Hands-on: This solar panel helps to simplify use of the Google Nest Cam by recharging its battery.

The initial Google battery-powered Nest Cam was released last year, however utilizing the camera just on battery power tends to diminish the experience. But with the addition of a solar panel, the Nest Cam gains superior overall functionality in addition to a consistent supply of electricity.

EASY TO SET UP IS WASSERSTEINS NEST CAM SOLAR PANEL. As a long-time Made for Google partner, Wasserstein provides Nest lineup accessories that have been officially authorized by Google to function with your camera, doorbell, and other devices. We also examined Wassterstein’s more cheap floodlight option for the Nest Cam last year.

Similar to other solar panels, this one powers the Nest Cam (battery) by using Google’s unique adapter. The camera would normally run on batteries. This concept is straightforward. The Nest Cam’s internal battery can supply enough power for operation, therefore the solar panel can be used to top it off so there is no need to worry about the camera running out of power in the shadow or on cloudy days. Older Nest Cams couldn’t be used with this product because the battery inside is what makes it possible.

It’s a relief that installation is simple. For a Nest Cam that I put in my backyard on a post to watch over our vegetable garden for pests and anything that could be ready to pick, I purchased a Wassersteins solar panel. It only takes two provided screws to lock the solar panel in place, a process that took a few minutes. The Nest Cam is fixed on a wooden post, leaving the ideal space open for mounting the panel. Wall anchors and adhesive clips for routing the cable are also included in the packing.

After installing the panel mount, slide the solar panel onto it by adhering to the arrows molded into the plastic. From there, you have complete freedom to move back and forth on the opposing axis while rotating the panel 360 degrees in parallel with the mount. It is simple to set the panel for the best solar exposure, whether you are installing to the side of a house or the top of a post.

Although the entire panel is composed of plastic, I think that was a wise decision. It seems sturdy, and the panel in my backyard survived two violent thunderstorms without any damage. Simply wiping away the dirt that had landed on the panel would have sufficed.

The 13-foot built-in wire is way too long for my use case, but it is definitely useful if putting on the side of a home. The cable cannot be changed, which is the sole unpleasant aspect. The panel is practically rendered useless if an animal eats through the wire or if a storm damages the structure.

WHAT SPEED DOES IT REALLY CHARGE AT? I have only been using the 2.5W Wasserstein Solar Panel with my Nest Cam (battery) for about four whole days as of the time of writing. The camera has been operating over a period of little detectable motion and less-than-ideal charging conditions due to a number of significant thunderstorms passing nearby.

Despite this, the camera has charged in that time from 20% to about 70% while continuing to record, remaining connected to my network, and receiving about six to eight hours per day of direct sunlight.

There is also a 3.5W version of the Wasserstein Solar Panel , which ought to be available soon. Based on this first testing, that panel should charge the camera far more quickly, but I believe the majority of people will be comfortable with the 2.5W version.

Stay tuned; we’ll update this article with further information about the 3.5W model in the coming weeks.

Additionally, YOU GET A BETTER EXPERIENCE WITH A SOLAR PANEL. In addition to the nearly limitless increase in battery life, utilizing a solar panel with a Google Nest Cam simply provides a better experience.

The Nest Cam can behave in one of two ways. It can run continuously, without interruptions, for 24 hours at a time without a break in recording or communication with the Google Home app when plugged into a wall outlet or floodlight. When operating solely on a battery, it enters a dormant mode until motion is detected. You must wake the camera to view live video, which means you can only see the recorded event.

The experience finds a kind of midway ground with a solar panel. Instead of having to wake the camera, the Google Home app presents you with live video from the device. Additionally, the camera is more likely to maintain its internet connection. Since using the solar panel, I’ve noticed that the connection to my garden camera—which is 150 feet away from the closest Wi-Fi hotspot and blocked by a metal building—is more reliable.

nest cam battery with solar panel
nest cam battery with solar panel
nest cam battery usage settings

This is how using a solar panel and a Nest Cam (battery) works

nest cam (battery) app idle


nest cam (battery) app live
nest cam (battery) app settings

The Nest Cam’s battery-only version is a little less user-friendly. Although it is an improvement, you still won’t get genuine continuous video recording 24 hours a day.

OPENINGS FOR NEST CAM SOLAR PANELS If you’re interested in purchasing a solar panel for your Nest Cam, the 2.5W version costs $59.99, while the 3.5W version costs $79.99. You may also buy an special gutter mount to install the solar panel and camera to that higher place without having to drill any holes, which is ideal if you rent a house.

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