Finally Doing It–I’m Adding a Security Camera to My Front Porch

I’ve been thinking about adding a security camera to my front porch for a long, long time. Fortunately, I’ve never had a package or anything go missing from my porch, but a camera could come in handy for that, as well. The main reason I’ve been wishing to add a camera is in hopes of avoiding unnecessary interruptions. So often when I’m working in the office or somewhere in the house, I’ll hear the doorbell ring. I’ll stop what I’m doing and head for the front door only to discover it’s a company going door-to-door soliciting in the neighborhood. Arggg.

I always thought I’d have to hire a security company to give me the system I had in mind. What I envisioned was a setup where if I’m working at my desk and someone comes to the door, an image of the porch and the person would automatically appear on a monitor here on my desk. I thought without a monitor I’d have to log onto an app on my phone and click a bunch of buttons to see the porch. By then, the visitor would probably be long gone. (Photo below is from this previous post: Decorating the Porch for Christmas.)

Well, it turns out that’s not how it works at all–thankfully!

 

Yesterday when I was being driven home by the service I normally use when returning from the airport, my driver and I were discussing security. He excitedly shared how much he loves his Ring doorbell. I had heard of Ring but hadn’t really considered it since I didn’t think it would be sophisticated enough to do what I wanted.

Today, still thinking about our discussion, I decided to Google and read more about the Ring system. I discovered it’s much more sophisticated than I had thought. They have so many different systems, it took me a while to figure out which one to buy. I narrowed it down to two but was having trouble making a decision. I couldn’t decide if I wanted the Video Doorbell 2 that can be either battery operated or wired, or if I wanted to pay a little bit more and get the Video Doorbell Pro that is strictly hardwired.

I called Ring and talked with a super nice guy in their customer service who explained the differences/features of the two systems. I decided to go with the Video Doorbell Pro for two reasons: I will never have to have to worry about a dead battery, plus the representative said with the hardwired Video Doorbell Pro, I’d get a faster reaction and image display to my monitor/phone.

The Video Doorbell Pro can also be purchased along with a Chime, in case you don’t have a working doorbell. I didn’t need that since my doorbell works fine. I also didn’t need some of the other security features they offer since I have a great home security system that’s monitored 24/7.

 

But what about that desk monitor I wanted? What really convinced me to go ahead and give the Ring a try is when I saw how it works with Echo Spot/Alexa.

 

Plus, the Ring representative said the Ring app has a setting/option that will automatically wake your phone and display an image of what the camera is seeing when it detects movement coming toward your porch.

Ring Doorbell Monitoring via Phone

 

So I may not even need an Echo Spot since my phone is pretty much always right here on my desk whenever I’m working. Now that I think about it, I may want to put the Echo Spot downstairs so when I’m downstairs away from my phone, I can see who’s approaching my porch even though my phone is still upstairs.

 

I also love that you can actually talk to a person visiting your home. So if you’re away from your home and someone rings the bell, you can talk directly to them to see what they need or why they are visiting. They won’t even know you’re not home. Love that!

I’m going to attempt to install my Ring Doorbell myself since I installed my last doorbell and that worked out well. Hopefully, I remembered to label the switch in the electrical panel downstairs last time. It would save me a lot of running up and down the stairs this time if I did. lol

I am going to miss my cute pineapple doorbell, but the convenience and safety factor of the Ring doorbell is more important to me at this point.

 

You can read more about the Ring Doorbell I purchased where I purchased mine, here: Ring Doorbell Pro. There was a review there that gave me the chills. A guy said he felt like his Ring doorbell had already paid for itself not too long after he installed it. He said his phone lit up showing a guy approaching his door carrying a dark object down along his side. The guy walked up onto the front porch, stared straight at the Ring doorbell, turned around, walked back down the steps, got in his car and left. Creepy, huh? I wonder if the dark object was a crowbar.

You’ll find the Echo Spot I purchased as an additional display/monitor here: Echo Spot. Again, it’s not needed because your phone will alert you if someone visits your home. I just love the idea of having it downstairs since I usually leave my phone upstairs on my desk when I’m working in the kitchen or doing something else downstairs.

