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Do You Really Need the Ring Bridge for Pathway Lights?

Last Updated Aug 8, 2021
Rings pathway lights installed outside of a home. 

Ring has really jumped into the smart light arena lately by releasing a substantial amount of smart lights, including the Ring Pathway Lights. These lights are designed to connect with the Ring Smart Lighting Bridge to access their full functionality. However, do we honestly need another bridge?

Fortunately, you don’t have to connect the Ring Pathway Lights—solar or standard—to the Ring Smart Lighting Bridge. You may miss out on a few things, but there are other ways to get around it.

Everything smart seems to come with a necessary bridge nowadays, and most routers can only support so many ethernet connections. Since most bridges connect that way, it can quickly become a headache, and buying new and upgraded routers shouldn’t always be the answer. Below, we’ll cover why Ring Pathway Lights don’t require a bridge and alternative devices you can use as a hub for the devices.

Can You Use Ring Pathway Lights Without the Ring Bridge?

Without a Ring Smart Lighting Bridge or a compatible Echo device, your Ring Pathway Lights would essentially be stand-alone motion sensors that happen to light up. You also can’t access them through the Ring app. Access may be limited with other smart home hubs as well.

  • Wasted Expense: At $35 a pop, you probably want your Pathway Lights to do more than just detect motion (without sending notifications) and light up much like a standard walkway light, just without the brains.
  • No Ring App Access: Without the Ring Smart Lighting Bridge, your Ring app can’t access the Pathway lights.
  • Number of Devices: A standard router, or even a high-end one, can only connect with so many devices at once. The Ring Smart Lighting Bridge can control up to 50 Ring lighting devices. Without the bridge, each of those devices would have to link up with your router, most likely slowing down your Wi-Fi, creating additional interference, or simply being one too many.
  • No Integration: The Ring Smart Lightning Bridge Links all of your Ring devices together, including cameras, alarms, motion sensors, and doorbells. Without a bridge, none of that is possible.

What Are Good Alternatives for the Ring Smart Lighting Bridge?

Amazon’s Echo devices are excellent alternatives to the Ring Smart Lighting Bridge, especially the Amazon Echo 4th Generation and the Echo Show 10. The reason being is that these two Echo devices have a built-in Ring Smart Lighting Bridge.

Since Amazon acquired Ring, this isn’t surprising, and you can probably expect this built-in feature in future Echo devices. But for now, these two are perfect for the job.

How to Connect Ring Pathway Lights to an Amazon Device

So how do they work? How do you connect Ring Pathway Lights to the Echo (4th Gen) or Echo Show?

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Select the More tab at the bottom right-hand side of the Home Screen.
  3. Select Skills & Games.
  4. Tap the Magnifying Glass (Search Symbol) at the top.
  5. Type in Ring and select the Ring Skill followed by Enable to Use.

Now that you’ve added the Ring skill to your Amazon Alexa app, the skill is applied across all of your Alexa devices under the same account. Now, go back to the Home Screen.

  1. Select the More tab at the bottom right-hand side of the Home Screen.
  2. Tap + Add a Device at the top.
  3. Tap Light.

Since you added the Ring Skill to Alexa, when you select the Light category under Add a Device, every Ring light you own, including your Pathway Lights, will now show up as devices you can add to your Alexa Network.

You can add them and name them to differentiate between individual Pathway Lights and locations. You can also add them to groups. Go to the Alexa Home Screen again:

  1. Select Devices.
  2. Select the + symbol at the top, right.
  3. On the pop-up menu, tap Add Group.
  4. Create a Room or Device Group/Combine Rooms or Groups

Now you can lump all of your Ring Pathway Lights into a single group or combine them with an existing group for simple automation.

Final Thoughts

Routers are constantly improving, and virtual assistant devices—such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri—are becoming more integral in creating a conglomeration of smart devices, all under a single umbrella of control. You’d think smart bridges would be a thing of the past.

However, they’re still integral to many newly released smart home products, and while there are always workarounds, some of them do have their proprietary and exclusive features that make them worth considering.

In this instance, the Ring Pathway Lights don’t need a Ring Smart Lighting Bridge, as an Echo Show 10, 4th gen, and possibly future generations of Echo devices will suffice. Without any of the above, unfortunately, your Ring Pathway Light experience is sure to be a shallow one.