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Does Ring Spotlight Cam Have Color Night Vision?

Last Updated Aug 9, 2021
Ring spotlight cam light with the light on and wired to a power source.
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Night vision is part of a large feature set that comes with all Ring Cameras, including the Ring Spotlight Camera. Using infrared LEDs—a spectrum invisible to the human eye—the Ring Spotlight can permeate the darkness to create a black and white image in the Live View. But what about color night vision?

Only the wired version of the Ring Spotlight Camera has a color night vision option, but it’s not necessarily true to color; it’s instead a false color imbued over the black and white picture.

Night vision is an important aspect in any home security camera—especially because most home break-ins occur at night—and the Ring Spotlight is no exception. Color night vision, however, is a unique aspect that many customers prefer.

Does the Ring Spotlight Camera Have Color Night Vision?

The wired Ring Spotlight Camera does have color night vision, although users claim there’s usually some form of whitewash or distortion in the colored image.

The battery version, in contrast, does not have color night vision unless the spotlight is activated, which isn’t really color night vision at all. This question is routinely asked because a brief stroll across the internet will lead people to believe that the battery version has color night vision.

The reality is, when you see color night vision for the battery-powered version of the Ring Spotlight Cam, it’s often in the meta description, without any context or in-depth conclusion. When the spotlight turns on, it creates enough ambient light to disable the infrared, and color is the result.

How to Turn Color Night Vision On with Ring Spotlight

Color night vision is an optional feature that comes with the wired version of the Ring Spotlight Camera and must be turned on via the Ring app (Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store). To turn the feature on:

  1. On the Ring Home Screen, select the three horizontal lines at the top of the screen.
  2. Select Devices.
  3. Choose the Ring Spotlight Camera.
  4. Tap Device Settings.
  5. Video Settings.
  6. Color Night Vision.
  7. Select Enable to turn the color night vision feature on.

Why Does the Color Night Vision on Ring Spotlight Look Off?

Looking at the live view on the Ring App, you may think that something is wrong with the color night vision feature you just turned on. The feature doesn’t represent a true version of color night vision but overlays the black and white with false color.

The Ring Spotlight Camera takes the portions of the image that are illuminated the most and creates a “best representation” of what the camera believes it would look like if you shined a flashlight on it. In other words, it’s making its best guess and then going with it.

Unfortunately, this also means that you’re going to get a lot of whitewashed faces and strangely colored objects that can only be alleviated, if not outright eliminated, by carefully placing your Spotlight Camera to take advantage of the feature.

How to Troubleshoot Whitewash and Other Color Disparities

Despite the color feature being turned on, the infrared LEDs often overwhelm it, especially when faces or objects are very close to the camera. While ambient light gets more color, anything the infrared touches are liable to get whitewashed.

The following are some steps you can take to fix the image quality:

Reposition the Ring Spotlight Cam

To eliminate this, carefully position your cameras—the idea is to create an angle when facing an object or person—to minimize the effect. Also, the Ring Spotlight Cam’s distance from your router can create visual distortions and make it difficult for the camera to adjust against sudden light and whitewash problems.

Strengthen the Ring Spotlight Cam’s Wi-Fi

During the transition from day to night, the Ring Spotlight Camera removes the buffers that block the infrared lights during the day to enable night vision. If your camera has a weak signal, this may seem like a long, drawn-out process.

You can solve this by either moving the Ring Spotlight Camera to a place with a stronger Wi-Fi signal or consider purchasing a Wi-Fi extender to maximize the Spotlight Camera’s efficiency:

  • TP-Link AC750: This is an excellent little Wi-Fi extender with up to 750Mbps speeds, dual-band Wi-Fi, and can connect to a total of 20 devices.
  • Rockspace Wi-Fi Extender: Dual-band, extends Wi-Fi range up to 2,640-sq.ft., and can connect up to 25 devices.
  • Linksys AC750: Comes with beamforming technology, dual-band, and can cover 6.500-sq.ft.

The majority of resolution problems—especially night vision—occur when there is a weak signal between the Wi-Fi router and the Ring Spotlight Camera. A range extender will not only eliminate the problem but helps extend Wi-Fi signal and device connections to the entire home.

Final Thoughts

The color night vision feature on the Ring Spotlight Camera isn’t the best or most innovative. It does the trick in a pinch, but it isn’t available with the battery-powered alternative to the wired Spotlight Cam.

There are some simple solutions to help improve the color effect, such as angles and better Wi-Fi signal, but they won’t bring out any true, color night vision aspects. For better or for worse, the wired Ring Spotlight Cam’s color night vision is essentially technicolor for the modern age.


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