If I find I don’t need the Echo Spot, I may return it, although from all I’ve been reading, I may want an Echo Spot beside my bed to use as an alarm clock and for weather info when I’m getting dressed in the morning. It will also work with Audible, which would be great. Of course, it does a lot more, way too much to cover in this post.

 

The Ring Doorbell is supposed to arrive on Saturday, so I’ll try to install it this weekend. If I can’t do it for some reason, I’ll call an electrician I occasionally use for electrical work. Will let you know how it goes…very excited to get it up and running!

 

In Love With This Candle!

Oh, one more purchase I need to share…a few days ago while I was still in Ohio, I ordered one of the Woodwick Hearthwick candles that crackles like a nice, cozy fireplace. Oh, my gosh, I am IN LOVE!

My candle arrived today and I was so enamored, I placed it right in front of my keyboard so I could see and hear it while working. It sounds heavenly and smells divine! I love the sound of a crackling, wood-burning fireplace, it’s absolutely perfect for this time of year!

Woodwick Candle Sounds Like a Crackling Fire

 

I love woodsy or smoky scents when the weather turns cold, so the one I ordered was their “Fireside” scent here: Fireside Scent.  It’s also available here: Fireside Scent.

I enjoyed it so much today, I ordered three more scents to try, plus another one to give as a gift. I think they would make wonderful Christmas gifts for anyone who enjoys scented candles. I barely stopped myself from ordering more! I want to try all the scents, the names all sound wonderful! You can see all the other scents here: Woodwick Crackling Candles.

 

Anyone else love Hearthwick Candles as much as I do?

 

Update: You’ll find a small version of the WoodWick Fireside candle here: Woodwick Flickering Fireside Candle. I haven’t tried this size but it appears to have good reviews.

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Comments

  1. There are a lot of Youtube videos of that kind of doorbell camera showing porch pirates. One started running away and fell and broke her leg. It’s a real shame you have to get rid of that gorgeous pineapple doorbell. I have never seen one like that.

    • Porch Pirates…perfect name! When will they learn, crime does not pay.
      I know, that was one of the reasons I kept resisting going with a Ring, but the Ring Doorbell is supposed to be so easy to install and use that I couldn’t justify calling a security company and paying hundreds of dollars for a separate system that would probably be much more involved to monitor/use. We’ll see how it goes after I install it. looking forward to seeing how it works.

  2. I love my Ring doorbell. You could be at the doctor’s office, grocery store etc and still answer your door. Or at least see who is there..

    I think it is a great security feature.

  3. I’ve been toying for some time with purchasing the Ring doorbell. I can’t wait to see how you like yours. Like you, we haven’t had any packages stolen or mischief done, but in these days, you can’t be too careful. Our wired doorbell doesn’t work, so I suppose this could work for our doorbell, too. I wonder what it sounds like? I can’t wait to see your post telling us how this works for you!

    • I’ll let you know what I think about it, Martha after I get it installed and see how it works. Sounds like you’ll need the one with the chime.

  4. Susan,

    I discovered Woodwick candles a few years ago and they are my favorite brand to use. I love the sound they make like an actual crackling fireplace (especially since we don’t have a fireplace in our home) and they burn wonderfully even right down to the bottom of the jar (no waste). Fireside is my choice of scent as well. Love them!

    • I am obsessed with them! I can’t believe I’m just now finding them!
      I noticed exactly what you mentioned, Leslie. The Fireside one that I’ve been lighting full melts all of the wax all the way across the candle, so you don’t get that deep “well” in the center and a bunch of wasted wax. Even with really expensive, high-end candles, I’ve always ended up with a well in the center. I hope they never stop making these!

  5. I can’t wait to see if the installation is easy.
    It seems like a perfect answer monitor our houses.
    Keep us informed.
    Suzy

  6. This doorbell is amazing. What a comfort to see who is there, or even approaching the home. Plus conversing with someone when you are not even home and they wouldn’t know–mind blowing!!

