“Someone is at your front door,” says Alexa.
You check your security cam on your phone, and you see your package from Amazon has arrived. Sweet!
While this situation would bring a smile to anyone’s face, the flip side isn’t pretty.
Imagine your new solar security camera has stopped working. There is someone at the door banging violently, but your recording is blurry. You can’t see anything. Or your image is fading. Out of charge…again. What do you do?
If you keep reading, your fate will be much better. We’ve rounded up the best solar-powered security cameras so you can stay prepared for any situation. And a quick browse through our buyer’s guide will help you choose the right one for your home.
Top 7 Solar-Powered Security Camera Reviews
So without further ado, here’s a snapshot of our top 7 picks.
|Reolink Argus PT Solar Security Camera
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|ZUMIMALL Solar-Powered Home Security Camera
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|Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Security Camera
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|Ring Stick Up Solar HD Security Camera
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|ieGeek Solar Outdoor Security Camera
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|YESKAMO Solar Security Camera
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Here are our comprehensive solar-powered security camera reviews to further aid your search and help you find the perfect one for your home, budget, and setup. Let’s take a closer look at our best overall pick, the Reolink Argus PT Security Camera, shall we?
1. Reolink Argus PT Solar Security Camera – Top Pick
Resolution: 1080p HD at 15 FPS
- Field Of View: 105° Diagonal with 6x Digital Zoom
- Connectivity: WiFi 2.4 GHz, 802.11b/g/n
- Audio: Two-Way
- Durability: IP64 Waterproof
- Storage: Up to 64 GB microSD, Cloud Storage (Reolink Cloud)
- Special Features: Starlight CMOS, PIR Motion Sensor
The Reolink Argus PT is our top pick amongst the best solar-powered security cameras because of how easy it is to install and set up, its night vision capabilities, and the impressive output it delivers.
What separates this unit from the rest is that it can pan 355° (horizontally) and tilt 140° (vertically). So it can give you a near-complete coverage of its surroundings wherever you place it.
It’s efficient in its power use, and the company says that it can run entirely on solar power. This is great for those who don’t want the hassle of worrying about recharging a battery frequently, and it won’t add to your electricity bill.
This solar camera records in full HD with a resolution of 1080p, so you can clearly see everything it records. With the Starlight CMOS sensor, you can even see everything that’s happening at night with clarity. The only downside we found is the videos are a bit jittery as it captures only at 15 frames per second.
This security camera also has several helpful features like real-time alerts, two-way audio, PIR motion sensor, motion detection record, and a very easy-to-navigate mobile app for both Android and iOS. Plus, you can insert a 64 GB microSD card to save all the videos it records.
The two-way audio is particularly useful because you can talk to any stranger who’s knocking on the door without having to open it. Neat!
This device is also really easy to install – it comes with all the installation brackets, and you can get it ready to use within 10 minutes. No drilling is required. It’s useful for both indoors and outdoors, but the solar panel has to be placed appropriately for maximum sun exposure.
If you want a solar-powered security camera that runs on cellular data like 3G/4G instead, you should check out the Reolink Go+. And if you’d like a camera with a spotlight function, the Reolink Argus 3 is a great option too.
The one issue we noted is that the pan and tilt options are not ‘smart’ – the camera won’t move automatically in any way. You have to use the app to adjust the settings, and this may lag a bit if your WiFi network is far away or weak around the camera.
And on top of all that, Reolink also offers a 2-year warranty!
2. ZUMIMALL Solar-Powered Home Security Camera – Budget Pick
Resolution: 1080p HD
- Field Of View: 130° Wide Angle
- Connectivity: 2.4GHz WiFi
- Audio: Two-Way
- Durability: IP65 Weatherproof
- Storage: Up to 128 GB microSD Card (not included), or CloudEdge
- Special Features: Motion-Activated Alerts, IR Night Vision
This solar-powered security camera by Zumimall is our budget pick as it offers outstanding value for money. You get a wide range of features on this model, most of which you’d only find on much more expensive competitors.
This camera offers full HD recording with 1080p resolution. There’s no official framerate stated, but users mentioned it was around 15 FPS during usage. And with the 130 degrees field of view, you have a pretty wide angle that lets you see your surroundings clearly.
