Solar powered security cameras help you keep a close eye on your yard without paying for the increased electric bill that comes along with traditional cameras. There are many high-quality options out there, but we recommend the SOLIOM Outdoor Solar-Powered Security Camera based on its crisp picture, durable construction and built-in two-way talk feature.
That wasn’t the only camera that stood out to us, though. We also chose four others that appealed to us based on their image quality, features, mobile capabilities and customer reviews.
You can learn more about each of these by clicking on the links below or by reading our full reviews of our top five solar-powered security cameras.
Top 5 Best Solar Powered Security Cameras for 2020
- SOLIOM – Best Overall Solar Security Camera
- REOLINK Go Outdoor – Best with 3G & 4G LTE Connectivity
- REOLINK Argus 2 – Best Solar Camera for Large Areas
- ENSTER – Best Solar Power Camera with a Floodlight
- MyCommand – Best Solar Powered Trail Camera
Solar Power Security Camera Reviews
Read our in-depth solar powered security camera reviews below to learn more about each of our top picks and find the best solar security camera for you today.
The SOLIOM Outdoor Solar-Powered Security Camera stood out as the best because of its 1080p video, durable construction and powerful mobile app that enables you to view live footage and speak to anyone within range of the camera. It also has an impressive 160-degree field of vision, which is the largest of any camera on this list, and night vision so you can monitor the area at any time.
While you can leave the SOLIOM camera on all the time, you can also switch it over to motion activation if you prefer. There are three sensitivity settings so you can adjust the sensitivity to match your surrounding area and reduce the possibility of false alarms. Few other solar-powered security cameras give you the option to do this, so it’s worth considering if you’ve struggled with motion-activated cameras not turning on or turning on too often in the past.
The solar panel is built into the camera itself, which may limit how much sun it receives. You have to place the camera so it will point at what you want it to, but this may leave the solar panel at a less-than-ideal angle for catching the sun. This shouldn’t be an issue for most, though, because the solar panels are on top of the unit so it should be able to get some sun throughout most of the day.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
The REOLINK Go Outdoor Mobile Cellular Security Camera is similar in many ways to the REOLINK Argus 2 cameras discussed above, except it doesn’t need WiFi. It operates off the same 3G and 4G LTE networks as your cell phone, so you can access the footage from the mobile app anywhere you have a cell phone connection. This makes it a great choice for rural areas, campers, or even out in the woods. Up to 10 people can view the camera’s 1080p live footage at once through the REOLINK mobile app and you can save video footage to an SD card for viewing later.
The REOLINK Go has a slightly smaller field of vision than the Argus 2 cameras at only 110 degrees. However, this should be suitable for most people’s purposes. It has 33-foot Starlight Night Vision so you can clearly see the area around the camera at any time, and there’s a built-in speaker so you can communicate with anyone in the vicinity of the camera through the mobile app.
Like the REOLINK Argus 2 cameras, the Go camera can be charged by a solar panel or a micro USB cord, but unfortunately, neither of these are included with your purchase, so you’ll have to buy them separately. This makes this already expensive camera even more costly, and that may put it out of reach to those on a tight budget. Unless you really need the cellular viewing feature, one of the other WiFi-based cameras on this list may be a better fit.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
If you plan to cover a large area or more than one area, like your front and back yards, the REOLINK Argus 2 Solar-Powered Outdoor Camera System may be a better fit for you. Each of the two cameras has a 130-degree viewing angle, which puts it only a little behind our top pick, and it can see up to 33 feet, day or night. The 1080p full HD video quality is also on par with the SOLIOM camera.
These cameras are also a great option for yards that don’t get a lot of sun because you can charge them multiple ways. They contain batteries which you can power by attaching it to a solar panel or plugging in a micro USB cord and attaching it to a nearby outlet. The solar panel isn’t attached to the camera, so you have more freedom to position it where it will best catch the sun without having to compromise on the camera’s angle. The solar panel and the charge cord aren’t included with the cameras, though, so you’ll have to purchase them separately.
The REOLINK cameras connect to your WiFi so you can view the footage at any time through the REOLINK mobile app. You can also insert an SD card if you’d like to store recorded video so you can access it later. Unfortunately, this solar-powered security camera doesn’t work without WiFi, so if you don’t have WiFi access where you’d like to place the camera, you may prefer our next pick instead.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
Best Solar Camera with a Floodlight
- Motion activated camera & light
- Night vision with 1080p video
- 90-degree field of vision
- Simple Installation
The ENSTER Solar-Powered Security Camera with Motion Sensor Floodlight is a great choice for those who want to keep their home secure without raising their electricity bill. The motion-activated light and camera turn on whenever someone walks past it and it will automatically send an alert to your cell phone so you can see who it is through the mobile app. The camera has night vision and 1080p video, so you can clearly see what’s going on at all times.
The solar panel is built into the top of the light, which gives it a sleeker look, but it also means you have to be more careful about where you place the light so it can catch the most sun. The ENSTER camera only has a 90-degree field of vision, so you may need to purchase more than one if you need to cover a large area.
