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The Ring Floodlight looked pretty nice, until FakeSpot warned that most of the positive reviews seem to be bogus, so I've decided to not pursue the commercial product and try to figure out how to get the same functionality otherwise.

Is there a smart motion detection flood light that could IFTTT trigger a camera to start recording?

Or would it be better to keep them separate? For example a night vision motion detecting camera doing its thing, and a separate dumb motion detecting flood light that just turns on when someone walks past?

(Have just an Amazon Echo but don't think this helps me much).

Ring Camera and Flood Light: https://amazon.com/Ring-Floodlight-Camera-Motion-Activated-Security/dp/B0722R3WV5

FakeSpot Analysis: http://fakespot.com/product/ring-floodlight-camera-motion-activated-hd-security-cam-with-floodlights-two-way-talk-and-siren-alarm-black

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    Product link would help... IFTTT has no guarantee of being fast to react. – Sean Houlihane Jul 10 '17 at 21:47
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    @SeanHoulihane added product link and review quality link. – whitneyland Jul 11 '17 at 2:02
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    I wasn't aware of FakeSport, which says "Our engine has analyzed and discovered that 20.0% of the reviews are reliable". Looking at the Amazon page, there are 7 reviews, of which 4 are bad and 3 are good (from verified purchasers). 1 reviewer has reviwd only a single product, and the other two have reviewed 5 to 10. Based on this, I am unsure how much I trust FakeSpot's algorithm – Mawg Jul 11 '17 at 10:27
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    I think this is too broad a question to work here. You have the option of a commercial product (with reviews that say the S/W is borderline), or homebrew something. I think the FakeSpot thing is a red herring, and detracts from the question. – Sean Houlihane Jul 11 '17 at 17:03
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    @SeanHoulihane on the contrary it's not broad at all. The question is not commercial product versus homebrew. I've already ruled out the commercial product I'll try to edit to make that more clear. The question which is intended to be narrowly defined, is simply what would be the simplest and most effective homebrew version of such functionality? – whitneyland Jul 12 '17 at 1:43
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The presence of a commercial product which has reviews of varying quality should be a good sign that building something like this from scratch is a non-trivial undertaking. Doing IoT well is hard.

Doing it yourself brings some advantages - you can tune the installation for a specific location, implement your own configuration strategy (most likely cli based), associate with just your home router, etc.

There is no clear answer to which approach is better. Why are you doing this, what skills you you have already, what are you prepared to learn, is security important or can you rely on an ad-hoc implementation providing security through obscurity?

Start by defining your requirements. Lighting, Motion detection, video capture. Look at the commercial product you rejected, and decide which aspects of it you need to improve on (this is subjective).

List out some alternative implementations. This could be:

  • MCU on each node, handling each aspect with network connection between them
  • Raspberry Pi as a central controller with each part connected through (long?) wires.
  • Commercial camera, commercial motion detection
  • Commercial camera, MCU for motion detection

Trade off the time/cost/performance of these options, and go with whichever you prefer. You might find that some of the more low-level approaches are harder but are better documented (since the off-the-shelf components are unlikely to be documented, and will rarely be designed with extensions in mind).

Fundamentally, any working commercial product which satisfies your spec (even if it's got some flaws), will be far easier. Far more research is needed.

  • I'm not completely sure if this is an answer, or just a claim that the question is too broad (since the answer is a standard design definition phase checklist). – Sean Houlihane Jul 16 '17 at 11:28

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