What Is Kuna?

Published on: Mar 24, 2017

Kuna’s proprietary technology powers a line of outdoor home HD security cameras and smart lights that can help you prevent break-ins and can be controlled anywhere from your phone.

Whether it’s your front door, back door, or side entrance, Kuna provides a live video feed that helps you keep an eye on your house, your pets, and your vacation home or small business, and can even alert you when family comes home—regardless if it’s day or night.

Once an activity is detected, Kuna will send advanced alerts that allow you to decide how to respond, whether it's playing a pre-recorded message, speaking with the visitor, sounding an alarm, or calling the police. All video recordings are stored in a secure cloud for later viewing.

You want peace of mind, but you also want to make sure you’re getting the most value from all your purchases. From this perspective, does Kuna offer everything you need, or should you consider the competition?

Let’s start off by taking a look at Kuna’s lineup.

Which Products Does Kuna’s Technology Power?

All Kuna-powered devices come with standard features like:

  • 720p, 116-degree angle camera (manually-adjustable up to 40 degrees left-right, up-down)
  • Full-color video that uses the light bulb for nighttime illumination
  • Two-way intercom
  • 100+ decibel siren
  • Passive infrared sensor that detects change in motion
  • Weatherproof design (Rated IP44 for snow, rain, and humidity)
  • Continuous power, so there’s no need to replace batteries
  • 15-min installation
  • The ability to automatically play a pre-recorded message or chime as soon as someone is detected (optional)
  • Ignores trees and small animals, and will learn and get smarter over time
  • Records 10 seconds before an event is triggered and you’re notified
  • No limit on the number of cloud recordings
  • 2-hour “lookback” window for captured events, as well as three downloads per month

In order to view the video transmitted by your Kuna product, you’ll need to connect to a Wi-Fi signal. This then feeds the information to your device.

Kuna’s smart lighting products also integrate with Alexa, although as of this writing, the only skill you could create was turning all connected lights on or off at the same time.

With these similarities in mind, let’s take a look at some of the meaningful differences between Kuna’s products.

Toucan Surveillance Kit

Instead of a standalone unit, Kuna’s Toucan Surveillance Kit pairs a smart socket USB adapter with a USB powered HD camera that retrofits into your existing outdoor light. The website claims the process works over three steps:

  1. Install the Smart Socket by screwing it in like you would any standard light bulb.
  2. Connect the camera’s USB cable.
  3. Pair with smart device.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that Toucan’s smart socket appears to add about two inches to the overall length of the light bulb, so you might want to make sure that your existing light can accommodate this extra length.

Kuna’s Toucan Surveillance KitKuna’s Toucan Surveillance Kit works with your existing outdoor lighting to add security functionality. Image credit: Kuna Systems

Maximus Smart Security Light

Instead of a retrofit device, Kuna’s Maximus Security Light features a smart Wi-Fi camera built into an elegant outdoor light fixture. The company’s website tells us you just have to replace your old light fixture and use the existing wires, making it ideal for the front door, back door, and garage areas.

In order to match different decors, Maximus is available in Craftsman, Traditional, Contemporary, and Coach designs.

Kuna’s Maximus Security LightKuna’s standalone Maximus Security Light replaces your existing light and is available in a variety of designs. Image credit: Kuna Systems

Maximus Companion Light

In a nutshell, Kuna’s Companion lights are designed to look exactly like their Maximus brethren, but without the functionality of a camera or two-way intercom. They sync with Maximus via Bluetooth and turn on and off at the same time.

Kuna Companion Craftsman BronzeAs you can see, Kuna’s Companion lights are designed to match their Maximus lights, without a camera or intercom. Image credit: Kuna Systems

How Does Kuna’s App Work?

Kuna’s app is where all the heavy lifting is done, including receiving notifications, viewing the live HD video feed, play an automatic greeting, speak to the person at the door, call 911, blast the siren, and interact with Alexa.

Inside the app, you can also download and share videos, adjust the motion detection sensitivity, change light settings, and turn off notifications.

In order to use Kuna, you’ll need to own an iOS device running iOS7 and above (iPhone 4S and above and iPads enabled with Bluetooth 4 capability), or an Android device supporting Bluetooth LE: 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and above.

