Do Security Camera Systems Work When Power Is Out?

With the rising demands in security camera systems, so do the questions regarding their installations and uses. And a kind of concerns that often pops up in our mind, like “will my system work during a power outage?”, “what is the best solution in this situation?”, is frequently asked by many homeowners.

Don’t worry, we will help you answer these questions in this article. But first, let’s discriminate different surveillance camera systems and their functioning when the power is out.

How Different Security Camera Systems Are Powered?

To be well-prepared during the power outage, we need to have a proper understanding of our systems. In fact, not all camera systems are powered in the same way, and systems in the same category can also be different in many ways.

Wireless Security Camera Systems

Battery-Powered Systems

These devices are literally wireless and don’t require any wired connection to power them up or transmit data because they’ll depend solely on batteries. However, although you might not have to worry about the security system during a power outage, it is concerning as your battery will lose its charge after extended use.

Do Security Camera Systems Work When Power Is Out

To counter that problem, manufacturers often program their systems with the motion-detect recording feature, which will reduce the energy required for the devices to work on. Plus, you’ll receive notifications to your smartphone when the power is running low.

Solar-Powered Wireless Systems

It is considered the most genuine method for anyone who’s looking to install a complete wireless security camera system. As the name suggests, these systems come with built-in solar panels which enable them to self-sustain and self-sufficient. The batteries will be charged using the solar power, so no electricity cables or recharging devices are required. It’s your best bet during the power outage as the stored energy inside the battery would be enough for your system to “survive” until the power comes back.

Wired Security Camera Systems

Wireless Security Systems with Cable Power Sources

Generally speaking, when we mention to wireless surveillance systems, it is often referred to those with a wireless data receiver (a DVR/NVR device or monitor). These devices allow you to have complete control over your system, not to mention that the powerful built-in hardware will make it work fluently.

However, despite its conveniences, the system still requires to be connected to an electrical outlet. Hence if you’re planning to install this kind of security system, make sure it is located near your electrical power sources.

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Systems

Do Security Camera Systems Work When Power Is Out

Most homeowners would find this system convenient as it doesn’t require extra power cables connected to the cameras. All of them will be drawing powers from the receiver (a DVR/NVR or monitor) using the standard Cat5 and Cat6 cables. The wires will also act as a signal transmitting cable and make sure the data isn’t intermittent. All you need is to connect the receiver to an outlet to power the whole system.

Some Great Solutions During a Power Outage

We’ve learned that all wired security camera systems won’t be active during a power outage, and even wireless systems would also be affected if the power doesn’t come back soon. Now here are a few solutions that could help you in preparing for this situation:

Store Extra Batteries for Battery-powered Cameras

A simple way that many people are using is to prepare fully-charged alternative batteries for the ones which are draining in your system. And since most systems nowadays come with replaceable batteries, the process wouldn’t take too much effort.

Using Solar-Powered Security Cameras

As we’ve said earlier, solar-powered camera systems are probably the best way to ensure that your home security isn’t interrupted in these turns of event. By installing a solar panel to the system, your cameras can work for weeks, even in power outage situations.

Do Security Camera Systems Work When Power Is Out

The batteries will be charged during the day and used once the night comes. This will ensure consistent surveillance over your properties. Moreover, if your old systems don’t have solar-powered options, you can hire the professions to install additional solar panels to enable this feature.

Use Backup Generator When Power Is Out

Do Security Camera Systems Work When Power Is Out

However, despite the benefits of a solar-powered system, your surveillance cameras might be still unable to work if the weather isn’t supportive during the day and they’ve barely stored enough energy to last through the night. In these instances, using a backup power generator should be our last bet.

There are many different types of generator considering their mechanics and purposes. Different camera systems do require certain specific power requirements, so make sure you choose a suitable generator for yours.

Reduce the System’s Energy Consumption During a Power Outage

And if the generator isn’t enough to power your cameras or the fuel is running low, there are a few ways to keep the batteries last for a little longer. Disabling cameras which are less important to your system should be the first thing to do as the recording is often the most demanding task in your system. In addition, you could choose to turn some or all of your cameras into a motion-detect mode so that they will only be active if any suspicious action is noticed.

Final Words

The next time you find yourselves wondering the mentioned questions, take a look at the camera system you’re inspecting. Depending on the gathered data, you should be able to tell which types of system are they and which solutions should be used to deal with power outages.

Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you in our future posts.

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