The Best Solar-Powered Security Cameras

Solar-powered outdoor security cameras provide electricity-free protection for remote areas, large properties, outbuildings, and more.
Best overall
Reolink Argus 3 Pro
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable price
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Customizable alerts
Runner up
All-new Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-In HD security camera with two-way talk, Works with Alexa
Ring Solar Camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Plug-in HD security camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two-way-talk and Alexa-compatible
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Compatibility with Ring Alarm
Budget pick
Zumimall Solar Powered Camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Night vision up to 55 ft.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Adjustable motion sensitivity
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two-way audio
Versatile pick
Maxsa Solar Security Camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in floodlight
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Customizable settings
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable price

We like the Reolink Argus 3 Pro for its simple DIY setup, cheap price tag, and easy-to-use app. You can pick up the camera and compatible Reolink solar panel for around $115, and it’s a snap to install. The Argus 3 Pro also has impressive solar power, a good picture, and clear starlight night vision. Whether you’re trying to go green, save money on the power bill, or keep an eye on a garage or barn, this is a solid, affordable choice.



Compare the best solar-powered security cameras

Camera
Price*
Video storage
Weather durability
Learn more
Best overall
Reolink Argus 3 Pro
Micro SD card,
7 days free cloud storage
IP65
weatherproof
Runner up
All-new Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-In HD security camera with two-way talk, Works with AlexaRing Stick Up Cam Solar
Ring Protect plan requiredIPX5
waterproof
Budget pick
Zumimall Solar Powered Camera
Micro SD card, cloud IP65
weatherproof
Versatile pick
Maxsa CameraMaxsa Secuity Cam
Micro SD card IP44
weatherproof

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/30/2021 at 03:37 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Reviews: Best outdoor, wireless, and solar security cameras

1. Reolink Argus 3 Pro: Best overall

Best overall
Reolink Argus 3 Pro
Starting from
$114.99

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/30/2021 at 03:37 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

When it comes to affordable outdoor wireless security, the Argus 3 Pro delivers. This security camera is plug and play, and nearly every feature is customizable—from motion detector sensitivity to image resolution. In the app, you can configure the types of alerts and alarms you want and view a live video feed.

The camera also comes with two storage options: a micro SD card or seven days of free cloud storage. If you add extra cameras or want more cloud storage, Reolink also offers plans that can support up to 10 cameras with 30 days of storage.

The Argus 3 Pro is a step-up from the Argus 2, thanks to the addition of a spotlight. If you don't think you need a spotlight, the Argus 2 is still an excellent (and slightly more affordable) choice.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Cheap price tag
Pro Bullet Easy-to-follow instructions
Pro Bullet Customizable alerts
Pro Bullet Good image quality
Pro Bullet Free cloud storage
Pro Bullet Two-way audio
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet SD card sold separately
Con Bullet Batteries aren't removable
Con Bullet No motion zones

Read our full review to see how the Reolink Argus 3 Pro performed in our hands-on test.

2. Ring Stick Up Cam Solar: Runner up

Runner up
Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/30/2021 at 03:37 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Ring Stick Up Cam provides extra security and convenience because it lets you interact with people on your property from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. It was one of the first solar-powered security cameras to offer two-way talk, and it works with Amazon Alexa for voice control.

One of the coolest things about this outdoor security camera is that it can be part of the larger Ring Alarm security system. Most home security camera systems don’t offer solar power options, so this is a big advantage if you want to extend your home’s protection to more remote spots on your property.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Theft protection
Pro Bullet Voice control
Pro Bullet Compatibility with Ring Alarm
Pro Bullet Accurate motion detection
Pro Bullet Excellent video quality
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive price tag
Con Bullet Required subscription for video recording
Con Bullet Quieter siren

This solar-powered Ring camera also comes with a theft protection guarantee. If your Stick Up Cam gets snatched, Ring will replace it for free. But that’s one of the only things you get for free.

Live video streaming comes standard, but if you want to record and save video, you’ll need a Ring Protect Plan, which starts around $3 a month. For around $20 per month you can get the Ring Protect Pro subscription, which includes 3GB of backup internet to keep your cameras running even when there's an outage.

Notepad
A Word About Wireless Security
Several Ring Alarm and camera users have reported breaches in their accounts that allowed a stranger to use the two-way communication to intimidate them. This is a risk every user takes when they use any internet-connected wireless system. The good news is you can minimize the risk with proper internet security. Here are a few easy tips for securing your system from online threats:
  • Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts
  • Opt for extra security measures like two-factor authentication
  • Add shared users instead of sharing login credentials
  • Change your home Wi-Fi password frequently
We still confidently recommend Ring and other similar wireless internet-connected systems. And while these threats are real, they can be avoided with a few extra precautions.

