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Choosing the right security camera can be tough. Most of the time, you have to choose between running wire to power them or make sure to charge the batteries regularly to keep them going. Solar-powered cameras, however, can combine ease of installation with dependable coverage by keeping the battery charged without ever needing to be plugged in.

Recharge batteries with sunlight

A solar-powered camera can be installed without running any wires and also without needing to be accessed for charging. With at least two full hours of sunlight per day, most solar-powered security cameras can keep running indefinitely, allowing you to “set and forget” your cameras. You can also stop climbing a ladder every few months to retrieve cameras for charging or battery exchange.

Wifi monitoring

Solar-powered cameras usually send security images and data via a secure wi-fi connection. They can also sometimes run on a cell network, like the new Eufy 4G solar cam, or they can sometimes use a local Bluetooth connection. Since solar security cameras use a wireless signal to transmit information to your phone or local smart home device, you don’t need to run cables for that part, either.

Continuous monitoring

Because solar powered cameras don’t need to go into standby mode to conserve battery life, they can record continuously instead of intermittently when they detect motion. Setting the scope of the motion detection on your battery-powered cameras to a large enough area for you to monitor pets or vehicles in a larger space can drain the batteries even faster. A solar-powered camera can allow you to take a look at what’s going on on your feed regardless of whether the motion sensor has been triggered without worrying about running out of power.

Choosing the right battery

In order for your solar-powered security camera to keep working on cloudy days, it will need to have a battery with enough storage to keep it working even under cloudy conditions. Look for a battery that will run for at least one day on one charge. If you live in an area with lots of cloudy days, you should look for a longer-lasting battery. When choosing a camera system that runs on solar power, make sure to confirm that your system’s battery capacity allows it to run for a minimum of 12 hours on a single charge.

Set your cameras up for success

To make sure that you have enough sunlight for continuous operation, using a solar charger that can be placed on the roof or on a south-facing wall is ideal. Getting the best sun exposure will keep the batteries on your camera charged for cloudy days and overnight. Cameras should be placed with the view you want, and high up enough so that they can’t be reached and removed by strangers. Since your solar-charged cameras don’t need to be retrieved to change or charge the batteries, placing them in a hard-to-reach spot won’t present as many difficulties down the road.

What to look for in a solar-powered security camera

To begin with, when choosing a wireless security camera, you should look for one that’s compatible with the smart home devices that you already use. Rather than installing multiple apps to access, choosing a camera that’s compatible with your existing system will allow you to integrate your cameras into the rest of your house. You should also choose a camera that has a high resolution—HD or better—so that the footage will be clear when you need to access it. The higher the wattage of your solar charger, the faster it will be able to charge your camera’s battery. Look for six watts or above for faster charging.

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