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 four solar-powered security cameras.
Top 4 Best Solar Powered Security Cameras for 2021
- SOLIOM – Best Overall Solar Security Camera
- REOLINK Go Outdoor – Best with 3G & 4G LTE Connectivity
- REOLINK Argus 2 – Best Solar Camera for Large Areas
- 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 due to 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 your mounting options. If the area you want to monitor is in a particularly shady location, you may have to choose a camera with a separate solar panel. This shouldn’t be an issue for most users. The solar panels are on top of the unit, so if you mount it on the edge of the roof, it should receive enough sunlight throughout the day.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
The REOLINK Go Outdoor Mobile Cellular Security Camera is the only camera on our list that does not require 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 lawn and the backyard, 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 that 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 the camera angle. Neither the solar panel nor charging cable is included with the cameras, they are sold 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 to access 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 the 3G/4G version above.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
MyCommand Solar Trail Camera will appeal to hunters and nature lovers who want to monitor their favorite spots without running cables or worrying about batteries. This camo camera blends in easily with its surroundings and comes with a solar battery pack that can last up to six months. This camera is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, so it can withstand even the toughest conditions.
The image quality on the MyCommand Solar Trail Camera isn’t quite as high as some of the other cameras on this list. It has a 12MP camera for time lapse photos and a 1080p camera for high-quality video. It has a 90-degree motion sensor and angle of vision, which is a bit narrow when compared to the other cameras on our list. However, it does have high-quality night vision, so you’ll be able to see everything in great detail, no matter what time it is.
Unfortunately, this 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 make your purchase.
Check 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 2.4GHz WiFi networks and cannot support 5GHz connections. Although most people have both, it is good to double check before spending money on something you can’t use.
Location Is Everything
Think about where you’d like to position the camera and then consider whether that area gets adequate sunlight to support a solar powered device. If it does, you can purchase an all-in-one unit where the solar panel is built into the camera itself. If there isn’t enough sunlight in your chosen location, go with a camera that has a separate solar panel, this way you will be able to place the panel in a more suitable spot while not having to compromise your camera’s viewing area.
The best way to mount a solar panel is facing south, angled toward the horizon. This position allows the most sunlight to hit the panel throughout the day. You should be careful not to place the panel anywhere where there will be excessive shade during the day. Even partial shade on a solar panel is bad news, so be sure to keep the panel fully exposed to the sun throughout the entire day.
Solar-powered security cameras work best in areas that receive a lot of sun. 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, such as an AC adaptor.
You should also consider the weather conditions in your area. Most of these cameras 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, pay special attention to the temperature range the manufacturer recommends. Try to choose one that is 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 extra features.
Coverage and Image Quality
Solar-powered security cameras need to be able to cover a wide area in order to be useful. They also have to offer high video quality, otherwise, you will just end up with a bunch of grainy, useless videos. That is why we specifically chose cameras that offer wide angles and crystal clear video quality.
We also looked for models that offered easy accessibility. Most of the models on our list can be accessed from a mobile app or through your home computer. This allows you to keep an eye on things 24/7. As we mentioned, most of these cameras work directly with your home WiFi, so everything connects wirelessly, for ultra user-friendly installation and use.
Solar-powered security cameras are typically 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. That is why we chose water and weather-resistant units that would keep working in nearly all types of weather.
Sometimes extra features are somewhat redundant, but when it comes to these solar powered security cameras, we looked for extras that would be truly useful. Things like automatic cloud storage, LED floodlights, and built-in microphones are all features that we think will add to the usefulness of these items, making them an important addition.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Solar Security Camera
We’ve already given you a few tips about how to set up your solar security camera, but here are a few tips for how to get the most out of it once it is installed.
Clean The Panel
Solar panels cannot absorb and convert sunlight into electricity if the sunlight cannot penetrate the glass on the front of the panel. Dirt and dust on the glass will block the sun and keep your panel from generating enough power. Avoid this issue by periodically cleaning the front of the panel with a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth. Never use anything abrasive because it could scratch the glass. Any scratches in the glass will refract light away from the panel, leading to decreased function.
Keep It Cool
Although solar panels are meant to be in direct sunlight, batteries are not. The rechargeable batteries used to store the solar energy in these security cameras can be damaged by unusually high temperatures. If you live in an area where high temperatures are expected, you may want to consider choosing a solar camera with a separate solar panel. This will allow you to place the solar panel in direct sunlight while placing the camera/battery unit somewhere a little cooler.
Don’t Wait For An Emergency
Although these units are very low maintenance and user-friendly, this is not a device that you want to set up and forget about. You should periodically check your camera to ensure that it is getting enough power and that it is running properly. If your WiFi goes down for any reason, remember to check that the camera has reconnected to the WiFi once the issue is resolved. You are relying on your security camera to capture and save video in case of an emergency. You do not want to wait until an emergency occurs to discover that your camera has been offline the whole time.
Summary: What We Have 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 easily outshine traditional wired security cameras. If that doesn’t appeal to you, try one of our other top picks. There is something here for everyone!