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A Complete Guide on Best Solar-Powered Security Camera and System

Jenny Hu1/16/2024
Solar Powered Security Camera Buyer’s Guide: Top 8 Things You Need to Know

Solar security cameras are more and more popular among homeowners for their flexibility and eco-friendly feature. A best outdoor wireless security camera system solar powered can be used to monitor off-grid places or remote areas where running cables would be impossible or overly expensive, such as construction sites, barns, farms, rural houses, etc.

Next, we’ll break down all you need to know about solar security cameras and help you choose the best solar powered security camera for your surveillance application.

What is the Best Solar Security Camera & How Does It Work?

Solar security cameras, or solar powered security cameras, use a solar panel that converts sunlight to electricity to charge their rechargeable batteries. By utilizing solar power, solar security cameras require no electric sources or cablings.

Normally, a self-sufficient wireless solar security camera is sold in bundles, including a solar panel and a rechargeable battery. But in some cases, you need to purchase a solar panel separately.

Here is how a solar security camera works:

The solar panel for a solar-powered security camera can capture the sun’s rays and convert the sunlight into direct current (DC).

Afterward, an inverter will change the direct current to alternating current (AC), which can be utilized to power the solar security camera and its rechargeable battery for continued use.

When sunlight is not available, the wireless solar security camera can still get power from its battery which stores excess power generated by the solar panel.

But undoubtedly, the efficiency of the solar panel will decrease on rainy, cloudy, or cold days. So maximum direct sunlight is conducive for solar powered security cameras to achieve the best performance.

Benefits of Best Solar Security Cameras

Now, let’s look into the advantages of best solar powered security camera to see why they are better than traditional security cameras.

1. Solar security cameras allow for flexible locations

Wireless solar security cameras require no cable or power source at all. They can meet various needs surveillance needs of different scenarios, including remote sites or geographically challenging environments.

The typical sites where you can install a solar-powered surveillance camera include, but are not limited to your vacation houses, sheds, construction sites, vineyards, farms, barns, boats, warehouses, RVs, etc.

Solar Security Camera Applications

2. Easy to install & move

The solar powered wireless security camera is quite a cost-effective security option. They are simple and fast to install in any location you desire, as you don’t need to run any messy cables or drill roles.

Better yet, you can easily move your solar security cameras when a project advances or completes, such as in the construction sites or your new hoses under construction. You can take your solar security camera to a new site at any time.

3. Independent of the power supply

Self-sufficient solar security cameras can utilize solar power for operation, thus being independent of electrical power sources and reducing your energy bills. Besides, the built-in rechargeable battery ensures that the camera can still work even through days without sunlight.

Being independent of power supply also means your solar security camera won't be under the control of electric companies. And it can still function to protect your property even when there is a power cut.

4. Lower requirements for network

Most solar security cameras run on a WiFi network or 4G cellular network, which means they are not confined by a network or Ethernet cable like other wired cameras.

You are free to install the solar powered security camera anywhere as long as it's within WiFi coverage or there are 4G signals. By cutting the cord, solar cameras offer you great convenience to monitor your property or site.

5. Environmental-friendly

Powered by renewable sunlight, solar powered security cameras won’t destroy the environment or cause any pollution as waste and disposable batteries do.

What’s more, creating an infrastructure to support traditional surveillance systems can be disruptive. The best outdoor wireless security camera system solar powered requires no infrastructure and can allow such areas as wetlands to be preserved.

6. Easy to scale

Wireless solar security cameras also come as a flexible and scalable solution if you would like to add 2 or 3 more cameras to your site. It's quite easy to group all your cameras via the mobile app or client. You can also view live feeds of multiple solar security cameras simultaneously on your smartphone at any time and anywhere.

Best Solar Security Camera for Your Option

A quality security camera can help us get the best from natural resources and save electricity bills. Based on our thorough market research and comparison, here we’ve selected two best solar powered security cameras that can work with and without WiFi network.

As one of the best solar-powered security cameras launched by Reolink, Reolink Argus 3 Pro is highly appraised by its users and professional media for its rich features and sleek design.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro

2K 100% Wire-Free Spotlight Camera

2K 4MP Super HD, Battery/Solar Powered, Person/Vehicle Detection, 5/2.4 GHz Dual-Band WiFi, Color Night Vision, Two-Way Audio.

This wireless solar security camera comes with a rechargeable battery. With a Reolink solar panel (sold separately), you no longer need to worry about the battery life or go through the trouble of charging or changing the battery for months.

You can also manually adjust the solar camera settings via mobile app to get color images/videos at night, so you can pinpoint the color of the clothing of a suspect or a get-way car.

