Lorex vs. Night Owl Security Cameras

Compare the Lorex Wireless 2K and Night Owl Wired Bullet cameras.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jun 30, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Jun 30, 2021
Lorex vs Night Owl

Lorex 4 Super HD 2K Camera System

  • $349.99 two-camera system
  • 2K video resolution
  • Color and infrared night vision
Editor's Rating
8.2
/10

Night Owl

  • Works in temperatures from 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Included one TB hard drive
  • Works with Google Assistant
Editor's Rating
7.5
/10

Lorex and Night Owl are two smart security camera brands that you might see at your local big-box store. Of course, when it comes to protecting your home, you don’t want to take any chances, which is why we put Lorex and Night Owl head to head.

Specifically, we tested out the Lorex Wireless 2K Camera and compared it to the Night Owl Wired Bullet Camera. Although both are outdoor security cameras (which you can use indoors or outdoors), they have way more differences than similarities. Which one is right for you?

Unboxing the Night Owl

Night Owl isn’t a brand we’ve tested much of, aside from this XHD301-84-B system. Of course, pictures tell a thousand words, so we decided to show our unboxing of this four-camera system.

How They’re Similar

There’s a bit of overlap between the two cameras, “bit” being the keyword here.

Outdoor Durability

Both are outdoor cameras with IP ratings of 65. What does that mean? Well, the 6 indicates that the cameras are completely dust-tight and impervious to solids, while the 5 means that they can handle water jets projected by nozzles of 6.3 mm and below.1 This is the standard we look for when we install security cameras outside and should work for most climates.

Infrared and Color Night Vision

Both cameras work at night and can show you images in black and white or in color. Cameras with infrared night vision are our favorite, because we like seeing our front steps without anyone knowing we’re watching, given we’ve hidden our outdoor cameras.

No Cloud Storage

Neither camera offers cloud storage; rather, they both come with local storage devices, which we’ll detail in a bit. Of course, you can always upload the local storage onto a cloud server, but you’ll need to do that manually on your own time.

Google Assistant Integrations

Both cameras work with Google Assistant, so we commanded them using our voices alone. If you use a Google Home security system, either camera will integrate nicely. Here’s how we commanded each camera:

Lorex

  • Hey Google, turn the camera off.
  • Hey Google, show the backyard camera.
  • OK Google, turn on the camera.
  • Hey Google, is the living room camera on?

Night Owl

  • Hey Google, talk to Night Owl Connect.
  • OK Google, ask Night Owl Connect to start.
  • OK Google, ask Night Owl Connect about the backyard camera.

Although both cameras work with Google Assistant, Lorex has more capabilities, like turning the camera on and off. As we’ll detail below, Lorex is a better camera for smart homes in general, with four more integrations than Night Owl.

Self-Monitoring

Neither Lorex nor Night Owl offers 24/7 professional monitoring for any of their cameras, so if you want self-monitored home security, either camera will work. We paid no monthly fees for our home security, making it very affordable.

DIY Installation

We installed both cameras ourselves, a process known as do-it-yourself or DIY home security installation. Lorex was definitely easier, being wireless; all we had to do was place the camera outside and plug it in inside our home, whereas there were more cables involved with the Night Owl Wired Bullet Camera, which includes a bulky hard drive.

How They’re Different

Just because you can buy Lorex and Night Owl in the same stores doesn’t mean they’re equal; it’s quite the opposite, actually.

Video Resolution

While the Night Owl Wired Bullet Camera has 1080p HD video resolution, the current standard for the industry, the Lorex camera takes it a step further with 2K resolution. More pixels mean a clearer image, which could come in handy during a criminal investigation.

Fields of View

Lorex also has higher-quality video in terms of the field of view — 140 degrees to Night Owl’s 120 (180 degrees being the maximum). The wider the field of view, the more we can see out of a single camera.

Two-Way Audio

The 2K camera has speakers and microphones, which meant that we could speak to people through the camera and our mobile app. These conversations couldn’t happen with the Night Owl — a definite drawback.

Amount of Local Storage

With any security cameras, you want video recording onto both cloud and local storage, ideally. Although both camera packages included local storage, they came in different sizes and forms. The Night Owl Wired Bullet Camera came with a 1 TB hard drive, while the Lorex 2K came with a 32 GB micro-SD card.

We did the math, and that’s 32 times more storage with the Night Owl camera. However, the Lorex 2K is compatible with micro-SD cards of up to 256 GB, making the Night Owl storage only four times as large. Bottom line: If you want more local storage, go with Night Owl.

FYI: One terabyte (TB) can hold anywhere from 250 to 500 movies, depending on their lengths.2

Alexa, Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, and Apple TV Integrations

Smart platform Lorex Wireless 2K Camera Night Owl Wired Bullet Camera
Google Assistant Yes Yes
Alexa No Yes
Apple TV No Yes
Chromecast No Yes
Fire TV Stick No Yes

Back on the Lorex train, Lorex works with the voice assistant Alexa, not just Google Assistant. With Alexa, we commanded the camera to:

  • Show us live feeds.
  • Stop live feeds.

