The Best Solar-Powered Security Cameras

Solar-powered outdoor security cameras provide electricity-free protection for remote areas, large properties, outbuildings, and more. Find the best ones in the reviews below.
Best overall
Reolink Argus 2
Reolink Argus 2
$114.94
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable price
Runner up
Lynx Solar Camera
Lynx Solar Camera
$297.97
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Facial recognition
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Free cloud storage
Affordable pick
All-new Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-In HD security camera with two-way talk, Works with Alexa
Ring Stick-Up Cam Solar
$148.99
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Plug-In HD security camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two-way-talk and Alexa-compatible

*Amazon.com price as of 04/13/2021 at 2:36 p.m. (MT). Read (full disclaimer)

Bottom line: Reolink’s Argus 2 comes out on top

We like the Reolink Argus 2 for its simple DIY setup, cheap price tag, and easy-to-use app. You can pick up the camera and solar panel for around $130, and it’s a snap to install. The Argus 2 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

Best overall Runner up Affordable pick Versatile pick
Reolink Argus 2 Lynx Solar Cam Ring Stick Up Cam Solar Maxsa Secuity Cam
Price*$114.94$297.97$148.99$150.46
Video storageMicro SD card,
7 days free cloud storage
7 days free cloud storage Ring Protect plan requiredMicro SD card
Weather durabilityIP65
weatherproof
IP65
weatherproof
IPX5
waterproof
IP44
weatherproof
Learn more

*Amazon.com list price as of 04/13/2021 at 2:36 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Reviews: Best outdoor solar security cameras

Reolink Argus 2: Best overall

When it comes to affordable outdoor wireless security, the Argus 2 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.

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 Choppy picture
Con Bullet Delayed motion detection
Con Bullet SD card sold separately

Even though we think this is the biggest solar power security bang for your buck, there are a few drawbacks. Video is choppy, the motion detection lags, and our tester got a lot of false alarms. Read our full review to see how the Reolink Argus 2 performed in our hands-on test.

Lynx Solar Wi-Fi Surveillance Camera: Runner up

For a camera that uses solar power, the Lynx has a lot of high-tech bells and whistles. Our favorite is the facial recognition software. Not only does this help cut down on false alarms—it allows for customized alerts that let you know if a stranger is on your property.

We also like that the camera can charge for a full week with just one day of full sun. This smart security camera includes two-way audio and starlight night vision, and it works with Google Assistant for voice control. The camera records only in 10-second clips, so if a longer event triggers the camera, you may need to piece together multiple clips to get the full story.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Facial recognition
Pro Bullet Long-lasting solar charge
Pro Bullet Voice control
Pro Bullet Great customer service
Pro Bullet Free cloud storage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Glitchy audio
Con Bullet Short recording time
Con Bullet Higher price tag

While the video quality is good, the audio from the built-in speaker can be hard to understand—it breaks up a lot. Customers also report a decent delay between when you open the app and when the camera “wakes up.” But customer service gets rave reviews, so if you run into trouble with any of the advanced features, you can count on quick, responsive help.

Ring Stick Up Cam Solar: Affordable pick

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 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

Ring also offers 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.

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.

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

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

The 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 mile. 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 twelve hours to three days.

If you lose the Wi-Fi signal with the Lynx camera, it will keep recording video for three days. That footage is automatically uploaded to the cloud where you can access it even if your home Wi-Fi is down.

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Disclaimer

*Amazon.com list price as of 04/13/2021 at 02:36 p.m. (MT). 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.