Security Cameras that Dont Need to Be Plugged In

If you are concerned about your security system going down in the event of a power failure, you may be wondering if there are home security cameras that don’t need to be plugged in. Here’s everything you need to know about security cameras that you can rely on during a power outage and what to look for when choosing the one for you.


Are There Security Cameras that Don’t Need to Be Plugged In

Are There Security Cameras that Dont Need to Be Plugged In?

Yes, there are. They are called wire-free security cameras and they often run on batteries. You may have to replace the batteries every so often, or you can get one that’s rechargeable. If you are using replaceable batteries, you will want to test them every one to six months to ensure they are working correctly.


There are six things to consider when purchasing a system without a power source. These systems will   will effectively secure the premises from vandalism in addition to monitoring areas without requiring electricity.



While waterproofing may not be the first thing you think about with a wireless security camera, it is still important depending on the device’s location. Cameras rated IP65 weatherproof can be placed on a porch, front gate, campsite, parking lot, fishing lake, food truck, or any outside area without power.


No matter the weather, they won’t lose their feed or become damaged. These are ideal to use anywhere outside and are necessary to protect the camera from the elements.


Remote Access

Using your smart home device, a remote home security camera will allow you to see your shed, front gate, and other unpowered areas. You can turn on your Android or iPhone to see your footage when you need to see what is happening.


If you are going on vacation, on a business trip, or simply to the office, you can view footage whenever you like. A battery-powered cellular camera will operate using a 4G network like your smartphone. Remote access is permitted even if your power goes out or there are internet problems.


Night Vision

When buying a wireless camera without a power cord, you must consider night vision. Wire-free systems that include night vision will enable you to detect and protect against invasions that occur during the night. Furthermore, with night vision, your images will be sharper than without.


The two main night vision options available are color night vision and infrared. Infrared contains an IR built-in with LEDs surrounding the lens, allowing the camera to capture clearer images even when it is completely dark. It does this by substituting infrared light for visible lighting.


Color night vision gives more details than infrared in the same conditions.


Just under half of all break-ins happen at night because the darkness conceals the person’s image, making their movements less noticeable. A system with night vision can monitor everything outside and in, allowing you to act quickly if you receive an alert.


High Definition

Surprisingly, slightly more than half of all break-ins happen during the day. The peak time in which burglaries occur is between 10 am and 3 pm when no one is at home. If you are investing in a wireless security camera, it needs to be able to identify intruders. To accomplish this, you should purchase a high-definition camera: 1440p, 1080p, or 720p.


The higher the definition, the clearer the footage will be. If you want license plate and facial feature recognition, you should begin with a 1080p resolution or higher.


Motion Sensors

Notification for motion detection and recording without a power outlet is important because it alerts you with a push notification and provides clips for playback to see what triggered the event. Cameras that use motion detection tend only to use power if activated. Otherwise, they remain inactive, recording no footage but saving battery life.


The only downside is that anything can trigger the camera, including a stray dog or cat or the wind.


If there was a break-in, this footage provides valuable evidence. Security cameras should provide accurate alerts and contain clear, concise footage if you want it to be admissible in court. Some cameras do not take great pictures, recording a grainy image. Inadequate lighting can also compromise footage.


Therefore, investing in a good quality system that can record precise footage in good lighting is important.


Battery Power

Are There Security Cameras that Don’t Need to Be Plugged In?

You will require a battery-powered solution for a system to monitor your home without electricity. These types of systems are powered using a solar panel or rechargeable or replaceable batteries.


Some systems, as mentioned, use rechargeable batteries as a power source. You do not have to purchase replacements regularly. Just make sure the battery is plugged in to recharge before the power runs dry.


Other systems connect to a solar panel for continual power, a practical option if you don’t want to concern yourself with ensuring the batteries are powered up. Your camera should always work.


The downside is that battery life will always be an issue with battery-operated systems lacking power supply boxes. However, there are ways that you can maximize the battery life of your wire-free system.


Another option would be light bulb security cameras. I wrote an article on the best light bulb security camera reviews which can be found here. These security light bulbs can be used indoors or outdoors.

Wire-Free Cameras Versus Wireless Cameras

The usage of batteries doesn’t provide the complete story of powering a wireless security camera. Often, the words “wire-free,” “wireless,” and “completely or fully wireless” are often (and mistakenly) used interchangeably. These terms can refer to a system that receives power either through batteries or through wires.


Wireless cameras communicate through the internet. However, they may have to be plugged into standard AC outlets to get power. On the other hand, wire-free systems run on batteries and don’t need an external power source to operate.


