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Light Bulb Security Camera: The Ultimate Guide

Light bulb security camera

New technologies are offering more and better home security solutions, with one product in particular — light bulb security cameras — becoming a hot topic for homeowners.

What are light bulb security cameras, and are they really worth the buzz? Let’s dive into this comprehensive guide!

What Is A Light Bulb Security Camera?

As the name indicates, light bulb security cameras are a special type of surveillance device that’s shaped like a light bulb. It’s a security camera that provides both outdoor illumination and surveillance simultaneously, adding an extra layer of security for your home. Most light bulb security cameras can be screwed directly into a standard light socket, which provides the power they need to function.

How Does It Work?

Most light bulb security cameras are wireless, but unlike traditional wireless cameras that use batteries, a light bulb camera gets its power from your existing lighting fixture. Once screwed into the socket, it’s ready, and as a wireless device, it works on your home Wi-Fi and can be set up to integrate with other smart home applications.

Advantages of Light Bulb Security Cameras

Light bulb security cameras offer several distinct advantages over traditional security cameras.

Ease of installation

Light bulb security cameras are easy to install, and because almost all of them are wireless, they require no additional wiring or installation. Just screw the camera into the socket and it powers up automatically.

Discreet appearance

Its light bulb shape means that a light bulb security camera is virtually undetectable. It looks just like a traditional light bulb. These cameras can integrate into the environment around and sometimes intruders just can’t find them easily, so they are more likely to capture suspicious actions of them.

Pan & tilt and auto-tracking

Light bulb security cameras can rotate 360°, allowing coverage of a large monitoring range. It can also tilt to every angle. And with embedded AI technology, these cameras can automatically track any suspicious movement or person.

Remote access

Most light bulb security cameras come with an app that lets you control them from anywhere. The app also lets you watch live video footage from the device.

Potential Problems with Light Bulb Security Cameras

Although light bulb security cameras offer many advantages, these newly launched products also have some potential issues.

Questionable quality from generic product manufacturers

When you search for light bulb security cameras online or on sites like Amazon or eBay, you’re going to find a lot of choices, but few are from major security camera brands. The quality of these products may not be guaranteed and the cameras may not function as promised.

Privacy issues

Because light bulb security cameras are so discreet, people can’t distinguish them from everyday light bulbs. Unfortunately, their usefulness for surveillance can be taken advantage of by people with ill intent, who use them to spy on people.

The cameras’ 360° rotation makes them very good at capturing movements, and though this is great for security purposes, these cameras may upset neighbors who are concerned about their privacy.

Internet connection

Most light bulb security cameras work on Wi-Fi and don’t support 4G cellular connections, so the strength of your internet connection can be an issue. If the camera is placed too far away from your router, it may not be able to receive stable Wi-Fi signals.

Best Places to Install Light Bulb Security Cameras

As a result of their unique features, light bulb security cameras can be used in many different settings, including:

Home entrances

Most people use light bulb security cameras at the entrance of their homes, where both lighting and surveillance are needed. No extra wiring is required, and the camera offers visibility of almost all areas in front of the door.

Front and back yard

Light bulb security cameras can be installed on the front or back of your home to illuminate your yard and help you monitor what’s happening. Just make sure that the spot you choose for installation is within your Wi-Fi network’s range.

Terraces and balconies

Installing a light bulb security camera on your terrace or balcony is also a good idea. It provides enough light, can serve as a decorative element, and warn you of intruders or record possible break-ins.


Light bulb security cameras can also be used indoors using existing light sockets in home lighting fixtures. You can take advantage of the stable Internet connection and monitor nurseries, seniors, and even pets without having to install any additional wiring or devices.

Top Features to Consider When Choosing Light Bulb Cameras

Although light bulb security cameras have a few limitations, they can still be a good security solution for your house to protect your loved ones. If you want to choose a light bulb security camera, here are some important features to look for.


As with traditional security cameras, resolution will determine the image quality of the footage captured by the camera. Look for at least 1080p resolution and consider the camera's color accuracy and image sharpness performance in different conditions. If you choose a high-resolution light bulb security camera, the high-definition videos it captures should have a smooth frame rate for seamless playback.

Field of view

Almost all light bulb security cameras are PTZ cameras that can move left or right (pan) and up and down (tilt). Some can even zoom in or out. This provides a wide area of coverage with detailed views of specific points of interest. It makes light bulb security cameras great for spaces like front or back yards, garages, and other outdoor sites. Check the rotation angle of each camera before making your selection. Most bulb cams can rotate 180° to 360°.

Night vision

Night vision performance is important for filming in dimly lit conditions. A high-resolution light bulb security camera with a dynamic range and low-light sensitivity will provide clear images, even when there’s little light to work with. These cameras often come with infrared lights or spotlights to enhance late-night recording for black and white or color night vision.

Weather resistance

Light bulb security cameras installed outdoors will be exposed to various environmental conditions and need a robust build quality. Look for a model with weatherproof and waterproof ratings (IP66 or above) to ensure it can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rains and extreme temperatures.

Motion detection

Security cameras with motion detection rely on algorithms to calculate video frame changes and detect movements made by people or animals. These devices will alert you to any movement inside the camera’s field of view via a push notification. Light bulb cameras with a motion detection function offer enhanced protection.


Light bulb cameras are wireless IP security devices and offer two storage options: local storage with SD card, or cloud storage. If you want to access the footage of your camera from anywhere, you can subscribe to the cloud plan offered by different providers. However, the subscription fees can be expensive. If you prefer local storage, just choose a light bulb cam with an SD card slot.