Zumimall says that this camera will only capture human motion when it’s on guard duty to prevent any false alarms, and when it does, it will send instant alerts to your phone through its app.
When it does this, it will save videos automatically, so you have them on file in case you need them.
It can save these to either the cloud or an SD card (up to 128 GB), making it handy if you need to pull up footage in case anything happens. In the event of a power outage, the Zumimall continues working normally on solar power.
The IR night vision on the Zumimall is quite useful, as it shows you what’s happening even at night. The camera is easy to set up, which is a bonus.
Plus, it stays charged in a wide range of weather conditions and hardly ever needs to be charged, so you can just set it and forget it if you want.
The images are stunning, and it operates down to -4 degrees, which is reasonable considering many batteries drain fast with colder weather (1). And, it’s got two-way audio too, so you can talk to anyone who’s near the camera. But we should note the audio clarity wasn’t great.
Overall, the Zumimall Security Camera is an excellent pick if you’re not looking to break the bank for home security. And the included solar panel at such a low price makes it an absolute budget pick. And on top of that, you get 360-day free tech support too.
3. Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera – Best Floodlight Camera
Resolution: 2K, 1080p, 720p at 15-20 FPS
- Field Of View: 160° Diagonal with 12x Digital Zoom
- Connectivity: WiFi 2.4 GHz and 802.11 b/g/n
- Audio: Full Duplex Two-Way
- Durability: Weatherproof (no IP rating)
- Storage: Arlo SmartHub, or Arlo Smart Cloud Subscription
- Special Features: Color Night Vision, Intelligent Motion Alerts, Floodlight, Smart Home Integration With Alexa and Google Assistant
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is one of the latest in Arlo’s range of home security systems and cameras. Their other products have been well-received in the past, and this new ‘Floodlight’ variant has been designed to replace existing floodlight camera setups.
The floodlight on the Pro 3 is very powerful, with a brightness of 2000 lumens – enough even on a dark night. And if you use a magnetic charging cable, you can increase the output to 3000 lumens.
This solar security camera has several recording modes, as it can record video at 720p, 1080p, and 2K resolution. The FPS will vary among resolutions, but it’s always stable and high-quality. The 2K mode records crystal clear videos with astonishing detail to everything that’s happening outside your home.
This camera can connect to any 2.4 GHz WiFi network and transmit the video locally to your app. The only caveat is – it doesn’t have any local storage. You need an Arlo SmartHub to be able to store the videos that it records. Here’s what YouTuber Eric Welander thinks about the Arlo (2):
“This is a very compelling option if you’re interested in video quality and smart home integration with Alexa and Google Home.”
And if you don’t want the SmartHub, the only other option is to buy an Arlo Smart subscription plan, which gives you access to cloud storage and a host of intelligent features like motion alerts. We would have preferred a local storage option, but the Smart subscription does work as intended.
The Arlo is not IP-rated, however, they claim that it is fully waterproof and weatherproof. With the included solar panel, this unit can run without needing to be recharged at all. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.
As with other high-end cameras, this offers a full-duplex two-way audio system that lets you talk to anyone on the other side of the door. And it can integrate with your smart home devices as well, so you get real-time alerts.
If you’re looking for a solar-powered security camera with a floodlight, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is a fantastic option. It’s a premium, high-quality product with a very aesthetic design and a powerful floodlight that can easily replace your existing setup, and perfect for a new home too.
4. Ring Stick Up Solar HD Security Camera – Premium Pick
Resolution: 1080p HD
- Field Of View: 130° Diagonal, 110° Horizontal, 57° Vertical
- Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi at 2.4GHz
- Audio: Two-Way Talk With Noise Cancellation
- Durability: Weatherproof (no IP rating)
- Storage: Ring Protect Cloud Storage
- Special Features: Advanced Motion Detection, Color Night Vision, Alexa Integration
The Ring Stick Up Cam is one of their latest releases – it’s been built from the ground up to give customers a much better user experience compared to previous models. This solar-powered model is our premium pick for its unique design, high-quality construction, and exclusive features.
