If you’ve ever been to a shopping mall or a busy crossing, chances are you’ve seen many surveillance cameras set up around the said area. These digital recording devices are placed there to ensure that any unusual activity is captured. This may help the respective authorities when something like a robbery occurs.
Surveillance devices, specifically cameras have become a common necessity for those looking for extra surveillance in their home security arsenal. They are easy to get a hold of in today’s modern age. There exist a variety of choices when it comes to the best solar-powered security cameras available in the modern market, which we shall explore in this article.
In this article, we will be exploring the best solar-powered security cameras. We will begin by looking at the pros and cons of different types of surveillance cameras, followed by some frequently asked questions, what we need to consider when looking for the best solar-powered surveillance camera, and finally our top recommendations.
What are the types of security cameras?
There are 3 main types of security cameras that can be categorized based on how they get their power, transmit data, and internet connection.
Wired surveillance devices require a wired connection to transmit and receive data, a wired connection to the power source, and a wired connection to the internet connection source.
The benefits of a wired surveillance camera would be the reliability of it due to it not being affected by external interferences and its ability to handle a larger security system (up to 16 cameras). Drawbacks of wired cameras would be the lengthy installation process and the vulnerability to power outages.
Wireless surveillance devices on the other hand are partially wireless. A wireless surveillance camera transmits its video feed via wifi into an online cloud for storage or on-board storage such as an SD card. Keep in mind that it is wireless only in this aspect and still does require a wired connection for power.
These cameras offer a greater degree of flexibility when compared to the wired options but do still require a power outlet nearby the camera. The benefits of it would be the easy installation process and the flexibility of placement. The drawbacks would include the vulnerability to power outages.
Wire-free surveillance security is the most flexible of the three options. Similar to the wireless variety, they use wifi to transmit video data or keep them in onboard storage. They are wire-free as they have a power source connected to them that allows them to function without an external power source.
The benefits of owning a wire-free surveillance camera would include the easy installation process, the ability to operate without needing to be changed manually for some options, and its ability to work in a power outage.
A downside to the camera would also be its removal process. Given that these cameras are easy to install and remove, they can also be removed by an intruder if they can get their hands on them. It is because of this that it is advised that property owners keep the cameras at an elevation that is hard to reach.
In conclusion, wired-free surveillance devices are the best option for those looking for a hassle-free monitoring system. Most of the best solar-powered security cameras utilize this wire-free design.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Solar-Powered Security Camera
The overall shape and design of the camera itself
They typically come in 2 varieties. The first would be the bullet camera with its distinct cylindrical or rectangular body and the second one would be the dome camera with its iconic dome-shaped appearance.
The benefits of purchasing a bullet camera would be the range of the camera itself. Bullet cameras tend to have a longer range when compared to the dome camera. This makes it ideal for monitoring large areas such as a parking lot or park. Due to the shape of the bullet camera, a bigger lens can be fitted to grant it an even better range.
The small lip of the bullet camera which can be seen just at the tip offers the lens some level of protection from the elements. Most bulletproof cameras also come with some level of night vision.
The benefits of using a dome camera are that it is difficult to pinpoint where the camera is facing. This could serve as a deterrent if the camera is spotted as it could appear to be looking directly at you. Furthermore, the durability of the dome camera is excellent as it is encased in a protective case which makes it difficult or less likely to be vandalised or destroyed.
To further drive this point home, there are dome cameras in the market which are specially designed with a tougher protective layer to protect the camera from vandalism. The camera itself has a great wide-angle view and gives the owner the ability to move it around 360 degrees. It should be noted that dome cameras also come with the night vision function.
What is the battery capacity needed by the camera?
The rechargeable batteries of the solar-powered security camera have to be equipped with a large enough capacity to sustain the camera for a couple of days in the event there is no sunlight. A good rule of thumb is to select a battery with at least 10 times the capacity of a maximum output of the solar panel.
You can save yourself the hassle of buying a separate battery by purchasing a solar-powered camera that comes included with a rechargeable battery. You can alternatively purchase an external battery to act as a backup power supply for your solar-powered security system.
Where is the footage stored?
Depending on your needs and what you want the camera to do, you have the options of choosing a solar-powered security camera that stored the data on-board on an SD card or have it transmit the recorded footage onto an online cloud that can be accessed on your phone or computer.
