How to Power Outdoor Security Camera

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Outdoor security cameras are now one of the most common security measures across the country. I’ve been eyeing adding around our home to keep us safe and secure.

As I was looking through several options, I had to ask myself how I can power the new outdoor security cameras I’m planning on installing. Thus I begin my research for more information on efficient power supply options.

I was surprised to know the many options to power up security cameras, which is definitely a huge perk. As I was reading through several options, I realized one power source option is much more convenient for me over the other options.

Going in to buy outdoor security cameras will definitely be a much easier process now that I know what I’m looking for.

If you’re also wondering how you can power your outdoor security camera, go on and have a read!

How to Power Outdoor Security Camera

When people are shopping and going over buying options for outdoor security cameras, power sources can be easily overlooked.

If  you’re in the market for the best outdoor security cameras to install in your property, it’s very important to consider the camera’s power source.

For a wide array of ways to power outdoor security cameras, I’ve got you covered below:

Wired Security Cameras

One of the most common security camera power options is plugging it into a power source. This type needs a power source where you can plug them in or hardwire them.

When going for a wired security camera, one of the first things you should be considering is the location. A wired and plugged in camera would need a power source nearby.

A wired security camera ensures stable power connection all-year round. You wouldn’t have to worry about battery life and charging time. Because they’re connected to a direct power source, these will not run out of battery life.

A 24/7 power source means you can have your outdoor security camera recording and keeping surveillance 24/7 as well.

The only disadvantage to wired and plugged in outdoor security cameras is that it requires electricity. This means if there is a power outage, your security camera will die as a result.

If you don’t want your wired security camera to be out as well when there is power outage, there are plenty of wired options with emergency battery backups. This is a great way to ensure your security camera never turns off even with a power outage.

When choosing a wired outdoor security camera, make sure to also weigh the distance between the installation location and the nearest power source that can power up the unit.

But my camera has the word “wireless” in its name, does it need to be plugged in as well?

Now, you might be thinking if you need to plug in your “wireless” security camera.

The thing is, a wireless security camera doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t need to be connected to a power source.

Some security cameras in the market termed as “wireless” simply means they don’t need a connecting wire to transmit data and footage into a receiver. This would entail you still need a power source near the installation location of some wireless or WiFi security cameras.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Security Cameras

Another reliable wired power source for outdoor security cameras is PoE or Power over Ethernet.

Powering up a PoE security camera is very simple and can be done by any homeowner without professional help.

A PoE security camera system uses only one ethernet cable as a power source and to transmit your data. With a PoE security camera, you can say goodbye to additional wires you otherwise would have to worry about as well.

PoE security camera systems are most commonly powered by Cat5 or Cat6 cables. PoE cameras are a great option for a multi-camera setup. A PoE switch can accommodate up to eight cameras with one cable connection.

Keep in mind though that PoE ports are not the same as your standard ethernet ports. Your camera should support PoE to power up with this method.

You can’t simply plug in a PoE cable into any ethernet port on the camera. The system should support it, otherwise it will not power up.

A “PoE” label should be clearly placed under the camera’s ethernet port. If you aren’t sure if your camera supports the PoE power method, you can also check your camera’s specification sheet and chart.

As long as there is power and electricity, your PoE security camera receives power to function.

Much like the first power method, a PoE security camera will turn off if there is a power outage, unless yours has an emergency backup battery pack.

Battery-Powered Security Cameras

The next method to power up an outdoor security camera is with batteries.

Battery-powered security cameras are truly wireless outdoor security measures. These cameras operate on batteries and eliminate the use of any wires, both as power source and for data transmission.

Instead of relying on an external power source and on power cords, this utilizes rechargeable or replaceable batteries.

As for your data and recorded footage, many wireless security cameras use cloud storage. Generally, these are subscription plan-based and the consumer would have to pay monthly or yearly fees. If you will be subscribing to a brand’s cloud service, remember to study and research their current subscription plans first.

Some truly wireless cameras use built-in SD cards for storage instead. If this is the case for you, make sure you know whether it comes with a free SD card or if it doesn’t. Also consider information on if you can upgrade your storage to accommodate even more data and footage.

With a wireless and battery-operated security camera, you won’t have to worry about a power source as you would with a wired camera. This gives you the freedom to install it anywhere, as long as it still has a stable internet connection.

Though truly wireless and battery-operated outdoor security cameras seem to be the norm and more popular options in the market today, they do come with a few disadvantages.

With a battery-powered camera, you should always keep an eye on battery levels. Regularly check if your batteries need charging or replacing. Most security camera apps have this battery level feature so make the most of that.

Most battery-operated cameras also don’t record 24/7. They use motion detectors and will only start recording when motion is detected.

But because these cameras don’t require to be plugged into a power source, this means they don’t encounter any problems when there is power outage.

Solar-Powered Security Cameras

The last way to power up outdoor security cameras is with solar panels.

Instead of outlets or batteries, this uses sunlight to charge up battery life. With a solar-powered camera, your unit constantly charges all day, as long as there is a good amount of sunlight.

You won’t have to worry about replacing batteries or taking out battery packs to recharge because it recharges itself as it operates during the day.

With this type of camera, what you would need to keep in mind is the placement. Make sure you place it somewhere it’s not under a shade and will instead get a good amount of sunlight. Otherwise, it may not be able to charge.

Solar-powered security cameras are a great option for places without stable electricity like properties in remote areas. Most of these cameras use 5G/LTE sims and cellular plans for internet connectivity. This means it also doesn’t require a home WiFi network. All you would need to do is pay for the subscription plan.

While other cameras would require you to buy separate solar panels, there are many options in the market that already include the solar panel.


Outdoor security cameras are one of the most effective ways to keep your home and family safe and secure. These devices allow you to keep an eye on everything going on around you even if you aren’t at home.

In looking at outdoor security camera options, it’s very important to closely consider the ways to power them up, which is often overlooked.

There are four main methods you can power up your outdoor security camera:

  • wired to a power outlet,
  • Power over Ethernet (PoA),
  • batteries, and
  • solar panels

Each power source method has its own perks and shortcomings. Which one you should choose would depend largely on your needs and preferences.

If you want to ensure a stable power source, a wired or PoA security camera system would be best. These, however, rely on electricity so it wouldn’t fare well during power outages.

If you would rather not worry about wires and electricity, a battery or solar-powered camera would be best.

And that has been our guide on how to power outdoor security cameras!