The need for battery power has existed for a long time, and modern technology is no exception. When it comes to home security monitoring and smart cameras, the need for reliable power is especially important. With this in mind, you may be wondering if Blink cameras require lithium batteries.
Blink cameras come packaged with two AA non-rechargeable lithium batteries, which should last about two years. Blink does not recommend using rechargeable or alkaline batteries, as it could negatively impact your camera’s performance.
This article will provide a closer look at how Blink cameras use batteries, as well as some tips to ensure you get the best battery life from your device.
Blink Cameras’ Batteries
As we briefly mentioned earlier, Blink cameras include two AA lithium batteries (not including the Blink Mini, which has a micro USB power adapter). Blink estimates the batteries will last the average user up to two years (with standard usage).
Note: Blink defines “standard usage” as about 4,000 five-second events per year or about 15 hours total of video recording (including Live View).
Various factors could impact your camera batteries’ lifespan, however. Fortunately, Blink will let you know when one of your cameras is experiencing “high usage,” causing the battery to deplete more quickly than usual.
Lithium vs. Alkaline Batteries
Now that we have a better idea of what type of batteries Blink cameras use, you may be wondering, “What about using standard alkaline batteries?” With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the differences between lithium and alkaline batteries to see why Blink recommends the former.
Lithium batteries have the highest energy density than any other type of battery cell, even those of the same size. They can store significantly more energy than alkaline batteries and perform well in extreme temperatures. Though they also cost about five times more than alkaline batteries, they are estimated to last about ten times longer (Source: REI).
Security cameras are considered “high-drain” devices, and as such, would dramatically reduce the life of an alkaline battery (which are designed for “low-drain” devices). For example, a digital camera with a lithium battery could produce around 200 photos (with flash) before depletion, whereas an alkaline battery would only have about 40. As such, using alkaline batteries with your Blink camera may prevent them from functioning as intended.
Alternative Power Sources for Blink Cameras
If you’re determined to use an alternative power source, there are some options available for Blink cameras. However, note that using their devices in ways other than intended may result in reduced battery life.
Power Cables and Adapters
Some models of Blink security cameras have the option for external power sources, like power adapters and USB cables. The Blink XT and XT2, for example, use batteries as their primary power source but can also be used with a USB power cable and adapter.
Additionally, both models can be used indoors or outdoors, making them a great alternative if you don’t want to rely on batteries. You can even get extra-long, weatherproof cables for the XT/XT2 like those available on Amazon.
Using Rechargeable Batteries
Though Blink explicitly says, “rechargeable Li-Ion, Ni-Cd, Ni-MH batteries are incompatible,” you may be curious about the reasoning behind this or what your options are for rechargeable power. Using rechargeable batteries with Blink cameras isn’t a safety concern but rather a matter of optimizing your device.
Without a Lithium battery’s energy efficiency, your camera may be unable to access features like live view or recording, as it is unable to produce the required power from a rechargeable battery.
Additionally, users who have tried rechargeable batteries ran into the issue of continually needing to re-charge them, especially if their camera is in an area of high traffic (as this would rapidly drain the battery).
Battery Expansion Pack
So what if you’re using Lithium batteries, and you find yourself needing to replace them more frequently than the estimated two years? You may have your camera placed in an area that experiences a lot of traffic, repeatedly triggering the motion detection and other battery-intensive features.
Fortunately, Blink offers a Battery Expansion Pack designed to give your batteries an additional 2-year lifespan. This expansion pack attaches directly to your camera, allowing you to use four AA lithium batteries (rather than two) to effectively double the amount of time the camera can operate before needing a replacement.
When it comes to smart home security monitoring, the last thing you want is to have your devices run out of batteries. Fortunately, Blink camera’s AA lithium batteries can operate up to 2 years of standard usage before needing a replacement. Though there are options for alkaline or rechargeable batteries, using either will significantly reduce your camera’s functionality and overall lifespan.