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December 29, 2022
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Think Protection

How Cold Weather Affects Outdoor Security Cameras

Cold weather can wreak havoc on a lot of things—laptops, printers, mobile phones, and yes, even outdoor security cameras

This is because cold temperatures can cause the electronic components within these devices to become sluggish and malfunction. Moreover, the condensation created by temperature changes can cause corrosion and damage to the internal components, compromising functionality.

If you’re buying an outdoor camera, what features should you look for so you don’t end up with a piece of equipment that malfunctions at the slightest drop in temperature? Finding the best doorbell camera for cold weather begins right here. 

3 Things That Could Happen to Cameras in Cold Weather

  1. The Camera Might Stop Working

All security cameras function at a certain temperature range. Going lower or higher than the recommended range might stop the camera from working properly. 

There’s no general temperature range you can use as a guide because it is mostly determined by the camera’s manufacturer. 

Another reason for equipment failure is exposure to moisture. As winter creeps in and snow is carried by the wind, it can land on your outdoor security camera and cause damage. This is more likely to happen if your camera doesn’t have a good IP rating against moisture.  

One of the best ways to protect your security camera is to position it under an awning approximately eight to 10 ft. above the ground.

a technician installs an outdoor camera under a home’s eavestrough

  1. The Batteries Will Drain or Stop Working

Unlike wired cameras that run on electricity, some outdoor cameras and doorbell cameras run solely on battery power. Unwired or purely battery-powered cameras in cold weather have a higher risk of losing their charge faster than wired ones. 

You can use lithium batteries—the go-to option that can withstand cold weather—however, they also have limitations.

Lithium batteries produce less current when they’re exposed to low temperatures because the necessary chemical reactions that make them work are slowed down. When this happens, your security camera could shut down. 

Vulnerability to cold weather is one of the downsides of battery-powered camera models. But they also offer more flexibility and ease of installation than their wired counterparts. To get the best of both worlds, some homeowners opt for an electrically wired outdoor security camera fitted with a battery backup. 

Condensation occurs when two factors are present: humidity in the air and a difference in temperature between the air and the camera. It can make your camera lens appear foggy and compromise image quality. This effect becomes more evident in winter.

Condensation usually disappears on its own. However, if warmer temperatures later in the day don’t get rid of the condensation, it is most likely to stay. 

On top of that, if the surface temperature of the camera lens is at a frost point, the condensation will crystallize, not just blocking the camera’s view but also potentially damaging the circuitry inside.

To prevent condensation, you can use an anti-fog spray or anti-fog film. However, it’s best to double-check with the manufacturer. They may have specialized products for your camera’s model.

The Best IP Rating for Weatherproof Outdoor Cameras

When assessing the reliability of security cameras in cold weather, homeowners can look at one factor: the IP rating, or Ingress Protection rating

A good IP rating—which is around 65 and above—goes hand-in-hand with a security camera’s weatherproofing. 

Take note, though, that IP ratings are not exclusively used to find the best outdoor security camera and best doorbell camera for cold weather. They are used to measure how well an electrical device is protected from the intrusion of water, dust, and other foreign objects that can damage the device.

You can protect security cameras in cold weather (and increase their IP rating) by using rugged housing intended for the outdoors. Going beyond withstanding the cold, a good IP rating will mean your security camera will be safe from dust, rain, and other damaging objects.

A miniature home protected by a glass enclosure in the snow

Security Cameras Unbothered by the Weather

Think Protection is a trusted provider of quality, DIY home security cameras you can always count on—rain or shine, wind or hail.

We offer a wide range of security products that can withstand the cold—from IP65-rated rugged outdoor cameras, high-definition doorbell cameras with infrared night vision, and more—all of which can be mixed and matched to suit your needs. 

We believe affordable home security should cover all the bases, giving protection from both external and internal threats. 

If you’d like to learn more about home security contact a thinkpro. We’d be happy to answer any questions related to the best security cameras for cold weather.