"Turn on Lights With Motion" toggle - Wired light cams and Android vs. Apple

Wasn’t sure where to post this… App vs. Security Cams forums but my concern is more geared towards the wired Ring camera lights.

I’m an Android user and recently got a work-issued iPhone, so I thought I’d install the Ring app and check out the differences.

There are a few differences, but most notably, under the Light Settings for both my Floodlight and (Wired) Spotlight Cams has a toggle that states “_ **Turn on Lights with Motion.” ** _ I’m curious what this toggle specifically does, and why it’s not available on Android.

Does anyone know if:

  1. Does this toggle only affect the PIR sensor below the camera, or does enabling this cause the light to come on when the CAMERA detects motion, rather than the PIR sensor below the camera? If so, could we then in turn disable the 3 PIR motion zones or just dial the sensitivy way back, and allow the cameras advanced motion detection dictate when the light turns on?

  2. Will this feature be available on the Android platform? It really needs to be if this does what I think (and hope) this toggle does. (I did uninstall/reinstall the Android app but don’t have the toggle.)

The other notable difference is both my Wired Gen2 Stickup Cam, and Doorbell Pro both show firmware version 2.1.01005 in Android, and show “Up to Date” on the iPhone. --I’ve spoken to support last month on this and they confirmed that IS the correct and current version.

For reference I’m using my Samsung S8 on Ring app 3.22. 1 and an iPhone 6s on Ring app 5.22.4

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Interesting… I only have android devices and have always wondered why the floodlights did not automatically turn on when the camera was triggered. I had no idea that iphones have additional options. I too would like to know why android phones don’t have the option but iphones do.

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@meme wrote:

Interesting… I only have android devices and have always wondered why the floodlights did not automatically turn on when the camera was triggered. I had no idea that iphones have additional options. I too would like to know why android phones don’t have the option but iphones do.

Yep I very much agree. I’m just unclear if that toggle only applies to the PIR sensor underneath the camera, or if it does allow the camera to actually trigger the light on, rather than the PIR sensor. I plan on testing this later too once it’s dark. I really only care about the absence of the toggle if it does allow the actual camera to trigger the lights.

I’ve always wondered… I have a few Ring Smart Lights/non camera devices. I can link those smart lights to my Ring cameras. So, if my Ring Floodlight detects motion, it can auto-trigger that linked Ring smart light to turn on. That said, you would think if you can have the camera linked to auto turn on a different light if it detects motion, you could ALSO have that camera turn on it’s OWN LIGHT too if it detects motion, rather than rely on the PIR sensor for that job. If we can’t do that, it seems there’s a large feature gap in the device.

Ok, just tested this with both my Flood and Spotlight cams, and it unfortunately really doesn’t do anything. I set the light sensitivity at the very lowest settings for the lights while leaving all 3 light zones enabled. I walked around my house, and the lights didn’t turn on until the very last second when I was basically underneath them. Reviewing the recorded videos, I come into frame long before the camera lights turn on, so this setting does not turn on the camera lights upon motion being detected in the camera within your defined motion zone. The lights are still activated by the PIR sensors underneath both model cameras.

Shame you can link other Ring Smart Lighting with any camera and have that linked light automatically turn on, but you can’t do that for the device itself. Considering the advanced motion detection inherent to these (wired) cameras, using PIR seems like an archaic step backwards.

This would be a great feature if you could trigger the light using the motion detection within the camera, rather than the PIR sensor. I know my lights turn on fairly frequently when it’s windy. My grill cover constantly causes my Spotlight Cam to turn the lights on even though my grill is not within my defined motion zone for the camera. I personally really only care about that of which I’ve defined as my motion zone for the camera and motion capture. It would be nice if the light only turned on if motion was detected within that defined perimeter rather than everything else.

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Thanks for testing and posting your findings.

That is disappointing, and doesn’t seem entirely logical. It seems like it would be a somewhat straightforward thing to code and have the lights turn on if they aren’t already on when the camera turns on in the dark.

My guess/conjecture is that the cameras are pixel-based because it’s more sensitive during the day and allows for the setting of the more precise zones, which I really like. However, pixel-based may not work as well in the dark, so they made the lights PIR so that the lights would trigger on before (or at the same time) as the cameras and assist the camera’s motion dection to work better. Though as you’ve described, in implementation, the camera and the lights often trigger separately. Bugs seem to trigger the camera and not the lights. Whereas moving plant life often triggers the lights but not the camera…

When my floodlight cams seemed to be working appropriately, the lights did trigger noticeably in advance of the camera at a pretty good distance as a human (or animal) walks up), which I thought was effectve for security. However, the last few sets of floodlight cams that I’ve received have had all sorts of problems with the lights. Even with the lights at maximum sensitivity, I am now finding that the lights don’t trigger until I am practically under them waving my arms, while the camera captures my movements in the dark. Not sure if Ring has reduced the quality of the hardware, reduced the PIR range through firmware, or both…

Definitely agree that having a setting where the lights will always be on with the cameras at night would help prevent these issues. Plus, the motion zones on the PIR lights are pretty rough and mostly ineffective, so having them linked to the cameras would help that as well.

Sigh… I had expected the Ring products would stabilize and improve over time. But instead they are getting more and more buggy, while they were apparently giving our PII and data to Google, Facebook, etc. without our knowledge…

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