Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Review: The Must-Have Outdoor Security Camera for Your Home!

I recently purchased the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera for my home’s outdoor security, and I am incredibly impressed with its performance. The video quality is crystal clear, and the color night vision has been a game-changer in identifying potential threats even in low-light conditions. The wireless design made installation a breeze, and I love the convenience of connecting directly to my Wi-Fi. The two-way audio feature allows me to communicate with delivery drivers or visitors, adding an extra layer of security. I also appreciate the option to receive smarter notifications with the Arlo Secure plan, ensuring I never miss any important events.

Isabel Craven (Canada)

In the ever-evolving world of smart home security cameras, Arlo has earned a reputation for producing high-quality, albeit expensive, wireless security cameras. The Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra are widely acclaimed Top Picks, lauded for their superb video quality, hassle-free wire-free setup, and impressive array of features. However, the price tag and the need for a hub have left some consumers seeking a more affordable and hub-free alternative.

Enter the Arlo Essential Spotlight security camera – a game-changer in the realm of budget-conscious smart home security solutions. Priced at just $130, this impressive device packs nearly all the essential features of its more expensive counterparts without breaking the bank.

In our review of the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera, we take a look at the features, functionality, and advantages of this outstanding wireless outdoor security camera.

Striking the Balance Between Affordability and Functionality

The Arlo Essential Spotlight may sacrifice some of the bells and whistles found in its higher-priced siblings, but it delivers where it matters most. With a 1080p resolution and a 130-degree field of view, it may not boast the highest video quality, but it still provides clear and detailed footage, capturing the essence of any security situation. While it lacks HDR imaging and a removable battery, it compensates with its completely wireless design, high-powered spotlight, color night vision, 12x digital zoom, and a generous 300-foot line of sight.

One notable tradeoff is the absence of a hub, which impacts the camera’s range. However, if you already have an Arlo base station, fear not, for the Essential can pair with it to extend coverage. Additionally, for those looking to optimize battery life, an optional $49.99 solar panel can be added to the mix, providing a sustainable power solution.

Easy Installation for Everyone The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is designed with user-friendliness in mind.

Easy Installation for Everyone

Gone are the days of complex installations. The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is designed with user-friendliness in mind. With its wireless nature, there’s no need for messy cables or complicated wiring. Simply mount the camera in your desired location, and you’re good to go. It’s a hassle-free process that anyone can accomplish.

A Design that Blends In and Stands Out

Once you’ve installed the Essential Spotlight Camera, its unobtrusive and discreet design becomes evident. Weighing in at a mere 122g and standing just over 11cm tall, this camera seamlessly fits into your home’s environment. The wireless, weather-resistant feature ensures its durability, and a protective flap safeguards its USB charging port from the elements.

Performance and Features: The Pinnacle of Home Security

The Essential Spotlight Camera’s performance is nothing short of remarkable. Setting up the device through the intuitive app is a breeze, and the thoughtful touches in the setup process ensure that even beginners can configure their camera like a pro. The user-friendly interface allows for seamless toggling of video quality, activity zones, and notification preferences, putting you in full control of your security monitoring.

One notable feature is the ability to adjust motion sensitivity, which allows the camera to discern between vehicles, people, and animals. While the camera performs admirably at default settings, fine-tuning the sensitivity can provide even more precise detection.

The Power of Color Night Vision

When it comes to outdoor security cameras, clear visibility during nighttime is crucial. The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera boasts an impressive color night vision capability, setting it apart from other contenders. With its integrated spotlight and infrared LEDs, this camera can illuminate your surroundings, enabling you to see in vivid color even during the darkest hours. Say goodbye to grainy black-and-white images – now you can have crystal-clear visibility day and night.

The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera excels with its remarkable color night vision feature.

Seamless Detection Performance

The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera incorporates a quick and responsive PIR sensor that detects major movements effortlessly. If you opt for a cloud subscription, you can further enhance your camera’s efficiency by cutting down on unnecessary notifications with activity zones. Customize your security settings to ensure you receive alerts for events that truly matter to you.

Battery Life: Striking a Balance

The battery life of the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera has left me quite impressed. I find it to be significantly longer-lasting compared to other cameras I have used in the past. With the XL battery, it can easily go close to 60 days between charges, even with capturing approximately 20-30 minutes of video per day. This is a notable improvement, especially considering that the XL version is all about maximizing battery capacity.