The Stick Up camera offers full HD, 1080p video recording with a stable framerate. Using the Live View feature on Ring’s app for iOS or Android, you can see everything that’s happening in real-time. You can even connect all your Ring devices together to monitor them together.
Included with this surveillance camera is 7 days of free cloud storage, so you can test all of the device’s features properly.
This camera also features a ‘color night vision’, so it can capture everything happening at night in great detail with colored footage. You won’t have to guess who was at your door in the middle of the night.
The advanced motion detection, which includes customizable zones, allows you to get instant alerts whenever something suspicious happens outside your house. It even works with Alexa. Here’s what Gabe Turner from Security.org had to say about this security camera (3):
“The video quality is superb, and with its motion detection features, the Ring Stick Up Cam really brings a lot to the table at this price point.”
This security camera is super easy to install, and Ring’s customer service is extremely helpful. The included mount makes it easy to install on any wall, but if you want to install it on a flat surface like a ceiling, you’ll have to purchase a separate mounting bracket.
The included solar panel keeps this unit topped off at a good battery percentage in most common weather conditions. Unfortunately, even though Ring claims that it is weatherproof, this unit has not been IP-rated. It does come with a 1-year warranty though.
The major and perhaps only issue with this security camera is that it does not have any local storage. You have to purchase a Ring Protect Plan to get access to exclusive features as well as cloud storage, which can be $3 or $10 per month, depending on what plan you choose. Otherwise, you’re limited to viewing the stream live with no local recordings.
But if you’re looking for a premium solar-powered security camera, the Ring Stick Up Cam is a fantastic option. It ticks all the right boxes, and offers a visually appealing, hassle-free user experience to everyone.
The ieGeek Solar Security Camera is a great choice for those who need a simple, easy to set up, and durable outdoor camera. Its features are on par with other products in this price range, and it’s a popular choice amongst consumers on Amazon.
The first thing that’s truly great about this camera is its incredibly durable design, which is meant to repel nearly anything that nature might throw at it. It’s IP65 waterproof, so you don’t have to worry when it’s raining (4).
This unit is 100% wireless, which makes installation a breeze for anybody. You can insert up to a 128 GB microSD card inside to store all the videos it records locally, or opt for ieGeek’s cloud storage plans which also offer 256-bit AES encryption.
The 360-degree solar panel makes it easy to keep this camera charged all the time, even in inclement weather. Plus, it houses a 10400mAh rechargeable battery that can last almost a week without sunlight, and won’t add anything to your power bill.
We like that its functions are easy to use, but it also offers great visuals through different sensors, and it’s smart about turning on the night vision. The PIR motion detector works well at a range of 10 meters, and gives you instant mobile alerts too.
There’s also two-way audio on this that makes it easy to communicate with anyone on the outside, such as a delivery person. You can access the app through any mobile phone, and share it amongst your family members for live viewing as well.
Overall, this is a great security camera with HD video quality at a very affordable price, and offers a fantastic user experience. And ieGeek includes a 1-year warranty with this purchase.
Wire-free and easy to install, the Yeskamo Solar Security Camera system is another great contender amongst low-cost security cams.
This unit features dual antennas, which greatly enhance its WiFi connection coverage, so you can place it even at the furthest corners of your house, and it’ll still stay connected.
Like most others at this price point, it records at 1080p HD with a pretty clear picture. However, the frame rate can be a little wonky at times and tends to stutter.
It’s powered by built-in 18650 rechargeable batteries with a capacity of 10400mAh. This allows it to stay charged and run for up to six months, assuming there are ten triggers a day.
Combine that with a solar panel ensuring that it gets proper direct sunlight exposure (5). You’ll rarely ever have to charge it at all – making it very efficient in terms of energy needs.
You can insert a 128 GB microSD card, or use Yeskamo’s Cloud service. Real-time app notifications on your mobile device keep you in the know, and with two-way audio, you have all the necessary features.
Sadly, however, this unit cannot record 24/7. It will only record when it detects movement using its in-built PIR sensor, and save those clips to the storage card.
But overall, the YESKAMO is a reliable security camera, and it includes a warranty period of 12 months, so you can feel confident in your purchase.
The Eye-Trax Ranger is not your ordinary security camera; this unit was designed for rugged terrain and remote sites. It’s an industrial-grade unit built with high-quality materials, and a price to match.
