The Video doorbell by Ring has been on on the market for quite some time now. So I bet you’re wondering why I would blog about this now so late in the game. Well I treated myself to one for Christmas last year and here we are 5 months later and I am enjoying the doorbell very much!
From the second I opened the box I could tell that the unit was very sturdy and built to handle the elements. The construction looked good and according to the manual installation was going to be a breeze. After letting the unit charge overnight and a brief setup pairing the Ring to my WiFi, I was able to mount it to my front door in under an hour. Since the device has an on board battery the unit can be installed with or without full time power. I decided to use the existing doorbell wire and indoor chime which was attached to a 20v AC transformer in my basement.
Mounting the doorbell was extremely easy. After removing the old doorbell simply attach the included mounting plate to your home with the included hardware. They even included the screwdriver and a handy level in the box. On the mounting plate there are two screw terminals for you to connect your existing bell wires. Since most doorbell transformers are AC the positioning (polarity) of the wires does not matter.
Now your ready to attach the Ring unit to the mounting plate. At the very bottom of the unit there are two “security” screws that need to be loosened first. No worries, once again the screwdriver is included. Next, slide the unit onto the bracket and tighten the screws to secure. If you chose to install the unit without external power keep your security screwdriver handy, you will need it to remove the ring for charging every 6 months or so.
Now its your turn to watch the UPS driver throw your Amazon packages, or freak out the Girl Scouts selling cookies! Remember you can add all your family members to the app so everyone can be on the lookout!
OTHER COOL RING PRODUCTS
I also added a remote chime to my Ring setup. It was even easier to set up. Just pair to your existing Ring app plug in to a wall outlet and off you go. Every time someone rings the bell the remote chime will alert you! It was a $30 add on at Amazon. For $20 more you can get the Ring chime PRO (Seems like everything comes in a “pro” version now a days!) The pro adds a WiFi extender to the mix. I don’t own one so I can’t really say much about it. Ring Chime Pro $50 at Amazon
Ring loves wireless cameras and, I may be interested in one of these some time in the future, most likely when I have $250 that needs a new home. Their Stick Up Cam looks quite interesting, very similar in shape and size to the doorbell but without the button on the front. From what I have read, the unit operates in the same fashion as the doorbell however, this unit is fully battery powered. You can pair it with the optional solar panel to keep it charged. The camera is $200.00 and the solar panel will set you back and additional $50
Some Notes & Thoughts
- Even connected to external power, you may still have to charge your doorbell every once and awhile. The home doorbell transformer can only provide a trickle charge, and based on factors of usage, and climate it is possible that you can deplete the battery faster than it can recharge. I personally have not experienced this, but I have seen the battery dip below 50% when the temperature is below freezing for a few days.
- The motion sensor does not sense motion, but rather heat. This is good and bad. Good because the tree on your front lawn will not trip the sensor every time the wind blows, however bad because every large truck driving down your block will. Good news is the sensor sensitivity is configurable from about 30ft to 5ft to help reduce false alarms.
- Tech support is very good and responsive. At one point my Ring stopped charging from the house transformer. I was able to see in the iPhone app the unit was running on battery and on the ring around the button was no longer illuminated white. After emailing tech support they walked me through a reset procedure and the bell started chagrining again.
- The unit is only cloud based. The unit is designed to transmit its video to the Ring cloud, and your phone app will connect to the cloud as well to view the video. There is no local web server or way to access the Ring directly from inside your home network.
- The “My Neighborhood” feature allows your neighbors to share videos of things going on in front of their homes. I got one the other day that was showing a disoriented elderly man walking aimlessly in our area, it was titled Old Man Lost?
- Lastly, make your Ring control other smart items in your home. Ring can be linked to IFTTT (If This Then That) Examples include: Blink lights when the bell is rung, log rings and motion to a google sheet, get alerted to new rings on your Comcast TV. The possibilities are endless
Thanks for reading