Discover the benefits of Wireless Solar IP Cameras for Outdoor Environments
Security cameras are a common choice for crime prevention, or sometimes even an insurance requirement. Compared to the old CCTV systems, modern devices offer a wealth of convenient features, as well as better quality and power efficiency. However, challenging environments, such as remote outdoor locations that are off-grid, can still be frustrating, or even service-limited, to get up and running. That’s where solar-powered IP cameras thrive. Combining affordable solar-power with a highly-capable IP camera brings 24/7 surveillance and low maintenance to outdoor areas, such as construction sites, warehouses, barns, farms, rural housing, sheds, or garages.
As the name suggests, solar panels are used to provide power without the camera having to be wired to a wall outlet. This means that anywhere sufficient daylight is available the solar panels will generate enough juice to run the camera and charge the internal batteries (they’ll even work on cloudy days) without an electricity bill. At night the internal batteries take over to keep it running non-stop.
Because they don’t need to be connected to mains power, solar IP cameras can save you from the hassle of drilling holes through walls or calling out professional fitters and electricians to wire everything up while also making placement extremely flexible and easy to scale. If your installation needs to be changed, or simply if you discover a better mounting position that you previously didn’t think of, it only takes a few minutes to move them. Even if there is a plug socket nearby, the self-sustaining nature of solar-powered IP cameras is a security advantage because it keeps working even through power-cuts – whether unintentional or caused by a malicious act.
Functioning day and night
Modern IP cameras are very efficient and only sip a little power, making both the camera and the solar panel array small and unobtrusive. By using a wide field of view lens, a single camera can cover a large area, so it can be placed where the solar panel catches the most light.
At night, or in low-light conditions, night-vision capabilities are still based on tried and tested infrared (IR) technologies. These two have been thoroughly modernized to provide unprecedented details. Using integrated and efficient IR LEDs means no external light source is required to illuminate the scene, which would negate all the wireless and low-power benefits.
Facial Recognition capabilities
Adding facial and object recognition technologies changes security cameras from being dumb objects to intelligent ones in sync with our increasing ‘smart’ lives; integrating them into a smart home or business IoT environment creates a more effective security network. For example, identifying people who approach a front door of a house or business and sending alerts based on a white/black-list. Two-way communication (microphone and speaker integrated into the camera) means you can interact with people remotely, such as a postman calling while you’re at work, a customer approaching during a lunch break, or in distant places alerting unidentified people to the fact you’ve got them on camera – all the while saving the need to travel out to the area and keeping you safe.
As the ‘IP’ term in ‘IP camera’ suggests, its wireless nature is continued through its connectivity too. Connecting to a local network via Wi-Fi is simple and convenient, while modern Wi-Fi hardware provides powerful and reliable connectivity. A smartphone app is commonly used to do the initial pairing of the camera to the Wi-Fi access point, providing ease of setup and administration.
Once the camera is set up, another modern convenience feature is motion detection. Typically, nothing of interest happens 99% of the time so constant recording is unnecessary. By using an ultra-low power infrared sensor, the camera can detect and instantly trigger recording when a person or animal moves in front of the camera’s field of view. Only recording moments of interest means you don’t need to search through hours of film – saving on storage space and cost as well as minimizing wireless network traffic.
Using Cloud storage intelligently
Considering how you use the wireless network is another key factor in any deployment, especially if you plan on adding multiple cameras to a single Wi-Fi access point. Reducing the stress on network bandwidth is essential to maximize connection reliability. To help, the camera itself should perform on-the-fly compression of the recording; this smaller, compressed video file is then streamed via Wi-Fi to a central server or cloud storage. Compressing the file within the camera not only reduces the network data load and saves on storage space; it’s also far more efficient for overall power use.
Control at your finger-tips
Despite even the best-laid plans, the Wi-Fi AP might still go offline because of power-loss, network upgrades or scheduled maintenance. In such cases, using a solar-powered IP camera with internal storage backup (like microSD card) means that the device will keep on recording until the connection is restored. As an added bonus, the footage it has stored can be conveniently accessed from the comfort of your office using a smartphone app – rather than having to go out to remove the card from the camera and manually transferring the footage to a PC.
Solar-powered IP cameras are an ideal go-to surveillance solution for many outdoor scenarios. Simple to set up and use and extremely reliable with ruggedized designs, they can great for any environmental condition.
Find out how VIA can help you accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable wireless security products and installations using the VPai Smart Security Solar IP Camera turnkey solution.