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How to Power Wireless Security Cameras

February 20, 2024

Mammoth Takeaways:
  • Rechargeable batteries provide power to completely wire-free cameras, but most require recharging approximately every six months.
  • Cameras powered via traditional outlet plug-ins are considered wireless so long as their video data is transmitted wirelessly. Plug-in cameras generally provide the greatest reliability when compared to other powering methods for wireless cameras. Just be sure the cord and outlet aren’t in reach of potential vandals.
  • Solar power is an option, but a bad one. A few days to a week of low-light weather will land most solar-powered cameras in a coma.

With nearly $500 billion worth of losses and damages caused by property crime in the U.S. annually (FBI), security is a top priority for businesses and organizations.

You can think about security as a game of chess. You need strategy, foresight, and the right pieces in place to guard against intruders and other bad actors.

One key piece in this game is understanding how the tools at your disposal work so that you can maximize their benefits. That’s why, in today’s Mammoth Security post, we’re talking about how wireless security cameras get power.

Keep on reading for a simple breakdown of the topic and some expert tips.

How Are Security Cameras Powered?

First off, it's crucial to grasp the fundamentals. Wireless security cameras aren’t necessarily wire-free. The term “wireless” indicates that a camera’s data is transmitted wirelessly rather than via cable, but wireless cameras can have wiring for other purposes.

Power for wireless cameras can come through traditional plug-in power cords (also known as wire), as well as rechargeable batteries and solar panels.

Beware: Cameras powered by solar energy depend on a sunny climate, making them highly unreliable and unsuitable for commercial-grade surveillance in regions like New England.

AC Power Adapters: A Traditional Power Source

an indoor security camera plugged into a wall.

AC Power Adapters are your standard plug-in camera option. Easy as pie: just plug your wireless camera into a nearby outlet.

The downside to plug-in power is that wrongdoers can unplug them if the outlet is within reach.

Battery-Powered Cameras: Cutting the Cord

Some wireless camera models are truly wire-free. They run on battery power.

These cameras are super flexible when it comes to where they can be placed because there’s no need for a nearby power source. But bear in mind that you’ll need to check and charge those batteries periodically. Some rechargeable batteries can last up to two years without recharging, but most should be checked at least every six months.

Solar-Power Cameras: The Sun is Bright (Sometimes)

For those looking to go green, solar-powered cameras may seem like a responsible way to harness renewable energy.

Unfortunately, solar-powered cameras are not a responsible way to secure your business. They are just too dependent on sunny days.

Most have a battery backup that stores excess energy from sunny days to keep cameras powered overnight and on days with little to no light, but a week of low-light days will land most solar cameras in a coma.

The exact duration that a solar-powered camera will work without sunlight varies depending on the specific camera model, type of solar panel, and type of battery, as well as camera settings that can dramatically affect the camera’s power use.

Power over Ethernet (PoE): The Best Wireless Solution is Switching to Wire

Power over Ethernet allows you to kill two birds with one stone, transmitting both power and data over a single Ethernet cable. It’s a great way to reduce clutter and streamline your setup, although using an Ethernet cable for video data transmission would mean that your commercial security camera is no longer wireless.

But fret not! You’re better off using physical cables for data transmission anyway.

Wireless data transmission is prone to signal interference, latency, data deterioration, and other vulnerabilities that Ethernet cable connections avoid.

Best Practices for Running Power to Wireless Security Cameras

Each business has unique needs, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. When figuring out how to run power to wireless security cameras, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Location: Consider where your power sources are in relation to where you want your cameras to be placed. For plug-in cameras, the closer to an outlet, the better. If there aren’t any nearby power outlets, consider cameras that operate on battery power.

Maintenance: Before selecting battery-powered cameras, consider their battery lives and how often you’d need to check and recharge them.

If you move forward with battery-powered cameras, be sure to set up a repeating schedule for battery checks. Such cameras will not function once the battery is out of power.

Professional Installation: When it comes to business-grade security, it’s best to call in the pros for help selecting cameras and installing them. Seek out companies like Mammoth Security, which knows the ins and outs of commercial surveillance and how to install and program security systems for optimal performance. We guide businesses and organizations throughout Connecticut toward robust, effective security setups every day.

Monitoring: Alongside powering your cameras, it’s a good idea to monitor the footage they collect. Real-time camera footage makes it possible to detect and respond to security incidents as they unfold.

For assistance with footage monitoring, consider working with a remote monitoring service or select camera systems with cutting-edge features like AI-based analytics that can be programmed to provide proactive notifications and alerts when preset rules are triggered.

You’ve Got the Power

Enthusiastic Mammoth Security technician wants to help

So there you have it! You’re now armed with what you need to know to power wireless security cameras, and it’s time to make your next move in the security chess game with confidence.

You’ve got the power—literally!

For a free, zero-obligation site survey and consultation with an expert from our team, just click to contact us and fill out the form.




In business settings, the best power sources for wireless security cameras are AC power adapter plug-ins and rechargeable batteries.

Solar-powered security cameras for commercial use face limitations like dependence on sunny days and insufficient power backup during extended low-light periods.

Powering wireless security cameras may seem like a daunting task, but it's just a matter of understanding your options and choosing what best fits your needs.

Professional installation is recommended for business-grade wireless security cameras to ensure optimal placement, efficient setup, proper programming, and integration with existing security systems.

Businesses can ensure efficient power management for wireless security cameras by choosing the right power source based on camera location, considering maintenance needs for battery-powered options, and opting for professional installation and regular system monitoring.

Businesses should consider the proximity of power sources to camera locations, maintenance requirements for battery-powered cameras, and the reliability of the power supply, ensuring it aligns with their specific security needs and setup.

AC power adapters are a popular choice for powering wireless security cameras in businesses due to their ease of use, reliability, and direct connection to a power source, making them a straightforward and dependable option for continuous surveillance.

Wireless data transmission for security cameras can suffer from signal interference, latency, and data deterioration. Therefore, be sure to seriously consider using physical cables for the reliable data transmission required for commercial-grade security.

In a commercial setting, battery-powered wireless security cameras should be checked at least every six months to ensure continuous surveillance coverage, although this frequency may vary depending on the particular battery being used, the camera model, and the camera’s settings.



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