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There are a lot of options when it comes to powering a network of security cameras on your property. Hardwired or battery-powered cameras are the most common, but some green-minded folks would rather run their system renewable — with the power of the sun.
Solar-powered cameras aren’t a new thing by any means, but they are growing in popularity as more folks are becoming environmentally conscious and looking to reduce their carbon footprint (and energy bills!). And with advancements in solar technology, the panels are becoming smaller and more efficient every day.
The majority of manufacturers on our list integrate solar power into their line of products by way of a stand-alone solar panel accessory. Attach it to a battery-powered camera, and you’ll extend the life of your charge exponentially. And don’t worry about reliability — the camera’s onboard battery will take over on particularly cloudy days. This means you don’t have to worry about downtime.
Ready to learn more about the best solar-powered camera manufacturers in the industry today? Let’s jump in.
Simply put, Lorex offers some of the best security equipment in the industry. Couple that with solar power, and you’ve got a green security system that won’t let you down.
When we tested Lorex, we were surprised by the features their cameras offered and the seemingly endless compatibility of use cases. In other words, if you have a unique need, Lorex likely has a solution.
And a good solution at that. As we previously wrote, they make excellent cameras for business owners looking to protect their interests, but they’re also a great option for homeowners looking to keep an eye on things. The 4K resolution on many of their cameras ensures images will always be crisp and detailed, and their industry-leading color night vision means you’ll be able to capture what you need, day or night.
But what about power options? Lorex offers traditional hardwired and battery-operated cameras, but has recently made a push to be more sustainable by offering a solar panel that you can piggyback onto many of their battery-operated models. The Lorex solar panel is compatible with:
So you definitely have options if you’re looking to sustainably power a network of Lorex cameras. It’s easy to set up and install on the back of the camera or in a separate location for optimal exposure. The panel itself is weatherproof and will operate from minus 22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the cameras should work just fine if you’re located in Fairbanks or Death Valley.
At $79.99, it’s not the cheapest solar panel on our list, but as they say, you get what you pay for. We have more information on this in our guide to Lorex’s pricing and products, but we’ll say this: You’ll definitely see where the money goes when you purchase Lorex products. These cameras are extremely robust, well designed, and in our opinion, well worth the money.
One of the most well-respected names in the home security industry, Ring brings a lot to the table when considering solar-powered camera options.
Ring has a great reputation for a reason. When we reviewed Ring’s cameras, we found them to be easy to use, reliable, and fairly simple to install — particularly the wireless models. Ring’s doorbell cameras are also top-notch, and their peripheral and supplemental equipment is all well designed and easy to use.
And speaking of that supplemental equipment, similar to Lorex, Ring offers two solar panels that can be used with their Spotlight Cam or second or third generation Stick Up Cams for sustainable power.
Their standard solar panel costs $49.99 and will require about three to four hours of full sun to keep your camera fully charged. The $99.99 Super Solar Panel only requires one to two hours of partial sun, making it more suitable for shady areas. Both are weather resistant and come with adjustable mounting brackets.
If you’re building out a comprehensive security system, check out our guide to Ring’s products and costs. Their equipment is affordable and can cover a wide variety of use cases.
If you’re interested in building out a smart home, Google Nest might be the right platform for you. Add to that the Wasserstein solar panel, and you’ve got a technologically advanced and renewable system.
With smart security features, facial recognition capabilities, and exceptional picture quality, we really enjoyed testing the Google Nest system.
And if you want to run this system off solar power, you’re in luck. Google offers the Wasserstein solar panel exclusively for its battery-powered Nest products, including the indoor and outdoor cameras as well as the Nest video doorbell.
The panel will run you $59.99 and will trickle-charge your equipment while it runs on battery power. Make sure the panel is in direct sunlight, though, or you might run into some issues with continuity. If the battery drains completely, you’ll need to recharge it off wall power. This shouldn’t be too big of a problem, though, since the 360-degree wall mount allows you to position the panel in any direction for maximum exposure.
A DIYer’s dream, Arlo’s security cameras are simple to install and easy to power on solar energy. Plus you get 1080p HD image quality and loads of great features.
One of the first things that struck us in our review of Arlo was just how easy these battery-operated cameras are to install. We had our network up and running in less than an hour.
Once we were set up, the day-to-day operation couldn’t have been simpler. Their app is well designed and intuitive, and their equipment was well-built and sleek. But let’s talk about what you’re here for.
Like the other options on our list, Arlo offers a solar panel that can power its Pro, Pro 2, and Go 1 cameras. With just a few hours of direct sunlight a day, your batteries will stay fully charged. Also in line with the Arlo ethos, the panel is very easy to install and fully adjustable, and at $59.99, it’s one of the more affordable panels on the list.
Note that the Arlo solar panel doesn’t work with the Arlo Go 2 camera, and like Lorex, they aren’t the most affordable option on the list. More about that in our guide to Arlo’s prices and products, but suffice it to say, quality comes with a price.
With a simple installation process, an easy-to-use mobile app, and affordable equipment, SimpliSafe is a great option for homeowners looking to keep an eye on things. Couple your outdoor camera with the SimpliSafe solar panel, and you’ll reduce your environmental impact at the same time.
True to its name, SimpliSafe is nothing but simple. Their no-nonsense design and well-designed mobile app make setting up your network of cameras a breeze. In our SimpliSafe analysis, we didn’t find a ton of bells and whistles, but when it comes to core functionality, these cameras hit the nail on the head.
And if you’re interested in sustainability, the SimpliSafe solar panel will keep your outdoor wireless camera changed 24/7 with just a few hours of direct sunlight a day. At $79.99, it’s not exactly a steal, but when you consider the cost of SimpliSafe’s other equipment, you might still end up ahead if you go with them.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume that at the end of the day, you want two things out of your security camera system — reliability and sustainability. While we certainly have our favorites, any of the cameras on this list will provide you with both. Keeping an eye on your property while looking out for Mother Nature is easy and fairly affordable with these companies.
Not exactly sure this is what you’re looking for? That’s no problem. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite security camera companies of 2022 for your review. If you don’t like any of these options for whatever reason, you’re more than likely going to find what you’re looking for over there.
Does my solar panel need direct sunlight?
Most solar panels for security cameras require at least a few hours of direct sunlight, but some manufacturers like Ring have designed panels that can be used in partial sunlight.
How many hours of sunlight does my solar-powered security camera need to charge?
Most solar-powered security cameras only require a few hours of sunlight per day to keep your batteries fully charged around the clock.
Are solar panels for security cameras expensive?
Generally speaking, most solar panels for security cameras are under $100, with most sitting between the $50 and $80 range.
What are the benefits of using a solar-powered security camera?
Not only is it better for the environment, your solar-operated security camera will also be more reliable than if it was running off battery power alone since it uses the power of the sun to recharge every day.
Who makes the best solar-powered security cameras?
While there are plenty of manufacturers that offer solar accessories for their products, we think Lorex, Ring, and Google Nest have the best options.