D-Link Outdoor Floodlight Camera Review (DCS-8630LH)

Outdoor security cameras are great for keeping tabs on activity in your yard, driveway, or any other area outside your home. In addition to recording events, the $149.99 D-Link Outdoor Floodlight Camera (DCS-8630LH) helps scare off unwanted visitors with its bright LED floodlight and loud warning siren. This rugged camera also supports voice control, works with a wide assortment of D-Link and third-party devices, and offers local and cloud video storage options. Although it was relatively easy to set up and produced colorful 1080p video in our tests, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera ($199.99) remains our Editors’ Choice winner because it offers better quality video (2K) and is battery operated, making it even easier to use.

Flexible storage, Zigbee support

The DCS-8630LH’s white housing sports an IP65 weatherproof rating that protects the camera from dust and rain. Including the swivel mount, the device measures 3.2 x 2.2 x 4.7 inches (HWD). A microSD card slot and a reset button hide behind a rubber cover at the bottom of the camera. A speaker for the siren is also next to the lid. The camera comes with a 23ft power cable.

D-Link DCS-8630LH camera Micro SD card slot

(Credit: D-Link)

The housing houses a camera lens, a passive infrared (PIR) motion sensor, two infrared LEDs for black-and-white night vision, a microphone for two-way audio, and a 400-lumen LED projector that enables nighttime video in color and keeps intruders away. The camera can send an alert when the microphone detects the sound of breaking glass. A 150-degree field of view captures wide-angle photos and video at 1080p (video is 30 fps). A 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radio and 100 dB siren are also under the hood.

You can store video recordings locally on a microSD card (up to 256 GB), but you must provide your own. Alternatively, you can configure the camera to store video in the cloud; you get one day of video history for one camera for free. For $2.49 per month, the basic plan gives you seven days of video history for up to three cameras. The Premium plan at $4.99 per month includes 14 days of video history for up to five cameras. Finally, the Pro plan at $9.99 per month gives you 30 days of history for up to 10 cameras.

The DCS-8630LH supports Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and works with many third-party smart devices via IFTTT. The camera also has a built-in Zigbee radio which allows it to pair with other D-Link devices such as door and window sensors, motion sensors, other cameras, smart plugs and sensors of water. However, it does not integrate with Apple’s HomeKit platform.

You can create rules that govern the behavior of the camera when triggered by something. For example, the camera can be configured to start recording and send a push alert when it detects sound or motion, or any disturbance from a person. Additionally, you can configure these events to trigger the camera’s siren and floodlight. Other D-Link devices can also trigger the camera, siren and floodlight.

The DCS-8630LH uses the same mobile app (available for Android and iOS) as other D-Link devices such as the DCH-S1621KT Water Sensor Kit and the DSP-W320 Smart Plug. It appears on the home screen under Cameras in a panel that shows the last image capture and has a View button that launches a live stream. At the bottom of the live streaming screen are buttons to mute the speaker, take a snapshot, manually record video, start two-way talk, activate the siren, toggle video quality (1080p or 720p), and power on. the projector. To view event records, tap the microSD card icon or the cloud icon.

mydlink app screens showing event log and device settings

(Credit: PCMag)

Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen to access the Device Settings screen. Here you can enable privacy mode, set motion and person detection zones, enable color or black and white night vision, set spotlight and siren timeouts, toggle the microphone, and configure anti-screening settings. flicker and Wi-Fi.

Tap the overflow menu in the top left corner of the home screen to create scenes that allow you to control multiple devices with a single touch, set up automations to make the camera work with other devices D -Link, create privacy mode schedules, add new devices, and configure Alexa and Google Assistant settings.

An almost transparent configuration

Installing the DCS-8630LH is easy, but if you don’t have an outdoor GFCI outlet near your desired installation location, you must plug the power cord into your home to power it. This could be a deciding factor for some.

To get started, I downloaded the mydlink app, created an account, and pressed Add Device when prompted (the app uses Bluetooth to automatically identify the camera). I scanned the installation guide QR code and followed the instructions to connect the camera to my home Wi-Fi network. After a few seconds, I had to give the camera a name before it automatically appeared in the app and on my Alexa device list. At this point, you can also add a designated phone number to call with just the press of a button if something triggers the camera.

Once the app setup was complete, I mounted the unit to a deck post in my yard with the included mounting screws and plugged it into a GFCI outlet.

Video feed from D-Link DCS-8630LH camera

(Credit: PCMag)

The DCS-8630LH delivered relatively crisp 1080p video in testing, though you can get much sharper video with the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight (2K) or Reolink E1 (2560 by 1920) camera. Either way, colors from the D-Link camera appear bright and saturated, with no signs of barrel or pincushion distortion. Color night video looks well-lit, with reasonably good color quality. Black-and-white night videos are crisp and well-lit, with good contrast. Conversations on the two-way system sound loud enough and without distortion.

Motion alerts came quickly in testing, with very few false triggers. The camera successfully identified motion events involving people and joined my privacy mode program without issue. The siren was loud and the floodlight brightly lit the area directly in front of the camera. I created a rule for the DHC-S163 water sensor to trigger the floodlight and siren when it detects water, and the automation worked perfectly. Additionally, the camera instantly responded to an Alexa voice command to display live video on an Amazon Echo Show device.

A serious competitor

The D-Link DCS-8630LH outdoor security camera offers a wealth of features for the price. You get color night vision, free (but limited) cloud storage, person alerts, and a full warning system with a floodlight and siren. It also delivered clear 1080p video recordings and crisp two-way audio communications during testing. Our main complaint is that it doesn’t support Apple HomeKit. For a little more money, we still recommend the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera more; it records stunning 2K video, supports many third-party platforms (including HomeKit), and installs easier thanks to its internal battery.

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