The Ranger is available as a fixed mount, or as PTZ (Pan, Tilt, and Zoom). The PTZ is particularly useful for remote monitoring, as you can change the camera’s position and zoom using any web browser.
With a case made of weatherproof aluminum, this is one of the most durable security cameras you can get. It can operate in temperatures ranging from -40 °F to 140 °F, which is the widest we’ve seen.
The PIR motion sensor and the IR night vision on this camera are among the best as well, with a range of over 30 meters (100 feet). The camera shoots pictures and videos in 1080p Full HD and offers fantastic image quality and clarity.
It uses 4G cellular networks to communicate data, so it can be placed almost anywhere in the world. Eye-Trax offers an annual subscription plan with this product for remote cloud storage and monitoring.
If you want something even more advanced, you can check out the Mega version, which offers even more unique features like time-lapse videos with a higher resolution.
This comes with a separate solar panel that can be placed at distances of almost 100 feet away using the extension cables.
If you’re looking for something that can go the distance, the Eye-Trax Ranger is worth a shot. This is not your average consumer-level security camera – it’s been designed for serious protection. Definitely deserves a spot on this list of the best solar security cameras.
How To Choose The Best Solar-Powered Security Camera
1. Consider the Resolution and Field Of View
The video and picture quality of any security camera are arguably the most important aspects. After all, you don’t want to watch the video only to find a blurry intruder that can’t be recognized at all (reminds you of age-old CCTVs, doesn’t it?).
Hence, go for a camera that records in at least 1080p Full HD, and offers a stable framerate of over 15 fps. If you’re looking to splurge, you can even go for 2K capable cameras, but these will have much shorter recording times due to large space requirements.
Another important aspect is the camera’s field of view. It’s important to note that the diagonal field of view is generally larger than the horizontal or vertical one. Some cameras include wide-angle lenses for greater FOV, which allows you to see more of your surroundings.
2. Consider the Placement of Your Solar Security Camera(s)
The placement of your security camera is vital to ensure optimum performance and adequate sunlight. You’re also going to want to make sure that the solar panels are getting at least a solid 6 hours of direct sunlight every day to keep the battery charged and the camera running. Regarding the placement of solar panels –
If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you’re going to want to place your panels facing as true-south as possible to get maximum sunlight.
And if you’re in the southern hemisphere, they should be facing north.
Another critical factor is the connectivity of the device. Most of the products listed here use 2.4GHz WiFi to connect to the internet, which allows you to stream live footage onto your phone. For this to work properly, your cameras need to be in proximity to your WiFi network and receive a strong signal.
If WiFi is a problem for you, you may consider getting a camera that works on cellular data like 3G or 4G instead. These can be placed anywhere, but incur subscription charges based on the network carriers.
3. Consider the Weather Your Camera(s) Must Endure
With any security camera, you want to ensure that it can handle the elements. Having a camera die due to rain or snowfall is a terrible experience, so you should look out for weatherproofing, as stated by the manufacturer.
Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings
Most cameras will come with an IP rating, which is issued by the IEC. This goes from IP00 (or IPXX, the least durable in weather) to IP69 (the most durable in weather) (6). Without getting too technical about it:
A higher IP number means that it can withstand more harsh weather. IP69 is the highest rating possible.
In short, the first number in IP stands for the ‘dust rating’, whereas the second number is the water rating. ‘6’ is the highest possible number for dust protection, while 9 is the highest for waterproofing.
Hence, you’ll want to get one with the best ratings possible; a higher number means better protection. Usually, security cameras have an IP64-66 rating, but some manufacturers do not provide any rating at all. These ratings include water protection, dust, snowfall, and more.
4. Look for Bonus Features That Excite You
Once your essential needs are covered, it’s a good idea to look into the bells and whistles that come with solar power technology. Modern cameras come with a host of bonus features that have been designed to make your life easier and more comfortable:
With this function, you’re able to talk through the camera to whoever is on the other side, allowing instant communication. This is great in situations where your family or someone else, such as a delivery person, might be outside and needs to talk to you but you’re unable to come to the door.
