Surveillance cameras with solar panels: the sun as an energy supplier
And then there is the Eufy Solocam S40 (test report), which has a solar panel integrated on the housing surface. This has the advantage that you only have to think about one device when looking for a location for installation. On the other hand, this also restricts the choice of mounting location somewhat: After all, the solar panel has to harvest sunlight for at least a few hours to recharge the camera battery in order to be able to convert it into electrical energy. Surveillance cameras with a separate solar panel are more flexible. Users can place such models in the shade, for example, while they can usually easily find a sunny spot for mounting the solar panel thanks to a connecting cable several meters long.
What else is important when choosing a surveillance camera is explained below.
Security cameras with solar panel: Colored night vision included
Surveillance camera with solar panel: Fixed or tilting and swiveling
So-called PTZ cameras (Pan, Tilt, Zoom – panning, tilting, zooming) monitor a significantly larger area thanks to a lens that can be panned and tilted than surveillance cameras with a fixed lens. The latter usually offer a 110° to 130° field of view, while PTZ variants total 360°.
High resolution provides more details
Ratio to Full HD
Reolink Argus 3 Pro, Go PT Plus
+ 78 percent
Ezviz Elife 2K+
+ 78 percent
Eufy Solocam S40
+ 44 percent
Arlo Go 2
Operation via app and on the desktop
The quality of the apps for operating the surveillance cameras listed in this leaderboard is good overall. Users can easily set all relevant parameters and control the cameras efficiently. In detail, however, there are some notable differences. Eufy offers an energy dashboard for the Solocam S40, which is currently still being tested, but is still very useful because it clearly displays relevant data on the energy supply.
If you want to conveniently control your surveillance camera from your desktop, the Reolink and Arlo models are the best choice. The Reolink desktop application, available for Windows and macOS, offers the same setting options as the mobile app. Both tools can also be used in a similar way, which guarantees a consistent user experience. Arlo doesn't offer a standalone desktop program to control its surveillance cameras. But with a web application, users can conveniently manage and configure their Arlo cams from their desktop.
That is not a matter of course. Camera manufacturers often do not provide a desktop application to control their devices or, as in the case of Eufy and Ezviz, there is only a web or desktop application with reduced functionality, which also differs from the mobile application in terms of operation.
With the Reolink models, users can not only use for security surveillance. In addition, you can also configure a time-lapse recording to document the progress of building a house or other events.
Integration into smart home systems
Surveillance cameras with solar panel
1st place: Eufy Solocam S40
In the test, the Eufy Solocam S40 (test report) convinces with a resolution of 2304 × 1296 pixels in almost every area. The integrated 600 lumen LED lighting provides colored night vision of up to eight meters and thanks to the integrated solar panel, the Solocam S40 is almost energy self-sufficient. With the up to 90 dB loud siren in combination with the automatically illuminated spotlight, it should reliably deter uninvited guests. As usual from other Eufy cameras, the stable WLAN connection and the quickly available live stream are also convincing. Thanks to the ability to identify people when they move, there are almost no false alarms.
The Eufy Solocam S40 normally costs 199 euros. It is currently available from many retailers for just under 170 euros. Tink also offers the Solocam S40 in a double pack and in a set of three for 249 and 349 euros, which corresponds to a single price of around 125 and 116 euros. It is also available individually from Tink in a bundle with a Google Nest Hub for just under 170 euros.
2nd place: Reolink Argus 3 Pro
With the Argus 3 Pro (test report), Reolink offers a spotlight surveillance camera with 850 lumens of brightness and colored night vision, which can be positioned relatively flexibly thanks to dual WLAN and battery. Thanks to the solar panel, the sun takes care of charging the battery. Under favorable conditions, users do not even have to load them manually. The recording quality with a maximum resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels is good and very detailed – including colored night vision. The notifications work promptly and reliably – if desired also by e-mail. False alarms are almost impossible thanks to extensive setting options and the camera's ability to distinguish between people, vehicles and other objects. In addition, the camera can not only be controlled via a smartphone app, but also conveniently via the desktop. And with a time-lapse function, it offers a feature that not many security cameras can boast.
The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is available in black and white, including a color-coordinated solar panel, for around 150 euros. There is currently a discount of 40 euros, so the 2K surveillance camera changes hands for 110 euros. There is also a variant of the Argus 3 Pro that is even cheaper but differs from the tested version. Like the test model, it offers a 2K resolution, but can only transmit in 2.4 GHz WLAN.
3rd place: Reolink Go PT Plus
With the Go PT Plus (test report), Reolink offers a universal surveillance camera that offers all-round surveillance with a pan and tilt lens and a maximum resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels. Thanks to battery operation and LTE, users can choose the mounting location for the camera independently of a power supply and WLAN network. With the solar panel, flexibility increases further, as the battery is charged by the sun. So you don't even have to load them manually under favorable conditions. The recording quality is good, the notifications work promptly and reliably – optionally also by e-mail. The AI can distinguish between people, vehicles and other objects when there is movement, so that there are hardly any false alarms. And the time-lapse function is also on board with this Reolink model.
The Reolink Go PT Plus currently costs around 370 euros including the solar panel – there is currently a discount of 50 euros. Without a solar panel, it is available from around 306 euros. Those who can do without the LTE connection will find an almost identical WLAN variant in the Reolink Argus PT (test report), which is significantly cheaper including a solar panel for around 180 euros.
4th place: Ezviz Elife 2K+
The RRP for the Ezviz Elife 2K+ (BC1C) is just under 170 euros. There is currently a discount of 25 euros, so it changes hands for 145 euros.
5th place: Arlo Go 2
Arlo charges almost 330 euros for the Go 2. Additional costs for a microSD card must be taken into account for local storage. If you want to continue using the camera with all functions after the three-month free cloud test phase, you have to pay at least 2.99 euros per month for the Arlo Secure Plan. If several Arlo cameras are used, the price increases to 9.99 euros.
Thanks to the rechargeable battery and solar panel, users do not have to manually charge the surveillance cameras listed in this leaderboard when the sun is shining at the installation site from time to time. Finding such a place is usually not a problem thanks to a WLAN or LTE connection. With the test winner, the Eufy Solocam S40, the panel is even integrated in the housing.
The respective individual tests provide further details on the surveillance cameras listed in this list of the best: