The Blink lineup of cameras have one of the longest battery lives of all the wireless devices out there. With normal use, you should see two years. However for those that frequently use live view, the battery life could be far less. For those situations, we discuss how to run a Blink XT or Blink without batteries.
Expected Battery Life
According to Blink, batteries will last up to two years. On the Blink and Blink XT, that’s defined as up to 40,000 seconds of motion recording or live viewing. An interesting improvement with the Blink XT are claims these batteries are good for up to 80,000 seconds of recording. That’s double what the older XT could handle.
Doing some rough math, ten minutes of daily motion or live recording comes in at 600 seconds per day or roughly 20,000 seconds per year. That’s 40,000 seconds over two years. Using substantially more will yield a shorter battery life.
While Blink batteries are fairly easy to change out, the hard part is often retrieving the camera, especially if mounted extra high. It might be easier to power the Blink without batteries.
The Little Known USB Port
So this is where the seldom used USB port comes into play. Many Blink owners aren’t aware this port even exists. It’s likely you purchased the Blink line of cameras for the unique and superior truly wireless experience. No cables.
However, for those that are constantly changing the batteries, consider powering the Blink without batteries. You do that via the USB port.
The USB port is shown in the photo that accompanies this article. This happens to be a Blink XT2. The port is located in the same spot on the Bink, Blink XT and Blink XT2. It’s located directly below the lever used to open the battery compartment.
The USB port can be found on the back of the camera. It’s a micro USB port. It’s the same connection used on many phones. A micro USB cable and wall charger can be plugged into this port.
Problem solved. Kind of. Be aware that using the USB port on a Blink XT or Blink XT2 means using the camera outdoors is somewhat compromised as water can get into the USB port and ruin the camera. So in other words, think twice before doing this to a camera that is exposed to the elements.
Using Batteries as a Backup
Even though you might power the Blink without batteries, there’s no reason to not still insert the batteries into the camera. Keeping the batteries in the camera provides a backup if power goes out. Naturally, if there’s a power failure, the internet is likely out as well, unless you have a UPS on the modem and router.
It’s also worth noting that when the camera is running off the USB, the battery indication within the app will show battery life as OK even if the batteries are depleted. So it’s worth testing the batteries periodically if depending upon them for a backup.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).