Kuna’s appAmong other features, Kuna’s app provides a timeline view showing recent events and their video clips. Image credit: Kuna Systems

How much will this technology cost you?

How Much Do Kuna Smart Security Devices Cost?

Kuna’s devices, which are currently only supported in the US and Canada, are priced as follows, including free shipping:

  • Toucan Surveillance Kit: $149.99
  • Maximus Smart Security Light: $179
  • Companion: $70

Kuna’s lights can also be purchased online and locally at retailers like Amazon.com, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Walmart (in some instances, for less).

It’s important to point out that, if you’re looking to download more than three videos per month, or to review, rewind, and download for up to 30 days (versus two hours), you’ll have to sign up for Kuna’s Premium Plan at $4.99-29.99/mo, depending on the number of devices and whether you choose to pay monthly or annually.

With the Premium Plan, you’ll also gain access to lifetime theft protection, priority support, and 5%-15% discounts off future device purchases. There are no contracts or hidden fees, and you can cancel at any time.

All Kuna-powered products come with a 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H charges, along with a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship when used normally.

Support can be reached at (888) 804-5862 or support@getkuna.com.

Do Kuna Light Products Come With Positive Customer Reviews?

On Amazon, Kuna’s Maximus light had well over 600 customer reviews and an average rating of four stars at the time of our research. There, most compliments related to ease of installation, quality audio and video, the lack of batteries and cords, and its intuitive app.

Several common complaints referenced less-than-stellar nighttime picture (usually related to excessive glare), along with a delay seeing who’s there (often accompanied by a black picture lasting for several seconds) when going to live mode in the app. More than one also complained about the $60/year cloud fee for improved functionality.

On both iTunes and Google Play, Kuna Smart Home Security’s app had an average rating of three stars. Many claimed to have experienced ease of use and solid functionality, while others reported laggy video, delayed notifications, and bugginess.

As a company, Kuna Systems, based out of San Bruno, CA, was co-founded in 2012 by CEO Sai-Wai Fu and CTO Haomiao Huang.

Sai-Wai previously founded YesVideo, and Haomiao has extensive experience in robotics, computer vision, machine learning, and sensor networks.

From a professional perspective, Kuna’s Security Light received 3.5-star average ratings from CNET, Tech Hive, ASecureCam.com, as well as PC Mag.

Most of these popular media outlets reported that the Kuna Security Light looked nice, was easy to install and use, delivered sharp HD video and motion-activated recording, clear two-way audio, and an intuitive app.

In short, many recommended it if you’re looking for a no-hassle way to keep a closer eye on unexpected visitors.

On the other hand, common complaints were the lack of dedicated night vision that didn’t always capture low-light conditions well. Similarly, A Secure Cam noted that Kuna’s lack of WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) means that some users might lose picture quality if their porch is shaded while their walkway is sunny.

Pro tip: Remember the glare we just talked about? According to Tech Hive, “the company recommends using either a LED or a CFL bulb with a maximum brightness of 800 lumens to eliminate glare on the camera lens.”

Another concern was the ongoing cost of cloud storage, especially if you own multiple Kuna cameras, along with the fact that it doesn’t feature an IFTTT channel to work with other smart home products.

Speaking of which, are there any other products competing in the same space as Kuna?

Kuna vs. Ring & Other Porch Light Security Cameras

When it comes to easy-to-install, motion-activated entry cameras, there’s probably no more popular current option than Ring Doorbell. As a result, Kuna often gets lumped into the same category—but the reality is that there are some meaningful differences.

First, the similarities: Both Kuna and Ring offer 720p HD cameras with motion detection, weather-resistant construction, and cloud video access; send push notifications, and are priced between $179 and $199.

However, Kuna also offers on-demand video, a siren, and the ability to play a pre-recorded message or chime as soon as someone is detected.

Ring can detect motion up to 30 feet away (with editable zones), features an 180-degree view (versus Kuna's 116 degrees), and connects to Phones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, and any Windows 10 computer (compared to Kuna’s iOS and Android-only capabilities).

Outside of these, you won’t find any other comparable devices that feature motion-activated recording, HD video, two-way communication, and cloud storage.

