Over the years, I’ve installed many security cameras, so I was excited to test the new D-Link Wireless Outdoor 1080p Full HD Spotlight Camera. It’s their first camera with a spotlight function, and it comes packed with a ton of features. After completing this review, I have a newfound appreciation for powered Wi-Fi cameras and the benefits they offer.
Unboxing the D-Link Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera
Inside the box is everything you need for a complete install. Along with the camera is a 23ft power adapter, install guide, mounting screws, and cable ties.
The camera is white and attached to a mounting bracket with a flexible swivel for easy camera placement. The 400 Lumen LED spotlight is located on the top front of the camera, followed by a 1080p Full HD lens with a 150-degree field of view. Under the lens are a light sensor and the PIR motion sensor with the microphone and status LED on each side. Underneath the camera is the reset button, a microSD card slot, and the speaker/siren.
A lot of people underestimate the importance of a strong Wi-Fi signal for wireless cameras. Thankfully, the camera comes with a tips sheet to improve your wireless signal for optimal performance. An additional sheet directs users to the support page for video tutorials, live chats, and common questions.
Installing the D-Link Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the camera has a built-in smart home hub. That means you don’t have to sacrifice an Ethernet port on the back of your router.
Before mounting the camera outdoors, I recommend doing the app installation indoors near your Wi-Fi router. The entire installation is done through the mydlink App.
After creating a mydlink account, the app asks you to scan a QR code taped on the cord. This step uses the built-in Bluetooth to connect the camera to the app and the Wi-Fi network. Once it’s set up, you should be able to see a live view of the camera inside the app.
The entire installation process is simple and takes about 5 minutes. I cannot stress enough the importance of doing the initial setup indoors, close to your Wi-Fi router. It’s helpful to see the camera work with a strong Wi-Fi signal. If you later experience connectivity issues outdoors, you’ll know that it’s likely from a weak signal, and not a faulty camera or setup.
The outdoor installation was also simple. The mount can be installed on a ceiling, wall, or pole with the provided screws. The camera housing is IP65 weather resistant. It can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -25 to 45 degrees celsius.
To install the camera, I recommend using a drill with a long screw bit. From there, you just need to run the cable to a power source. If you have extra cable slack, use the provided cable ties to bundle it up.
Viewing footage on the mydlink App
The mydlink App is designed to work with a variety of devices like smart plugs, hubs, and sensors. It’s very intuitive, and a simple tap on the camera initiates a live view.
The camera’s mic can be turned on to listen to live sounds, or hold the mic button for two-way communication. This is a great feature if you do a lot of online shopping. You can talk to the delivery person at the front door when you’re not at home.
D-Link Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera security features
The mydlink App also has some security features to help prevent theft or break-ins. By default, the spotlight is on, but it can be disabled or set to turn off after 60 seconds. The spotlight is the differentiating feature of this camera. While most Wi-Fi cameras can record footage at night, the colour night vision feature lets you see full colour video in low-light conditions.
A 100dB siren can be activated to scare off intruders in the live view. After testing it, I can assure you it’s loud and will instantly scare anyone away. The mic has glass-break technology that detects the sound of breaking glass and alerts you with a push notification.
Speaking of push notifications, the last thing you want is false triggers and alarms. Built-in AI with person detection identifies human motion and reduces false alarms from rain, wind, or moving objects. Another camera I tried before was triggered by bugs, so this is definitely a great feature.
Motion detection on the D-Link Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera
Motion and person detection sensitivity is adjusted in the camera settings. Users can also set a specific location for triggered events like a door or window. For example, I have an Airbnb suite on the left side of my deck. I set the camera to only trigger recordings at the exterior door. That way, I know when guests have checked in and out without getting any additional triggers when they are on the deck. For short-term rental hosts like myself, this feature is a gamechanger.
Since I haven’t received any video footage of cats or other animals, I’m confident that the person detection feature is working.
Storing video footage from the D-Link Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera
There are several different ways to store and access video footage. Users get one day of free cloud recording with paid plans available for longer storage periods. Footage can also be stored locally on the camera with a microSD card. Finally, the camera supports ONVIF compatible devices like network-attached storage (NAS). This is a great option if you want continuous 24/7 recording.
You cannot use free cloud storage and the microSD card at the same time. My hope is that D-Link will reconsider this position and simultaneously provide both storage options. Another feature I would like is to set the length of triggered recordings. I received recordings in various lengths ranging from 15 seconds to 53 seconds. It would be nice to have a set recording length for each triggered video event.
Rich notifications from the mydlink App
Earlier, I mentioned how the camera has built-in AI designed to minimize false triggers with enhanced person detection. When you do receive a notification, the camera has most certainly detected a person. Alerts from the mydlink App come with more contextual detail and appear directly on your lock screen.
With rich notifications, you don’t need to log into the app to know what triggered the camera. The mydlink App also has quick action buttons to immediately respond to any situation quickly. For example, you can create an action button for all online deliveries to activate the live view. Then you can tap the Call action button to phone your neighbor to ask them to receive the delivery on your behalf.
Overall impression of the D-Link Outdoor Spotlight Camera
Wi-Fi cameras have come a long way in the past 5 years. What I really liked about this D-Link outdoor camera was the ease of use. From the setup to the settings page, you don’t have to be a tech wizard to get this camera up and running. The person detection feature works very well. If you get a mydlink push notification, you can be confident that it is not a false trigger.
If you are looking to get an outdoor camera, my first recommendation is to upgrade your Wi-Fi hardware to improve your outdoor Wi-Fi signal strength. Once you have a strong, consistent Wi-Fi signal, the spotlight camera can track package deliveries, capture break-ins as they occur, or keep tabs on pets and kids. If you’re a short-term rental host like myself, this is also a great camera to track guests checking in and out. If you value peace of mind, this camera is for you.
You can find the D-Link Wireless Outdoor 1080p Full HD Spotlight Camera at Best Buy.