Can camcorders work without electricity? TOP-3 solutions

Can camcorders work without electricity? TOP-3 solutions

How does a power outage affect the efficiency of video cameras? All users ask this question at the stage of acquaintance with video security and video surveillance systems. Let’s take a closer look at this topic.

What happens to cameras during a power outage?

Let’s start with the fact that all video cameras are volatile technical devices. Accordingly, they require a power source.

If the camera does not have an autonomous battery (built-in or additional) but is connected to an electrical network, it will stop recording video after a power outage. If the camera is wireless, then it can work without electricity. Let’s take a closer look.

Wired Cameras

Typically, wired IP security cameras are fixed to surfaces (wall, ceiling) and connected to an electrical power source. The second cable connects the video device to the network device, which also needs electricity.

Such a camcorder cannot function without electricity. However, the software module is often prepared for problems with blackouts. The solution is to have a small internal battery. Therefore, for a short time (up to 1 hour), this device can still operate due to the accumulated energy.

If the video archive is saved on the recorder, the recordings will not be lost in a power failure case, but the camcorder cannot record new video materials.

If you use cloud storage, you will also not be able to get the saved data, since the “eye” of the surveillance system – the camera has lost its power source.

Wireless Cameras

If a rechargeable battery powers the camcorder, the equipment can operate without an electrical network. The ideal option would be a solar panel recharging battery and a motion sensor. It is advisable to use such cameras in those places where there are pronounced problems with electricity or its complete absence. 

Cameras and burglar alarms

Will traditional alarm systems work without light?

Answer: a classic security system using sensors will function without electricity, but it is necessary to distinguish between different interaction forms with the monitoring centre. It can be:

  • communication via telephone lines, which does not depend at all on the energy of electricity;
  • voice communication via the Internet protocol, which is volatile: no power means no connection, respectively, ADT security is disabled;
  • communication via cellular radio. Technologies similar to mobile phones enable security systems to operate regardless of power loss, only the capacity of the backup battery matters.

How will network failures affect integrated systems (CCTV camera + burglar alarm)?

The answer depends on the type of video camera used in the integrated system:

  • yes, it will work if the camera has a battery or solar panel;
  • no, it will not work if the camera is plugged into a power outlet.

TOP-3 solutions

How to keep your home or business secure in the event of a power outage? There are several solutions for this case, including a free one.

Solution No. 1. Reserve source of electricity

The obvious solution is to buy a backup power source – a generator. The usage of generating sets guarantees 100% operation of the cameras, even in prolonged blackouts.

This solution is especially relevant for private houses and public institutions, for example, in hospitals or clinics.

Solution No. 2. Battery and solar power

Battery-powered video recording equipment can operate with or without electricity, providing 24/7 facility protection.

And the most optimal solution would be cameras with a battery recharging from solar energy. For example, wireless cameras from iTech with a power supply for video cameras and a solar panel. However, remote access and quick messaging capabilities are not possible during a power outage.

Solution No. 3. Faceter

How to get a video monitoring system that is minimally dependent on the power supply?

There is a solution: using two mobile devices (phones, smartphones, tablets) and the free Faceter mobile application. You can download the program in Google Play or App Store, taking into account mobile devices’ operating system.

What kind of phones are useful for a mobile video system you can read in the article “Turning an old smartphone into a surveillance camera“.

Algorithm of action:

  • install the Faceter app on both phones;
  • choose a tariff, for example, free “Basic”;
  • Check out the smart capabilities of Faceter;
  • place one phone in the surveillance area as a camera;
  • use the second phone as a monitor that is always at hand.

The system is ready for use. You will only need electricity to charge the phones. You can do it using a 220 Volt outlet, power bank or car cigarette lighter.


The IP camera powered by a battery can operate when the power is off. Also, the solution can be the use of additional recharging battery and a solar panel. However, the most economical solution would be to use two phones and a special mobile application, with a free cloud storage plan. Take advantage of modern technology to protect your home and business with Faceter.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

See also