Solar Powered Spy Camera Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know!
Solar Powered Spy Cameras are changing the very landscape of spy cameras.
The ability to go off the electricity grid opens up a whole plethora of new uses and opportunities.
However…….there are things to consider before buying one.
Solar Spy Cameras are great as long as you understand their failings and plan accordingly.
This article will take you through everything you need to know. The good and the bad so you can purchase the perfect solar powered spy camera.
What are Solar Powered Spy Cameras?
Solar power harnesses the power of the sun and in turn, converts this to electricity.
This newly formed electricity powers the spy camera.
This allows the spy camera to no longer be reliant on plugged in power or battery power.
The net effect of this is it allows the spy camera to be placed in areas previously thought out of bounds due to lack of mains power or more often as they cannot be easily reached to recharge or change the batteries.
Good examples are barns and construction sites.
Solar Powered Spy Camera
The very latest Solar Powered Spy Cameras also come complete with rechargeable batteries so that they are charged up during sunny periods so that the camera will continue to work during the night.
What are the benefits of Solar Powered Spy Cameras?
There are a few obvious benefits to a Solar Powered Spy Camera but there are also some often overlooked benefits, read below to see them all.
Government Incentives for Solar Powered WiFi Spy Cameras
Currently, governments are creating more and more green initiatives and this normally takes the form of subsidies.
It all started with the lowering of car tax in line with their emissions and now this is percolating down to all manner of household devices………and spy cameras are no different.
Obviously, this can differ from country to country and in the case of the USA, from state to state.
Also, the incentives appear to be working as the number of people using solar-powered cameras has increased by 6000% from 2005 to the present day.
However……a word of warning, these incentives can be removed very quickly so if you find one, its best to take advantage as soon as possible.
On the subject of money, it’s also worth noting that the fitting of a spy camera on your property can also in some cases lower your insurance premiums.
Contact your insurance firm and ask them for more details.
Solar Spy Cameras Allow for Flexible Locations
I said there would be some obvious ones and I would guess that this is in the top two reasons that people would buy a solar-powered spy camera.
Once the need to hook up to the grid is removed, a whole host of new locations are opened up.
This includes areas such as caravans, sheds and also boats, in fact, the possibilities are almost endless.
As well as new environments such as boats, new locations are also now possible.
A perfect example is a very high location which would oversee your whole property.
Previously this would be discounted as the need to climb up and remove batteries would be far too labour intensive.
Now, if in range of WIFI, it is entirely possible to fit the camera and leave for long periods with zero maintenance.
Solar Spy Cameras cost less
This is the other top reason people would buy a solar-powered spy camera, no electricity cost.
This becomes even more important when you consider fitting multiple cameras over multiple locations as this can quickly add up to a substantial saving.
Solar Spy Cameras are Environmental-Friendly
Lastly is the ‘green’ factor. As time passes this is becoming an important consideration for many people.
Solar Spy Cameras are Environmental-Friendly
The rise of electric cars and other none polluting devices shows how much people are trying to save the planet.
Top things to consider when buying a Solar Spy Camera
So Solar Spy Cameras are great, we should all rush out and replace our cameras as quickly as possible……right?
Not quite…..there are lots of factors to consider before parting with your hard earned cash.
How Much Electricity Can the Solar Panel for a Solar Spy Camera Produce?
This is a very important factor as without the needed power the camera will fail to operate.
To optimise your camera, ensure that the solar panel points towards true south (in the northern hemisphere) or true north (in the southern hemisphere).
Also, make sure the solar panel is not in the shade and not obscured by bushes or trees.
It is worth noting that the camera and the panel do not always have to go in the exact same location. They can be a couple of metres apart so if where you want the camera is shaded just ensure the panel is somewhere more exposed.
What Battery Size does your Solar Spy Camera Need?
When it is bright and sunny the camera will not need all the energy that the solar panel can generate.
Therefore the camera will have a battery to store the excess energy.
Have a think about the location and the general climate.
If you, for example, live in a Scandinavian country where it is bright for months on end only to then get plunged into darkness for months then you will need a really large battery.
