By Trae Jacobs,
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You have to hand it to Ring; they do their best to give you everything you need to mount your Ring Spotlight Camera, and—for those tricky spots such as gutters and vinyl—they sell mounting kits for everything else. Installing a Ring Spotlight on Stucco, however, is a different task entirely.
While Ring isn’t completely ambivalent to the existence of stucco, brick, mortar, concrete, and other masonry materials, the drill bit that comes with the Ring Spotlight Camera (or the Ring Spare Parts Kit, for that matter) isn’t up to the task. With that said, the following guide will break down how you can install your new Ring Spotlight Cam on stucco.
Compression-wise, stucco is every bit as resilient as concrete, but when it comes to tension, it’s extremely brittle. You need a drill bit that will penetrate and chew a narrow hole through the material without any cracking along the sides of the hole.
The best drill bits for stucco are carbide or diamond-tipped. These drill bits are hard enough and sharp enough to penetrate masonry without wearing out or stripping the drill bit. The major issue with the Ring-supplied “masonry” drill bit is that the bit is stripped down before it penetrates far enough.
You’ll also need a hammer drill, which uses a combination of drilling power and miniature percussion to drill up to three times faster than a regular drill.
You can use the standard screws that come with the Ring Spotlight Camera. However, the anchors are sheetrock anchors, and you should either replace them with all-purpose anchors or use Tapcon screws alone.
Aside from the drill bits, anchors, Tapcon screws, and hammer drill, the actual hardware for the Spotlight Camera remains the same.
- Take the base/mounting plate and line it up against the stucco where you want it to be—9’ from the ground is recommended by Ring.
- Mark your holes with a pencil through the screw holes on the base plate.
- Drill straight in and go roughly one inch past the length of the screws.
- Now, you can either go with the Tapcon screws or use all-purpose anchors. If you use the anchors, gently tap them in with a hammer.
- Be sure to vacuum out the excess mortar dust and use a wire brush to thoroughly clean the freshly drilled holes.
- Place your base/mounting plate up and screw your Tapcon screw-in or your standard screws into the universal anchors until the screw head is flush with the base plate’s indentations and the mount is secured.
- The base plate includes a circular indentation through which the swivel ball on the Spotlight Cam will snap neatly into.
That’s it. Drilling through stucco is the same as any other masonry; you just have to be careful to maintain a straight line in and out as you drill, without moving left or right, which creates tension on the stucco.
Maintaining a 90º angle as you drill is especially important if you plan to use the all-purpose anchors. When the anchors are inserted, it will exert tension on the walls of the hole if you try tapping it in straight and the hole wasn’t properly drilled.
The Ring Spotlight Camera weighs 12 ounces, so you’ll need a stucco adhesive that will hold more than 1 pound to permanently install the Spotlight Camera.
Since stucco adhesives can bond pretty hard to the surface of the base plate, you should strongly consider placing a strong adhesive tape on the back of the plate.
- Clean the surface of the stucco with rubbing alcohol to remove any dust, oils, or other debris.
- Place a strong adhesive tape—something along the lines of duct tape—on the back of the mounting plate.
- Apply the stucco/masonry/concrete adhesive to the tape and the clean surface area of the stucco and firmly press the mounting plate against it for a full minute. Allow it to cure overnight.
- Return in the morning and snap the Ring Spotlight Camera onto the mounting plate, applying slight pressure afterward to check that the adhesive is secure.
Mounting the Ring Spotlight Camera on stucco isn’t a difficult task, so long as you’re prepared and have the proper tools. Stucco can be finicky to deal with, especially if you accidentally exert side-to-side pressure.
If you’re dealing with a rental or just don’t want to drill holes in the stucco, there are adhesive options as well. Just be sure that—when it comes to adhesive—you find a happy medium between “too strong” and “not strong enough.”
Either method is fine, and although stucco isn’t as easy to deal with as concrete or brick, it’s just as sturdy a mounting surface if the installation is done the right way.