How To Power Your Outdoor Security Cameras

With the price of good quality security cameras getting falling to all-time lows, more and more people are considering installing outdoor CCTV cameras to protect both their property and their families.

So you are at the stage where you are ready to purchase the cameras, but hang on…how do you power them? Afterall, the cameras will be outside, and the desired location may not be an easy one to get a cable to.

Well, luckily there are multiple different types of cameras available that can be powered by a variety of methods.

Let’s take a look at the four most popular ways to power outdoor security cameras and the pros and cons of each.

4 Ways To Power Outdoor Security Cameras

Solar Power

Let’s go with the easiest way first – solar-powered security cameras. These cameras usually come supplied with a solar panel. This solar panel then charges up a battery which powers the camera.

This means not only do you have a totally wireless CCTV camera, but it also works at night – even when the sun isn’t up!


  • Fully wireless surveillance system
  • No cost to run
  • Environmentally friendly


  • More expensive
  • Batteries do require replacing eventually
  • Solar panels susceptible to damage
  • Consecutive cloudy days can result in battery not charging

Battery Power

The obvious way to power a camera that you can’t get a power cable to is via a battery. Battery technology has come a long way in recent years, and the latest generation of battery-powered security cameras works quite well.

The cameras are generally set up to activate only when they sense movement, hence saving battery life.


  • Fully wireless system
  • Very small power requirement to charge battery
  • Easy to install


  • Batteries require recharging
  • Can be expensive, depending on the brand chosen
  • Batteries require replacing eventually

Power Over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet (POE) is when power is supplied through a standard ethernet cable without the need for any additional cables.

It requires either a specialized POE switch of a POE power injector – luckily both of these are usually quite cheap to purchase.


  • Reliable and constant power
  • Reliable wired network signal
  • Usually cheap to purchase


  • Requires a physical cable to be run to the camera location
  • Special network equipment required
  • More difficult to install and fit off

Dedicated Power Cable

The final option we have to power your outdoor cameras is the old school way – a dedicated power cable.

This can be used on both WiFi and hard-wired cameras and requires a separate power cable to be run to the camera location.


  • Cheap equipment to purchase
  • Very reliable power connection


  • Requires a physical cable to be installed to camera location

So Which Is Right For You?

There is no right answer here. It depends on your situation. Some of the questions you can ask yourself to help decide include:

Where will you mount your cameras?

How important is it that the cameras operate 24/7?

Are you able to charge the battery every few days?

What is your budget?

Are you able to run a cable to the desired camera location?

Consider these questions, and then take a look at the different models available of your chosen power type. Make the right choice now, and it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run!

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