The SD card option is recommended for those looking to use motion detection. The footage on the card can be managed through a mobile app or a computer. The cloud method of data storage might be convenient for those looking to record longer footage.
Top 6 Best Wireless Solar-Powered Security Cameras in 2021
1. Reolink Argus 2 Solar-Powered Security Camera
This product has many of the key features that one should look for when purchasing the best solar security camera. Firstly, it comes with an IP65 waterproof protection rating for the camera and the solar panel. This will allow it to function seamlessly in an outdoor environment.
Secondly, it records video footage in 1080p which can be in both HD and Black and White. Not to mention it allows the user to use local cloud storage to store data. This allows multiple individuals to access the camera footage if needed.
This wireless security camera does not need any connection to your computer as it works via a 2.4GHz WiFi connection. With this connection, owners can use the Reolink mobile app to access the camera’s settings and video footage. It should be noted that the app is not limited to a single individual, the app can support up to 10 users, giving them access to the same app to watch the live streaming signal.
Furthermore, this home security camera has a live audio function that allows the owner to listen and communicate with anyone on the other end of the camera via its 2-way audio adopted advanced noise-cancelling technology.
The data from the camera can be stored on an onboard SD card which has up to 64GB of space or is saved to a local cloud to prevent loss of footage. This product also comes with smart PIR motion detection and remote control technology. This function will notify the user via the mobile app, email, or a sound alarm if the motion sensors are triggered and will immediately begin recording footage.
This will ensure maximum security. Another advanced feature of this home security camera would be its ability to interact with Google Assistant. The owner of this product would simply have to say something similar to “ Hey Google, show me the front porch” and he/she would be able to view live footage of the selected area. This makes it a great addition for those who wish to make their home a smart home.
2. SOLIOM Wireless Outdoor Solar Battery Security Camera
This wireless security camera comes with key features like an IP66 waterproof rating which makes it waterproof. This allows it to be used outdoors and indoors depending on the needs of the owner. It is both solar-powered and contains a built-in 4000mAh battery.
Although this built-in battery is slightly smaller than its competitors, it still offers amazing performance (able to function for 24 hours with 1 hour of sunlight). The battery itself incorporates new technology which allows it to function optimally in temperatures of -20C to 60C (-4F to 140F).
The SOLIOM Wireless outdoor solar battery security camera is truly wire-free as it does not require connections to an external power source. It instead relies solely on its own independent power source. It also does not require any connection to a computer as it works via 2.4GHz WiFi.
Wireless IP cameras like this can receive commands via the mobile app provided. This allows the user to access the camera’s live video footage. Furthermore, the product also comes with a 2-way audio feature which allows the user to interact and talk with visitors on the other end of the camera in real-time.
The device comes with a built-in micro SD card slot which allows the user to decide what storage capacity they want on their camera. The PIR sensor can be adjusted (from disable, low, medium, high) based on the requirements of the user. It focuses the motion in a specific area within a 15-foot range and a 110-degree angle range.
The PIR sensors on the camera work interactively with the mobile app. It does this by immediately recording footage which it then stores on the micro SD card while simultaneously uploading the video footage to the cloud when triggered.
Once triggered, the device will notify the user via the SOLIOM mobile app within 1 second. This sensor, though sensitive, has rarely sent false alarms to the owner. This makes it a great product to add to your home security arsenal.
The product boasts a unique aesthetic with its almost bird-like appearance. Though its design is not without practicality. The camera has a wide field of vision of over 160 degrees. This is higher than most devices of its type.
This device can record videos of 1080p quality and even has an amazing night vision video capture. A big factor in this camera’s amazing night vision is its ability to utilize the built-in LED lights.
3. REOLINK Argus Eco Solar-Powered Security Camera
The REOLINK Argus Eco Solar-powered Security Camera is one of the best solar options for those looking for a weatherproof camera that can be left outdoors. It has an IP65 Certified waterproof rating that allows it to function seamlessly outdoors no matter the weather.
This product boasts a security camera that can record video in 1080p full HD with its CMOS Image sensor and 100-degree wide field of vision. This gives the device crystal clear imaging with a little compromise when it comes to width range.
Speaking of range, this device can obtain clear images up to a distance of 33ft. Even at night, the impressive night vision technology is further boosted with the built-in infrared LED lights, making even the darkest environments clear on the video.