However, it’s crucial to take into account your usage habits and preferences. The battery may drain more quickly if you prioritize high video quality and maximum sensitivity. Striking the correct balance between performance and battery life can be accomplished by routinely adjusting video quality and sensitivity in accordance with your demands.
The Essential Spotlight Camera must be completely disassembled for charging, unlike other Arlo cameras with replaceable batteries, which can be inconvenient. For individuals who are thinking about buying this camera, a solar panel is a worthwhile purchase to reduce battery-related problems.

Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Review: The Must-Have Outdoor Security Camera for Your Home

Subscription Options: Choose What Suits You

Despite the fact that the Essential Spotlight Camera provides strong security even without a subscription, this Arlo Smart subscription is highly recommended to access extra capabilities through its Secure and Secure Plus subscription tiers. You can adjust your security experience with features like cloud video history and advanced notifications. Arlo’s subscription plans accommodate a range of needs and price points, whether you choose a single camera plan or want to monitor an entire property.

App Functionality: A Glitchy Experience

Even though the Arlo app has simple navigation, some users have reported bugs when setting it up and using it. Because of the freezing and buffering problems, going from the miniscreen to the full-screen view can be annoying especially when interacting with guests in real-time. Despite these shortcomings the application does offer lock-screen notifications, which make it simple to know who is at your door without opening the app,.

The two-way audio capability is also prone to lag, which makes real-time communication difficult. Arlo’s app could certainly benefit from optimization to ensure smoother and more responsive interactions.

Security features in the app, such notifications for a carbon monoxide detector and fire alarms, are useful additions for increased safety. However, consumers who want more control over the recording regions may be concerned about the absence of a privacy setting, which is featured in other Arlo cameras like the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight.


In conclusion, the Arlo Essential Spotlight camera is a commendable budget-friendly option for those seeking reliable and feature-packed smart home security. Its affordability doesn’t compromise core functionalities, making it an attractive choice for many households. With the right optimizations and attention to app performance, it has the potential to outshine competitors and earn a top spot in the realm of budget security cameras.

So, if you’re looking to strike the perfect balance between price and functionality, the Arlo Essential Spotlight is a strong contender that won’t disappoint. Embrace its convenience, advanced features, and clear video quality, and you’ll find yourself with a powerful security tool that doesn’t break the bank.

Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera: Who It’s For?

The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is perfect for homeowners who want a reliable and easy-to-use outdoor security solution. Whether you need to monitor your front door, backyard, or any other area around your home, this camera provides peace of mind and enhanced security.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option and don’t require advanced features like color night vision or two-way audio, this camera might be more than what you need.

Alternative Options:

Where To Buy: Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera?

Price History


Didn't find the right price? Set price alert below

Set Alert for Product: Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera - 1 Pack - Wireless Security, 1080p Video, Color Night Vision, 2 Way Audio, Wire-Free, Direct to WiFi No Hub Needed, Works with Alexa, White - VMC2030 - $69.99


How long does the battery last on a single charge?

Battery life can vary based on usage, but with regular recording, it typically lasts around 60 days between charges.

Does the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera require a subscription for all features?

While the camera offers basic functionality without a subscription, certain advanced features and access to recorded video will require an Arlo Smart Plan. The plans are available at a monthly cost, with various options depending on the number of cameras.

What are the installation options for the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera?

The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera offers two installation options: Wi-Fi and Arlo hubs. Users have the flexibility to choose between these setups based on their preferences and existing setups.

What are the subscription options available for the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera?

Arlo offers two subscription tiers: Secure and Secure Plus. The Secure subscription starts at £2.79 per month for a single camera or £8.99 for unlimited cameras in the UK, and $2.99 per month for a single camera or $9.99 for unlimited cameras in the US. The Secure Plus subscription costs £12.99 per month in the UK and $14.99 per month in the US for unlimited cameras.

Can I use the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant?

Yes, the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is compatible with popular voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing for seamless integration into your smart home ecosystem.

Does the Arlo Essential camera have a privacy setting, and how does it work?

Unfortunately, the Arlo Essential lacks a privacy setting that allows users to specify certain areas in their yard for the camera to avoid recording. This feature, present in other Arlo cameras like the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight, is beneficial for excluding specific zones from surveillance, such as private areas or children’s play areas.

9 Total Score
Final Verdict:

I highly recommend the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera for anyone seeking a top-notch wireless security solution.

  • Works with or without a hub, offering flexibility in installation
  • Powerful recording controls and customizable settings
  • User-friendly setup and management through the Arlo app
  • Wi-Fi mode may experience range and performance limitations
  • Video quality, while good, may not match higher-end models
  • Relatively more expensive compared to some budget alternatives
User Rating: 2 (1 vote)

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Smart Shopping Start Here
      Compare items
      • Total (0)
      Shopping cart