Ring Solar Steplight review: Bigger, better, brighter

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An integrated solar panel keeps the battery in this smart lighting device perpetually topped off.
The second generation of Ring's smart lighting products deliver a critical new feature: Solar panels that keep their batteries charged. That perpetual source of energy means you no longer need to buy disposable batteries, but it's not the only manner in which the Solar Steplight is better than the original. The new version is bigger, brighter, and it packs more features, too.

I criticized the Ring Steplight Battery for being expensive if you don't already have the $50 Ring Bridge, and that's true here, too. In fact, the Solar version costs $5 more than the old version: $29.99 versus $24.99 for the original. That added cost, however, is instantly offset because you don't need to buy batteries (and in my experience with the original, I've had to do that about every six months).

This review is part of TechHive's coverage of the best smart lighting where you'll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer's guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

If you want one and don't already have the bridge that's needed to connect Ring's smart lighting products to your Wi-Fi network, I recommend buying the two-pack of Solar Steplights that includes the bridge. That bundle was selling on for $79.99 on Amazon as of this writing, saving you $30 over the cost of buying the three components individually—you're essentially getting the second steplight for free. It would be great if Ring offered discounts on purchases of multiple steplights—with or without the bridge—since many people will need to illuminate more than one step. Alas, they don't.

Michael Brown / IDG The new Ring Solar Steplight casts a large pool of bright light that can help ensure you don't trip on a step.

Starter kit Ring Smart Lighting Solar Steplight (two-pack starter kit)

Bigger and brighter

The Solar Steplight is slightly larger than the battery-powered original, mostly on its top where the solar panel is installed (it measures 3.43 x 2.19 x 4.0 inches, compared to the Steplight…
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