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An Overview of Solar-Powered Security Cameras and Solar Security Camera Systems

Jenny Hu8/12/2022
Solar Powered Security Camera Buyer’s Guide: Top 8 Things You Need to Know

Your security needs shouldn’t compromise in front of geographically challenging environments. A solar-powered security camera can be used to monitor the 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-powered WiFi security cameras, and help you navigate the best option for your surveillance application.

What Are Solar Powered Security Cameras

Solar security cameras, or solar panel security cameras, use the solar panel to get power and require no electric sources or cablings.

By utilizing solar power, you can get the best from natural resources to charge and run the solar-powered security cameras systems, without subscription charges or monthly fees.

Normally, a self-sufficient wireless solar security camera system is sold in bundles, including a solar panel and a solar security camera with rechargeable batteries.

Or you can also buy a DIY solar powered security camera and use a solar panel to power your camera.

Taking Reolink Argus 3 Pro solar powered security camera, for example, it comes with a rechargeable battery and offers a customized Reolink solar panel (requires a separate purchase) for your options to get non-stop power.

One of the TOP benefits, is that you can install a solar security camera anywhere you wish. In rainy or foggy days, the WiFi solar security cameras can still work as normal – sufficient sunlight is absolutely the best!

As more and more consumers like you resort to a “green” security solution, you may catch sight of the solar-powered security cameras scattering everywhere when you look up.

Solar Security Cameras

Top 6 Benefits of Solar Powered Security Cameras

Now, let’s look into the advantages of solar-powered security cameras to see what you can expect from them.

1. Solar Security Cameras Allow for Flexible Locations

A solar-powered security camera requires no cables and power grid to work. So it can be used in various surveillance applications, such as 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 DIY solar powered wireless security cameras are fast to install in any locations you desire, as you don’t need to run any messy cables or drill roles, which is quite a cost-effective security option.

Better yet, you can easily move your solar security cameras when a project advances or completes, such as the construction sites or your new hoses under construction, and then take your solar IP cameras to a new site.

Video Transcription

The solar security camera Reolink Argus 3 Pro is highly portable and flexible, with no cords, no wiring and no drilling. You can place it indoors and outdoors as you like, such as the front door, backyard, nursery room, a temporary construction site, etc.

3. Environmental-Friendly

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

What’s more, creating an infrastructure to support traditional surveillance systems can be disruptive. Solar-powered surveillance cameras require no infrastructure and can allow such areas as wetlands to be preserved.

4. Solar Cameras Provide Day & Night Monitoring

As explained above, the solar-powered wireless security IP cameras can be powered by the rechargeable batteries at night when sunlight is not available.

And the WiFi solar security cameras of some reputable brands are packed with starlight sensors that can provide brilliant color night vision -- a big leap compared with other security cameras.

Below is the color night vision image captured by the wireless solar powered surveillance camera with movement sensor Reolink Argus 3 Pro.

Solar Night Vision Security Cameras

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.

5. Easy to Scale

The solar-powered security cameras also come as a flexible and scalable solution if you would like to add 2 or 3 more cameras later.

In virtue of the security camera viewer, you can also watch live viewing of multiple solar IP cameras simultaneously on your smartphone.

6. Solar Powered Security Cameras Feature Long Lifespan

Most manufacturers of solar panels offer a 25-year standard warranty, which means the solar panel for security cameras can still produce no less than 80% power after 25 years and it also requires little maintenance.

What to Consider When Buying Solar Powered Security Cameras

During your selection process of best solar powered security cameras, here are some key factors you shouldn’t definitely miss.

1. How Much Electricity Can the Solar Panel for Security Cameras Produce

The amount of electricity a solar panel for solar security cameras can generate is determined by multiple factors, like the average sun exposure, weather conditions, tilt angle of the panel, etc.

To maximize the efficiency of your outdoor solar security cameras, place the solar panel towards true south (in the northern hemisphere) or 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.

And it also helps 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 Size Do Your Solar Powered Security Cameras Need

The rechargeable batteries are used to power your solar security cameras in case the sunlight is not available.

To ensure that the wireless solar powered security cameras have 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 shortcut to save such trouble of selecting batteries for your solar-powered security cameras is to buy a solar IP camera with rechargeable batteries included (like Reolink Argus 3 Pro).

