In a nutshell, installing a security camera for outdoor is the first step to improving the security of your home or business. It will not only let you see whoever’s coming in or going out but also can help ward off potential intruders. But again, your system has to be active all the time if you’re to make the most of it. So, in this article, we’re going to share our professional insight on how to power outdoor security camera systems.
Regardless, we have different CCTV types, designs, and setups. Thus, the way to provide power will also vary with the devices you have at hand.
Recommended Outdoor Security Cameras for Home and Small Businesses in 2022
Here are the seven best security cameras that you can use outdoor. The recently- released and 2020 bestseller, Hiseeu PTZ camera is our overall best choice.
|Security Camera Brand||CCTV Type||Recording Quality||Key Features|
|Hiseeu WHD303||Standalone or NVR Kit||3MP HD||Motion auto trackingBuilt-in MicroSD slot PoE & WiFi connectivity|
|Zeeporte A4||Standalone||1080p HD||So affordableRechargeable batteryBuilt-in SD card slot|
|Hiseeu WNKIT-4HB612-1T||NVR Kit||3MP HD||Up to 8 open channelsWireless connectivityPreinstalled hard drive|
|Creative XP LTE 4G||Trail Camera||1080p HD||WiFi cellular featureFree 32GB memory cardMultiple recording modes|
|Ring Stick Up Cam||Standalone(with solar)||1080p HD||Hands-free controlWiFi connectivityTwo-way talk|
|Reolink RLK8-800B4||NVR Kit||4K UHD||Up to 8 open channelsPreinstalled hard driveH.265 video codec|
|ANNKE E200||DVR Kit(Hybrid)||2K Super-HD||Reasonably pricedUses analog & IP camerasPreinstalled hard drive|
Learn to differentiate Wireless and Wire-free
Indeed, a lot of people tend to confuse the wire-free and wireless security camera systems. The latter is often used to define CCTV systems that are able to communicate with the viewing device through a radio or WiFi signal. These cameras are the most common today, with brands like Ring, Reolink, Nest, Wyze, Eufy and Arlo, all in the race for dominance.
Needless to say, a wireless security camera is not limited to the standalone design as many people think. There is also an expandable wireless security camera system with an NVR box to pair with multiple cameras.
Meanwhile, the term wire-free refers to those security cameras that require no wiring to function. We use it with battery powered wireless outdoor security in most cases. However, a trail camera usually runs on batteries, and some even send the captured recordings to your phone wirelessly. So, we could say they’re also wire-free since you need no wiring during installation.
How to Power Outdoor Security Camera
As was mentioned, all your security cameras for outdoor (and even indoor) require power to work. The source of your power could either be battery, solar or wired.
In the case of wired power, the CCTV system may require a simple plugging into the wall socket or hardwiring to the switch supply box. It’s the most reliable option of all and your camera will always be active as long as the main power grid remains on.
Nonetheless, some areas may be hard or even impossible to run the cables to power the cameras. If it’s a crucial part of your security goal, you can consider an outdoor battery-powered security camera. You’ll only need to stick it on the position and you’re good to go.
Even so, your battery camera will at one point run out of juice, which means you’ll need to recharge or replace the batteries. If the device is at a difficult location or farther from the house, you could attach a solar charger to it. That way, your device will have constant power (when the sun is out or in) and you’ll have all the recordings.
This now brings us to our main topic, whereby we’ll now look at the main five ways you can power an outdoor security camera.
1. Power a Plugin Standalone Outdoor security camera
First of all, a standalone is a security camera that you don’t require to connect to a DVR or NVR. Usually, it will have wireless technology to transmit the data over the viewing device or to storage. But other times it may have only the ability to record and store the data.
When it now comes to powering a plugin standalone outdoor security camera, the technique is to just plug into a working wall socket. The cameras usually come with a power adapter or charger for that. So, you may not need to buy anything in many scenarios.
In some scenarios, however, there might be no socket to where you want the camera to be. So, you’ll need to extend an extension cord (as we have done with our small office) or an extra socket to or near the camera spot.
