Netgear is adding to its Arlo brand of security products with a new smart outdoor security light that can be triggered by motion.

Lights might not seem like a super high-tech product, but they represent part of a larger opportunity for Netgear. The company grew up making switches and routers, but it is now broadening its reach to the internet of things, or making everyday products smart and connected. Netgear CEO Patrick Lo and his executives talked about the opportunity as they made the lighting announcement at the company’s annual analyst meeting at Netgear’s headquarters in San Jose, California on Wednesday.

Certainly, some consumers feel that they don’t need smart lights. But a quarter of Americans have home security devices now, and more want to install them. When you think about it, security cameras are more useful at night when criminals are more likely to be out and about. But if you take poorly lit night footage with a basic motion-activated security camera, the video may not be of sufficient quality to help you identify anyone.

Above: Netgear CEO Patrick Lo (with arms spread) at the company’s annual analyst meeting in 2017.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

With the Arlo Smart Security Light, the lights will activate as soon as motion is detected, which means the smart camera can start recording the event with better lighting. The lights can be connected to the same smartphone app that sends you alerts when the cameras detect motion. You can set the alerts so that one is only sent if someone steps through a door of the house or there is motion in a particular area in the larger scene.

The battery-operated smart light products will debut early next year, possibly by March. Pricing hasn’t been set yet. Arlo product head Pat Collins said the company considered putting the lights directly into the cameras, but customers wanted more flexible light placement. On top of that, the cameras’ battery life would be impacted by the addition of a light, Lo said.

The lights are weather-resistant, easily mounted, and have rechargeable batteries.

“It’s a natural transition for us, and the wireless lights give customers a lot more flexibility in where to put their security lights,” Collins said.

The Arlo product line is an important one for Netgear, as it has allowed the company to expand beyond its switching and routing products. Netgear has shipped more than 5 million of the cameras since 2014, and users are viewing more than 43 million video streams every day. The Orbi mesh Wi-Fi router extenders have also helped the company introduce a new premium brand for high-quality Wi-Fi, Lo said.

Above: Arlo smart light products.

Image Credit: Netgear

Arlo, in particular, can be extended to introduce products that go beyond home security cameras and lighting, Lo said. Netgear currently has about 41 percent of the U.S. market for internet-based security cameras, and it has built that position since entering the market in 2014. It gained its advantage primarily by introducing wireless security cameras in 2016. The wireless technology makes it a lot easier to install cameras outside of the home, Collins said.

“We are smaller and nimbler, but over the last 20 years we built a marquee brand in Netgear,” Lo said.

In October, Netgear introduced its latest Arlo Pro 2 cameras with 1080p video and the ability to limit alerts based on motion detected in certain zones. Collins said the company will extend that with new Arlo services in the spring. These services will include cloud storage, instant camera live views, emergency call dialing, and person-detection notifications and will be available for a premium fee.

Rivals in the camera business include Nest, Samsung, Night Owl, Ring, Lorex, Swann, Canary, and DPS.

“You can paint a zone to detect movement only when someone walks through a door,” (as opposed to when a dog walks by the door, for example), Collins said. “We are excited about these new services.”

Chief financial officer Christine Gorjanc said that the IP camera market is growing faster than expected and that the Arlo line will become a bigger part of growth and revenues over time. It will also help the company meet its goal of 10 percent revenue growth per year.