Fantastic features that make Argus 3 Pro outstanding:

Resolution 2560 x 1440 (2K 4MP) day & night
Image Sensor 1/3" CMOS sensor
Powering Options Rechargeable battery & solar panel
Smart Detection Person/vehicle/PIR detection
Two-way Audio Yes
Viewing Angle 122° (diagonal)
Weatherproof Yes
Battery Life Up to 6 months in standby mode

Designed to work in off-grid places where the WiFi connection and power source are not available, the 4G cellular solar security camera Reolink Go Plus allows you to view live feeds on your smartphone anytime & anywhere even without WiFi or Internet.

Reolink Go Plus

Smart Wireless 4G Battery Camera

Rechargeable Battery/Solar Powered, Person/Vehicle Detection, 2K 4MP Super HD, Two-Way Audio, High-Quality Night Vision, Live View Anytime.

Check the great features of the 4G solar camera Reolink Go Plus:

Resolution 2560 x 1440 (2K 4MP) day & night
Image Sensor 1/3" CMOS Sensor
Powering Options Rechargeable battery & solar panel
Network 4G cellular network
Viewing Angle 115°
Zoom 16x optical zoom
Two-way Audio Yes
Motion Detection Person/vehicle/PIR detection
Weatherproof Yes

If you have a large area without WiFi to monitor, Reolink Go PT Plus would be a great choice. This 2K 4G camera features 355° pan and 140° tilt and offers you a 360° panorama view.

Editor's Note: You'll need to purchase a SIM card and a data plan for 4G security camera to transmit data remotely. Reolink Go Plus supports most carriers such as T-Mobile, Vodafone, EE, etc. You can choose a suitable one based on your region.

Things You Must Know Before Buying The Best Solar Security Camera

Choosing the best solar powered security camera for your home, business, or construction site is not as simple as you think. Here are some key factors you definitely can't miss before making a decision.

1. How long will it take to fully charge the security camera with a solar panel

The time it takes depends on the performance of the solar panel to a great extent, mainly including the panel's output efficiency and the amount of electricity it can generate.

The output efficiency of a solar panel refers to how well the panel is able to convert sunlight into energy. Most security camera manufacturers provide solar panels with a power of 2-3 watts. The higher the output, the shorter time it takes to fully charge the camera.

The amount of electricity a solar panel can generate is determined by multiple factors, like the average sun exposure and the tilt angle of the panel. Bad weather conditions like rainy or cloudy days and extremely low temperatures can also affect the panel's performance.

To maximize the efficiency of your outdoor solar security cameras, place the solar panel towards the true south (in the northern hemisphere) or the true north (in the southern hemisphere) to get the most of the natural resources.

Also keep your panel for the solar powered security cameras away from possible obstacles, such as the shade created by a nearby tree or bush.

You can improve the performance of solar-charged security cameras by wiping the panel surface regularly with wet tissue or cloth to clean the dust or debris.

2. What battery capacity do your best solar powered security cameras need

The rechargeable batteries are essential to power your solar security cameras when sunlight is not available.

To ensure that the best outdoor wireless security camera system solar powered has enough juice to work, the batteries need to be at least 10 times the capacity of the maximum output of the solar panel. Otherwise, the batteries for solar security cameras might be damaged due to overcharging.

The capacity of a battery is measured in milliamp hours, or mah for short. Some features of the solar security camera may require power, such as two-way audio, motion detection, etc. If you use these features quite often, you should go for a camera with a large battery capacity.

It's recommended to choose a solar security camera with a battery capacity of 5000mah or more. The larger capacity will support your camera for a long time and will also reduce the number of times you have to charge it.

Usually, a solar security camera comes with a rechargeable battery for the best performance. But if you’d like to add a backup battery for your solar-powered surveillance camera, you may directly consult the solar camera seller about recommended models.

3. Where will the solar security cameras save the footage

The solar-powered security cameras with SD cards might be good options if you prefer to record motion activated videos locally with no subscription fees. You can also easily play back and manage the videos saved on memory cards via your phones.

Still, pay attention to how much memory the camera can support the SD card. In general, a 64GB SD card can record around 36 hours of 2K 4MP videos. If the solar security camera has a higher resolution or you wish it to record for months, go for 128GB or 256GB SD cards.

Another alternative is to store videos of motion events on the cloud, from which you can access your data from anywhere on a mobile device that has an Internet connection. But keep in mind that the cloud storage is limited and you can only save videos there for a certain period.

4. Is WiFi/Internet available where you install the wireless solar security camera

The best outdoor wireless security camera system solar powered with motion sensor can send you instant alerts and allows for remote live view. You can also make full use of their features on your smartphone when both devices are connected to WiFi/Internet.

But don't worry if the monitoring place has no WiFi or Internet!

The solar-powered security cameras with SD card (slot) can still record motion detection events onboard even when WiFi/Internet is not available.

However, if you want to watch the live feed of your wireless solar security camera or receive instant alerts, the WiFi/Internet connection is a must.

Another solution for monitoring places without WiFI is to select 4G solar security cameras. They operate on 4G/5G cellular data and are designed to work in places with no hard-wired Internet or WiFi signals. More importantly, you can check live view, use two-way audio, and play back recordings anytime you want.