Sure, this wasn’t too comprehensive of an integration, but it’s better than nothing for those with Alexa-compatible surveillance systems. Not to mention that if you have a Fire TV Stick, a Chromecast, or Apple TV, you’ll love watching your Lorex footage on the big (well, bigger) screen. It’s not often you get Apple-compatible security camera systems, in particular!

TIP: If you’re not on your home network and you want to use your Fire TV Stick, use a VPN for the Fire TV Stick. Learn how to set up a VPN on the FireStick.

Person Detection

Another win for Lorex is the fact that it has artificial intelligence, meaning it can differentiate people from other moving objects. Let’s be honest: Our phone bugs us enough times a day without notifying us every time the wind blows. With Night Owl, we got a ton of unnecessary notifications, but Lorex only let us know when it detected people. So, while both cameras are motion-activated, their motion detection differs a lot.

Hub

The Lorex Wireless 2K Camera comes with a hub, while the Night Owl does not (although you can’t forget about that bulky 1 TB hard drive). However, installing the hub was as easy as plugging it in, so we wouldn’t let it sway you from using Lorex.

Apps

We controlled both our Lorex and Night Owl cameras through their mobile apps, but Lorex gave us more capabilities, from speaking through two-way audio to creating more smart home integrations. As for the quality, Lorex Home was much less buggy than the Night Owl X app when we tested it, both on our iPhone and our Android.

App Night Owl X Lorex Home
iOS rating 1.6 4.7
Android rating 2 4.4
Average 1.8 4.55

Power Source

One major difference between the cameras is the fact that the Lorex camera is wireless, while the Night Owl bullet camera is not. Rather, the Night Owl came with:

  • One power adapter
  • Four cables
  • One four-way camera power splitter

If you’d like an outdoor wireless camera, go with Lorex. However, if you prefer hardwired home security to wireless home security, Night Owl might be a better option.

Pricing and Packages

Although both the Night Owl four-camera kit and the Lorex two-camera kit cost the same amount ($349.99), what you get with each system differs. Technically, the Night Owl is 50 percent cheaper per camera, giving you more bang for your buck if you want a security system for a large home.

Number of Lorex 2K Wireless Cameras Number of Lorex Video Doorbells Price
2 0 $349.99
2 1 $449.99
3 1 $599.99

That being said, Lorex has a deal with the Lorex Video Doorbell (learn about it in our Lorex Video Doorbell review). If you buy the 2K camera with the doorbell, you can get some discounts. Learn more about Lorex camera costs, Lorex Video Doorbell costs, and Lorex Black Friday camera deals if you’re looking for security camera deals, security camera Black Friday deals, or doorbell camera Black Friday deals.

Privacy Zones

While using a security camera is legal, if your outdoor camera views part of your neighbor’s property, you could be breaking state or local laws. Many security cameras have solved this problem with activity zones or, as Lorex calls them, privacy zones.

To use this feature, we went into the Lorex Home app and drew an outline of our property so that the camera would only track what’s ours. Not only did this protect us from accidentally spying, but it also led to fewer notifications. We don’t care when someone’s on our neighbor’s stoop, but we certainly care when they’re loitering on ours!

Lorex App Motion Zones
Lorex App Motion Zones

Which One Should You Choose?

If we had to choose one, we’d buy the Lorex Wireless 2K Camera over the Night Owl Wired Bullet Camera. It’s wireless with person detection, more smart home integrations, and a much better app. However, the Night Owl may be better for some people, so we broke it down below.

You should pick the Lorex 2K Wireless Camera if you’d like:
  • Wireless setup
  • 2K video
  • A 140-degree field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • Integrations with Alexa, Chromecast, Apple TV, and the Fire TV Stick
  • An easy-to-use app for iOS and Android
But go with the Night Owl Wired Bullet Camera if you are looking for:
  • Lower prices per camera
  • 1 TB of local storage

A camera company similar to Night Owl is Swann. We stacked it up against Lorex in our Lorex vs. Swann comparison; we also compared Lorex vs. Ring, Lorex vs. Reolink, and Lorex vs. Arlo. But if big-box cameras aren’t right for you, we’d recommend starting with our list of the best security cameras.

Want to learn more about cameras in general? Read about how wireless security cameras work, how much security cameras cost, and whether wireless security cameras need the internet. It’s been proven that home security cameras deter crime, so check out our security camera guide for a complete list of what to look for.

Citations
  1. IEC. IP ratings.
    iec.ch/ip-ratings

  2. The Information Umbrella. A Terabyte of Storage Space: How Much is Too Much?
    aimblog.uoregon.edu/2014/07/08/a-terabyte-of-storage-space-how-much-is-too-much/