A cold climate can be devastating in so many ways, not just to you but your gadgets as well. And as far as gadgets go, none will be hit harder than your outdoor security camera for obvious reasons – it’s stuck outside, literally.
So while you crank up the thermostat or scramble to the nearest fireplace in that winter weather, your security camera will “wish for the same”; unless, of course, it’s designed specifically for that kind of environment.
Otherwise, it will get damaged as soon as the cold weather kicks in. That’s why it’s important to consider the temperature rating of a security camera when buying one.
- Why You Shouldn’t Use a Security Camera in Climatic Conditions for Which It Is Not Rated
- The Best Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras for Cold Climates: Top 5 Picks and Comparison
- The Best Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras for Cold Climates: Review
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Security Camera in Climatic Conditions for Which It Is Not Rated
Most regular security cameras are designed to work at moderate temperatures. While they may continue to function even when exposed to extreme cold, they usually grow more susceptible to damage as the temperature decreases.
Ultimately, your device may break or develop a mechanical defect. Your best bet is picking a cold weather wireless camera if you are in a wintry place or during the winter season and an ordinary one for other seasons.
Perhaps you’re wondering what exactly would go wrong if you didn’t do that. Well, here are some of the problems that may arise if you use an ordinary security camera in a cold climate:
If the camera uses a battery then that’ll be the first thing to be affected. It’s by far the most susceptible part of pretty much any camera.
A 180F drop in temperature can deplete the life of your battery by nearly half. The last thing you want is an incident to occur when your security camera is down because its battery died and you didn’t know.
That said, the best cold weather security camera will come equipped with a battery that is designed to operate at low temperatures. Meaning it will power the device for a significantly longer time.
In any case, it’s always wise to stock a few extra pairs. An even better idea would be avoiding battery-powered cameras altogether.
A dead battery may inconvenience you and even cost you important footage. The upside is that it won’t damage the camera itself. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about condensation.
When moisture gets inside the camera, it causes damage to electrical components and leaves watery marks on the camera’s optics. Typically, condensation occurs when the temperature changes from cold to warm or vice versa; e.g. if the sun rises briefly on a cold day.
The ideal solution for condensation is buying the best security camera cold climates. You will find that its optical components are airtight and waterproof to the point that no moisture can get inside.
Damage to chassis
Virtually all security cameras and CCTVs have a plastic chassis. At normal temperatures, ordinary plastic may bend just a little bit, too little to notice.
But if the temperature drops too much then it becomes brittle and may break before it bends. That is why the best cold weather security cameras are made of plastic composites or other materials that can withstand extremely cold climates.
Check the Rating of Your Cold Weather Wireless Camera
To avoid any of the above cases, be sure to install a weather-resistant security camera. They are typically rated based on their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. The best of the league are rated IP66, meaning they have zero ingression and are completely waterproof.
An IP66-rated security camera can withstand the harshest of elements, including cold temperatures, storms, tornadoes, typhoons and pretty much anything else you throw at them.
As long as the wall on which it is attached keeps standing you can rest assured that the camera will keep doing its job.
If you have to go lower (due to budget limitations or any other reason) then try an IP65 camera.
Any lower than that and you will get a device that won’t serve you well (or at all). Feeling unsure about the best wireless security camera to buy? Below are the top products to choose from.
The Best Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras for Cold Climates: Top 5 Picks and Comparison
|Camera||IP Rating||Temp. Range||Resolution||OS Compatibility|
|All-New Ring Stick Up Cam||IP65||-50F to +1200F||1080P||Android and iOS|
|NETVUE Outdoor Security Camera||IP66||-40F to +1220F||1080P||Android, iOS, Windows & Mac|
|SV3C Wi-Fi Outdoor Camera||IP66||-40F to +1400F||1080P||Android and iOS|
|Panamalar Outdoor Security Camera||IP65||-40F to +1300F||1080P||Android and iOS|
|EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera||IP66||-40F to +1400F||1080P||Android, iOS, Windows & Mac|
The Best Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras for Cold Climates: Review
Working Temperature Range: -50F to +1200F
The All-New Ring Stick Up Cam is designed to withstand outdoor elements. It’s an IP65-rated camera that works in temperatures ranging from -50F to +1200F.
Unless you’re in Alaska, that should be a good-enough range to hook the camera somewhere in the outdoors. As a matter of fact, it works best when positioned approximately 5 to 7 feet off the ground.
It does use a rechargeable battery, and as mentioned, batteries tend to drain faster in cold temperatures. Ring – the manufacturer – has confirmed that the battery lasts anywhere between 3 and 6 months.
So that’s something to keep in mind; perhaps plan for an extra pack just in case the cold temperatures prolong.
Needless to say, this tiny (2.36 x 3.82 x 2.36 inches) camera uses wireless technology to connect with your smartphone. More specifically, it requires b/g/n Wi-Fi, and once connected you can view all its live footage straight from your phone.