Advanced Motion Detection
Many modern cameras now have PIR motion detection on them – Passive Infrared Sensors. These can detect movement and heat signatures that come into range of your camera and send you alerts based on your preferences. Some even include Night Vision, Thermal Detection, and more for enhanced visibility in the darkness.
Real-time notifications are available on almost every security camera with the help of an app, giving you quite a bit of control over what’s going on. You can customize these in most cases to give you notifications during certain times, or for certain events.
Some can even snooze notifications during a certain time frame that you specify. When comparing wired vs. wireless security systems, real-time notifications can be a huge benefit found in most wireless systems.
Having a user-friendly mobile app that offers cloud storage makes things much easier, and most of these cameras come with one. Though it’s an extra cost and requires a subscription, cloud storage can help you access your videos from anywhere in the world, and keep them safe for a long time for future reference.
The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar-Powered Security Camera to Buy Today?
After having researched and compared over a hundred solar-powered security cameras available on the market today, our top recommendation is the Reolink Argus PT Security Camera – the best solar-powered security camera in terms of budget, quality, and features.
If you’re not looking to break the bank, but still want peace of mind, the Zumimall Solar-powered Security Camera is a great fit too. It’s got all the right features, but remains affordable and reliable.
And if you’re looking for a high-quality floodlight camera, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is tough to beat. It’s got an aesthetic design, powerful features, 2K recording, and a price to match.
Want more top-rated solar equipment to help bring your home into the future? If so, check out our best solar charge controllers for those with solar panels, or our Homepage here at Energy Center of the World for our complete list of highly-rated gear.
What Security Cameras Work Without WiFi?
Cellular 3G/4G security cameras can work without WiFi. These cameras connect to telecom networks and use the same internet that’s on your phone to access the internet, the cloud storage, and transmit data. Many companies offer 4G variants of their WiFi cameras, such as the Reolink Go+. You’ll have to buy a subscription to the network provider, however, and their network access does depend on nearby cellular towers.
The only alternative to this is to have hardwired cameras, which will use Ethernet and other cables running across your property into the central computer that monitors the entire system.
How Long Do Solar-Powered Security Cameras Last?
Solar-Powered security cameras can typically last from 1 to 3 years. This depends on the model you’re using, its battery capacity, the solar panel used for charging, and various other factors like the environment. You should make sure that the camera is weatherproof, and receives at least 6 hours of sunlight every day to stay charged and keep running uninterrupted.
What Is The Best Outdoor Night Vision Security Camera?
The best outdoor night vision security camera, according to our review, is the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight. This camera has a ‘color night vision’ feature that gives you unparalleled detail even at nighttime, plus the included floodlight makes it easy to shine a light on your surroundings and spook any would-be intruders.
How Do Solar-Powered Security Cameras Work?
Solar-powered security cameras work just like normal security cameras, but they use a solar panel to capture the sun’s rays and convert them into a current, which is then used to charge your battery. Hence, these batteries don’t need to be connected to wires and can be installed anywhere – they’ll continue running for several months effortlessly.
When sunlight isn’t available, the camera uses the battery as a backup to power it and then uses the solar panel again once it’s exposed to sunlight once more. Though you may not believe it, the panels can even get power from the sun on rainy or cloudy days as light does still filter through the clouds (7).
- Why Batteries Discharge More Quickly in Cold Weather. Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/why-batteries-discharge-quickly-cold-weather-607889
- Arlo Pro 3 Wireless Home Security Camera In Depth Review. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uic_sZb7HNo
- This is a Stick Up! [Ring Stick Up Cam Battery Review!]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8F3q8YwHTs
- IP Rated Enclosures Explained. Retrieved from: https://www.enclosurecompany.com/ip-ratings-explained.php
- Solar panel orientation – Energy Education. Retrieved from: https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Solar_panel_orientation
- Dust-Resistant? Waterproof? Making Sense of Gadget Ratings | PCMag. Retrieved from: https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/dust-resistant-waterproof-making-sense-of-gadget-ratings
- What happens to solar panels when it’s cloudy or raining? | SEIA. Retrieved from: https://www.seia.org/initiatives/what-happens-solar-panels-when-its-cloudy-or-raining