Light Bulb Security Cameras Installation Tips

Light bulb security cameras are easy to install, but the following tips will still be helpful:

Choose the right location

The camera’s pan and tilt functions provide a wide range of coverage, so choosing the right spot is key to optimizing functionality. Try to choose a location that provides a wide-angle view of your property and is close to a power source. These may include near the front door, the balcony ceiling, etc.

Turn the power off before installation

Light bulb cameras are powered by the light socket they’re installed in, which is powered continuously. To avoid possible electric accidents, remember to turn off the power supply before installing the light bulb camera.

Select a compatible light socket

Most light bulb cameras are compatible with standard light sockets for residential use but that’s not true of all of them. Manufacturers selling these proprietary cameras sell corresponding light sockets, so it’s a good idea to consult the seller before buying.

Make sure the camera functions correctly

Before putting it into use, test the camera to make sure it is functioning correctly. Just follow the directions, install the camera properly, and set up the app to view live footage. It’s a good idea to walk around the monitoring area to test whether the motion detection function works.

Recommendations for and Alternatives to Light Bulb Security Cameras

If you want to purchase a light bulb security camera, here are recommendations for reliable brands. Alternatively, there are other options which we will also review here.

There are many brands of light bulb security cameras available on the market, with most available through online stores like Amazon and eBay.

For example, the brand LaView has its light bulb camera products. The LaView light bulb camera is easy to install and has amazing abilities, including two-way audio and false alarm notifications. Its 4MP high resolution, bright IR LEDs, and exceptional night vision and motion detection will provide a great sense of security, and though there are limits to its camera quality and cable design, the product is a great bargain.

You can also check out light bulb cams from Galayou, 360, SEHMUA, etc. If you prefer trustworthy brands and guaranteed service, you can choose other compact cameras as an alternative to light bulb cameras. Here are two of the best-selling cameras from the reputable brand.

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro’s long-lasting rechargeable battery provides a 100% wire-free, hassle-free solution for home surveillance using a Wi-Fi connection. The camera allows you to switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to optimize network performance in various scenarios.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro

2K 100% Wire-Free Spotlight Camera

2K 4MP Super HD, Battery/Solar Powered, Person/Vehicle Detection, 5/2.4 GHz Dual-Band WiFi, Color Night Vision, Two-Way Audio.

And you don’t have to worry about the image quality of your footage, as its 2K 4MP resolution and color night vision ensure clear and vivid footage both day and night. Additionally, this wireless security camera features on-device detection technology capable of identifying human movement and vehicles without the need for extra base stations or hub centers.

The Reolink E1 Zoom has earned its reputation as one of the best rotating indoor security cameras based on its wide viewing angle and sharp image quality. In addition to 355° horizontally & 50° vertically rotation, this rotating IP security camera comes with 3X optical zoom and 5MP sharp images, allowing you to see everything clearly and with great detail, day and night.

Reolink E1 Zoom

PTZ Wireless Smart Home Camera

Smart, Powerful and Affordable All-Round Home Protection. 355° Pan and 50° Tilt; 5MP Super HD, 3X Optical Zoom, Two-Way Audio, 2.4/5 GHz WiFi, with Google Assistant Integration.

Like light bulb security cameras, E1 Zoom works on dual-band Wi-Fi. You can switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to access a more stable Internet connection, and the added person/animal detection function lets this camera send you real-time notifications when detecting these objects.

Bonus Tips: How to Optimize your Light Bulb Security Camera

If you’ve bought a light bulb security camera that isn’t working up to your expectations, here are some tips for optimizing your device.

  • Change motion detection settings. Adjust its motion detection settings to prevent false alarms and guarantee that you get the most relevant footage. You can adjust the camera’s sensitivity level, detection zone, and recording period.
  • Upgrade your Wi-Fi. Upgrade your Wi-Fi to a faster speed, use a Wi-Fi extender, or reposition your router. All these steps can boost your Wi-Fi signal.
  • Choose cloud storage. If you want your light bulb camera to record footage 24/7, it’s better to use cloud storage’s larger storage capacity and quick accessibility.
  • Check the camera regularly. Make sure the camera is working properly and that nothing is blocking its view. More importantly, ensure that the camera's firmware is up to date.


Can light bulb security cameras be used outdoors?

Light bulb security cameras are suitable for outdoor use. Their pan and tilt function makes it ideal for monitoring a large and wide range. Just make sure that there’s a light socket or power source available outside and choose a product with weatherproof and waterproof ratings (IP66 or above) to ensure it can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rains and extreme temperatures.

Do light bulb security cameras require a subscription?

Some do and some don’t. Most subscription plans for security cameras are related to cloud storage and the use of smartphone applications. If you do not want to pay a subscription, look for a light bulb security camera with an SD card slot and a free app.

How can I differentiate between traditional light bulbs and a light bulb camera?

Just check to see whether the light bulb has a lens or not. Traditional light bulbs only provide illumination, while light bulb cameras have lenses and can rotate in different directions.

Can light bulb cameras work without Wi-Fi?

Most light bulb cams work on Wi-Fi, but there are a few wired light bulb security cameras available on the market. These generally connect to the internet through wires. If you’re concerned about your Wi-Fi signal, look for wired light bulb security cameras.


As a newly launched product, light bulb security cameras offer unique features that traditional cameras don’t have, but they also have some potential challenges that need to be solved. When choosing a light bulb security camera, there are a lot of factors to consider, including resolution, night vision and motion detection.

There are many light bulb security cameras available on the market, but the quality of lesser-known manufacturers can’t be guaranteed. If you haven’t found a reliable brand, there are some very good alternatives.

What are your thoughts about light bulb security cameras? Do you think they’re a better security solution than traditional cameras? Leave your ideas and opinions below!


All Comments Are Welcome

Editor from Reolink. Interested in new technology trends and willing to share tips about home security. Her goal is to make security cameras and smart home systems easy to understand for everyone.