Guessing who’s at the door is a thing of the past, thanks in part to how video doorbells have changed the way we react. Convenience is the name of the game nowadays, as we no longer have to get our butts off the couch to see who rang. Instead, you whip out your phone to check the live feed — and even chat with them if you happen to feel like it.
Most of today’s video doorbells all accomplish the same tasks of detecting motion within their field of view, recording video that can be played back at a later time, and basically, keep watch of your front door at all times. Home security, that’s the kind of peace of mind that video doorbells bring with them. But did you know they can do so much more? We’re talking about the useful things you didn’t realize video doorbells could do, not just the obvious stuff like saving clips to the cloud.
You’ll want to read on because you’ll be astounded by what some of them could do.
See colors in the dark with color night vision
Having to keep watch at all hours throughout the day, night vision has become a standard feature among video doorbells. It’s perfect when there isn’t much ambient lighting around, but the footage remains in black and white. While details are still possible to make out, colors are not.
However, being able to distinguish colors when there’s minimal lighting around is possible thanks to color night vision — a feature that’s still somewhat rare to find. The Arlo Essential Wired Doorbell is one of them, which brings colors to night vision footage for even better results. And hey, being able to see color helps in situations when you’re describing an intruder or package pirate.
Here are some other models that offer color night vision:
Use your TV to view your video doorbell
We bet that your phone is probably within arm’s reach, so chances are you’ll open an app to see who’s at the front door. But did you know that you can do the same through your television? Just as long as it’s a smart TV with support for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, you’ll be able to ask your respective voice assistant to show you the live stream of your video doorbell. For example, suppose you have an Alexa-compatible doorbell like the super affordable Blink Video Doorbell, as well as a TV running Amazon’s Fire TV, like the new Amazon Fire TV Omni. In that case, you’ll be able to ask Alexa to show you the front door.
Don’t have a smart TV? Don’t worry because you can still access this feature using a Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire streaming device — like the Amazon Fire Stick 4K. Therefore, the next time someone rings the bell while you’re watching television, you can instantly see who it is through your TV.
Here are some additional smart TVs worth checking out to use this feature:
Turn on the lights when motion is detected
We’ve all seen Home Alone and know exactly how unoccupied homes are prime targets for burglars. However, with a video doorbell, it’s possible to deter them even more by having the lights come on whenever it detects someone.
This is actually a feature that’s available with most video doorbells. Ring’s various doorbells are prime examples since Ring’s ecosystem is vast and includes a few smart lights. By linking devices with one another, like the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and Wall Light Solar as an example, you can set it so that the light comes on the moment the doorbell detects motion. It’s also possible to set it up with indoor lights to give the illusion that someone is home.
If you’re a Ring user, you can use some of this ability with these smart lights.
Announce visitors on your smart speakers
Similar to viewing the live stream of a video doorbell on a smart TV, there’s a quick and convenient way for video doorbells to announce guests at the front door. The Google Nest Doorbell has the feature of making visitor announcements on your connected Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers. If you happen to miss the notification on your phone when the doorbell rings, being notified by your smart speaker will make sure you don’t.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on these smart speakers either since the smaller-sized ones are pretty affordable. Here are the best ones you can put around your home:
Have your doorbell respond to visitors
Two-way communication is an invaluable feature to use in today’s video doorbells since you can give detailed instructions to whoever is there. However, if you’re stuck in an important meeting or preoccupied with something else, you may not respond promptly. That’s why it’s handy when your video doorbell can respond to visitors.
Instead, you can use something like Ring’s Quick Replies to respond to your visitors if you can’t. These are intelligent responses that Ring’s video doorbells will play to help instruct visitors at the door. It’s perfect for when you can’t answer the doorbell! There’s also another similar feature with Google’s line of Nest Doorbells called Quick Responses, which lets you choose preset voice alerts to play through the doorbell.
Detect package deliveries
As the camera’s field of view increases among video doorbells, they can see more things right in front of them. Specifically, packages that are left right on your front door. Package detection is a feature that’s been increasingly common in many mid to high-end video doorbells. Instead of having a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, some of these video doorbells have gone with a 3:4 aspect ratio to see the floor right in front of them — like the Wyze Video Doorbell.
This package detection feature lessens them rather than being pestered by redundant notifications about detecting motion. Just know that this feature is sometimes tied behind a subscription service, which requires users to sign up to its Cam Plus service in the case of Wyze’s video doorbell.
Here are a few more video doorbells with the package detection feature.
Pinpoint the locations of guests around your front yard
The most feature-rich video doorbell on the market right now is the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, which can show you on a map the locations of where it detected people in your yard. Yes, it’s an innovative tech that’s still new, but nonetheless, an invaluable one that’ll help with home security.
With its radar-based 3D Motion Detection, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 gives users an aerial map view of motion events around their homes. This way, they’ll know precisely the movement of an individual as they make their way to the front door and leave.