Pros and Cons of Solar-Powered Home Security Systems

Did you know you can help protect the planet while protecting your home? Solar-powered home security systems are becoming a popular option for homeowners across the country. These systems decrease your electricity costs while using a more sustainable energy source.

There are many reasons to use one of these systems, but there are also some drawbacks. Read below to understand the pros and cons of installing a solar-powered security system in your home.

Pro: Maintain security during a power outage

Most home security systems run at least partially on your home’s electricity. Maintaining your security during a power outage can be difficult because you lose access to several of your security devices.

A solar-powered system doesn’t have that problem. These devices include solar panels that create energy from sunlight, providing power even if your electricity is out. They also include a battery that stores backup energy. Even if the power goes out at night, you can still rely on this power source to keep your solar-powered devices active and your home safe.

Pro: Little to no maintenance

Solar panels are incredibly easy to maintain. In fact, they barely require any maintenance at all. 

If your panels get covered with dust, debris, or snow, you may have to clean them off periodically to maximize their performance. Keep an eye out for damage as well, such as cracks from rocks flung by your mower. 

You will also need to change out the battery if your panels include one. Generally, you’ll only have to replace the batteries every two to five years. Be sure to talk with the manufacturer or supplier about the expected battery life.

Pro: Offers an environmentally-friendly power source

Sustainability is one of the biggest draws for solar power. Rather than relying on fossil fuels, solar panels create usable energy from one of the best sources around – the sun! If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment, a solar-powered home security system is a great way to do it. You’ll enjoy all the other benefits this type of system provides while also making a difference for the world.

Pro: Save on your power bills

Electricity is expensive no matter where you live. Though your security devices aren’t a major drain on your energy bill, they do drive up your costs. 

With a solar home security system, you can reduce the amount of money you spend on power. Your solar-powered devices won’t add to your monthly bill, even as they provide the reliable service you need.

Plus, you can further reduce your household’s energy usage by adding solar panels to power your entire home. These additional panels will offset the electricity used by the rest of your home security system, helping you save even more.

Pro: Easy installation

Solar panels can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have any experience with them. Thankfully, security cameras, lighting, and other small devices with solar panels are easy to set up.

First, you will need to choose the best location for the device. This spot will need to both maximize the device’s usability and provide considerable sun exposure. For a security camera, for instance, you will need to place the device in a high location with a good view of the area you want to cover. At the same time, it should receive around six hours of direct sunlight every day to maximize the solar panel’s energy output.

Once you’ve found the ideal placement, you can install the device. Make sure the solar panel is angled to get maximum sun exposure. You won’t have to mess with wires, so the installation process should be easy enough to handle yourself.

That said, you can always hire a professional installer to set up your devices to make sure they are installed correctly.

Con: Installation location can affect signal strength

The spot you choose for your solar-powered device can affect how much energy it creates, but it can also weaken its internet connection.

Like all wireless devices, your security equipment needs to connect to the internet to function. Without Wi-Fi, you won’t be able to stream security video, control your lights, or access any other devices in your security system.

If you have a weak connection, it can also limit your use. Any live video streaming will lag or have such low quality that you can’t make out any details. You might also lose functionality as your device tries to maintain its connection.

As you identify the best location for your devices, try to keep them as close to your home and router as possible. This will ensure a strong and reliable signal. If the connection is weak, add a Wi-Fi extender to your home to strengthen your internet signal.

Con: Solar-powered lights aren’t as strong

LED lights are best at turning stored power into light. Because of that, all solar-powered lights use LEDs.

Unfortunately, LED lights aren’t always as bright as other types of lights. For outdoor lights, this means that your devices won’t be able to illuminate as much of your yard. This creates more dark spots around your home, giving burglars additional ways to hide. 

To make up for this weaker lighting, you can install additional lights around your yard. You can also use a mix of electric lighting and solar lighting. Either way, make sure you have enough lights to protect your home from lurkers and thieves.

Con: Weather can weaken your power source

Solar-powered home security systems run off sunlight, so they need access to several hours of sun each day. During the winter, on cloudy days, and during storms, sunlight is often limited. Additionally, you may not have a location around your home that receives enough sunlight on a daily basis. 

Your devices can still work with limited solar power, but your lighting may be dimmer and your camera might not work reliably. Even batteries will run out eventually if they’re not replenished. Though this isn’t a problem for most homes, it’s good to be aware of the possibility.

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