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Kuna smart home security light review: A great product, but consider the full cost

Michael Brown | June 3, 2016
You’ll want one of these at every entry point, but yikes! Those subscription fees!

We dig the Kuna smart home security light. It replaces your existing porch light with one featuring a built-in video camera, a motion detector, a Wi-Fi adapter, and a two-way intercom. It connects to your home network and sends alerts to your smartphone when someone approaches your door. It will also record a downloadable video clip, and you can speak to the person in real time or play pre-recorded greetings that will encourage them to go away. There’s just one major drawback: You’ll need to pay a subscription fee to get the most value from it.

Before I get to that, let me tell you about the Kuna and its sister device, the Maximus (essentially the same product with a different name. It’s also $199 and is available at Best Buy and Home Depot). Both lights feature attractive industrial designs and are available in three models to match your home’s décor. We reviewed the Craftsman model, but you might prefer the Traditional or Contemporary looks (see below).

Whichever model you choose, you’ll get what looks like a conventional porch light with all of the features I’ve outlined above. The integrated motion detector sends an alert to your smartphone whenever someone steps into the vicinity, and it triggers its onboard video camera to capture whatever is going on within its somewhat narrow 116-degree field of view. The camera is capable of recording video (with sound) at up to 720p, but the actual resolution depends on the bandwidth available on your broadband connection (Kuna recommends you have a minimum uplink speed of 1Mbps). These clips are uploaded to the cloud—but they’re available for viewing for only two hours if you don’t have a subscription, and you can download only three clips per month.

Kuna 
The Kuna home security light is available in three architectural styles. Credit: Kuna. (Click for larger image). 

Installing the camera

The Kuna is very easy to install—the documentation is clear and easy to understand, and the manufacturer provides a couple of tools that make the process easier (including a rigid wire that you can temporarily hang the fixture from while you’re connecting the electrical wires). The camera lens pivots in its enclosure underneath the light, but I had a little trouble maneuvering it into just the right position to capture all the area in front of the door.

While I can’t entirely fault the camera for that, it is something you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re replacing an existing light (and you will be unless you’re wiring a location that doesn’t already have one). You connect the camera to your Wi-Fi network by first establishing a Bluetooth connection between it and your phone. Enter your Wi-Fi passcode into the app, and it then seamlessly establishes the connection to your router.

 

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