Buyer’s Guide to Solar Panels for Security Cameras: What Are They, And Can I DIY?
and more, security solution providers are looking at ways to make their products sustainable. One of the best things to come out of these efforts is solar charging panels, which not only make use of our most important natural resource—the sun—but make powering security cameras a lot more convenient for users.
Solar panels make for a great addition to outdoor cameras, since it means you can leave your cameras for extended periods of time without having to dismount and recharge batteries.
But is it worth buying a standalone panel, or is it better to just buy a solar security camera? Here’s everything you need to know about solar panels for security cameras.
What Are Solar Powered Security Kits?
Solar powered security camera kits either include a panel alongside the camera itself or have a panel built into the camera hardware, meaning you can have it running off the grid in no time at all.
The practical limitations of an outdoor IP security camera are largely overcome with the inclusion of a solar panel. A solar panel allows for the security camera to be constantly charged with energy the panel harnesses from the sun.
This means your security camera doesn’t need to be plugged in, hardwired, recharged, or consume disposable batteries.
But it’s not the case that you necessarily need to buy a whole new camera just for the sake of having a solar panel, since, in many cases, leading brands already have solar panels that work across their product line. You can also DIY it.
DIY Solar Powered Security Camera?
You can check out some of our picks for great solar charging panels below, including a list of leading security camera manufacturers that sell their own. If your security camera features a micro USB or USB-C port, you’ll be able to find third party solar panels more easily.
It’s got Google’s official stamp of approval on it, so expect it to be expensive. Though it certainly has a lot going for it. Its design is particularly slim and chic-looking, and anything but an eyesore.
This 3.5W solar panel was made specifically for the battery-model Google Nest Cam. It will charge the camera in a couple of hours and keep it powered round-the-clock, with the 360 degree rotatable mount allowing you to position it for maximum exposure.
There’s a cheaper version, but this one claims to be 30% more powerful. It’s hard not to recommend anything else for Google’s Nest Cam.
Ring Solar Panel
The solar panel available from Ring is designed to support its bestsellers: the battery-powered versions of the Stick Up Cam and Spotlight Cam, as well its Outdoor Alarm Siren.
At 2.2W, it’s a significantly lower output than other solar panels, but is designed specifically for enabling constant use of Ring products. The cable leaves a little to be desired, measuring in at 3.9 meters; fine for most uses, but for properties on the larger side, it might not be adequate.
Reolink Solar Panel
Reolink’s stand alone solar panel actually works with quite a significant portion of its line, including Argus 2, Argus Pro, Argus Eco, Argus PT, Go, and Go PT models. In other words, if you have a newer Reolink battery-powered camera, chances are this solar panel can power it.
The max voltage is 6V, which is somewhat higher than the average standard of 5V with micro USB cables, meaning you’ll get more power out of it. Particularly useful here is the option to add up to 2 extension cables, meaning you can have it positioned as far as 43 feet away from the camera itself—significantly further than other solar panels.
Arlo Solar Panel Charger
Presenting two different options, Arlo pretty much covers all its bases in terms of its pretty large line of cameras. The cheaper of the two is designed for its Essential line (the budget-friendly security cameras with more basic features), while those who have an Ultra, Pro 3, 4, or Go 2 camera will have to scrape together ten bucks more for the more expensive option.
While it’s a little annoying if you have a mixture of Essential and non-Essential cameras in your arsenal, both panels are otherwise identical, with generous 8 foot magnetic power cables and an easy install mount that can be adjusted for maximum sunshine.
eufyCam Solar Panel Charger
Budget-friendly eufy also has an official solar panel, and its design is actually among the better ones. Not only is it chic and very petite, but its cylindrical mounting bracket can be twisted 360 degrees to obtain the best angle for sunshine.
Its solar cells are supposedly high-efficiency, and its output is 2.6W. A 13 foot cable is adequate, though again perhaps not sufficient for larger properties. The best part, of course, is that it is compatible with every single eufyCam.
ZUMIMALL Solar Panel – Great Option for DC 5V Cameras
For a DC 5V rechargeable camera, Zuminall’s 5W solar panel is a super budget friendly option with easy mounting. Though its power cord is a measly 10 feet, it does connect via micro USB or USB-C, making it compatible with a significant number of security cameras.
But be aware, this explicitly excludes Arlo, Ring, Google Nest, and Kasa, so we’re afraid that opting for a cheaper version than the ‘official’ option probably won’t work.
How Do Solar Panels Work (In Case You Want to Know)?
Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight into PV (or photovoltaic) cells. These are the silicon cells you can see on the front of the panel. This generates an electrical DC current, which is then converted into AC (alternating current) electricity through an inverter contained within the panel. AC electricity is usable energy, which flows through to power the device the panel is connected to.
Solar Panels are a really useful addition to any outdoor security setup, allowing you to effectively leave your security camera for extended periods of time that is, assuming there’s sufficient sunlight. Not to mention, it’s far more efficient, so Mother Earth will thank you in the long run.
Should you just buy a security camera with a solar panel? Certainly, it’s a lot easier than modding a non-compatible camera. But as our list shows, quite a lot of the leading security camera brands now provide standalone solar panels that are exclusively compatible with their models.
As for opting for cheaper, third party panels, you’ll find that most won’t ‘technically’ be compatible with leading brands, since the goal is to have the consumer buy their own products. So though it means digging out an extra buck or two, we’d advise sticking with named brands if they have solar panels available. After all, this’ll still wind up cheaper than buying a whole new camera with a solar panel included.
Arlo Solar Panel Not Charging? – Easy Solutions.
Many people with an Arlo security camera have opted for the Arlo Solar Panel. This panel helps users keep their cam charged all the time without any manual interference.
Another advantage of this panel is that it takes all the energy from the sun, which makes it attractive for eco-friendly people.
However, I recently discovered that some users are already complaining about this device and saying that the panel has stopped working.
If you came to this article, then there is a high chance that you’re one of those users.
Please allow me to clarify that the malfunctioning of this panel doesn’t necessarily mean that your device is faulty, nor that the product isn’t worth the investment.
Maybe the problem just occurs due to installation errors, incompatible cameras, positioning issues or misuse.
There are other causes that may lead to this issue, such as bad weather conditions, ambient temperature exceeding safe limits, or a dirty solar panel.
So keep reading to find out how to fix Arlo solar panel charging issue.
How To Troubleshoot Arlo Solar Panel Not Charging?
Before we start talking about the solutions that will get your solar panel back to work, I suggest first checking if the camera is compatible with the panel you purchased.
The VMA5600 Solar Panel is compatible with Arlo Ultra 2, Ultra, Pro 5S, Pro 4, Pro 3, Go 2 and Pro 3 Floodlight Camera. While the VMA4600 version works with Arlo Pro 2, Pro, Go and the Arlo Security Light.
And The VMA3600 model operates with the Arlo Essential Camera, Essential Spotlight Camera and the Essential XL Spotlight Camera.
If you find that you have no compatibility issues, then let’s start with the solutions.
Solution 1: Make Sure You’ve Installed The Panel Properly.
The optimal performance of the Arlo solar panel is highly dependent on a good installation process, it’s crucial to carefully consider every aspect of the installation process to ensure its success.
So what are the essential factors to keep in mind when installing this device?
The first thing to keep in mind during the installation is the positioning of the panel, make sure it’s pointed toward the sun and is not obstructed by trees, buildings, or other obstacles.
Experts recommend installing your solar panels facing true south if you’re in the northern hemisphere or true north if you’re located in the southern hemisphere.
Another thing to consider before plugging the panel cable into the camera is to ensure that the battery is fully inserted because the panel can’t power the camera if no battery is inserted.
Also, remember to fully charge the camera’s battery before connecting the solar panel, because the panel provides a simple charge to keep the battery charged, not to charge it from low to full.
Solution 2: Check The Charging Cable.
The charging cable plays an important role in transmitting power from the solar panels to the camera battery. Without it, the solar panel is useless.
So, if you notice that the battery isn’t charging, I suggest you check the cable for any damage or defects, as it may be the root cause of the problem.
If you see that the cable is chipped or frayed, that is most likely the source of the problem, so you can contact customer support and they will tell you if it’s replaceable.
If you don’t notice any physical damage, I recommend that you unplug the cable from the camera, reconnect it, and see if it works again.
Solution 3: Check The Ambient Temperature.
Another thing to consider is the ambient temperature, the operating temperature of the Arlo solar panel ranges from 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C).
For safety reasons, don’t charge batteries in temperatures below freezing, even if the camera is plugged in. The Arlo Solar Panel is also unable to charge the battery in temperatures below freezing.
When charging at a high temperature the life cycle of the battery is negatively affected, the heat causes false positive batteries to show as fully charged when in reality, they are often well below capacity.
Solution 4: Clean The Panel.
Any dirt or debris on the surface of the Arlo solar panel can affect its capacity at absorbing sunlight which can reduce its efficiency and lead to charging issues.
What you can do here is pick a damp cloth and clean the surface of the board of all dust, debris, and other contaminants such as leaves and insects, which can further reduce efficiency.
I would recommend that you clean the panel occasionally to avoid building up too much dirt and prevent this kind of problem.
Solution 5: Replace The Batteries.
The fifth solution in our article is to check the Arlo camera battery, I know these batteries are rechargeable and can last 3 to 6 months but over time they may get damaged which will require you to replace them.
So if you tried all the previous solutions and your batteries are still not charging, I recommend that you buy new batteries and see if the problem is resolved.
You can find the batteries on marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart or directly from their online store.
Solution 6: Talk To Arlo Customer Support.
The last thing you can do if all the solutions cited in this blog post didn’t work is to contact Arlo technical support and tell them about your issue.
They’ll tell you to send them the solar panel and they’ll check for any hardware issues, if the panel is still under warranty I suggest talking to them to replace it. To have a clear idea about that you can read the Warranty Policy.
The Arlo Solar Panel is a great option for those who want to keep their battery charged without the hassle of removing it and charging it every three months.
Finally, I hope the tips mentioned in this post were useful to you and I invite you to read other articles on our website if you want to get more troubleshooting tips for your Smart home gadgets.
I’m Adam B, a writer from Smart Home Generation. I have a great passion for technology and have written many articles filled with tips and solutions that have helped people solve problems with their Smart devices without needing to hire an expert.
Ring Camera Battery Not Charging? (Causes Fixes)
If you have a Ring device but it isn’t charging, it can feel very frustrating. After all, you purchased it in order to use it, right? Well, fortunately, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem.
In this blog post, we will discuss some troubleshooting steps to take to discover why your Ring device isn’t charging and what to do to fix it. Then we will provide some tips on how to extend the life of your Ring battery.
What is the Ring Camera?
The Ring camera is a monitoring security device. It comes as an indoor security camera, or as the Ring video doorbell, which allows you to see and speak with the person at your door, even when you’re not home. Not only that – some of the Ring doorbells are wire-free and can be installed in minutes by simply attaching it to your existing doorbell wiring.
The ones that don’t wire into your existing doorbell wiring actually come with a rechargeable battery that can last for six months or up to one year on a single charge. And if you’re wondering about the battery life, the Ring app’s battery status will show you how much power is remaining. If the battery runs low, the Ring will start to chirp so that you can recharge it.
If you’d rather, you can also purchase a solar panel charger to keep your Ring charged indefinitely.
Common Reasons Why Your Ring Camera is not Charging
Smart doorbells are very handy electrical devices, and the Ring camera is no different. But the batteries occasionally won’t charge correctly, and the last thing you want is for your Ring camera to die in the middle of the night – or any time, for that matter.
Here are some common reasons why your Ring camera might not be charging or keeping its charge:
Reset the Ring App’s Battery Status
Sometimes you’ll find that your battery actually is charging but your Ring app will say it isn’t. If you suspect this is the case, you can reset your app’s battery status. When you do this, you may need to do a new setup of the device within the app.
Also, if you have recently reset or updated your video camera, allow your app a little time in order to catch up and show the correct battery status.
Weak Wi-Fi Connection
Another common issue that can prevent your Ring device from charging is a weak Wi-Fi signal. If your router is not close to where you want to use your Ring device, or if there are other devices in between your router and Ring device that could be causing interference, this could be the cause of a weak signal.
To remedy this, try moving your router closer to your Ring device or eliminating any potential interference sources. Double check your Wi-Fi to ensure that you have a strong connection to the house.
Device Needs Resetting
If you are still having trouble charging your Ring device, the next step is to reset your device. To do this, simply press and hold the reset button for five seconds. This will reset your device and hopefully fix the charging issue.
Charger is Defective or Damaged
In some cases, the issue may be with the ring charger itself. To check if this is the issue, plug your charger’s USB cable into a different device to see if it charges that device. If it doesn’t, then you know you will need to get some or all of the chargers replaced in order for your camera’s battery to charge.
Ring chargers are available for purchase on the Ring website or at most electronics stores. They typically come with the USB charging cable.
A Tripped Breaker or Blown Fuse
One reason why your Ring camera may not be charging is that a breaker or fuse has been tripped or blown. This can happen if there is too much demand on the circuit, such as when multiple devices are plugged in and running at the same time.
Please note that this will probably only affect your Ring camera allows for hardwiring into your home. To fix this problem, simply flip the breaker switch back on or replace the blown fuse.