And if you’d like to add a battery back-up for your solar-powered surveillance cameras, you may directly consult the solar camera sellers about the recommended models.

3. Where Will the Solar Security Cameras Save 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 of wireless solar powered surveillance cameras with movement sensors saved on memory card via your phones.

Another alternative is to store the videos of solar security cameras on the cloud service, from which you can access your data from anywhere on a mobile device that has an Internet connection.

4. Do You Have WiFi in the Place Where Wireless Solar Security Cameras Are Installed

The WiFi solar powered security cameras with motion sensor can send you instant alerts when there is Internet connection. You can also watch live viewing of the solar-powered wireless home security cameras on your smartphone.

Cellular Solar Powered Security Cameras

Worry not if the monitoring place has no network!

The solar-powered security cameras with SD card (slot) can still record motion detection events onboard even there is no WiFi/Internet.

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

Thanks to the introduction of solar-powered cellular security cameras, they operate on the 3G/4G cellular data and are designed to work in places with no hard-wired Internet or WiFi, such as the 4G solar security camera Reolink Go Plus.

Any features you expect from a wireless solar powered security camera working with Internet, can also be found among the solar-powered cellular security cameras.

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.

5. Cost of WiFi Solar Powered Security Cameras

The initial investment to buy the best quality solar CCTV security camera kit 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.

So rather than choose the fake/dummy solar powered security cameras (see why it is not recommended) or the low resolution cheap solar IP cameras, it’s more worthwhile to go for the high-quality solar security cameras from trusted brands.

Quick Tip: When you are looking for wireless solar powered outdoor security cameras, make sure it is at least full HD (1080p) to identify recognizable details.

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 camera launched by Reolink, Reolink Argus 3 Pro is highly appraised by its users and professional media for the 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 WiFi solar powered security camera comes with a rechargeable battery and offers you to option to buy a separate Reolink solar panel for continuous power.

So you no longer need to worry about the short battery life or go through the trouble to charge/change batteries if your solar-powered surveillance cameras are placed out of easy reach.

It is also featured with an advanced 1/3" CMOS image sensor as a wireless solar powered night vision security camera, contributing to clearer images and more visual details in low-lit conditions.

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

Wireless Solar Powered Security Camera Reviews

“The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is a reasonably priced outdoor security camera that comes loaded with features including 2K video, intelligent motion detection, dual-band Wi-Fi...”

–From PC Mag

Resolution 2K 4MP
Image Sensor 1/3" CMOS sensor
Powering Options Battery powered & solar powered
Night Vision 33ft
Two-way Audio Yes
Motion Detection Yes
Weatherproof Yes
Viewing Angle 122° (diagonal)
All-in-One Yes
Battery Life 4-6 months in standby mode

Watch the video below shared by a Reolink Argus 3 Pro user to check out the image quality of this solar security camera.

Can't Miss: Reolink has many solar security cameras in the Argus family - Argus PT & Argus Eco, which offers more nice-to-have features on its star battery-powered security camera lineup.

Video sample of the solar camera Reolink Argus PT:

Argus PT

100% Wire-Free PT Camera

2K 4MP Super HD; 5GHz/2.4GHz WiFi; Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; 355° Pan & 140° Tilt; IP65 Certified Weatherproof; Clear Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; 122° Wide Viewing Angle.

Looking for a high quality solar powered security camera for a location with no WiFi and power?

In such cases, this wireless solar powered surveillance camera with movement sensor Reolink Go Plus would be your best option.

Designed to work in places where the WiFi connection and power source are not available, the cellular solar powered security camera Reolink Go Plus allows you to watch live viewing on your smartphone anytime & anywhere even without Internet.

Resolution 2K 4MP
Image Sensor 1/3" CMOS Sensor
Powering Options Battery powered & solar powered
Network 4G cellular network
Night Vision 33ft
Two-way Audio Yes
Motion Detection Yes
Weatherproof Yes
Viewing Angle 115°
All-in-One Yes
Battery Life About 2 months in standby mode

Watch the high-quality video captured by the solar-powered security camera Reolink Go Plus shared by a real user.

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.

How Do Solar Security Cameras Work

Solar-powered security cameras use high-grade solar panels to capture the sun’s rays and convert the sunlight into direct current (DC).

