Ring Wall Light Solar review: The smart light that never needs to be charged

It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Ring Wall Light Solar illuminating me at night
(Image: © Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

It's a motion-detecting light that gets plenty bright and charges in the sunlight. While it annoyingly needs a Ring Bridge to connect to your home's Wi-Fi, everything else about this product is perfect and does exactly what we expected it should.

Pros

  • +

    Super bright

  • +

    Great motion detection settings

  • +

    Solar panel means you never have to charge it

  • +

    Uses the powerful Ring app

  • +

    Mounts easily

Cons

  • -

    Requires a Ring Bridge for Internet connectivity

  • -

    Linking to other products requires a Ring Protect plan

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Some products are complicated and require long, lengthy explanations and in-depth reviews to ensure you're getting a product that's worth your hard-earned money. Other products are simple and, oftentimes, the only question in need of answering is "does it do what it claims?"

While a product like the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro (opens in new tab) fits into that first description, Ring Wall Light Solar is the polar opposite. It doesn't have a camera and doesn't do very much at all, but it does what it's designed to do very, very well. The one negative is that you'll need to have a Ring Bridge to connect it to your home's Wi-Fi network, as Ring opted for a more battery-efficient way of wireless communication than packing in a Wi-Fi chipset.

The bright side of that decision, of course, is that the solar panel up top will keep the light charged seemingly forever. From time to time, I would check the battery level in the device health portion of the Ring app and never saw it dip below 50%. Even on cloudy days, the device would charge at least a few percentage points despite not receiving "direct" Sunlight.

Plus, the motion sensor acts as a great way to trigger your other Ring devices (opens in new tab) via smart connections in the Ring app if you have other great Ring lights (opens in new tab) or cameras.

Price and availability

Ring Wall Light Solar box

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Ring Wall Light Solar is available from Ring.com, Amazon.com, and stores like The Home Depot for $59.99. If you don't already have a Ring Bridge, a bundle with Ring Bridge and Ring Wall Light Solar can be purchased from these retailers for $79.99.

A great light with one minor problem

Ring Wall Light Solar

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

With over a year of use, I've never had to charge the light. Not once.

I've been using Ring Wall Light Solar for over a year. It's been through two Summers with blistering hot heat — it's a solar light so it's located where it gets the most Sunlight possible — sub-zero Winter temperatures, plenty of snow, and even Spring and Autumn storms of every kind.

In that time, I've never had to charge the light. Not once.

After mounting it, I've hardly even thought about its presence. It turns on to illuminate my path every night when I put my chickens to bed — yes, they have to be locked up at night since everything loves to eat chicken — and it notifies me of every manner of creature that might cross its path during the night.

The mounting process was as simple as could be, too. You'll screw a plastic plate into the wall or other surface where you want the light and then just slide the light down to click into the mounting rails. Pairing with the Ring app is as easy as scanning a QR code.

The downside to it as a product? While it's got a motion sensor onboard and can illuminate the entire side of my yard without issue — it packs an 800-lumen-bright light inside, after all — it's got no way to show me what its motion sensor "saw" because there's no camera.

That's why Ring Wall Light Solar is best used in homes with other Ring devices and cameras. That's no different from other Ring products, which often work very well in harmony together but don't always play well with others. In most respects, it's not unlike products from a certain fruit-branded company that many people are very familiar with.

While it can detect motion and send you alert notifications, there's no camera onboard to show you what's going on.

In the Ring app, you can customize when the light comes on and how bright it is, when motion detection is enabled, and how sensitive that motion detection needs to be. The default settings worked just fine for me and I never had a problem with the light not detecting movement that one of my nearby cameras didn't also see.

It's also great to have such a bright light illuminate the yard at night, as it enabled significantly better-looking color video at night than any smaller smart camera could provide.

You can also use it as a trigger for other cameras, as I previously said, but you'll need a Ring Protect plan (opens in new tab) in order to use this feature. Again, this product is best used when you're already hooked into the Ring ecosystem.

The one technical downside? You'll need a Ring Bridge for it to connect to your home's Wi-Fi network and be used with other Ring devices. A Ring Bridge isn't expensive and can be used for many other Ring IoT products like the Ring Outdoor Smart Plug (opens in new tab), but it's still annoying to need an extra piece of the puzzle that acts as a single point of failure.

Case in point, if your Ring Bridge fails or gets unplugged for any reason, all the devices connected to it will lose connectivity to the Internet and, thus, your Ring smart links will all break until a connection is reestablished.

Still, that Bridge connection is a better low-power connection that has further range than Wi-Fi, which is likely a better decision in the long run for IoT devices like this.

Competition

The solar powered variant of the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro.

(Image credit: Ring)

Ring itself makes a number of solar lights that might better fit where you want the light positioned. While Ring Wall Light Solar is, by name, a wall-mounted light, Ring also offers solar-powered pathway lights and other similar style solar lights that'll keep charged practically forever.

Ring also makes step lights that are designed to be placed above each step to help illuminate stairs at night. Those are smaller than this light and also cheaper at $29.99 apiece.

If you just want a camera that's also solar-powered, Ring and other companies like Eufy make great options that are powered by the Sun and can show you a video feed when motion is detected. Just don't expect that all of these solutions will bathe the yard in as much light as Ring Wall Light Solar.

If you're not into the Ring ecosystem and want an alternative that works better with Google Assistant (or with products from other companies), there's no shortage of similar options on Amazon. However, most of them are not smart lights and just act as a motion-activated bulb.

One highly-rated alternative from Aootek on Amazon (opens in new tab) is half the price and comes with two lights, for instance. Paying the same $59.99 as you would pay for one Ring Wall Light Solar will net you four of these lights. Just be aware that they aren't smart lights and won't connect to any of your favorite smart home services.

Should you buy it?

Ring Wall Light Solar from the front, mounted

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

You should buy it if...

  • You have other outdoor Ring devices.
  • You want a great outdoor motion-activated light that needs no charging.
  • You want a smart light that notifies you of motion detection.

You shouldn't buy it if...

  • Your smart home doesn't have other Ring products.
  • You don't need the smart connected features of this product.

Ring Wall Light Solar is an ingeniously simple smart light that never needs to be charged and works perfectly out of the box. It did exactly what I wanted it to do — illuminate my side yard at night in case of motion detection — and does the job brilliantly.

While the motion sensor can alert you of motion, it can't show you that motion since there's no camera attached to this product. For that reason, I recommend adding this to smart homes that already use Ring products. In particular, smart homes with Ring cameras will benefit the most from this since it will illuminate a wide portion of a building or yard and can trigger camera recording with a Ring Protect plan.

There aren't many true alternatives that offer a 1:1 replacement for this product, which makes it even better since it's a more unique concept. Tying motion detection in with other devices in the Ring app is brilliant, and having a solar panel attached means you never have to worry about it once it's mounted. There's nothing quite like having that kind of peace of mind with a smart device.