When it comes to the storage and transfer of data, the surveillance device works through a 2.4GHz WiFi connection. This eliminates the need for a connection to a computer. With its built-in rechargeable battery and wireless data transmission method, this environmentally friendly camera is truly wireless.
Being truly wireless allows for easy installation and removal. The data from the camera can be stored on the onboard SD card (purchased separately) or uploaded to the Reolink cloud. The data stored on the cloud can easily be accessed by the mobile app provided with the Reolink camera.
For those looking for greater security measures, this device allows the buyer to set up when they want the PIR motion detection to be active. The PIR motion detection feature allows the user to receive immediate notifications and alarms when triggered.
When it is triggered, it will simultaneously capture footage while sending the notification, allowing the owner to react to the live video feed. The device also comes with a 2-way audio function, allowing the owner to speak with the person on the other end in real-time. The battery of the device can be charged via solar energy from the monocrystalline panel provided, or they have the option to charge the battery directly themselves.
Similar to the other REOLINK product in this article, this product also offers compatibility with Google Assistant. Allowing the user to control the device via voice commands such as “Hey Google, show me the backyard”.
4. AKASO Wireless Outdoor Security Camera
This security camera is on this list as it is a great value-for-money option. The camera can record in 1080p Full HD video, regardless of the time of day. This is thanks to the night vision capabilities of this product which are further improved by its built-in infrared LED lights. It has the ability to capture videos in night vision with a range of up to 33ft.
It also has an IP65 waterproof rating which makes it safe to operate in the rain with little disruption, making it a viable option for outdoor use. It comes with a built-in rechargeable 6000mAh battery, giving it one of the larger battery capacities on this list. To further boost the camera’s performance longevity, it comes with a solar panel which assists in charging the battery.
Though there is a solar panel attached to the camera, it might still need the occasional manual charging (about every 6 months).
This device comes with dual storage technology. This simply just means that it can store storage in an onboard SD card or transfer the recorded video footage to an online cloud which can then be accessed by a mobile phone app provided with the camera.
This completely wireless solar-powered camera comes with the smart PIR motion detection feature which allows it to continuously capture images when motion is detected. The images are then stored on the online cloud for up to 7 days. When the motion detector is activated, an alarm or notification is sent to the app provided, giving the owner time to react to unwanted visitors.
The great thing about this security camera when compared to the others on this list is its ability to have 130-degree wide range motion detection. This eliminates some of the blind spots you might get with other cameras on this list. Similar to other cameras in this article, this camera is also compatible with Google Assistant with the addition of being compatible with Alexa.
However, this device does come with its own fair share of issues. These issues range from the camera’s PIR feature being too sensitive, which in turn has caused it to send the owner multiple false alarms. Secondly, there are complaints that the compatibility with Alexa is questionable as there are only a few who actually manage to make this work.
But besides these, this product is still a great option for a solar-powered security camera.
5. Conico Outdoor Solar-Powered Security Camera
Similar to other cameras mentioned before, this outdoor security camera can capture video footage with a resolution of 1080p Full HD. Solar security cameras like this one here can capture footage at night thanks to the night vision feature included with the camera.
This surveillance device is better than most when it comes to its night vision as it can record video footage 50ft away from it at night.
This impressive night vision can be attributed to the 4 infrared LEDs present on the camera. This device comes with an IP65 waterproof rating and can withstand extreme temperatures of -25C to 60C (-13F to 140F). This makes it suitable for outdoor use and indoor use.
This entry to the list has the highest battery capacity coming in at 15000 mAh. This rechargeable battery can be charged by the external solar panel, further extending the lifespan of its performance.
This outdoor security camera comes with PIR motion detection technology which allows it to detect the movement of anything from the monitored area. False alarms can be minimized by setting the sensitivity of the PIR motion detector to the appropriate setting. Once motion is detected, the device will send a notification to the mobile app, alerting the owner and providing them with a live video feed.
When it comes to storage, this solar-powered surveillance camera comes with the option of onboard storage via an external SD card or cloud storage. This gives the user flexibility to review footage if they want through the mobile app on their phone.
This camera also has a 2-way audio feature which allows real-time communication with the individual on the other end, perfect for identifying visitors without endangering the safety of the owner.
