Sustainability with modern home security devices is becoming a more common concern for consumers. Many are looking for ways to consistently monitor their homes without breaking the bank with electricity bills. Luckily, this easy with Blink XT2 solar panels.
The Blink XT2 solar panel provides a reliable, easy to set up solution for those looking to add sustainable power to their home security system. With the variety of third party options available, you can configure your Blink system and solar panels to best suit your needs.
Many homeowners recognize the advantages of using solar panels but are intimated by the initial installation and configuration process. This article will provide an in-depth look into installing a Blink XT2 solar panel and what features they can provide for your home security system.
Blink XT2 Solar Panel: A Quick Look
Solar panels are an excellent option for homeowners seeking affordable and sustainable home security monitoring solutions. Though Blink does not offer an OEM solar panel, there are many well-established and reliable third party models available on Amazon. However, for the purposes of this article, we’ll be referring to the Blulu model, designed specifically for Blink XT and XT2 cameras.
To better understand how solar panels can benefit your Blink system, let’s examine some key features and specifications to see if they’re the right solution for you.
High Converting Power Cells
Blink XT2 solar panels convert direct sunlight into a DC electrical current. The solar panel’s inverter then transitions the direct current to AC (alternating current) to power the Blink XT2. In other words, the Blink XT2 solar panels convert sunlight into energy to power your security camera.
Here’s a quick look at some technical features and specifications of the Blulu solar panel:
- Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp): The Vmp is defined by the solar panel device’s output voltage (when it’s at its maximum current). The Blulu solar panel offers a 6V Vmp, ideal for the Blink XT2, which requires 5V of power to operate.
- Maximum Power Point (Pmax): The Maximum Power Point is the combination of voltage and amplitude, resulting in the highest wattage. In other words, the wattage that a solar panel is listed at is defined as the Maximum Power Point. The Pmax of the Blulu solar panel is rated at 3.5W.
- Current at Maximum Power (Imp): The point at which the solar panel’s power output is the greatest is the Current at Maximum Power (or Imp). The Blulu solar panel’s Imp is 0.58 A, which also makes this device suitable for powering the Blink XT2.
How Does the Solar Panel Charge?
Given the technical specifications of these solar panels, you may be wondering, “how do the panels charge my devices?” or “can the panels still charge without access to direct sunlight?”
Solar panels, including the Blulu model, have rechargeable batteries charged by the physical panel itself when exposed to sunlight. This means that your solar panel will still maintain its charge for your Blink camera even if you experience a power outage.
Additionally, if there is no sunlight to recharge the solar panel, it will hold its charge for three to five days. With direct sunlight exposure, however, the solar panel can fully charge in about two hours.
In addition to high converting power cells, the solar panel is constructed using weatherproof polycrystalline silicon. This material is used primarily for solar devices and consists of multiple silicon crystals melted together to form the solar panel’s foundation. Polycrystalline silicon is affordable and energy-efficient, providing countless applications for solar devices.
Considering the Blink XT2 is weatherproof, using a solar panel with your existing outdoor setup isn’t a problem either. The Blulu solar panel also includes a 12-foot power cable, allowing you to install your camera in various locations.
If you’re looking for a completely weatherproof solution, it may be worth investing in a waterproof case like this mount on Amazon. If you’re looking for more information on ways to protect your Blink XT2 in extreme weather conditions, check out our article here.
Setting Up and Installing Your Solar Panel
Most solar panels available for Blink XT2 cameras are easy to set up and don’t require additional hardware. However, there are a few steps to be mindful of to ensure that your system is powered efficiently and reliably.
Now that we have a better idea of how the solar panel works and some key features, let’s look at some tips for setting up your devices.
Note: When you first get your solar panel, it is recommended that you install it with direct sunlight for at least one day before hooking it up to your camera. Depending on how long the panel has been in storage, it may need to recharge its internal batteries to sufficiently power your camera.
Remove Batteries Before Connecting Solar Panel
Many Blulu solar panel users (including the manufacturer) recommend removing the Blink XT2 batteries before connecting the solar panel. Since the solar panel has its own rechargeable batteries, it could potentially interfere with the Blink XT2’s lithium batteries.
If you’re looking for a helpful guide to assist you with this process, you can refer to our article on changing Blink camera batteries here.
Installing Your Solar Panel
The process of installing your Blulu solar panel can be completed in just a few steps. You can also view an additional installation guide with pictures on the Solar Panel’s product page here. At this point, we are ready to install the Solar Panel and connect it to our Blink XT2.
Here are a few steps to get started:
- The Blulu solar panel can be installed at multiple slanted angles. Align your panel so that it has maximum exposure to sunlight (placement may vary depending on your property’s orientation).
- Attach the 360-degree adjustable mount to a secure location, using the included screws (x3).
- Next, you’ll need to screw-on the physical panel to the adjustable mount and plug the solar panel into your XT2.
You can adjust the swivel on the mount by loosening or tightening the mount’s handle to accommodate your setup. This is especially helpful if you’ve installed your solar panel on an area exposed to varying amounts of sunlight.
Benefits of Using Solar Power with Blink XT2
Using solar panels with your Blink XT2 is beneficial in that it not only powers the camera but recharges its batteries simultaneously. When it comes to monitoring your property’s security, the last thing you want is to lose power on your devices. With solar energy, your XT2 can continue functioning even if the power in your house goes out.
Many users have expressed concerns over the included AA lithium batteries’ expected lifespan as well. Using solar panels with your setup would theoretically negate the need for purchasing and replacing your camera’s standard batteries.
In addition to being a sustainable source of power, using solar panels is also scalable and can be upgraded or added to according to your system’s needs. Considering their affordability, you can continue to add panels as you add new cameras to your system without negatively impacting your electric bill.
Not only that but, depending on where you live, the federal government provides a “solar tax credit,” allowing homeowners to deduct portions of their solar costs from their taxes.
Solar panels are a reliable way to provide sustainability and peace of mind for homeowners. When it concerns home security, the last thing anyone wants is to lose power at a crucial moment and potentially miss an important event. Fortunately, using the Blink XT2 with a solar panel will keep you powered if you experience an outage while also saving you money on your electricity bill in the long run.