Check the Voltage of Your Transformer
Lastly, if your Ring camera isn’t charging, one thing you should check is the voltage of your doorbell transformer. For example, if the breaker is fine, your issue may be the transformer instead.
If the voltage is too low, it can prevent your Ring device from charging. You can check the voltage of your transformer by using a voltage meter. The voltage should be about 16V. If it is lower than this, you may need to have an electrician come out and check your wiring or replace your transformer altogether.
When to Call Customer Support About Your Ring Camera
One of these methods should work to charge your Ring camera’s battery. However, if you have tried all of these troubleshooting steps and your Ring device still isn’t charging, it is possible that you have a defective device.
In this case, you should contact Ring customer support. They may be able to help you troubleshoot the problem or send you a replacement device.
Ring devices come with a one-year warranty, so if your Ring camera stops working within this time frame, you are likely covered. However, if your Ring device is more than a year old, it is possible that the battery’s ability to hold a charge has diminished. Customer support should be able to tell you how much warranty you have on your device and if you need to purchase a new Ring battery.
How to Replace a Ring Camera Battery
If you need to charge the Ring camera battery or replace it entirely, here are a few tips to do so:
Step 1: Purchase the New Battery
Ring batteries are available for purchase on the Ring website or at many electronics stores. They use a lithium-ion battery, as that type of battery is rechargeable.
Step 2: Install the New Battery
Once you have a new battery, simply follow the instructions that came with your Ring device to install it. You install it by unscrewing the security screw of your device and then inserting the new battery in the correct orientation. Don’t forget to return the screw.
If you’re having trouble installing the new battery, you can always reference the Ring installation guide or contact customer support for help.
Step 3: Check the Battery Status in the Ring App
Once you have installed the new battery, be sure to check the battery status in the Ring app. This will help you ensure that your new battery is working properly and that your Ring device is receiving enough power.
Replace the Ring Camera if Necessary
Your Ring device should begin charging again. But, as we have mentioned before, if you see that the battery status is still low or if you are not receiving alerts from your hardwired Ring doorbell, it is possible that there is something wrong with the device itself. At this point, you may need to purchase an entirely new Ring camera.
Check with customer support to see if a new camera is available under your warranty.
How to Extend the Life of Your Ring Camera Battery
Now that you know several ways to troubleshoot was is going wrong with your Ring device, let’s look at ways to extend the life of your Smart doorbell battery so that this probably doesn’t occur quite so often.
Disable Live View
One thing you can do is to disable Live View when you’re not using your Ring device. Live View uses battery power, so by disabling it when you’re not using your device, you can save battery power.
Adjust Motion Sensitivity
You can also adjust the motion sensitivity of your Ring device. If you find that your device is triggering too often, you can lower the sensitivity. This will prevent your device from being triggered by things like shadows or small movements, which will also save your battery.
Connect to a Solar Panel
If your device allows you to do so, you can also connect it to a solar panel. This will allow your device to be charged during the day and then used at night.
One note about this method is that it only works well if your solar panel charger has direct sunlight access. If there is a lot of shade from a tree, for example, the charge won’t be quite as strong or long-lasting.
Strengthen Your Wi-Fi Signal
Finally, when your Smart doorbell is constantly seeking a signal, that is a huge battery drainer. Keep the signal strong, and your battery life will last longer.
There you have it! These are just a few things you can do if your Ring camera battery isn’t charging.
Be sure to try all of the troubleshooting steps listed above before contacting customer support. With any luck, you’ll be able to get your Ring device working again in no time.
Do you have any other tips for troubleshooting a Ring camera battery? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!
Ring Solar Charger Review – Is It Any Good At All?
As an Amazon Associate, this site earns commissions from qualifying purchases. For more details, click here.
The Ring Solar Charger promises solar power for your Ring Video Doorbell 3 or Plus. By using solar energy, it extends the Doorbell battery life, saving you dollars in the long term. At least that is the claim. Version 2 had some complaints about the charger not charging, so is version 3 any different?
The Ring Solar Charger is better than the previous version. It works only with Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, but charge time is quick and dependable. But you need to be aware of its limitations to avoid frustrations. We also look at the solutions to common complaints about this charger.
How Fast is the Ring Solar Charge Time?
Under ideal conditions and average use, the charge should be from 60%-85%. You might get a full charge yes, but only in maximum direct sunlight. Changing the settings also affects battery performance, but numerous events will reduce battery power significantly.
The Ring Charger works only with the Doorbell 3/Plus as stated, and here doesn’t seem to be any problems. The Ring app has a status bar and it reads “Connected” to let you know the Charger and Doorbell are running fine.
it is impossible to give an estimate of charge time because conditions vary. Just to give you an idea though, it is not unusual to see the Ring Solar Charger take 6 weeks to go from 47% to 70%. it does not always take that long, but do not be surprised if it did.
In ideal weather the Ring goes up to 90% and stays in the 85%-90% range. It might go up or down a few percentage points here and there, but it should remain stable. As many customers hve pointed out, it is all about the positioning, which is applicable for all solar panels.
If the Ring Solar Charger gets a dozen hits daily and 6 hours of direct sunlight, it should be between 80%-90%. Remember that this charger only works with Doorbell 3/3 Plus so don’t try it with the earlier versions.
Ring Solar Charger Performance
Just like in our Arlo Pro Solar Panel review, performance depends entirely on how much sunlight it receives. For the most part the Ring works as expected. As many have pointed out, the unit is well packaged and setting it up is easy.
Having to uninstall the Doorbell to use the Solar Charger is a bit of a hassle, but it’s not a big issue. When installed the charger works like any solar panel. Once exposed to the sun it will start to charge. There are some settings you can adjust but the default should be fine for most users.
Charge time will vary from case to case. Just like with any solar panel it, everything depends on sunlight and location. You can put the Ring in the best, clearest spot but if there’s no sun, there’s no charge. If there’s lots of sun but the charger is under shade, charge will be slow.
Ring Solar Charger Specifications
|Solar Power Rating||0.52W|
|Power Source||Sunlight (several hours required)|
|Power cable built in||Yes|
|Compatibility||Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Doorbell 3 Plus|
|Dimensions||6 x 3.8 x 0.5 inches|
Ring Solar Charger Installation
Installation is straightforward. There are specific instructions in the user guide, so this is a general overview of the steps.
- If you have Doorbell Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, installed, uninstall it first. Lift the security screw, remove the faceplate and take off the mounting screws.
- Mount the solar charger to a wall with the provided screws. Use the bundled wall anchors if you want to set the charger on a stucco or brick wall.
- The screw terminals at the end of the Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, should be loosened. Place the charger connector below the screws. Tighten the screws when you are done.
- Place the Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, into the charger. Carefully feed the cable in the charger. Use the bundled bolts to secure it.
- Reconnect the faceplate on the Doorbell 3/3Plus. Fasten with the screws. Installation is complete.
Why is the Ring Solar Charger Not Working?
If the Ring Charger is not working, the most likely reason is there is not enough sunlight. If you are certain installation is correct, it could be due to any of the following.
Not enough direct sunlight: do not mount the charger on a porch, under a tree, or anywhere there is shade. A slight shade could slow or stop the charge. This does not mean the Ring is deficient, that is just how solar power works. Remove the shade and try again.
Not enough charging time: the Solar Charger needs a few hours minimum to fully charge. It might take six hours or more depending on the weather. As we pointed out earlier, it might take weeks just to move a few percentages if the weather is cloudy.
Cloudy/rainy conditions: the Ring will not charge under these conditions, period. Direct sunlight – and plenty of it – is needed. if it is often cloudy or rainy in your area – with only occasional clear skies – you will not get consistent results.
Charging inside: Ring Solar Chargers – all versions – are not designed to work with indoor lighting. You may see a bit of charge but it will not reach 100%. This is also true for all solar panels.
Blue light blinks on and off: it means the Ring is updating firmware. It’s normal and should stop when updating is complete. Note: update the charger as soon as you can. There is firmware that allows the charger to run even under a covered porch. However it will not be as fast as in an open, clear area.
Dirt and grime: all solar panels slow or halt charging when dirty, and the Ring is no exception. Remove any dirt and try it again. Just remove the dirt with a clean cloth and it should be fine
Damaged: if the solar panel is damaged you need to have it replaced. Check the warranty if the issue is covered or how you can get a refund from where you bought it.
If the Ring Solar Charge is not working, it means there is insufficient sunlight. Also the Device Health Page does not provide information about the solar panel. Even with the charger installed it will still say the power source is the battery. But if the charger is working then the battery won’t get used up.
One more thing we want to point is this. If the Charger doesn’t receive enough sunlight, it will use the battery. If battery usage is faster than the charge, you’ll see the indicator level go down. Numerous events, live streaming and cold weather can lead to fast battery depletion.
Bottom line is the Ring Solar Charger works with the proper installation and location. That is the key here. if it does not get sufficient sunlight it will not charge, period. But if the conditions are right and there are no obstructions or shade, the Ring will power the Doorbell 3 nicely.