  7. Kathleen Workman says:

    I love my Ring doorbell. I use it with my cell phone. It’s always with me or nearby. I especially like that I can have a conversation with the person at my door. It’s pretty sensitive, Susan, so if your street is close to your front porch, it may record the passing of school buses, especially if they stop next door. Doesn’t bother me. I am very ill, in bed most of the time now, and that’s my reality. I cannot get to the door anymore, so I give instructions re what to do to ensure my packages’ safety. All my regular delivery drivers, grocery included, know me from years of struggling to get to the door in my walker, much less lifting a large or heavy package or multiple packages inside. They all waited patiently for me and lifted the packages just inside my door where they stayed until my husband came home from work. Such wonderful people, extremely busy, but never unwilling to go the extra mile for their customers all year long. Our reality now has called for a different procedure and my regular drivers know it. However, this time of year lots of new, temporary drivers are hired, not knowing the procedure, so it’s a huge benefit to talk to those who ring my doorbell. And to visit with the neighborhood youngsters who ring the doorbell. It scares them at first to hear a voice, but usually my years of relating to youngsters helps me put them at ease, even perhaps the naughty ones! Then they are my heroes, protecting me. It also helps with stray or lost pets who activate the video. I feel so much more safe knowing I will always know when anyone approaches my front yard or driveway. It just happens that when we replaced our regular hard wired doorbell with the Ring that the position catches a broad swath of my front yard. I told my son, who bought it for me, that it’s one of the best things he’s ever done for me, besides come by for a short visit. He had it installed in just a few minutes, then set up the app on my and my husband’s phones.I can totally see why you, a professional working at home, or a busy mom or caretaker or someone working in the garage or back yard would love the Ring doorbell. I think it’s especially helpful if you have a multi-story home.
    Thank you so much, Susan for the helpful information you provide to us, your readers.You’ll never know just how many people you touch and make a positive difference in our lives. Consider me, sick, isolated, bed bound; you help me so much. Here’s just one way you make a difference in my life and help me remain capable. I cannot travel anymore, but my daughter-in-law loves to travel internationally and your travel tips have given me many ideas for gifts she loves! I shop online and please, surprise her. I love to do that and you make it possible. In this season of hope and love, it’s important to me to express my gratitude to those in my life who make a difference, so from this grateful reader, have a blessed holiday season, Susan, and know that your work blesses countless lives.

    • Kathleen, you yourself sound like an amazing person to know. And you taught your son well 😉

    • Dear Kathleen, I think I’m the one who is blessed by lovely dearhearts like you who stop and leave such lovely, inspiring comments! Thank you so much for your kind words! I know the others who read this post will feel so blessed when they read your comment, as well. Your words and your outlook on life are so inspiring and uplifting, so thank you for that! ♥

    • Kathleen, Susan is just like a friend to us all! Your comments hit the mark for me! I’m glad the Ring is helping you and keeping you in contact with what is going on around your home; sounds like Susan once again steered us to a good thing. I just ordered the candles! Merry Christmas and enjoy. (Yes, I’m a Kathleen)

    • What a lovely sentiment, Kathleen. I know it means a lot to Susan. She has created such a warm place here, it’s like we have our own little community of kindred spirits.

      I’m sorry about your situation, Kathleen. You attitude is inspiring. And it’s clear that being the kind lady you are has inspired all the various people in your life to return your respect and kindness. I hope you have a joyful Christmas season. God bless you, dear.

  8. I too have been considering getting the Ring doorbell. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. You always have such great ideas! I love reading about your travels and I have just booked a trip to Egypt for my son and I!! I am re-reading your posts about that trip and find them very informative and helpful. We will go in March 2019 during his Spring break from college. Can’t wait!

    • How exciting! Oh, I would love to travel with my son…I should have done that during his summer breaks in college. Donna, I’m sure I’ll be sharing another post or two about that trip before you leave, so keep an eye for those. I just need to find the time to go through all the photos I took. That may not happen until after Christmas.

