A stranger is approaching your door. You aren’t home, but your smartphone has sent you an alert before the doorbell is even touched. It’s showing you a live-feed of your front-porch. A microphone is allowing you to speak to your unsolicited guest. He wanders away but he’s still being recorded while he’s leaving.
This is the Kuna Light Fixture. It’s a home security product that transforms your traditional porch light into a camera with a built in microphone that allows you to speak or play prerecorded messages.
The camera uses both PIR motion sensor and computer vision to start detecting activity near the door 10-15 seconds before and after events, bringing notifications early enough for you to react.
Kuna has a smart light that can be set on schedule and turned on or off from the app on your phone.
It’s been built to withstand and resist outdoor temperatures and conditions in weather up to -40° and 131°
It comes in three styles: traditional, craftsman, and contemporary.
The product is designed to replace current light fixtures in a few easy steps. Simply take down the old fixture, connect Kuna to existing power wires, and mount Kuna to your junction box. A few extra, necessary tools and a detailed installation guide are included with purchase.
At first glance, Kuna sounds like a valuable option for home security, and an impressive concept — but the product has its share of problems.
You’ve Got to Pay to Play
To actually reap the benefits of Kuna, you have to purchase one of the premium security packages.
All Kunas come with a standard two-hour download and “look back” window. But on premium subscription plans, you can go back in time to access every single event that Kuna has captured for up to 30-days.
These plans provide subscribers exclusive benefits including: secure cloud storage, unlimited HD quality downloads, lifetime theft protection, priority support, and more.
- Essential Security – $4.99
- Peace of Mind – $9.99
- Absolute Control – $19.99
Packages are encouraged to purchased on an annual basis, to avoid a 33% price increase for month-to-month payments.
Wait, but isn’t home security more complicated than that?
Kuna is nice in theory, but its reality is flawed. Its lighting doesn’t assist the camera at night, and since there isn’t a night vision installation, it’s difficult to see.
The product only allows one live-viewer at a time — troublesome for families that seek to grant access to multiple people.
If you speak to someone at the door through the app, your side of the conversation is not recorded, so you can’t reference it when reviewing your history.
Common Customer Complaints include
- Often doesn’t work (camera stops detecting motion)
- Slow customer support
- False alarm frequently triggered
The Maximus Smart Security Light and Toucan Outdoor Wireless Security are both Kuna powered devices. Maximus is owned and managed by Kuna’s global manufacturing partner, and they are working to make the technology available more broadly. Currently there are no significant differences in the two products.
Kuna developers believes in IoT (Internet of Things) and connected smart home ecosystems. They have plans to integrate Kuna with other home automation products like Nest and Wink, and they plan to open the API so other developers can integrate Kuna as well, but it’s unclear when those efforts will actually take place.
Privacy is always a concern with products that record and store information, and Kuna does say data and recorded activity is protected by 128-bit AES encryption and bank-level SSL encryption.
Kuna doesn’t charge a cancellation fee for discontinuing.
Like other products we’ve reviewed — Kuna can be a neat addition to home security, but it doesn’t cover all of a homeowner’s needs for protection.
The price is steep for full packages, so if you don’t have a large amount of disposable income (even if you do) it’s much more cost-effective to purchase an all inclusive home security system.
Correction: May 18, 2016
An earlier version of this post believed that Kuna is intended to replace traditional front door light fixtures, but the product can be installed at any point of entry – side doors, back doors, and garage.