As you may know, a battery-powered security camera is the most common CCTV system in the market today. It’s not only affordable but a lot more flexible and also more advanced in terms of intelligent video surveillance. As a potential owner, though, how long do batteries last in wireless security cameras?
Indeed, this question should be your first if you’re in the market for a battery camera for your home or even work place. It will help make sure you purchase the right system for your situation, which will not only be cost-effective. But also, you’ll know the right kind of accessories to add to the cart.
Is a Battery-Powered Wireless Security Camera Worth it?
First of all, the use of batteries extends to both standalone and security camera systems with a DVR. But the former is the most common to the users, and so are the manufacturers. In fact, Lorex and ZOSI are the only well-known brands that we came across with an expandable system. But even then, the kits had an NVR console and not a DVR.
Anyway, a battery-powered wireless security camera is the best choice if you want installation freedom. It requires no cabling at all, which explains its other nickname, a “wire-free camera”. You can mount it about anywhere for as long it’s within range with your home WiFi for successful remote viewing.
If it’s a place further from home, some top companies, including Reolink and Arlo, have tried to innovate a cellular security camera. While the idea was phenomenal, the design of the cameras didn’t work out well with Americans as it did in the U.K.
Nonetheless, the cellular trail camera has found its place amongst the hunters as it’s something they don’t expect to use every day. Of course, you can also use the system to monitor activity at the barns and work sites, but the creators usually charge the cellular rate plan per Megabyte. So, it can be expensive if you expect to be getting over a hundred pictures and video clips every day.
Who Can Benefit From a Battery Operated Security camera?
As was mentioned, a wire-free security camera is the best fit for someone who wants installation freedom. Other situations the system can come in handy is if you:
- Are a Renter: a battery-powered security camera necessarily doesn’t need drilling through the walls. So, you can even mount in your apartment without getting into a brawl with the landlord or management.
- Have a limited budget: the system is cheaper compared to the DVR and NVR kits. Brands like Wyze enable you to monitor your property from as low as $30-$50.
- Move around a lot: uninstalling a wire-free security camera is as easy as it’s to mount. So, it’s the type of system you need if you’re always on the move, like with your RV.
- Want a DIY system: a wire-free camera is also a perfect fit if you need a home security system that’s easy to operate and maintain.
How Long Do Batteries Last in Wireless Security Cameras?
To be honest, there’s no definite timeline on when the batteries of a wireless security camera will last. The aspect usually depends on the type of camera you own, available features, as well as how you use it.
The Type of Camera
Overall, there are hundreds of wireless security cameras that run on batteries. Each brand has a different type of battery, whereby some are rechargeable and others are non-rechargeable, plus with varying storage capacities. And the higher the storage capacity (shown as mAh ratings), the longer time it will run under similar conditions.
The following table shows ten of the best-rated battery-operated security cameras in the market. We’ve constituted a comparison between the advertised battery life vs the actual battery life that we collected in our short survey from past owners.
|Wire-free Security camera Brand||Storage Capacity of the Battery||Advertised Battery Life||Average Actual Battery Life|
|Blink Outdoor Security Camera||2x AA (Lithium batteries)||24 Months||8-16 Weeks|
|Ring Stick Up Cam (3rd Generation)||N/A (Lithium)||N/A||4-12 Weeks|
|WYZE Cam Outdoor Security Camera||2x-2600mAh (Lithium)||3-6 Months||1-3 Weeks|
|Vikeri Trail Camera||8 x 1.5VAA (Alkaline batteries)||3-6 Months||2-4 Weeks|
|ZUMIMALL F5 Security Camera||1x 5200mAh (Lithium batteries)||2-3 Months||1-4 Weeks|
|Eufycam 2C Home Security camera||2x 6500mAh (Lithium batteries)||6 Months||4-12 Weeks|
|Arlo Pro 3 Security Camera||N/A (Lithium batteries)||6 Months||2-4 Weeks|
|Reolink Argus PT||1x 6500mAh (Lithium batteries)||One Month||1 Week|
|ZOSI C1 Wire-Free Security Camera||1x 6700mAh (Lithium battery)||3 Months||2-7 Weeks|
|SIRGAWAIN Mini Spy Camera||1x 200mah (Lithium battery)||N/A||1-2 Hours|
Blink Outdoor Security Camera
The Blink Outdoor security camera is the overall bestseller in the category, with 75,000+ reviews on Amazon (alone). It comes with two AA lithium (non-rechargeable) batteries that they claim can serve you for up to two years (24 months) without replacing.
