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The AA batteries allow the floodlights to beam at 700 nits of brightness; it's not the most powerful on the market, but good enough to see your surroundings.
The Blink app is feature-rich, with plenty of camera settings to customize for the best surveillance. But you'll need a paid subscription to unlock the best features.
As a parent and pet owner, I hate to admit that I'm afraid of the dark. While I have a fenced-in backyard, I still dread taking my dog out for his evening potty breaks. My fear worsened one night after spotting several pairs of gleaming eyes in the woods as I strolled through my yard.
Sure, they were probably curious deer wondering what we were doing, but in my head, they were a pack of wolves or monsters like the big bright eyes in the dark caves you'd see in cartoons.
See, one side of the yard lacks outdoor lighting and wiring. I've tried several solutions to no avail, including outdoor string lights and several brands of solar lights, but neither was bright enough to keep the space evenly lit. That's how I ended up with Blink's Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera.
The Blink Outdoor 4 is a unique security camera because it uses two AA lithium batteries as a power source that can last up to two years. This approach means you can add a security camera almost anywhere and not have to worry about charging it for some time.
Getting a floodlight mount that is also battery-powered makes for the perfect addition to a dark area that doesn't have wiring.
The best spot to install the Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera was a post on the deck, looking out to the yard. The camera has a 143-degree diagonal field of view, enough to cover the entire fenced area of the yard it was pointed toward.
At 700 lumens, the floodlight is enough to illuminate an area of about 35 square feet. A single inexpensive PAR38 floodlight bulb averages about 1200 lumens, and my Eufy Security Floodlight Camera has 2000 lumens, so the Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera is not the brightest tool in the shed. But it's also worth remembering that the Blink Outdoor 4 is battery-powered by two AA lithium batteries, so the lesser power draw helps keep the lights turned on, literally.
Since it's battery-powered, you can't set the Blink Outdoor 4 Spotlight Camera to provide ambient lighting, as that would drain the battery in a matter of weeks. When you set the camera to record and the lights to turn on in tandem with any motion detection, the lights can stay on for as long as five minutes every time. That's more than enough for those brief moments of action.
Beyond setting up the floodlights, the Blink app also lets you customize motion-detection sensitivity, check your battery levels, and set up motion zones, retrigger times, motion clip length, night-vision settings, privacy zones, and more.
The downside, however, is that some other features, including person detection, are only available with a Blink Subscription Plan.
There are two Blink Subscription Plan tiers: one Basic Plan at $3 a month, and a Plus Plan at $10 a month. Without a plan, you can view the live stream for up to five minutes at a time and get motion-activated notifications. If you want to store clips, you have to add a Sync Module 2 with a USB flash drive, which is a device you plug in.
The Basic Plan supports one device, up to 90 minutes of continuous live streaming, cloud storage for up to 60 days, person detection, photo capture, video sharing, and rapid video clip access. The Plus Plan allows snooze motion alerts for up to 24 hours, extended warranty coverage, and 10% off Blink devices on Amazon.com.
ZDNET's buying advice
After using the Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera for about a week, I am glad to have found a reliable solution to the problem of the dark side of my yard. I'm still in the free trial period, so I get to enjoy some of the perks of having a subscription, but I'm curious to see how the camera performs without the paid plan, and whether or not the camera is just as viable then.
The thing I'm most curious about is seeing how the battery life lasts and if I can get over a year of use out of the camera, especially since I'm out at night daily.
But these floodlights often have solar panels or need recharging every few months. The Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera remains a unique option that doesn't need to be taken down every three months to recharge or doesn't need to be placed right where the sun hits it.