IOS App 5.21.0 Update Solar Charger Status – Add a Ring Solar Device to Extend Battery Life

So I got through to Ring about this problem. The rep had access to data that showed that my doorbell was getting a trickle charge during some events that the camera recorded. That data, however, is not available to the consumer.

The amount of energy provided via the solar charger is not that great in the gross scheme of things. This is probably more true in the winter months, or dependent on the orientation of the doorbell to DIRECT sunlight, and the usage settings on the doorbell, i.e., how much energy the doorbell uses in its operation.

I expected that the solar charger would end the need to take the battery out to recharge the doorbell 2. Turns out that is an over-expectation. Turns out that that is even an over-expectation if I had hardwired the doorbell a la the old style doorbell. That is to say, that both only provide a trickle charge that does not keep up with the energy needs of the device. (This makes sense since the solar collecting area is so small on this particular charger.)

So we finally got to the point when I had to say that the solar charger is not very effective and is probably overpriced, and that money is better spent buying multiple batteries.

Ring suggested that I might have a defective unit, so they want to send me a new one. While that could probably be the case, I doubt if any good data can be had until the summer months. The rep did offer a completely asinine suggesting of moving the doorbell to a different location not near my front door. (Protip: Not a good thing Ring.) The rep did not have any information on the separate problem of the app. But again, clearly the data is available, Ring just needs to find a way to push that to the end-user.

The bottom line, the doorbell 2 solar charger has to have realistic expectations. The product is only negligibly effective and is probably overpriced. Depending on your settings, probably even with the minimalist of energy-requiring settings, you will still need a high voltage, high current charge cycle. Your money might be best spent buying multiple batteries since the charge time is several hours.

@ln001 wrote:

In the less than one month that I have had a solar charge for Ring Doorbell 2 I have found that the doorbell is discharging at rate even faster than before, which I can tell via the number of days between when I have been notified by the Ring system that the battery level is low.

@Chelsea_Ring wrote:

Hi neighbors! While there are limited troubleshooting steps to take when involving the solar panel, it’s important to be mindful of device and environmental variables.

If you are seeing a message in your device health in iOS that says “add a solar panel,” this is not an indicator of your Solar Panel failing to charge. This added feature is advertising the Solar Panel as an addition to your battery-powered devices. It’s best to observe the battery percentage throughout a sunny day to see if the battery level is changing.

For those that are noticing a battery draining with a Solar Panel connected, as seasons change and cold weather is more consistent, the charge life of a battery can differ. Check out our Community post about battery draining for tips and tricks on optimizing battery performance.

The best steps for troubleshooting your Solar Panel are as follows:

  • Clean panel to remove any dirt, dust, or debris.
  • Check the adapter is securely plugged into the device.
  • Ensure there is no debris or damage to the adapter or port area.
  • In most locations, winter means overcast. Please ensure your Solar Panel is receiving several hours of direct sunlight per day.

If these steps do not resolve your concerns, it would be best to reach out to our support team here for more in-depth troubleshooting.

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Add me to the list of people frustrated by whatever the heck this new ‘feature’ is supposed to do.

The winter months are most likely the culprit for my poorly charging spotlight cam, but there is no excuse for the Solar Panel Status being completely useless in the app. We need answers.

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I’m not sure if anyone used to have the original Ring Classic Stick Up Cam that was powered by the built in battery and via the USB solar panel.

As I remember on the Ring Classic Stick Up Cam once the device had detected power from the Solar Panel, the power status did say USB Powered or something.

Does anyone else remember this functionality that had the first original ring classic stick up cam? These were the original devices ring launched but dont sell anymore

Maybe the developers can reuse the code they used for that piece of functionality?

I told ring were they aware that they have great review on every item they offer except solar!! They were not aware

So…it’s summer here so no cold weather. Two weeks ago I installed a solar panel for my Doorbell 2 and the device gets about 3 hours of morning sunlight every day. Not directly shining on it but it’s in a sunny spot. The battery is draining at the same rate as normal. I also think it’s rubbish for Ring to have a line in the battery health status saying Solar Charger Status and it’s actually only an ad! I have just put a solar charger on the doorbell at the back door (it was the original version 1 that was on the front door but now moved)…the light in the button is blue indicating it’s charging. It’s all very confusing!

That is odd. I imagine if the blue light indicates charging from the solar panel, that it takes all the charge can offer just to power said blue light.

But to clarify, on your back door you have a Ring 1 doorbell and charger?

I wonder how the experiences are with the solar panel for the spotlight.

@EdwinaR wrote:
So…it’s summer here so no cold weather. Two weeks ago I installed a solar panel for my Doorbell 2 and the device gets about 3 hours of morning sunlight every day. Not directly shining on it but it’s in a sunny spot. The battery is draining at the same rate as normal. I also think it’s rubbish for Ring to have a line in the battery health status saying Solar Charger Status and it’s actually only an ad! I have just put a solar charger on the doorbell at the back door (it was the original version 1 that was on the front door but now moved)…the light in the button is blue indicating it’s charging. It’s all very confusing!