Based on the response from the past owners, though, Blink Outdoor holds charge between two to four months. However, the camera does support a lot of features, including 1080p HD, 30fps frame rate, two-way talk, audio recording, motion detection, and smart Alexa integration. So, you can try tweaking the features around and see if the charge can last at least a year.
Ring Stick Up Cam (3rd Generation)
The Ring Stick Up Cam is another top bestseller on the American market, but, sadly, the manufacturer hasn’t been transparent on the battery it uses. Even worst, there’s no mention of the estimated time the device should last on a Single charge- other than “for months”.
Regardless, the past users have confirmed that the Ring camera can last between one to three months per charge. In our opinion, that’s fair enough.
WYZE Cam Outdoor Security Camera
At only sixty bucks, the WYZE Cam Outdoor security camera is everything you need to monitor your home with a tight budget. It records in 1080p HD, plus has a free cloud, two-way audio, 24/7 recording, motion detection, and IP65 weatherproof rating.
Moreover, WYZE Labs advertise the outdoor cam to last between three to six months on a charge. However, our test proves that the camera’s charge will last between one to three weeks for most people.
ZUMIMALL F5 Security Camera
The ZUMIMALL F5 Security Camera is also a great choice if you need a budget-friendly system that you won’t deal with wires. It records in 1080p Full HD quality and also does have an audio recording, two-way talk, local storage, and IP66 weatherproof rating.
Also, the wireless camera has a built-in 5200mAh battery that the maker advertises to last at least two months per charge. However, many of the users have confirmed a battery life of about a month, which, of course, isn’t way off from the advertised rate.
Eufycam 2C Home Security camera
Have you ever come across a CCTV that you can access the memory card from the mobile app? The Eufycam 2C Security camera is one of the few, which makes it a perfect choice if you don’t want to be paying cloud fees. It’s also IP67 weatherproof, plus has a built-in spotlight, human detection, face detection, and smart detection zones.
Furthermore, the security camera has a rechargeable battery that the company advertises to last for 180 days (6 months). Nonetheless, our survey has proven the battery charge to last for one to three months. In truth, that’s not too bad.
Arlo Pro 3 Security Camera
If you won’t mind parting with a half grand, the Arlo Pro 3 has everything a homeowner would want to secure his property. 2K (with HDR) videos, colored night vision, audible siren, two-way talk, HomeKit/ Alexa/ Google Home/ SmartThings integration, and package/ person/ vehicle detection are just a few of the features.
The Arlo camera also does have a rechargeable battery that the manual says can run up to six months. Upon the tests on the default settings, though, the camera holds the charge for about a month. However, you can readjust some of the features to the lowest setting to extend the battery life longer.
Factors That Affect the Battery Life of a Wireless Security Camera
Well, the type of the security camera (and built-in battery) is not the only factor that determines how long the charge will last. The features you enable of the device, as well as where you mount also count.
- Video quality: recording in 4K resolution will drain the battery faster than 2K, which will consume more power than 1080p HD.
- Compression rate: a camera recording in H.265 (HEVC) will consume less storage and bandwidth, for sure. However, the compression technology requires more computation power, in which case it can drain the battery slightly faster than H.264.
- Frame Rate: Just like in gaming, a camera recording in a high frame rate will use more battery compared to a lower frame rate.
- Audio Functions: that’s right. Two-way talk, audio recording, and the siren will all increase the power consumption of your camera. The rate at which that happens depends on the mic and speaker in place.
- IVS technology: All intelligent video surveillance (IVS) features no doubt decrease the battery life. The more intense is the coding, the faster it drains.
- Weather condition: Intense weather conditions also tend to consume more battery power. Hence, the reason you’ll notice your camera draining the battery faster in winter seasons.
- Activity vs continuous recording: Last but not least, your camera will use less power in motion/ sound-activated recordings than in 24/7 continuous recordings. Hence, the reason many battery-powered cameras will only record in short clips.
In truth, a battery-powered camera may seem of little value to large properties, but it can surely come in handy. For instance, about all DVR and NVR kits require wired power to continue working. That means you’ll never have your third eye when there’s a power blackout in your area.
On the contrary, battery-powered cameras are very affordable, with many of them selling under a hundred. There’s no excuse if you truly want to track the activity of your property all the time.
Even so, you still have to consider factors like resolution, compression rate, smart AI, and video recording length to conserve the battery of your camera. But if you want to make the most of your camera, you can consider attaching a solar panel for a continuous power supply.