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Ring Smart Lights: Solar vs Battery

Community Manager

Ring Smart Lights provide added security for your home and surrounding area. They are available with rechargeable solar and replaceable Alkaline battery options. Everyone’s home faces different outdoor elements and requires certain considerations when determining the best Smart Light for your home. The information below will help you determine which Smart Light option might be right for the different areas around your home.

What is the difference between Solar Smart Lights and Battery Smart Lights?

  • Solar Smart Lights use rechargeable lithium ion batteries that are charged daily with solar power by using integrated or connected solar panels. You can also charge the lithium ion batteries indoors using a Micro USB cable.
  • Battery Smart Lights use Alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries that you can replace as needed.

What should be consider for the install location for each power type?

  • Solar Smart Lights will ideally receive direct sunlight for about half of the day. When choosing an install location for a solar device, it is best to avoid shaded areas. Example: areas with large trees or eaves on your home.
  • Smart Lights Battery can be installed anywhere, even shaded areas. They do not require direct sunlight and are a great solution when sunlight isn’t an option.

How cold does it get in your area?
Cold temperatures can have an effect on all kinds of batteries which will make a difference for the experience you want with your Smart Lights. Both Smart Lights Solar and Smart Lights Battery see similar performance in lower temperatures. Both versions will usually run smoothly until the temperatures are -4°F (-20°C) which is when your batteries may begin to drain faster.

How often are your Smart Lights on?
The amount of time your Smart Lights are on has the most impact on your Smart Light’s battery life.

  • Solar Smart Lights offer more flexibility of ‘on time’ as they are continuously being charged when installed in direct sunlight. Meaning, you can keep them on longer and at a brighter setting, as the battery is being charged during the day.
  • Battery Smart Lights will need to be replaced once a year with expected usage. Note: Expected usage is being on for five minutes a day with default settings.

What settings do I need to consider for extending the battery life of my Solar Smart Light and Battery Smart Lights?
The bullet points below include helpful tips for both your Smart Lights Solar and Smart Lights Battery. However, it is important to note that with Smart Lights Solar, your battery can be extended longer when installed in optimal areas (i.e. direct sunlight).

  • Brightness Levels - lowering the brightness setting can draw less power from the device batteries with each activation.
  • Motion Sensitivity – this setting determines how sensitive your light is and ultimately how often your device turns on. Setting this to a lower sensitivity level will improve your battery performance.
  • Auto Shut Off Time - these settings control how long your lights will stay on after motion is detected. Reducing this setting so your light is on less will improve your battery performance.
  • Light Sensor Threshold Setting – this controls how dark it must be for your light to turn on from motion. Keeping it set to 3 or lower will preserve your battery life, as a lower setting will keep your lights from turning on until it is dark, when they are needed. Keep in mind, the default settings for most devices is 2, which works well for most neighbors.
  • Group Settings – when devices are grouped together, motion on any one device will cause them all to activate. If looking to conserve battery life, it is recommended that you only group lights together which you would want triggered from motion in a particular area.

How fast are your wifi speeds?
Having a strong wifi signal to your Smart Lights Bridge is important for a fast reaction time between your Ring app and Smart Lights. No matter which Smart Lights option you choose, Battery or Solar, your wifi should be at least 1MB upload and download speed for the Bridge. Learn more in this Community article.

Do I need a Bridge no matter which option I choose?
Yes, you need to have a Ring Bridge to connect any Ring Smart Light option with the Ring app. Learn more about how the Bridge works in this Community article.