I agree. I have been fighting with the same problem! I get a good bit of sunlight every day when sun is out , etc. The solar add on is little to know help at all. They recommended I might have a defective unit as well and I said what are the chances that is the case with tons of other people having the same problem. Regardless I agreed to go through the trouble for them to send me another and send it back , etc. I did so and no difference at all! Furthermore I turned off every setting I could including live view and several others. The only thing it does now is record random least most setting if motion! With all those settings off and even LIVE VIEW abilities shut off I still am loosing over 10% a day. So for anyone reading this that has not bought one I HIGHLY recommend you opt to buy an extra battery till this gets sorted out! I have 5 assorted cameras and love them all but Ring missed it on this one (SOLAR POER FOR RING DOORBELL ) is a total flop. If it is even extending the life of the battery at all it is totally not noticeable at all!! To help out with others I want to mention wired set up using aftermarket charging cable for those that have that ability. I used it and it worked but the location I have it in is not desired so I went away from that and bought this junk. So in conclusion by aftermarket charging cable if possible or 2nd an extra battery. Hope this helps someone as its amazing how much time I have invested in ring products install and getting them to work! this is a big fail!! without getting into but deserves a mention is the 100 hours I have in to getting a doorbell for front door and back door at the same time thinking I could hook them up with my central doorbell system and all that goes along with the transformers!!! Just to say DONT TRY IT NOT WORTH IT. Truth with that is you always have your phone or Alexas yells at you anyway when someone is there!! Last bit of advice is get the rapid ring app that is amazing!! Good luck folks hope some of my rambling helps.

Chelsa, Ring is borderline ripping people off with this product as it flat out doesnt work in most cases. At the least it should now be pulled from the market as it failed!! I would say leaving it on the market in its current state would take it from borderline ripping people off to def ripping people off!! I love ring products as a whole but you guys missed the mark on this one and are hurting the ring comunity bye not making this right!!!

I have exact same thing, it tells me that all of the sudden I have a solar panel that’s connected while in fact I don’t have one

I now have solar units on both doorbells. Complete waste of money! So disappointing!

The solar charger does not work , I am in south Fl and it’s facing SE and get direct sun 3-5 hours a day and provides no charge , worthless .

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Ring need to immediately address this product performance gap. I, too, was hoodwinked and bamboozled into getting a solar panel for my driveway camera and installed it over the weekend. I’ve yet to see any charging cababilities from the panel to the camera - trickle or non-trickle. Luckily I have two batteries in the camera and a spare that I can insert at a moments notice for either the driveway cam or doorbell (wireless). In the winter, it’s a bit dicey getting up on a ladder to replace the battery when it runs low. I hope that Ring is listening to its customers and financial supporters. This is a huge miss and a major disappointment. The app was updated and it’s highly misleading to show “Solar Panel Status” under Device Health if there is nothing to show. Deception isn’t cool and it does very little to build our on-going trust and support in your new product releases. If it’s not ready for product release, leave it on the development board until it passes QA with 100% certainty.

Since Ring support has decided to just completely abondon any attempts at helping this community, here is some info I have found.

If the temperature is below **32°F ** all Ring devices will STOP TAKING A CHARGE. Meaning your solar panels will not ‘work’. Same goes for hardwired Doorbells. While the temperature is below 32, the device will run purely off of battery. From experience I know this to be true. When the temperature warmed to 38, my cameras and doorbell suddenly had their batteries recharged. This functionality was seemingly introduced in a software update last fall.

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005939463-Cold-Weather-and-Battery-Powered-Ring-Devices

The Solar Panel section in device heath is completely broken with zero communication from the Ring team. My hardwired doorbell reports a happy Solar Panel, where as my camera which is hooked up to a solar panel (that works when above 32 degrees) suggests that I should try out a solar panel.

Ring is too busy trying to stop employees from complaining about the services’ security to actually improve their products. It’s a shame.

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Unfortunately, this makes perfect sense.

Lithium-Ion batteries should not be charged at freezing temperatures, as this can damage the battery. No way around that, it’s just chemistry.

As for the solar panel message, yep. It’s completely misleading. Ring Support here thinks it’s just an “advertisement”, however it’s clearly bad code that is intended to detect the solar panel but never actually does.

My guess is Ring’s development team is overseas / outsourced and the communication between support and front-facing teams with them is either limited or nil. Overall, a bad approach - but certainly cheap to keep those VCs happy.

I agree with this assessment. Both of my solar connected devices show “add a Ring Solar panel…”. My hard-wired Doorbell, Solar Charger Status “Connected”.

My panels are in fact working. I can track the battery at the start of the day vs the end, they do increase. Furthermore, I have one panel that gets more sun and it charges more.

Also, it was brought up that they do not charge under 32 degrees. Yep, I can confirm that too. The actually documented that one. Cold Weather Battery

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This is a screenshot of someone’s device health on a Facebook page I am a member of, although their doorbell is hardwired as suppose to battery powered their solar charger status displays as connected therefore surely the status should be shown? Mine on the other hand like all here tells me to add a solar charger although I’ve got one connected, I’ve spoke to ring multiple times they tell me that it is a feature they are working on implementing and for now it’s just there

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Is there any stickers to take off from the solar for it to work

@Kahicks1968 wrote:
Is there any stickers to take off from the solar for it to work

No

Same issue here, bought three of the solar chargers so hoping to get a resolution.

I installed my camera and solar panel, based in the North East of England in early spring so not exactly sun central.

It is stating like everybody’s that I should add a solar panel, however when I installed it the battery was at 49% just checked it there after just a morning in the sun and the battery is up to 73% so it is obviously working as described.