Afterwards an inverter will change the direct current to alternating current (AC), which can be utilized to power solar security IP cameras and batteries for continued use.

When the sunlight is not available, the wireless solar powered security cameras can still get power from the rechargeable batteries which stores excess electrical power generated by the solar panel.

Watch out: in contrast with the common belief, solar cameras can also generate electricity in rainy or cloudy days, since visible light can also get through rain and clouds.

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

And since the outdoor solar powered security cameras come with the weatherproof design, you don’t need to worry about them in rainy days.

Indeed, the occasional rain might be a blessing – free cleaning of your solar panel for security cameras!

WAIT! Check out these Special Deals before you leave:

Right now, you can get EXCLUSIVE & BIG discounts on a wide range of Reolink security cameras & systems, wire-free & plugged-in, indoors & outdoors.

Government Incentives for Solar Powered WiFi Security Cameras

The solar security cameras, with a self-renewing and clean power source, are gaining increasing attention and popularity as the public are becoming more environmentally conscious nowadays.

To encourage the adoption of solar power technology, the government of many countries, such as the US, UK, Canada, etc., are offering incentives (tax credits, rebates, FIT program, etc.) for installed solar, like solar cameras.

Thanks to the solar incentives, statistics show that the price for solar, including solar-powered wireless security camera systems, has decreased by 70% while the number of installed solar has increased by 6,000% from 2005 to 2014.

Given the fact that solar-powered security cameras are bound to be an irreversible tide, it is best to buy solar-powered wireless home security cameras now to catch up with the market trend.

Besides, the solar security cameras for your home/business can also help reduce the insurance and provide proofs when you need to lodge claims.

Common Questions You May Ask About Solar Powered Security Cameras

When you are scoping the market for the best solar powered security cameras, you might have the following questions in your mind:

1. If There Is No Sun for Two Days, Will the Solar Powered Security Camera Systems Still Have Power

As noted above, a solar-powered security camera can still produce electricity on cloudy or rainy days.

The amount is undoubtedly much less than that during sunny periods, but it is NOT nothing.

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 batteries for normal work.

2. Do Solar Powered Surveillance Cameras Need Lots of Maintenance

In general, the solar-powered security cameras, including solar panels, require pretty low maintenance.

To maintain the optical 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.

3. How Can I Protect My Solar Panel for Solar Cameras from Thefts

Indeed, your wireless solar powered surveillance cameras 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 adopt:

  • 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 the solar-powered security camera systems under your insurance.
  • Add steal bolts if your solar panel for security cameras costs you tens of thousands of dollars.

4. How Long Can Solar Powered Security Cameras with 16/32GB SD Card Record and What If the SD Card Is Full

Indeed, the bitrate of your solar-powered wireless home security cameras will largely affect the recording file size. The higher the bitrate is, the clearer images and videos you will get, and the bigger the file size will be.

For more accurate storage calculation of solar-powered security cameras with SD cards, you can read this post to figure out the results.

When the SD card of your WiFi 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 of your wireless solar powered surveillance camera with a movement sensor – just remember to regularly back up the important files on a regular basis.

5. Can I Connect the Solar Powered Security Camera to Multiple Devices, Like Two Smartphones at Home

Absolutely YES!

Take the Reolink Argus 3 Pro solar powered security camera, for instance, it supports up to 8 simultaneous video streams on different with one mainstream (clear mode) and seven sub-stream (fluent mode).

And this means, not only you, but also your family members, can access this solar-powered camera from anywhere via their smartphones, simply by entering the UID and password of your solar IP camera. (Read this to learn how.)

Where Can You Buy Solar Powered Security Cameras

When you are looking for solar-powered security cameras in your country, such as US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, etc., you can either place orders directly from the CCTV camera top brand that sell wireless outdoor solar security cameras, such as Reolink, or purchase from the reliable online shopping platforms.

And do remember to account for the following factors before your check out:

  • Does the solar security camera come with any hidden fees, such as installation cost or compulsory subscription fees?
  • Will your receive sound after-sales service for the solar-powered security cameras like responsive support assistance?
  • Is there any discount for the new users who purchase solar camera on the first order? (For example, Reolink offers 5% off coupon code for its new customers who place orders on the official website.)
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.

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

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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 jenny#reolink.com (replace # with @) to connect!