BT 7500 Lightshow review – the best baby monitor yet

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£140 is a slightly potty amount to spend on a baby monitor, but the BT 7500 Lightshow might just convince you to splash out. Both the baby and the parent unit look smarter than the competition, and both are packed with interesting features.

One half of the egg-shaped baby unit is a nightlight that glows a warm orange colour. The other half houses the camera, which can pan and tilt to take in the whole room and is controlled remotely from the parent unit. Picture quality is excellent, both in natural light and with the infrared light for night vision mode. The lens has a wide-angle field of view and there are 2x and 3x digital zoom functions that don’t damage video quality too much.

If the nightlight isn’t enough to keep your child happy as he or she dozes off, there are various other tricks you can turn to. It can play music, with a choice of music box-style lullabies, soothing classical music, whale song, womb sounds and even the drone of a hairdryer. It can also project gently shifting stars onto the ceiling. The projector isn’t powerful so it requires a dark room for them to be visible. However, this could be a good incentive to convince toddlers to sleep without the main lights on. The nightlight, star projections and music can be set to switch off after a set period.

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The temperature sensor is on a protruding cable to avoid it being confused by heat from the unit itself. However, the unit reported 21 degrees Centigrade when the room was actually 24 degrees. Thankfully, there’s an option to calibrate the sensor using a manual offset. There’s a choice of screen, beep or vibrate alerts when the room gets too cold or warm. The manual claims that the unit will alert you when the temperature falls below 15 degrees or above 25, but it said “Too Warm” at 21 degrees and there’s no way to adjust these thresholds.

There’s great attention to detail in other parts of the design. Both units are powered by the standard USB chargers used by Android phones and come with generous 3m cables. The parent unit can be charged via the supplied dock or by plugging directly into the unit. The baby unit has a tripod thread plus screw holes for wall mounting. The nightlight, star projection and music can be controlled from either the baby unit or the parent unit. A Cry Alert function turned the screen on and beeped when I played a crying baby recording, but was unfazed by some Guns n Roses played at same the volume. There’s no option to adjust the threshold, though, so quieter sobs went unnoticed.

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Battery life is excellent at 7 hours 29 minutes of constant video and 15 hours 2 minutes for audio only. It warned of a low battery three hours before running out, but pressing a button shut it up for five minutes at a time. It fared well in my wireless range test, with trouble-free performance throughout the house and reasonable performance in the garden.

I’m not sure how many people would consider spending this much on a baby monitor, but the BT 7500 Lightshow has the quality to justify the price.

Hardware
Screen size3.5in
TouchscreenYes
Infrared night modeYes
Remote pan/tilt controlMechanical
Features
Digital zoom2x, 3x
Web-based accessNo
Sound-activated videoYes
Audio meter displayOn LCD screen
Talkback microphoneYes
Music playbackYes
Night lightYes
Light showYes
Mat motion sensorNo
Camera motion sensorNo
Temperature sensorYes
Temperature alarmYes
Video battery life7hr 29m
Audio only battery life15hr 2m
Physical
Camera dimensions (WHD)102x87x85mm
Parent unit dimensions (WHD)114x92x27mm
Charger connectorDock, MIcro USB
Camera power cable length3m
Camera mounting optionsTripod thread, screw mounts
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