- Records footage in full HD resolution of 1080P, meaning the camera delivers very clear videos.
- 115 x 65-degree field of view ensures that the camera records activity through a wide area
- The battery compartment has a quick-release feature for removing the battery and recharging it.
- Built-in motion sensor
- Compatible with both iOS and Android. The minimum OS requires are iOS 9.1x and Android 5.0
- Two-way audio lets you converse with people who are outside with the built-in speaker
Working Temperature Range: -40F to +1220F
Built with a completely waterproof and weatherproof chassis, the NETVUE Outdoor Security Camera is rated IP66. That’s the rating given to the best security camera for cold climates. With an operating temperature of -40F to +1220F, you can install and leave it outdoors regardless of how cold it gets.
In fact, this discreet security camera can withstand stormy and snowy weather.
One of the best things about the NETVUE Outdoor Security Camera is that it’s versatile in terms of connectivity. You can either connect it to your mobile device using 2.4GHz Wi-Fi or to a computer using an Ethernet cable.
If you opt for the latter then make sure the cables you use are exterior-grade, i.e. weather resistant.
- Records full HD footage of 1080P during the day and at night. The camera has infrared night vision to capture activity in low-lighting conditions
- The motion detector can sense any movement and notify you
- Built with a 36MM lens that offers a 100-degree field of view
- Two-way audio allows you to communicate with people who are outside or scare off intruders and animals
- Plenty of storage space and options. You can use a microSD card or transfer footage to cloud storage automatically
Working Temperature Range: -40F to +1400F
Yet another IP66-rated security camera, the SV3C Wi-Fi Outdoor Camera makes the list on account of its weatherproof construction and durable chassis.
It is made of aluminum which neither rusts nor corrodes (easily), so don’t worry about leaving it outdoors.
As a matter of fact, the metallic body means it will be sturdy enough to withstand rough weather conditions like storms. Plus it draws power from the wall, not a battery. That too should give you some peace of mind.
Compatible with iOS and Android devices, the SV3C security camera requires 2.4GHz Wi-Fi to create a connection with your mobile device or devices.
It supports multi-user viewing, i.e. you can link it with more than one device (phone or tablet) and view live footage on all the linked devices.
- Has operating temperature of -40F to +1400F
- Provides 1080P footage that is crispy clear
- The infrared feature ensures that night footage is almost clear as day footage
- 6mm camera lens covers a viewing angle of 70 degrees
- Supports up to 128GB of storage media
Working Temperature Range: -40F to +1300F
The next unit that can easily rank as the best cold weather security camera is the inconspicuous Panamalar Outdoor Security Camera.
An IP65-rated unit, this cold weather wireless camera mounts on a wall using screws. The rating means it will work fine when exposed to cold temperatures as well as low-pressure jets of water.
On the other hand, high-pressure jets might damage the camera. If you are worried about tornadoes and typhoons in addition to extremely cold weather then this may not be the best pick for you.
The above notwithstanding, this security camera packs some impressive features. It is compatible with iOS and Android connects using 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and is tiny for easy concealing.
- Draws power from the wall, no batteries needed or included
- FHD (1080P) recording during the day and at night. Infrared technology makes for excellent night vision.
- 110-degree field of view covers plenty of ground, ensuring you see everything that’s happening around your home or office
- Motion sensor
- Two-way audio enables you to communicate with anyone who is outside or scare off intruders and animals
Working Temperature Range: -40F to +1400F
Wrapping up our list is the EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera.
As far as withstanding elements, this unit is rated IP66. That alone makes it one of the best cold weather wireless cameras. It will keep going even when there’s rain, snow or a storm. All you need to do is install it and connect with your iOS or Android device.
If you would rather use a computer then you will need an EZVIZ plugin to enable web usage.
- Footage delivered in full HD of 1080P. The built-in infrared feature makes it possible to view up to 98 feet away during the night
- Has motion sensor that sends you a notification before triggering strobe light and siren when there’s an intruder
- Two lens options provide two different focal lengths; 2.8mm for a wider field of view and 4mm for a farther look. You can also adjust the direction of view thanks to the 360-degree swivel on the base
- Can store recorded footage automatically on EZVIZ Cloud
- Compatible with Alexa
When all is said, or rather written, this is a general guide to point you in the right direction. The best cold weather security camera for you depends on the range of features that you need.
For example, if you want an IP66-rated unit then it would make more sense to look at such units as the NETVUE Outdoor Security Camera, SV3C Wi-Fi Outdoor Camera and EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera. The other two (All-New Ring Stick Up Cam and Panamalar Outdoor Security Camera) have a rating of IP65.
In any case, start by checking the minimum temperature of your area and then use that as a guide by comparing with the operating temperature of the camera. It also wouldn’t hurt to buy a waterproof casing just as an extra precaution (if you have the money).