A Smarter Light for Our Yard: the Maximus Camera Floodlight
We upgraded our side yard security with the Maximus Camera Floodlight and Kuna Artificial Intelligence.
Like many homeowners, we have an entry gate as part of the fence on the side of our house, where we keep our garbage cans and not much else. Often, we come home to find the gate wide open – it could be just wind or a loose latch but we are always left wondering what really happened.
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A few years ago we installed a smart bulb with a built in camera on one of the outlets, the Sengled Snap, which worked great but we found that it was streaming almost all the time, eating into our Internet data plan. We tried using the motion sensor but it was just too sensitive for an area that sees a lot of traffic from landscapers and blowing trees. We wanted to put a similar camera further back in our yard and away from the street, but there was no easy spot to mount one.
Earlier this year we replaced our outdoor lighting in our front yard with beautiful Maximus Smart Security Lights and we have been really happy with both the stylish look and the powerful Artificial Intelligence in the Kuna app. We were excited to see their new Camera Floodlight and knew it would be a great solution to better monitor our side yard.
Really Easy Installation
Usually hanging a light is really difficult because you need to be able to hold the light upright while you attach all the wires. You might be standing on a ladder or reaching up, making it even harder to connect it without losing your balance and breaking something (you or the light).
Maximus made the installation for the Camera Floodlight really simple with the Quick-Connect base. All you have to do is install a lightweight wiring base on the wall or eave, then take the floodlight, place it on the base and turn it slightly to lock into place without any additional wiring. We were able to install ours over an existing outlet intended for plugging in Christmas lights. The base includes a rubber gasket to seal the installation, which might work for most homeowners, but since we have stucco we used a silicon sealant just to be sure it was waterproof.
Setting up the Kuna App
Once we installed the light it was easy to add it to our Kuna app as a second camera and set it up to our specifications. The 1080P HD camera has a 155 degree field of view which can be easily adjusted and it can detect motion from up to 70 feet away. It is easy to configure the field of view, where you want to detect motion, and the light settings. In our case, we get a really great view of our whole side yard, exactly what we needed.
The LED panels are really bright – up to 5000K – the equivalent of full daylight. Because the light is close to our neighbor’s yard we have it turned down to just 25 percent, and we have it set to be only motion activated – but even at that power we still notice the light go on from our nearby window.
You can also configure sounds to go with the motion which was fun to play with – it can automatically play recorded messages or say things like “can I help you,” bark, or sound a siren. We already have some barking dogs in the neighborhood so we saw no reason to add another automated one. The camera has two-way capability so we can also talk directly to someone in our yard, and choose to activate a siren or call 911 right from the Kuna app, in case we see a threat.
Additional Kuna Features
The Kuna companion app comes with every Maximus camera and in addition to the standard app features, the free version includes a 24/7 live video feed, two-hour event lookback, and up to three downloads per month. Kuna offers three different premium versions, ranging in price from $7.49 per month for one camera, 7-day lookback to $29.99 per month for up to eight cameras and 30-day lookback. All the plans include unlimited video downloads, Kuna AI and theft protection – in case someone steals your Maximus camera, they will replace it free of charge. You can cancel the service anytime or get a 30 percent discount for paying for an entire year.
We are using the premium version of the app for both of our smart cameras and in addition to the cloud storage features, we love the artificial intelligence in the Kuna app. It is able to distinguish between cars and people with great accuracy and you can tailor the camera to the exact areas you want it to monitor. We don’t expect any cars to be driving in our backyard anytime soon, but you never know.
You can also control the Camera Floodlight with your voice using either Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Since we only use the light when motion is detected, we haven’t found a need to use Alexa with this camera.
The Maximus Camera Floodlight is available in both black and white versions at a list price of $229. We would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy-to-install and intelligent floodlight camera.