3. Zumimall Solar Powered Surveillance Camera: Budget pick

Budget pick

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/30/2021 at 03:37 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

For a solar-powered security camera priced just under $100, the Zumimall has a lot of high-tech bells and whistles. Our favorite feature is the 55-foot range night vision, made possible by four infrared LEDs. The camera's motion sensor only detects movement up to 32 feet away, but the longer night vision range ensures you can clearly see who (or what) is moving around out there. 

The perk of a solar-powered camera is, of course, its ability to continuously charge in sunny weather. The Zumimall supposedly holds its charge for 3 to 6 months, which should be plenty of time for the sun to peek out and charge the camera again. 

This smart security camera includes two-way audio with noise cancellation for clear sound. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 2-way audio
Pro Bullet Adjustable motion sensitivity
Pro Bullet App supports multiple users
Pro Bullet 120° field of view
Pro Bullet Night vision up to 55ft
Pro Bullet Detects motion up to 32ft
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Glitchy motion sensitivity
Con Bullet Battery issues
Con Bullet Poor image in shadowy conditions
Con Bullet SD card sold separately

This solar-powered camera performs best when mounted in a sunny area; video quality and motion sensitivity decreases in shadowy locations. Like many other smart cameras on the market, the Zumimall only works with 2.4Ghz wifi and records clips only when motion is detected. A small percentage of reviewers note issues with the battery, SD card storage, and wifi connection. 

4. Maxsa Motion-Activated Solar Security Camera and Floodlight: Versatile pick

Versatile pick
Maxsa Camera

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/30/2021 at 03:37 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

We like the Maxsa solar-powered home security device because it combines motion-activated floodlights with a wireless security camera to capture all the action on your property. All the settings are fully customizable, including how long the light stays on when activated and the sensitivity of both the motion sensor and the daylight trigger.

Even with adjustable settings, some customers still find the motion sensor to be too sensitive, triggering nearly constant recording but not always capturing movement in the videos. This is a glitch that can drain the battery quickly, especially when you’re counting on sunshine for power.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable price
Pro Bullet Customizable settings
Pro Bullet Ample storage
Pro Bullet Built-in floodlight
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Oversensitive motion detection
Con Bullet Unreliable date and time stamps

This solar-powered motion sensor light and camera comes with a 16GB memory card, but you can upgrade to a 64GB memory card or download video to a computer. One thing to note is that users have had a hard time getting the camera to sync up for proper date and time stamping. We recommend including that information in the name of any videos you download

Things to consider in a solar security camera

Placement

There are two things to consider when it comes to the placement of your solar-powered security camera. The first is where you want the camera to be installed for maximum protection, and the second is where the solar panel needs to be placed for maximum sun exposure.

To keep your solar-powered security camera up and running, you need enough peak sun-hours to get it fully charged. Peak sun-hours are classified as an hour in which the sun provides 1,000 watts of power per square meter. The measurement refers to the intensity of sunlight, rather than the amount of time the sun is shining.

Peak sun hours typically occur when the sun is at its highest point and can vary depending on season and location. Some guidelines to help you harness as much solar power as possible include placing your solar panel in a south-facing spot that gets full sunlight for at least six hours per day.

Depending on how long the cable is that attaches your camera to the panel, you might need to adjust your choice for camera placement. We recommend identifying your desired camera placement before deciding which solar camera to buy.

Weatherproof rating

When you count on an outdoor device to keep your home and family safe, you need to make sure it can stand up to the elements. Every outdoor solar camera we recommend has a weatherproof rating that lets you know how well it withstands dust and water.

Weatherproof, or Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, rank devices and device casing based on how much dust and water can get into the device.

Water standards

Water standards range from IPX0 that offers zero protection from water to IPX7 that means the product can withstand 30 minutes of submersion in up to one meter of water. There is an IPX8 rating that is defined by the manufacturer as better than IPX7.

Dust standards

Dust standards range from IPX0 that indicates no protection against dust and other objects entering the device to IPX6, which means the device is impervious to dust and other objects.

IP ratings are often displayed as IP65, which indicates the waterproof rating first (6) followed by the dustproof rating. If you see a rating with an X in the middle, that means the item is rated only for one factor.

Solar camera FAQ

Because home security cameras need to be on the job 24/7, they can use up a good chunk of electricity. You’ll definitely keep your power bill from taking an extra hit with solar-powered cameras, but the amount of savings will vary from home to home.

Most of the solar-powered security cameras we recommend include rechargeable battery backup that can keep your camera working for anywhere from 12 hours to three days.

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Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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