With this said, there are some close competitors like the Skybell Video Doorbell (video only), Nest Outdoor Cam (more involved installation w/exposed wiring), as well as Vivint (requires additional hardware and a contract).

We’ve certainly covered a lot of territory, so let’s wrap everything up.

What’s the Bottom Line About Kuna?

Not too long ago, if you wanted a basic front door camera with motion-activation and two-way audio, it might’ve cost you thousands of dollars and dozens of hours in labor. Today, however, an increasing number of all-in-one, set-it-and-forget-it home automation solutions are entering the market.

Not just front door cameras like Kuna, but also interior home security systems like Blink and Angee, lighting like Emberlight and SVET, Wi-Fi systems like Luma and Amplifi, and even air sensors like uHoo and Awair.

Products like these have made it easier than ever for even the least tech-savvy among us to enjoy all the benefits that home automation can offer. And they largely seem to do it very well.

Based on customer feedback for these plug-and-play devices—Kuna included—though, it seems like you might trade a lot of customization for these systems. As a result, they might not be ideal if you’re an advanced home automation enthusiast who’s used to testing the limits of their electronics.

Just keep in mind that the performance of systems like Kuna is almost wholly depending on your Wi-Fi connection, which might not always be strongest by your front door. If this is the case, you might need to invest in a signal booster.

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4 Consumer Reviews for Kuna

Average Consumer Rating: 2.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  3
Bottom Line: 25% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-4 of 4
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Awful customer service, wish I bought Ring instead

    • Lincoln University, PA,
    • Mar 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered a Kuna security light and a companion light, one for each side of my front door. The disappointment started immediately. When the items were removed from the shipping box, I noticed the companion light was not sealed like the security light was. It is never a good sign to receive an open box. Upon further inspection, the LED bulb was missing from the companion. I notified Kuna and was told that they don't ship bulbs with companion lights. Funny, since the "package contents" page in the instruction manual indicates one is included. I guess that is a misprint. I scanned the page and sent it along with a reply, which has gone unanswered. I would have posted the scan here as proof if I could.

    As for the security light. The view angle isn't very good. I have it angled as far down and toward the door as it will go and you cannot see the person standing in front of the door. Sensitivity is not very good either. I have it set to max. If you go out the door, it usually picks you up. If you approach the house and enter the front door, it usually does not detect you. Kind of the opposite of how I would like it to work. I'm going to move it to the other side this weekend to see if that improves things.

    Reply from Kuna regarding the bulb:

    Customer Support (Kuna)

    Feb 26, 19:01 PST

    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out and letting us know about this. The Companion light does not actually come with a bulb just the Smart Security Lights.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Bests,

    Marvin

    Kuna support Team

    -Customer Support

    Kuna Support

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Solid, reliable light...if you have decent WiFi.

    • Connecticut,
    • Jan 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It took me 10 minutes to install and connect the security light.

    It has worked reliably, as long as my ISP doesn't fail. Every time I've had a problem with my Kuna product, it has been because my ISP wasn't providing service.

    I also have a really good WiFi router and a few extenders. I wager every crappy review that complains about dropoff is someone with bad or slow service or subpar modems.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Would have been better off buying a decoy camera

    • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,
    • Dec 15, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This camera is mounted on my garage, and it rarely works. It was constantly "loading" and fails to upload video. I rarely get to see a live feed, and any sort of notification I do manage to get is so delayed that any intruder would be long gone. The picture quality is also very poor, so it is difficult to make out a face or license plate number. The only plus is that it chimes, letting people know that there is a camera present. I think a decoy camera would be been a better choice than this product. Without paying for the premium package, any recordings are deleted after two hours. Paying $5 a month per device for a product that works this poorly? No thank you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Customer service

    • Treasure Coast, FL,
    • Aug 29, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased two of their surveillance lights, and five days later all I have for my money is an acknowledgment from their somewhat invisible customer service department that there was a "problem" with my order. No available contact by phone. Currently rethinking my purchase. I can't imagine the frustration of not being able to solve a technical issue if they can't complete delivery on a timely basis. Not impressed. The old adage of "you don't get a second chance to make a first impression" comes to mind.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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