Sometimes, it's a good idea to fuse two products together to create one device (smartphones). Sometimes it's not (turducken). Sengled is hoping that you'll buy into the idea that a light bulb and a security camera belong together.
Snap is Sengled’s first attempt at a security camera. They're best known for their innovation in the light bulb industry. The company combines ordinary LED light bulbs with useful home products like speakers and Wi-Fi extenders. And now, they've combined a flood light with a security camera to create Snap.
- Smart Light + Camera In One Device
- Weatherproof -4°F to +113°F
- Smart Motion Zones
- Sengled Is Not A Camera Company
- Monthly Fee For Storage & Motion Zones Required
- Floodlight Is Not Motion Activated
All About The Lights
Snap is no ordinary LED bulb; it's a floodlight rated for outdoor use (IP54). Snap uses a PAR38 bulb design with an E26 socket base. To install it, you screw the bulb into your existing bulb socket.
As a bulb, Snap has three primary features. First, it's brightness adjustable. It can reach 800 lumens, which is sufficient even when using the device as an outdoor security light.
Second, you can adjust the bulb's color temperature up to 3000k (soft white).
Third, Snap is a smart light. You can control it from anywhere using your Wi-Fi or 3G/LTE-connected smartphone. In fact, using your smartphone to turn off the light is the recommended way to do it. The camera draws power from the bulb socket, and it doesn't have a battery backup, so if you turn off the light using the switch, the camera also shuts down.
Video Quality of Snap
As a camera, Snap is impressive. It has a 1080p Full HD resolution, a 140° wide-angle lens, and 4x digital zoom. It also has automatic night vision courtesy of two built-in IR LEDs. If you prefer to view a colored image at night, you can manually turn on the floodlight via the Snap companion app.
Snap Improves Home Security
As already discussed, Snap is an effective security device as it combines the surveillance features of a camera with a smart light. But there's more. Snap offers additional free and premium features.
For free, Snap offers motion detection. If it senses motion, Snap will send you an alert via a push notification and simultaneously record the event. You can watch the recording using the app. From there, you have the options to turn on the light, use two-way talk, or ignore the event.
Unfortunately, motion detection is not enough, especially for outdoor cameras like Snap. When any camera is placed outside, false alarms can pile up quickly. One solution most cameras turn to is the use of motion detection zones. The feature lets you define which parts of the frame are important, so the camera knows when to ignore motion events and when to notify you. Snap charges for this feature. A Snap Storage Subscription starts at $3.99 per month per camera.
The Subscription also enables Snap to distinguish humans from other objects a.k.a. Person Detection. If the feature is turned on, Snap will only notify you if it sees a person.
Snap has also mentioned that they plan to add object recognition. The camera will soon be able to identify what it sees (person, animal, car, or something else).
There's one feature that is missing: motion-activated lights. Unfortunately, motion events won't trigger your lights to turn on. To discourage an intruder, you need to turn on the light from the mobile app manually.
Snap automatically records motion events. Recorded videos are stored in the cloud. All Snap cameras come with 24-hours of free cloud storage. Snap Storage plans add additional storage space and features.
|Cloud Storage||24 Hours||2 Days||7 Days||30 Days|
And while Snap lacks local storage, you can download motion-triggered video clips at any time.
Compatible Device and Pricing
As of now, Snap is exclusive to itself. However, other Sengled bulbs talk to third-party products including Amazon Alexa-enabled devices and SmartThings, so maybe things will change for Snap?
Before you make a purchase, keep in mind that not all cameras work as advertised. When Snap first started shipping, it was plagued by problems. For one, it lacked an encrypted connection (later corrected by the addition of 128-bit AES encryption). There were also issues with the setup process like instructions written in Chinese. Other existing problems include spotty night images, excessive false alarms, frequent disconnection, and inadequate support from Sengled.
Finally, a word to the wise: Sengled is a light bulb company, not a security camera company. It takes years and several trials for a team of people to create a reliable security camera. It's hard to know if Sengled will continue to build on Snap or if they will abandon the cause. For now, I'm calling Snap a risky investment. If you must have a camera/light combo, there are other options, such as the Ring Floodlight Cam, Ring Spotlight Cam, and even Kuna, a smart porch light.