2. Power battery Standalone Outdoor security camera
If you wish to keep an eye on places like driveways, a battery security camera can come in handy as you’ll mount it even on trees. This also includes trail cameras for security in case you needed discrete surveillance and won’t mind having event recordings only.
In addition to that, about all battery security cameras are compatible with a solar charger, though with specific models. So, you can attach one if you want to have uninterrupted monitoring and can’t reach the power adapter to the location. The hack will also help save you from the hassle of taking down the camera now and then to recharge.
Please note, your standalone outdoor camera will need to have rechargeable batteries to be able to work with a solar panel. So, you might not be able to use the Blink cameras that use AA 1.5v Lithium batteries.
Another thing, the power consumption of a security camera is greatly dependent on the specs and features in use. For instance, 24/7 recording may drain the batteries much faster, which explains why an Arlo camera will support the feature when only plugged in.
Other features that can impact the battery life of your CCTV include IVS analytics like motion tracking, and also video recording quality.
3. Power outdoor security camera system with DVR
Technically, a security camera system with DVR is the easiest way to have recordings without having to pay for the cloud. A DVR (digital video recorder) box also has at least four to sixty-four or more ports to hook up your cameras. Thus, allowing you to have a single management hub that you can use to control the various cameras with ease, with or without the internet.
Nonetheless, we have analog DVR that support only coaxial cameras and the hybrid DVR systems that can use coaxial and or IP cameras. The coaxial cable for the analog cameras is for just video transmission. Thus, you’ll still need to plug the individual cameras into the power source, which you can use either a wall socket or switch box.
On its end, the Hybrid DVR usually combines analog and PoE technology in that you can add a limited number of IP cameras. In some of these DVRs, you can even use IP cameras to take the place of that analog camera. But then, you might need to purchase a PoE Switch since the recorder has only two (sometimes four) dedicated ports for the add-on IP cameras.
Fortunately, the PoE cable can transmit both the power and video signal at the same time. You don’t need to supply the cameras with wired power apart from some cases as we shall see below.
4. Power Outdoor Security camera system with NVR
While most people use them interchangeably, the NVR is very different from a DVR. True, they both fall under the category of expandable security camera systems, but an NVR (network video recorder) relies on PoE technology. The thing with PoE (Power over Ethernet) is that its cable can carry the power and data signal at the same time. So, you necessarily don’t need to plug the individual cameras into the power supply.
Nonetheless, you’ll come to notice all PoE cameras have an input for the Cat 5 Ethernet cable and the power adapter. The combination makes it possible to use the PoE IP camera as a standalone camera by linking to your internet router.
In case you have a large property to cover, you might come to notice a signal drop for the camera/s farther away from the NVR. While the issue can be from several issues, a low power supply is one of them. So, the integrated input will also come in handy to boost the juice to that camera, considering there’s a nearby power source (socket or switch) that you borrow the needed power.
5. Power Standalone Security Camera through Hardwiring
When showing you how to install Ring Floodlight Cam without existing wiring, we saw that the regular plugging in can’t work. Yes, the Amazon company does have various plugin cameras, but the power requirements of the Floodlight Cam are relatively high. So, you have to hard wiring to the main supply, just like with the outdoor security lights.
Actually, the Ring Floodlight camera has between 1,500 – 2,000 lumens brightness output. So, you could remove the old security light (if available) and use the existing wiring for your floodlight camera.
It’s worth noting that video doorbell cameras are also not for plug-and-go. They require a hardwiring connection, which can be from either the previous traditional doorbell or a new one.
Well, these are the various ways you can use to power outdoor security camera systems. We hope we’ve answered all or at least most of the questions that you might have on the topic. In case you haven’t bought your cameras yet, we’d recommend you first learn the various crucial things about them. Then, you can shop around while checking out what the past owners have to say.
As for the powering option, both battery and wired power are great, but each also has its weaknesses. So, do make sure you understand and apply them as per the situation at hand while considering all the features you need your security camera to have.