The Ring Solar Panel is an interesting accessory. I like to see a company think out of the box. That’s exactly what Ring did when they designed this product.
We wrote an article titled Alternative Power Sources for Home Security Cameras several months back. In this article we detailed how to power a home security camera when an AC power outlet wasn’t nearby. We looked at a few options including Power Over Ethernet (POE) and how to turn a light socket into an AC adapter. We didn’t look at solar because this product was unknown to us. That recently changed after stumbling upon it on a recent trip to an electronics store.
So what is the Ring Solar Panel? It’s the answer to powering a home security camera when there’s no AC outlet anywhere close. The Ring Solar Panel provides 2 watts and 6 volts of power through a five foot micro USB cable.
The manufacturer of this product made it for use with their outdoor camera which is called the Ring Stick Up Camera. Ring currently markets three cameras. Besides the Ring Stick Up Camera, they also offer the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Ring Video Doorbell. The Ring Solar Panel will not work with the doorbell cameras because the products mount flush with the side of a house. Those cameras are designed to be powered by battery or house current that typically feeds a doorbell. We haven’t tried it but there is a possibility that the Ring Solar Panel may power other brands as well. The micro USB cable adapter is common to many popular home security cameras currently on the market.
One of the things we found unique about the Ring Video Doorbell cameras was the security screws. They make it very difficult for someone to steal the camera. You need to have a special screwdriver which Ring provides. Ring also provides a theft proof warranty. If the Ring Video Doorbell is stolen, they replace it free when you present them with a police report. The same security screws and warranty are provided with the Ring Solar Panel. If the product is stolen, Ring replaces it for free.
The product is a solar panel, so be sure to pick a spot for installation that gets some sun during the day. According to the manufacturer, this can adequately keep your Ring Stick Up Camera going strong with as little as an hour of sun per day. However, I would select a spot that can get considerably more so the internal batteries can keep charged if there’s a string of cloudy days. Indoor installation isn’t recommended as the type of light that it will get will likely prove insufficient.
Installation of the Ring Solar Panel is fairly simple. You will use the provided drill bit to make a pair of holes that line up with the base of the mount. Insert the anchors, then use the provided screwdriver to attach the mounting base to the wall. The solar panel then inserts onto the other end of the mount. The panel can be adjusted to get the most sun by pivoting it as required. I suggest mounting this at least six feet up the wall. That just makes it harder for anyone to tamper with and keeps it out of the line of sight.
The Ring Solar Panel combined with the Ring Stick Up Camera is a unique solution that’s truly wire free. Unlike some of the battery operated alternatives such as those from Arlo, this could theoretically be powered indefinitely with the sun shining on the panels.
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).