Sadly this product is not one of the best ones on this list although it boasts a similar price to the rest. The main complaint received from customers would be the sensitivity of the PIR motion detection. Some say that it is too sensitive on the lowest settings while others say it is not sensitive enough even at a distance of 3ft.
Furthermore, this device has also received complaints regarding the ineffectiveness of the solar panel when it comes to recharging the battery, with some even stating they have to manually recharge it every 2 weeks.
6. Hiseeu Solar-Powered Security Camera
The Hiseeu Solar security camera is the last entry in this article, which doesn’t mean it is the worst. This solar security camera comes with a built-in rechargeable Panasonic battery with a capacity of 6000mAh. These batteries have a service life of about 6 years with some saying that they can last more.
This is a great addition as the devices utilized in surveillance are installed with the intent of long-term use. The service life of the camera is amazing as a fully charged battery can sustain the camera for up to 120 days.
The monocrystalline solar panel that comes with the camera can sustain the camera for prolonged use. The solar panel however is not able to fully sustain the camera in seasons where hours of daylight is not as long, and would then require manually recharging.
The camera has an IP65 waterproof rating which makes it an excellent candidate for outdoor use as well as indoor use. Furthermore, the camera is designed to operate at extreme temperatures of -22C to 60C (-7.5F to 160F)This product also comes with 2 installation methods (magnetic, screw-mounted).
This gives the user the ability to decide which installation methods they prefer to use, though the manufacturers recommend the screw mounting for outdoor use.
The solar security camera can capture videos of 1080p resolution in the day as well as night thanks to the night vision feature provided with the device. The night vision is fairly decent as well. It can detect the movement of anything and capture objects up to a 30ft range with a width range of 130-degrees, giving it the ability to cover larger areas.
The PIR motion detection of this solar security camera is sensitive enough and will send a notification to the provided app while simultaneously uploading a live stream of the footage for review by the user. The data from the camera can be stored in two ways, an onboard SD card or the cloud which can be viewed from the mobile app.
The buyer of the device has the freedom to select one of the two available methods.
This device boasts an impressive rechargeable battery and service life. Though it is a great product, the main drawback from customers would be that the night vision is not as clear as advertised. This would appear to be the main complaint from most people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are solar-powered security cameras good?
A solar-powered security camera has many benefits. Among these benefits would include the flexibility of placement location. These types of cameras do not require an external power source connected to the main power outlet.
This allows the owner to choose a location they deem fit without the restriction of a power outlet. This also allows users to bring the security camera out when they go camping or when they plan to use it somewhere else besides their home.
How do Solar-powered security cameras work?
The security camera works by using solar panels to convert the sun’s rays into direct current. There is an inverter in the camera system to convert the direct current into an alternating current. The alternating current is then readily used by the rechargeable battery of the security camera.
Generally, a better quality camera will have a better battery capacity, giving it the ability to store more battery power for sustained use.
Does the dimension of the solar panel matter?
An argument could be made that the size of the solar panel does matter. But in all honesty, the size of the solar panel should reflect the size of the solar security camera system. For example, a system that contains multiple cameras should have multiple solar panels. This is so that the power generated from the panels exceeds the power demand of the whole system.
If you do not wish to have multiple panels, you could opt for a larger solar panel. A great quality product will allow the camera system to adapt for days where there are fewer UV rays present. Most camera systems on the lower end compromise on this aspect and will not allow the security camera to function during a long period of little sunlight.
What is the cost of a solar-powered security system?
The initial cost of the system is the largest. This can be attributed to the price of the materials used to construct the solar panels as well as the security cameras themselves. However, this investment would pay off over time as these cameras are meant to last a long time while providing the best area coverage possible.
Do solar-powered security cameras require maintenance?
Like any other operating system, a solar-powered security system does require some amount of maintenance. Though it should be noted that the maintenance is rather low. The main component in need of maintenance would be the solar panels. This can be easily done by using water and a soft brush or cloth.
This cleaning of the solar panels should be done regularly every 6 months. This will ensure that the solar panels are working at their optimum capacity and in turn provide the best possible video footage.
What is the installation process like?
The installation process of the solar-powered security camera system is rather simple and can be done by anyone. There is no need for complicated wiring or any involvement with the main power source.
This eliminates the need for professional equipment and can be installed by anyone regardless of their technical skill. However, if you do need assistance with anything in the installation, the suppliers of the solar-powered security system should be able to guide you through the process.