The downside to battery-powered systems is that you’ll have to climb up to wherever you’ve placed your camera when it’s time to change the batteries. Cameras may go offline if you forget to check the batteries, which isn’t ideal. This is when you may want to consider solar-powered security cameras.


Solar-Powered Cameras

Solar-Powered Cameras


Solar-powered security cameras have their own benefits and operate like those that use batteries. They don’t require an outlet to plug into and work when the power goes out. Their benefits include:


  • Easy Installation: CCTV systems are hampered by issues with power and wiring. Installing solar-powered cameras can provide greater adaptability. They are easier to install than wired systems, are more cost-effective, and require no maintenance.
  • Don’t Need Local Power Supplies: Since it is powered by the sun, they don’t need electricity. Backup cells allow the device to be completely operational even when there is low light for charging. Not needing to be hooked into the main power supply means surveillance doesn’t require constant power to work, so blackouts won’t affect your device.
  • Greener Source: This is more environmentally friendly. A wired CCTV camera may disrupt sensitive and natural locations. With solar-powered ones, there is a minimal requirement for infrastructure, which permits you to leave your surrounding environment untouched.
  • Controllable from the Cloud: These cameras function well in any location. They provide excellent coverage in remote places that have power concerns. They don’t need a technician to adjust settings as the system can be remotely controlled using the cloud at a controlled center.
  • Easily Scaled: Sites often require adding more cameras after a while. The flexibility of a solar-powered camera allows you to stage your location for optimum visibility. Installation is cost-effective and straightforward. You can group cameras and incorporate live feeds into a single secure login. This combines your footage into an easy, simple viewer interface.


I wrote an article on the best solar powered security cameras which can be found here.

Top Battery-Powered Security Cameras

There are several outstanding battery-powered security cameras on the market. Each has its own unique features, but they all work exceptionally well.


Arlo Essential Spotlight Cam

The Arlo cam was this company’s first battery-powered device. It utilizes four CR123 batteries with a 1080p resolution, motion detection, color night vision, and a week of cloud recording. The Arlo Smart Cloud subscription will provide you with more advanced features should you require them. It also works with Alexa.


Blink XT2

This weatherproof Blink outdoor camera is high definition, which helps monitor your location through the day and night using infrared night vision. It’s efficient, too. This outdoor system operates for two years using two AA lithium batteries.


Footage can be stored in the cloud using their subscription and recorded locally to a Blink Sync Module 2 using a USB. With their app, you can push motion detection to your phone and customize your motion zones. You’ll be able to hear, see, and speak to visitors using a live view and two-way audio on the app.


Ring Stick Up Cam

This wireless home security camera from Ring mounts outdoors or indoors at your home. It records 1080p HD video accompanied by night vision. Buyers appreciate its slim design that can be mounted in any location. It is powered using a quick-release rechargeable battery. It permits you to hear, see, and speak to individuals using the camera on your tablet, PC, or phone.


When it detects motion, it sends you a push alert and allows you to view your home with on-demand video, and it works with certain Alexa devices using real-time footage using your voice. With the Ring Protect Plan subscription, you can record videos, review footage for 60 days, and share images and videos.

How Long Do Batteries Last?

The battery life of a wireless system can be several months, depending on the environment, settings, and additional factors. Some manufacturers claim their battery life lasts six months to two years, but some owners discover they need charging or replacing after only a few weeks.


Before purchasing, check out real customer reviews to ensure the product does what the company claims it can do.


What Is the Range?

The range of an analog wireless system is about 300 feet when placed in an open area. A digital wireless IP camera (including traditional wireless and battery-operated cameras) will transmit up to 450 feet in an available location.


The range is affected by doors, walls, other wireless items, interference, and building materials. Therefore, your wireless signal’s transmission may vary. If you find it is low, you can always use a Wi-Fi range extender. This will boost the connection signal between the wireless camera and your home router.


Will IP Cameras Save Footage Without Power?

If a battery-powered camera has an SD card, the security camera system will still function effortlessly without power. If you are using a plug-in or PoE camera, they will stop working and recording without power.


If your camera has an uninterruptible power supply, it will still record footage and work even when power is suddenly cut.


Final Thoughts

If you are wondering whether there are security cameras that don’t need to be plugged in, your options are wire-free security systems or solar-powered ones. A wire-free camera system usually has battery-powered cameras.


While changing the batteries may be inconvenient, the benefit is that the footage will still record if the power goes out. If there is ever an intrusion, you can almost guarantee that your device will still record footage. The only caveat to this is if your batteries are dead.


If charging batteries is a concern, consider solar-powered systems. They have many of the same benefits as a wire-free system but are powered by the sun.


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