5. Is the solar camera weather-proof

Since solar powered security cameras are designed for outdoor use, they have to face various weather including heavy rain and snow. So you should consider their weather-proof capability.

The IP rating indicates how weatherproof and durable the solar security camera is. It is represented as IPXX, for example, IP65 or IP66. The first digit represents the level of protection against solid objects; The second digit represents the level of protection against fluids.

The high IP rating means the camera is quite solid and durable. If you are in a place with frequent bad weather, it is recommended to choose a solar security camera with IP65 and above.

6. Cost of best solar powered security cameras

The initial investment to buy the best outdoor wireless security camera system solar powered might be heavy, but the future benefits will absolutely outweigh the cost with the long lifespan of solar panels and the installation of more solar security cameras.

Avoid choosing fake/dummy solar powered security cameras. It’s more worthwhile to go for high-quality solar security cameras from trusted brands.

And do remember to take the following factors into account before you check out:

  • Does the solar security camera come with any hidden fees, such as installation costs or compulsory subscription fees?

  • Is there any extra fees for services like push notification, AI detection, or cloud?

  • Will you receive sound after-sales service for the solar-powered security camera like responsive support assistance?

After making sure all the cost of the solar security camera, you can place an order without doubts.

Quick Tip: When you are looking for wireless solar powered outdoor security cameras, make sure it is at least full HD (2K 4MP) to identify recognizable details.

Questions You May Ask About Best Solar Security Cameras

Even though solar security cameras are quite convenient to use, many people remain concerned about their functions. Here are some of the most asked questions and the short answers for your reference.

Are there solar security cameras that don't need WiFi?

Yes, there are 4G battery solar security cameras working with no WiFi, for example, Reolink Go Plus. These 4G wireless solar cameras require a data plan and run on a 4G/5G cellular network. They are perfect surveillance options in places where WiFi and power outlet is unavailable.

Can solar security cameras work at night or during days without sunlight?

Yes. A solar-powered security camera can still work in low-lit conditions because it can use the power stored in a rechargeable battery.

Also, the solar panel for the camera can generate electricity on rainy or cloudy days, since visible light can get through rain and clouds. But the efficiency will decrease to some extent.

That is to say, the solar panel will keep charging your solar cameras when there is light hitting in. Even in the worst situation where you have no direct sunlight at all, your solar IP camera can still get power from the rechargeable battery for normal operation.

How long do solar powered security cameras last?

Solar security cameras can work for years as long as there is sufficient sunlight for them to get power. Also, the battery life of most solar powered security cameras ranges from 1 to 6 months on one full charge.

But there are many variables that may affect the efficiency and life of the battery or solar panel. To maximize the battery and solar panel life, you'd better put them in places with enough direct sunlight and adjust the camera's settings like motion detection.

Do solar cameras need lots of maintenance?

In general, both solar-powered security cameras and their solar panels require pretty low maintenance.

To maintain the optimal performance of your solar security cameras, it is recommended to clean and inspect the solar panel about once every six months.

You can use purified water and a soft brush to clean the panel on your own. Or if you want a thorough cleaning, hire a professional solar panel cleaner. And the average cost of having your panels cleaned ranges from $10 – $20 per panel.

How long can a solar security camera record to its SD card?

It largely depends on these key factors, such as the SD card capacity, bit rate (or Bitrate), frame per second (FPS ), and resolution. You can calculate the recording time of your security camera with a formula. Generally speaking, a 64GB SD card can record about 36 hours of 2K 4MP videos.

When the SD card of your solar powered security cameras is full, the older videos will be automatically overwritten by the new ones. So you don’t need to manually delete the footage. Just remember to regularly back up the important files on a regular basis.

How to protect the solar panel of my solar cameras from theft?

Indeed, your best outdoor wireless security camera system solar powered with movement sensors would be the best deterrent against thefts.

Once the thieves enter the monitoring zone, the solar-powered surveillance cameras will send you instant alerts and scare burglars away with sound alarms.

Below are more handy tips you may need:

  • Keep note of the serial number which can help you prove the stolen panels are actually yours when your case enters the legal justice system.
  • Place the panel for solar security cameras in unreachable places, such as your rooftop, and block the access to your solar panel.
  • Put solar-powered security cameras under your insurance.
  • Add steal bolts if your solar panel for security cameras costs you tens of thousands of dollars.


A solar security camera is quite useful for people to monitor remote areas without the limit of power or WiFi. It can reduce your utility bills by taking advantage of the sunlight. As more and more consumers like you resort to a “green” security solution, you may catch sight of solar-powered security cameras scattering everywhere.

If you’ve got some more questions about the best solar security camera, please leave your comment below and we’ll get back to you soon.


All Comments Are Welcome

Jenny is an editor from Reolink. Her posts are helpful for homeowners, undergraduates, small business owners, and pretty much anyone who needs security tips for a worry-free world. If you want to say hi, you can email her at (replace # with @) to connect!