A battery-powered wireless security camera is usually the ideal solution if you want to monitor a place incapable of wiring. It could also be handy when working around a rental property or if you want to watch an area more discreetly. Then again, how often do you have to charge wireless security cameras to make sure they’re always working?
Whether it’s a wired or wireless security camera, there must be a flowing power to get it to work. If the system runs on rechargeable batteries, this would mean you have to recharge now and then to never miss any moment.
Not all Battery Wireless Security Cameras are Rechargeable
First of all, not all wireless security cameras run on battery. The word “wireless” usually refers to those devices that transmit data wirelessly- without the need for a cable.
If you want to refer to a “wireless camera” that operates on batteries, the right term should be “wire-free”. But a lot of casual consumers are still convinced the word “wireless” in a security camera means the device run has batteries. And in recent years, sellers on places like Amazon had no other option than start to differentiate the two.
Needless to say, not all battery-powered security cameras are also rechargeable. A perfect example is the Blink camera, which usually comes with a pair of lithium non-rechargeable batteries.
Moreover, almost all the trail cameras for security or just watching the game uses a pack of non-rechargeable batteries. The devices are often set up miles away from home, anyways, and would be inconvenient to have rechargeable power that is rarely predictable.
Factors that Determine How Often to Charge Wireless Security Cameras
How often do you recharge your smartphone, smartwatch, or laptop? The answer to these devices is pretty much the same in our case for battery-operated security cameras: it depends.
It depends on the brand of security camera you have, specifically on factors:
- Battery Quality is the first thing that will determine how often you have to charge your wireless security cameras. The better the brand and capacity, the longer it will take for the battery to fully deplete.
- The age of the battery also does determine the time your wireless security camera will last before needing to recharge. Any battery degrades per the more cycles completed, which is why even your phone retains charge longer when new
- The number of features active on the camera is another factor that determines the overall battery life. It’s easy to prove the fact in a camera like the Arlo Pro 4 or Ultra 2 with a host of sophisticated features that you can enable/disable.
- The recording mode is the other factor you’ll need to worry about when accessing the charging frequency of your wireless security camera. A perfect example is with the Wyze Cam V1 or V2 and V3, whereby your MicroSD card will fill up faster on continuous video recording than with short activity clips.
- The current temperature in an area also does affect the power usage of devices. And that you can prove with a cold weather security camera, whereby it doesn’t hold a charge when the temperature’s too low.
- Last but not least, the charging frequency also does vary if you have a solar-powered wireless security camera. The time you need to worry about connecting to the wall outlet is mostly during the winter when the sun’s unavailable.
How Often Do You Have To Charge Wireless Security Cameras Once Installed?
As we’ve just seen, there are at least six factors that will determine how often you charge a wireless security camera. The quality/ capacity of the battery is the only aspect that’s beyond the control of the users. And in the chart below, you can see our argument on battery capacity vs charge frequency.
|Brand of Wireless Security Camera||Listed Capacity of the Battery||Advertised Battery Life||Normal Battery Charging Frequency|
|Ring Stick Up Cam (3rd Generation)||6040mAh (Li-ion Battery)||3-6 Months||4-12 Weeks|
|Eufycam 2C Home Security camera||6500mAh (Li-ion Battery)||6 Months||4-12 Weeks|
|Arlo Pro 2 Security Camera||2440mAh (Li-ion Battery)||6 Months||2-4 Weeks|
|WYZE Cam Outdoor Security Camera||2600mAh (Li-ion Battery)||3-6 Months||1-3 Weeks|
|Ring (2020) Video Doorbell||6040mAh (Li-ion Battery)||6-12 Months||12-18 Weeks|
|Eufy Security 2K Video Camera Doorbell||6500mAh (Li-ion Battery)||6 Months||2-3 Weeks|
|Reolink Argus 2 Solar Security Camera||5200mAh (Li-ion Battery)||6 Month||1 Week|
|ZEEPORTE Wireless WiFi Security Camera||6400mAh (Li-ion Battery)||1-6 Months||1-4 Weeks|
|Hiseeu WiFi Spotlight Security Camera||5200mAh (Li-ion Battery)||3 Months||1-6 Weeks|
|ZUMIMALL F5 Security Camera||5200mAh (Li-ion Battery)||2-3 Months||1-4 Weeks|
|ZOSI C1 Wire-Free Security Camera||6700mAh (Li-ion Battery)||3 Months||2-7 Weeks|
|SIRGAWAIN Mini Spy Camera||200mah (Li-ion Battery)||–||1-2 Hours|
In the chart, you’ll also notice the battery life that brands advertise on their security cameras is different from what you get for real. Of course, this isn’t to say that they have lied.
As they age, rechargeable batteries undergo a chemical degradation of the electrolytes that powers them and lose the charge holding capacity. But a battery will also slowly self-discharge, start degrading, and lose charge-holding capacity while even not used.
So, your security camera might have had the advertised battery life while coming out of the factory. But because of the processes involved between the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer, the product could be dormant for several months.
Easy Tricks to Extend Battery Life & Not Charge Your Security Cameras Too Often
The purpose of installing any security camera is to make sure you can keep an eye on what matters when it matters. In a battery-operated camera, that would mean you have to make sure it always has enough charge to operate. And the only way to ensure that will be to charge on time.
Now, the various ways to maximize battery usage and ensure you don’t charge your security cameras too often include:
- Monitor and understand the normal battery usage of your camera, of course
- Enable the preprogrammed or optimized battery life (saver) management setting
- Set the camera to record in short video clips instead of 24/7 continuous mode
- Use the camera on only the settings that matter, especially during winter when the battery drains faster. The motion sensitivity, night vision (light duration & brightness of spotlight), and sound sensitivity should be set to the lowest mode.
- Check that your wireless security camera is operating on the latest firmware, and if not update
- Position your security camera on areas that matter instead of a busy street where the sensors trigger dozens of irrelevant activity
- Place the camera within a strong range of the WiFi router or Homebase station. If the signal is too weak, the system will work harder than normal and drain the battery faster
- Make sure your wire-free security camera isn’t too close to other wireless devices. Yes, it may sound stupid. But too much wireless interference will have the camera work harder and reduce battery life too
- Connect a solar panel to the supported battery security cameras to make sure they have constant power
Replace the Battery when the Time Comes
In a nutshell, brand quality is the most determining factor in how often you have to charge wireless security cameras. The better the battery quality, the longer it will take to completely deplete the charge.
When the camera has a great battery capacity, other factors are easier to control for better power optimization. The only aspect we could say is beyond human control is the degradation of the electrolytes. But even then, a good brand will take up to three years or over until it loses significant charge-holding capacity.
And once your security camera can’t go through a day with charge, get a replacement battery as soon as possible. If not, continue to use the camera while plugged in or get another one that will suit your wire-free surveillance needs.