  9. We have the Ring doorbell and just love it! So nice to see what is happening on your porch or front yard whether you are home or away on vacation. My daughter got one and installed it herself also. She was certainly correct that it is great to have for security and easy to install.

    • I’m super excited for it to get here so I can see how it works. Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoy yours, Linda! That’s encouraging to know your daughter was able to install her’s with no problem.

  10. My brother and sister-in-law who live in Houston have a Ring doorbell which they like. Late one night shortly after they got it they were in bed and the phone app notified them of motion on their front porch. The camera showed what appeared to be a huge snake head. Turns out a tiny gecko lives near their porch and periodically pops his head around as he perches on the bell. It happened while they were staying with us this summer so I got to see the really scary looking little fellow.

  11. I’ve been curious about the commercials for the Ring so will look forward to how it all works out. I have a front door but everyone comes to the back (live out in the country). A lot of times delivery guys are lazy and throw my packages over the front gate down at the road. Of course, after reading about the candles and checking your link, I decided to use my $45 Kohl’s cash (the most ridiculous idea which just makes you spend more money). I did find the candles 17.2 oz flickering fireside with 20% off. I had free shipping if I spent $25, but of course when I put my cash down I had to spend some more to get back free shipping. All in all I bought 4 candles! Looking forward to the crackle! Thanks, Susan.

    • I hope you love them as much as I love this one. I love the “bowl” they come in. It has the prettiest wooden lid. I’m going to definitely keep it once the candle is gone…will be pretty to store things in on a vanity, I think. What scents did you buy? Today I ordered the Frasier Fir scent, The Woven Comforts Trilogy and two more of the Fireside candles…one as a gift.

    • Kathleen, when the 17.2 oz ones you ordered come, let me know how they sound and work. I’ve only tried the larger candle with the really long wick so far, so would be curious how those sound. Looks like they have good reviews, so that’s good!

  12. Gosh, Susan, you always have the best information to share! Merry Christmas!

  13. We have had this for a while and my husband often plays pranks with us, sending the family funny film clips of us coming to the door. Last week my husband got pranked. While we were vacationing, my son came to our house and put a leaf on the doorbell. Every time the wind blew, the leaf moved and my husband was getting non-stop notifications. I share this to say…Ring works!

  14. Ring is an awesome product! I live in FL and my daughter who lives in VA travels often so she shares hers with me so I can monitor any motion detected on her front porch on my phone and act accordingly IF necessary.

    I don’t think you will need the Echo Smart if you keep your phone nearby which alerts you immediately of any motion detected where your Ring is located.
    It will show up on my Apple Watch as well but you get a better view on your phone screen.

  15. Susan, glad you got a Ring Doorbell, we got our son the lower priced $99 model and it was great, he wired with his existing doorbell and gets the ring from that; we got the same model and did not wire with a doorbell and it rings on the iPhone and iPad……even when we were in Italy, which was great; had a lot of fun when my wife was walking the dog and she had never seen it in use and I used the two way video/audio communication even when I was out of town to tell her hello. I think monitoring after test period is like $30/year; all positive, great product for us; some great pricing for Christmas on Amazon for this product.

  16. I get my Woodwick candles at home goods. The size you have is $9.99 and the smaller two wick size is $6.99. Sometimes you have to shuffle through the assortment to find the wooden lids with WW on the top, but I usually buy all I can find that have a good scent. I love the little crackling sounds that you don’t get with a gas fireplace.

  17. Erica McNeil says:

    Love my Ring – I have a Pro Doorbell and 2 Floodlight Cams. I installed them all and it was super easy – they have a video that walks you through it – you can do it!

  18. Your “enthusiasm” is…catching!! On my way to “google” now…franki

  19. Cyndi Raines says:

    Eager to see your follow-up post on the Ring. Great information. Thanks! Will have to look for that candle too. Hehe

  20. We have had a Ring for 2 years. We spend summers in San Diego so I use it a lot to see what’s up in our Tempe residence. Our 3 year old neighbor rings it to say Hi Miss Dot and I can see if packages are on the porch etc.

