The home security camera market is exploding! Cameras like Logi Circle, the Nest Cam and the Arlo are popping up in homes across the country. They let us keep an eye on our most prized possessions and people when we’re not home. A new camera called Lighthouse promises to do what the others do but with a brain and a 3D eye. I took it for a test.
The Lighthouse looks unique. In fact it's pretty clear why they call this thing the Lighthouse. It has a base that allows you to tilt it up or down and left to right. The unit itself has a 1080p camera, a 3D sensor and infrared lights for night vision. There are no buttons and only a single plug on the back for power. It's simple, which is exactly what it should be. It does stand a good 8" tall so it's not the smallest home security camera you'll find. The 3D hardware clearly takes up more space than most simple home cameras.
Inside the App
The Lighthouse App is where you get control. It offers a live view of the camera like most home security cameras. This is a quick way to check in on your home while you're away. The magic of the Lighthouse is when it starts detecting objects and people. The people section lets you identify faces that the Lighthouse detected. After you do this for the people who are typically in your home it will learn to automatically detect those people! This is great once you jump into the "Ask" section of the app.
You can ask the app a variety of questions and the artificial intelligence will respond appropriately. Asking "show me pictures of Kirk in the last 24 hours" pops up clips where it detected me since yesterday. You can say "what did my dog do while I was away today" and it will bring up clips of your dog while your phone was not inside your house. Cool, right? The list goes on and on. In my testing the app was really good at understanding what I was trying to say. You can setup alerts with your voice too. "Tell me when you see unknown people" will turn on notifications for undetected faces.
Things I love!
The AI built into the Lighthouse is awesome. This is the future of home security cameras. It's a camera that knows what it's seeing. It uses 3D technology to avoid false alarms and detect the difference between a person and a pet. It all works really well and feels like a camera that does more than just record video.
Things I'd change
This thing is big! It's not something you're going to hide in your living room. I know there is a lot more hardware inside of the Lighthouse than other cameras but it would be nice if it was a little smaller. It looks great, don't get me wrong, but I think it's a little larger than a device that my wife would want in our living room or kitchen.
The price is high and I'm OK with that considering the technology inside the Lighthouse. With that said, the subscription price pushes it over the edge. At $300 for the camera itself (90 days subscription included) the $10 per month subscription fee might be a lot for many families. At $120 per year it adds up fast. I do like that Lighthouse offers a $500 all-in option that covers a lifetime subscription but this is a lot to pay for a home security camera when you have so many other inexpensive options. Sure, you can use the camera without the subscription but you only get 24 hours of videos in the cloud and most of the AI features won't work.
This is the future of home security cameras! It's a camera with a brain. All the other home security cameras will be looking to the Lighthouse to improve their product. The size and price may be a factor for some people but if you're willing to spend a little extra money, it'll be money well spent.