There’s certainly something to be said for cleverly hiding an object in plain sight, but Panasonic’s new incognito wireless security cameras are camouflaged inside a conspicuously tall floor lamp that doesn’t really look like a floor lamp, inevitably leading to visitors taking a closer inspection to figure out what it is, and discovering its secret.
The shadeless lamps, available in shorter versions as well, are the latest addition to Panasonic’s HomeHawk line of smart monitoring devices. As lamps they’re questionably useful, shining a focused spot on the wall and ceiling, but fare slightly better as security cameras with a 140-degree field of view, 1080p video resolution, automatic motion detection, an always running buffer so that video ahead of a detected intrusion is recorded, and a light that turns on when the room is too dark to properly record what’s going on.
They look conspicuous, though, and don’t immediately stand out as lamps. More like an ultra-modern piece of art that people will poke at until they discover the camera. But for homeowners who aren’t trying to catch the babysitter stealing from the liquor cabinet, the covert nature of the lamp/cam combo is equally problematic. A highly visible and obvious security camera is often the most effective deterrent to crime, scaring off a perpetrator before they commit an illegal act. The HomeHawk Floor lamp won’t work like that either.
With a $250-$280 price tag for the tallest version, you’re better off putting your money towards something like Logitech’s Circle 2 which has a larger field of view, night vision recording capabilities, and a design that’s easy to mount high on a wall, or hide between the knick-knacks on a shelf.
Correction, August 15, 2:37 p.m. EST/EDT: A Panasonic representative has reached out to confirm that the HomeHawk floor lamp does include night vision capabilities for recording video in the dark, while its light can be set to optionally turn on when motion is detected. The lamp is also only available in one model but is adjustable between two, four, and six foot heights.