    My husband is wheelchair bound so if I’m doing errands I can see who is at the door give directions. It’s really wonderful all the ways it is helpful.

  21. Dear Susan,
    I have wondered what happens if someone decides to remove (tear off) the doorbell. It looks like it could be done. Would it be best to install the Ring apparatus in a place that could normally not be reached?

  22. We have this system and have cameras at all entrances. Worth the money! I can look on phone at any time to see what is going on at home. It’s a great comfort having the system.

  23. My son bought me one of the Woodwick candles for Christmas last year because he knows I love the sound of a crackling fire. It was a Christmasy sent, can’t remember the name because I burned through it like crazy! I have no fireplace (yet!) and will even put one of the yule log videos on tv as I work around the house just to have that wonderful sound. I’m curious to see how easy/difficult you find installing the Ring doorbell, as I have been considering one. I installed my own decorative doorbell and would hate to lose it, but the tradeoff seems worth it.

  24. Good for you, Susan! We were burglarized Aug 2o17 after living safely in this neighborhood 18 years! So we bought the Ring Pro and LOVE IT! Just this last weekend, we installed another Ring Camera/Motion Detector light above the garage which is at the rear of our home, accessed via the alley. It is just excellent. They have some many great products that will cover every need, it seems. We ordered ours through our Amazon Prime account, but I understand that directly through Ring’s website they even offer no-interest financing for people who need that option. An excellent company with an excellent product. I installed our Ring Pro myself and it was a piece of cake. You will have no problem at all, Susan!

  25. Hi Susan,
    You’re the best personal shopper for all of us out here — Kathleen’s post was a joy and blessing to read.
    We’ve had a kick-up of property crime in our area, all over, in the last year or so (Dallas-Ft. Worth), lots of posts on Nextdoor about stolen packages, attempted break-ins, and what have you. Hubs and I, and some of our friends, have decided to get monitored doorbells but didn’t know where to start, really. So you’ve done all the legwork for us! Gosh, I want to send you a Christmas present in return!
    Thanks so much, Susan, for all the years of beautiful and helpful blogposts. We love you.

    • Thanks so much, Marlene…appreciate those sweet words! I love you guys! I love blogging so it’s a joy for me to share the things I hope will prove helpful. I’ve heard/read so many good things about the Ring system and it appears from the comments here that’s it super easy to install. I can’t wait to get mine installed and start using it. I’ll try to do a post sharing the install process, too.

  26. I installed security cameras around the perimeter of my house about five years ago, and I couldn’t be happier.

  27. Judy MacDonald says:

    I’m so anxious to hear how your Ring installation went. We’ve been thinking of getting one and we’re electrically challenged.

    • It will arrive on Saturday and I’ll be installing it this weekend. I’ll be sure to do a post and share that. Hopefully, it will be an easy install. Thanks, Judy!

  28. Vanessa in Atlanta says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am so glad that you are getting the Ring Doorbell! We have it as well as the floodlight motion activated cameras. We also have a security system with interior and exterior perimeter cameras. We have a keypad entrance to our front door and all of these are accessed through our cell phones. We can remotely speak to people at our doors and unlock and lock our doors and also activate/deactivate our security system through our cell phones. I love that activity is recorded and that there is a neighborhood vicinity activity sharing feature.

    A funny story; while standing in line getting ready to board a plane at the Atlanta airport my Ring doorbell app went off indicating someone was at my front door. I spoke to the uninvited “salespersons” who looked a little suspicious to me and let them know I was “upstairs bathing my children and couldn’t come to the door” which was a complete lie. The “visitors” left right away. Of course, other passengers were so intrigued and I believe I sold several Ring doorbells that day!

    We do play around with our Ring app settings from time to time and presently have changed our ring tone to holiday music! Fun!

    Thank you for sharing the candle information! You have the best tips on items!

    Kind regards.

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