This is an extreme example but consider your local climate.
Where Will the Solar Spy Camera Save Footage?
This is largely dependant on if the camera is within range of WIFI. If so then all the footage can be streamed and saved online.
If not, then you must save to an SD card
My personal recommendation would be to have both.
This gives you additional flexibility if the WIFI goes down.
Also, it gives you the option of moving the camera elsewhere in the future if you so desire.
Most common questions when buying a Solar Spy Camera
If There Is No Sun for several Days, Will the Solar Spy Camera Still Have Power?
There is quite a lot of factors in answering this question.
The main ones are the efficiency (and size) of the solar panel and also the size of the battery.
It is worth noting that solar panels work on overcast days, they will still extract power if when the weather isn’t great.
Do Solar Spy Cameras Need Lots of Maintenance?
No, they no do need a lot of maintenance. In fact, most require little or no maintenance.
The main task is to keep the solar panel clear but this is often remedied with a good spell of rain.
Solar Panels are kept clean with rain
So when the heavens open and it starts pouring, although you might not be getting much energy you can rest assured your panel will be getting a much needed clean.
How Can I Protect My Solar Spy Camera from Thieves?
Solar spy cameras do have an advantage here. Unlike regular spy cameras, they can be placed in hard to reach locations.
This makes the task of stealing them a lot more difficult. Most thefts are opportunist, a passing thief who spots a potential weakness.
A well hidden or difficult to reach camera can act as a deterrent.
As well as the above, all the usual spy camera advice holds true.
This is to ensure that you make a record of serial numbers of your cameras (for the police to track) and also inform your insurance firm.
What temperature can a Solar Spy Camera handle?
It is worth checking with the manufacturer as this can differ, however, the IP rating can give a good indication.
This is explained in more detail here:- What is the Best Outdoor Spy Camera to buy?
However, most outdoor spy cameras can function in temperatures from -30 to +50.
Also, these aren’t hypothetical lab figures. Many spy cameras are installed in Canada (-30 winters) and Australia (+50 summers).
What is the range of the average WIFI connection?
This depends on your WIFI router and the journey the signal has to take.
For example in a very old house with extremely thick walls, a standard router will struggle with 20 meters. In these cases, though repeaters are often used.
However, in a relatively new build house, the guide is around 40-70 meters. I would suggest testing first by using your smartphone. How far in the garden can you walk before the WIFI signal drops out?
Our Top pick of the Best Solar Spy Cameras
Winner: Sonew Solar Powered Security Camera
What we liked about this camera is that it has the lot.
Sonew has really just thought of everything and packaged it all into this one great camera.
Sonew Solar Powered Security Camera
Firstly, it’s super easy to install as its 100% wire free. Just pop it in the ideal location and you are done.
The motion sensor is excellent, the very latest PIR motion sensor.
More information on motion sensors here:- What is the Best Motion Activated Spy Camera?
To partner the good motion sensor, this camera has a massive range of configurable alerts so that you can be notified on as much or as little as you want.
Also, the vendor has made a very bold statement regarding its solar panel efficiency. It claims that the camera will continue to work (all month) as long as there is 20 hours solar charge per month.
The solar panel as well as being very efficient is also very flexible and can be moved away from the camera if needed.
The IP rating is IP67 which is one of the best you will find on a spy camera.
All this is completed with WIFI (Supports 2.4G) and also the capacity for a 64GB SD card to provide resilience should the WIFI fail.
Solar powered Spy Cameras are having a massive impact on the industry as they provide a new level of flexibility.
Removing the need for wires is the final part of the puzzle along with WIFI which means spy cameras can be put in areas previously unthought of.
Once these cameras are installed then they will not need to be revisited, they will just simply keep on working.
However, you must also consider the amount of sunlight that the camera receives.
Although the cameras are efficient they do require some light so might not be suitable everywhere.
Another consideration is WIFI signal, make sure your desired location has a good strong signal otherwise you risk losing footage or having to rely on the SD card which means constantly visiting the camera to retrieve the cards.
Taking into all of the above, I am confident most people will benefit from a Solar powered Spy Camera.