Many of you might hear about IP security cameras slowing down your home network, but few of you have never factored in power consumption of your security cameras, CCTV cameras or security systems.

So how much power do your analog CCTV cameras, PoE/wireless security cameras, DVR/NVR or security systems use? Do security cameras use a lot of electricity? How much does it cost to run a CCTV camera?

How Many Watts Do Your Security Cameras Use

Some video surveillance cameras provide power consumption specification, for example, less than 8W in Reolink RLC-410 IP wireless 5MP HD security camera.

Reolink RLC-410

PoE Bullet IP Security Camera with Audio

5MP/4MP Super HD; Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 100ft Infrared Night Vision; Audio Recording; Mobile Remote Access & Control.

While others only list out information about the power supply, for example, Hikvision 12 VDC/500mA, you can do the math and calculate the energy consumption (wattages), simply, multiply the voltage by the CCTV camera amperage (current draw), which makes it 6 watts.

Or plugging your surveillance device to a Kill A Watt, so that it reads the power consumption.

The power consumption of security cameras with different features such as IP cameras with IR illumination night vision and pan-tilt will be different from that of CCTV/IP security cameras without these functions, estimated roughly 2-4 watts bump.

Besides, PoE (powered over Ethernet) security cameras might entail a PoE switch/injector which will add up a bit in power consumption. A piece of advice, choose PoE switch carefully by estimating the maximum power draw per device and the number of PoE cameras.

In general, security cameras, either CCTV analog cameras or PoE IP security cameras, are not energy-consuming as other gadgets like computers or bread toasters; they only need a very little electricity to work.

Does DVR/NVR Use a Lot of Electricity

DVR/NVR tend to use a bit more than CCTV security camera or PoE security camera. For example, one of Hikvision DVRs uses 40 watts Maximum running on 100~240VAC, 6.3A or one of Dahua DVRs runs on DC12V/5A, using 60 watts.

24/7 monitoring with DVR/NVR, in particular, will demand more power consumption down the road.

Security camera systems, as a whole, are not energy hungry and they are not costly to run as much as you might think as one Redditor gives us a clue of rough cost of running home security system with a DVR/NVR.

However, they could be in the long run if you are not choosing one carefully or maintain them properly.

How to Reduce Cost Running CCTV/IP Home Security Cameras/Systems

Even though video surveillance cameras are not guzzling your electricity on a daily basis, while the type and number of security cameras, as well as the time of monitoring and their working temperatures, may contribute to the uptick on your electricity bill in the long run.

Therefore, it's important to take some proper measures to whittle down security cameras/systems' energy consumption, for example, buy reliable security cameras, quality wires, and cables, and tweak your cameras' settings to save powers by customizing motion detection.

Piggy Bank

And if you are thinking about going green, solar-powered security cameras like Reolink Argus 2 and Reolink Go are even better to reduce power consumption.


Even though a home security system only takes up a small portion of household energy consumption, taking a small step to green up your home security system will not only slash energy spending but also reduce carbon footprint in the long run.

  • Olivia

    Hello KK, it depends on the power supply specifications of your security cameras. By multiplying the voltage by the CCTV camera amperage (current draw), you will know how many watts do your security cameras use. Find more details in Part 1 of this post. Hope this helps.

  • NRA_guy

    Why is it SO hard to find out the power consumption (amps drawn) for POE cameras? I am talking about the NUMBERS—not just vague, descriptive words. Most individual electrical devices are permanently labeled with voltage and amps specifications. Why aren't POE cameras? And the published User Manual for a POE camera should contain a page entitled ”Specifications” that provides the voltage and power ratings. Thanks.

    • Olivia

      Hi there, thank you for your suggestion. We do not mention any specific numbers in this post because they vary among different PoE cameras. We will take your idea into consideration and add more figures to this post.
      Also, we do offer the estimated power supply standard and power consumption figures in the specs section in our PoE camera product pages. Here is the specs page of Reolink RLC-410 for your reference,
      We will discuss adding the specification page to the user manual with our team later. Big thanks for your advice! 🙂

  • BobL

    Purchasing 4K nvr system (4k cameras) but need to run it from 12vdc. Can purchase 12v to 48v converter but need to know amps required. Thanks

    • Hi Bob, it is best to consult the converter manufacturer and ask them the amps required to ensure the DC 48V/2A power supply for the 4K security system. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.



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