Outdoor Security Cameras – Mains powered security cameras or battery powered?

Outdoor Security Cameras – Mains powered security cameras or battery powered?

In an ever more security concerned society, thankfully we have a growing security industry with constant developments in surveillance technology, to help you protect your home or business with peace of mind. As this technology progresses, it becomes much cheaper, and accessible for many more people to use and benefit from outdoor security cameras to protect your home and property.

With the constant development in technology however it raises more questions as to the differences between security cameras and which is the best option for you specifically. In this article we’ll address some of the questions we’re most commonly asked, especially with regards to how security cameras are powered. Questions such as:

We will delve into the benefits and downfalls of how outdoor security cameras are powered, to help you decide the overall best option for your particular set up.

Now interestingly, you might think that whichever way the cameras are powered, they should still carry out the same functions – this is not usually the case at all! Although the connection to WiFi for both battery powered cameras and mains powered cameras is wireless there are distinct differences with other features, such as recording time and reliability.

It's actually very important to understand the clear differences that usually classify each type of security camera, especially if you are looking to make any investments in the near future.

So let's zoom in and take a look...

Why Battery Powered Security Cameras?

In general the majority of customers who opt for battery operated cameras do so because they are easy to install, and are very flexible in terms of where you can place them, because they don't need any access to an electric mains, meaning there are no cables. As long as they are accessible, so you can recharge them when they run out of battery.

Battery powered camera

How long do battery powered security cameras last?

The battery life can vary depending on usage. Some battery powered cameras can last month’s whereas some only last days even though they are advertised to last a lot longer. A recent customer told us their battery powered security camera only lasted 3 days even though it was advertised as up to 6 months.

One supposed benefit of battery powered or wire-free camera systems, is that if there is a power-cut, they will maintain their functionality, as long as the batteries are working fine. However battery powered security cameras also rely on a WiFi connection so this is actually not a real benefit as in the event of a power cut the camera would still be offline.

According to our tests..

On testing a number of battery powered outdoor security cameras, so far we’ve found them not suitable for our customers. We’ll go through the reasons below.

1. Not secure - Installing battery operated surveillance cameras can pose an issue, in that the cameras ideally need to be more hidden or placed out of reach at least, due to the fact that someone could easily just rip them out of their place!

2. Not reliable - The batteries will need changing/charging from time to time, and what if you forget to do this? If something actually happens when you really need your cameras working it might be too late, because you forgot to charge the batteries! On various tests we’ve also found the advertised battery life diminishes over time with some customers reporting only receiving 3 days’ worth of battery life from leading brands. What if you have several cameras to keep track of? Do you really want to be caught up with all the hassle of knowing, which ones need charging and when?

Then we have one of the biggest reasons we’ve stayed away from battery powered security cameras.

3. Not fit for purpose - Since battery powered cameras are designed to conserve battery life, they rely on motion alerts to record, and are only set to record for short intervals. This type of set up, ultimately might not tell the full story of a crime committed, because it could potentially only give you distorted evidence of what occurred, on or around your premises. Wouldn't you want the full picture? On various tests on security cameras that rely on battery power we’ve found you miss what caused the alert in the first instance, as it takes a few seconds for the camera to start recording once motion is detected. You’re left wondering what caused the motion alert. Was it a bird, the postman or a burglar?

Overall on the outset, battery operated security cameras might look like the easier option, but when you delve deeper, there seems to be a lot of issues that can crop up that most people never usually consider. We think for a small household, battery operated cameras could be a decent choice, to cover only a focused weak spot that you are concerned about.

But if you want true peace of mind we’ve always preferred mains powered security cameras.

Mains powered Security Cameras

So now we take a look at security cameras wired into the electric mains, and how they could benefit your desired security needs. Sophia and Olivia our indoor security cameras and Oscar, our outdoor security camera, are mains powered and we’ll go into the reasons why we chose this option below.

Wired in surveillance cameras are the traditional approach to indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, and they are renowned for their reliability. Our customers want reliable, good quality, easy to use security cameras that provide them with peace of mind.

outdoor wifi security camera

Why are mains powered cameras more reliable?

Unlike battery powered units, wired in surveillance cameras can capture footage 24 hours a day, with no gaps in-between! Plus interference is likely to be minimal or none, because they have a truly secure wired connection, unlike wire-free alternatives.

As well, once your cameras are up and operational, there's no need to worry about them anymore, they'll just do their job – making for less stress and worry for yourself.

power outdoor security camera

What's even more assuring is...

All the recorded footage is available to playback for free with time2 security cameras (as long as you have added a Micro SD Card) using the Clan at home app, and can be recorded to your device and shared with friends and family on social media, email, Whatsapp and more.


So are there any issues that arise with mains powered outdoor security cameras?

Well, there is a longer waiting time to get your security cameras up and installed, which should be quite obvious, because there's the need for a wire to be fed through to a power source. Yet, we would think anyone serious about security, wouldn't really mind the longer installation time, as opposed to a shorter one with a less comprehensive wire-free set up.

If you think over the long term, how much a good solid security system could save you, in terms of looking after your business or family interests, it surely makes sense to make sure they are properly installed.

The only other complaint you could have with a hard wired security camera, is if there is a power-cut, then it will cease to work, unless you have a back up generator to hand.

Now, only you know if this really presents a threat to you in reality.

We could ask the question, how many power-cuts do you remember having this year? You know what we're getting at..

Battery powered or mains powered security cameras?

To summarise after evaluating both security system setups we’d recommend mains powered cameras because they provide:

• A much more comprehensive, and long lasting service, not to mention it can simply run by itself, without you having to change batteries again and again./,/p>

• You can be confident that you’ll have all the footage you need, if there is a time when it’s needed. Mains powered cameras record 24 hours a day unlike battery powered.

• Peace of mind. Battery powered cameras only record once motion is detected and for a short time period to preserve battery, so you may miss what caused the alert and any important footage thereafter. You won’t have the same issue with our mains powered cameras.

Why do time2 not provide battery powered security cameras?

The battery operated surveillance cameras do have their place, but we ultimately think they are no match for the mains powered system.  When they are, rest assured we’ll ensure they are available to time2 customers.  From our stringent tests we’ve always found mains powered cameras much more reliable.

Whilst we’ve addressed this hot topic let’s have a look at some other questions our customers commonly ask us:

What are wireless security cameras?

With wireless security camera you don’t need to connect your cameras to your router or an Ethernet port with messy wiring.  However you will need to provide them with power, whether that is mains power or battery power. Most wireless security cameras do need to be plugged in and you should find out how simple installation is to determine which camera is best suited for your needs.

How far will a wireless security camera transmit?

In a closed environment such as a house the transmission can depend on a number of things including other devices in the home and how far they are from the router. The range should be between 100 to 100 feet but we’d recommend testing the signal strength on your phone wherever you intend to place them.

Where should I place my outdoor security cameras?

We’d recommend covering your front door as a minimum, as 74% of burglars walk in through the front door. Place your outdoor cameras roughly 7-10 feet above ground to get the best viewing angle, and be high enough to be out of reach of thieves and vandals.

Obviously you will have to ensure you have access to power where you intend to place them. If you do need a longer power cable we do provide extension cables if required.

Any other questions? Feel free to ask our support team on support@time2technology.com or feel free to call us on 01254 272688.


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