course, the quality of the camera will depend on your Wi-Fi connection. We tested the camera with a strong connection so didn’t run into any issues - but if you have a large home or a weak connection you may have some issues. While it’s not required, if you do run into issues, you can still use the camera with the Arlo Base Station for a stronger connection.
The camera integrates with your other smart home devices too. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit - however it doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video.
Using the Arlo app
Arlo gave its app a major refresh last year, and it was a welcome change. The app is generally well-designed and easy to use, plus there are tons of settings you can dive through if you feel so inclined.
The app is split up into four different sections, including a “Devices” section, which gives you an overview of your cameras and hubs; a “Library” section, where you’ll see a history of recordings; a “Mode” tab, where you can arm and disarm your devices; and a “Settings” section, where you’ll be able to tweak general settings for your account. The app is very in-depth. For example, you can tweak what different modes do, and even create your own mode if the pre-set ones don’t do what you want them to.
As you would expect, some of the app’s features are locked behind a paywall. You’ll get a three-month trial, which allows you to test these features for free, but after that trial you’ll need to pay $3 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month, per camera for things like object detection, cloud recording, and so on.
Thankfully that isn’t very expensive compared to some other companies’ offerings, but we’d obviously prefer not paying anything at all for the storage.
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is a great security camera. The standard Pro 3 was already an awesome option for those who wanted a reliable image and high-end features, but the addition of the Floodlight makes the device even more versatile. Of course, not everyone will need the floodlight, and we still recommend the standard Pro 3 for those users.
It’s especially handy that you don’t have to use the camera with Arlo’s Base Station too, as it seriously lowers the price-of-entry: at only $250 / £259 / AU$449 for a 2K camera that has a floodlight feature and supports all the major smart home ecosystems, you really can’t go wrong.
- Don't miss our guide to the best smart home devices in 2020