The solar light is bright and protected by a water and heat resistant housing so it can withstand virtually all weather. You may have to take it down if you experience cold winters, though, because the manufacturer doesn’t recommend using it in temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
MyCommand Solar Trail Camera will appeal to hunters and nature lovers who want to keep an eye on their favorite spots without running cable or replacing batteries. This camo camera blends in easily with its surroundings and it includes a solar battery pack that can last up to six months, according to the manufacturer. The camera is also waterproof, dustproof and shockproof, so it can withstand tough physical conditions.
The image quality on the MyCommand Solar Trail Camera isn’t quite as high as some of the other cameras on this list. The manufacturer says that it has a 12 or 16-megapixel camera, depending on the model you choose, but doesn’t say what type of video quality that translates to. It also only has a 90-degree angle of vision, which is smaller than the other solar-powered security cameras listed here. However, it does have night vision, so you’ll be able to see any humans or animals that come by at any time.
Unfortunately, the camera only stores video to an SD card and there’s no way to remotely view the camera’s footage, so this may not work as well as the REOLINK Go camera if you’d like to be able to view the footage at any time. But if you make the occasional trip out to the area, you can check the footage and verify that the camera is still working and in the best position to catch the sun.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
What You Need to Know About Solar-Powered Security Cameras
Here are a few things you need to know about solar-powered security cameras before you buy one.
Make sure the camera is compatible with your WiFi connection.
Most solar-powered security cameras use WiFi, but they can’t use all WiFi networks. Many cameras state in their specs that they only work with 2.4 GHz WiFi networks but they can’t support 5 GHz connections. Depending on your network, you may only have access to one of these options or you may have access to both.
If you only have a 5 GHz connection, you may have difficulty finding a solar-powered security camera that can work with it. You may have to look into setting up a 2.4 GHz option or go with a cellular solar-powered security camera that doesn’t need WiFi at all.
Consider the ideal position of the solar panel and the camera separately.
Think about where you’d like to position the camera and then consider whether that area gets adequate sunlight for the solar panel. If it does, you can purchase a camera with a separate solar panel or an all-in-one unit where the solar panel is built into the camera itself. But if you think the solar panel won’t get much sun where it is, go with a camera that has a detachable solar panel so you can move it around and better position it to catch the most light.
Remember, just because a place seems ideal now doesn’t mean it always will be. Make note of how the sun moves through the space over the course of the day, and periodically check on the solar camera to make sure that tree branches, shrubs or other obstructions aren’t blocking the camera’s view or the solar panel, as these may affect its performance. If you do not get enough sunlight then you may want to consider a traditional wired security camera.
Take your climate into account.
Solar-powered security cameras work best in areas that receive a lot of sun, but not everywhere is so lucky. If you live in a cloudy area, you may prefer a camera that has large, rechargeable batteries so that the camera can store power for longer. You could also look for one that offers alternative charging methods, like a power cord.
You should also think about the conditions the security camera may be exposed to. Most do well against heat, wind and rain, but cold can pose a problem for some models. If you plan to leave your camera up all year round, pay special attention to the temperature range the manufacturer recommends. Try to choose one that’s in line with the climate for your area.
How We Chose the Best Solar-Powered Security Cameras
We selected the best solar-powered security cameras based on their coverage and image quality, accessibility, durability and the extra features they included.
Coverage and Image Quality
Solar-powered security cameras need to be able to cover a wide area in order to be useful. Most manufacturers give you a sense of the camera’s angle of vision and how far away it can see things, and you can use this as a baseline in determining which camera is right for you.
You also want to pay attention to the quality of the camera’s video. Grainy images may render the camera useless for your purposes, especially at night. The best solar-powered security cameras have 1080p video and night vision so you can see just as well at night as you can in the daytime.
Some solar-powered security cameras connect to your home’s WiFi network so you can view the real-time footage through a mobile app or on your computer. This is your best option if you want immediate, regular access to the camera’s footage.
But not everyone has WiFi or you may want to place the camera outside the range of your WiFi network. In that case, look for a camera that enables you to insert an SD card to store footage. A better, though more expensive, option is to go with a cellular solar-powered security camera. These cameras work on the same network as your cell phone so you can access the footage from your phone even without WiFi.
Solar-powered security cameras are left out in the elements, so they have to be able to withstand strong winds, rain, sun and maybe even snow, depending on where you live. The camera you choose should be made of a sturdy plastic or metal and it should be waterproof to prevent rain seeping in and damaging the internal components.
Your solar-powered security camera may include extras like a floodlight, built-in alarm or two-way talk so you can speak to people in range of the camera via the mobile app. Not everyone will need extras like these, but they could help you decide if you’re torn between two similar solar-powered cameras.
Summary: What we learned about solar security cameras
The best solar-powered security camera for you depends on how you intend to use it. We recommend the SOLIOM Outdoor Solar-Powered Security Camera to anyone looking for a powerful and versatile solar camera that can compete with its traditional wired cousins. But if that doesn’t appeal to you, try out one of our other top picks instead.