Ring doorbells are just about everywhere these days. The convenience of seeing who is that the door before you answer, combined with the ability to integrate this device into your current smart home, make this an easy sell to owners looking for a little more security. The biggest question holding back those who haven’t bought into the convenience of a Ring doorbell seems to always be the same,
How long does the ring doorbell battery last?
According to Ring, video doorbell batteries should last between 6 to 12 months before requiring charging. This depends on how much activity the doorbell receives.
Although I was excited about replacing my existing doorbell with one that could double as a security camera, I needed to make sure the inconvenience of frequent charging would outweigh the benefits I was looking forward to.
During my research, I found the answer I was looking for along with answering a few questions I didn’t even know I had. If you are in the market for a Ring doorbell, keep reading as I share with you the results and let you decide the best option for yourself.
Battery Life of different models
The battery life of your doorbell not only depends on the activity but the current model of own Ring doorbell you are using in your home.
This is the original model produced by Ring. Ring claims the Video Doorbell should have a battery life of 6 to 12 months. To verify this claim, I set out to find real-life users. The results were a little surprising. Well some people said their doorbells lasted at least the six months claimed by Ring, others were claiming a battery life of only one to two months. Things got even worse for those in cold climates. Those users reported needing to charge their device every week or two. Ring seems to have acknowledged this by admitting the battery will drain much more quickly in temperatures below 40°F.
Another downside with the original doorbell is the way you recharge it. This device needs to be removed from your front door and brought inside to be charged. The base will remain attached to your door so reinstalling shouldn’t be too much of an issue but during the 5-10 hour recharging period, you will be without a doorbell.
Although the battery power on this device was found to be lacking, it does the option to be hard-wired to an existing doorbell. If this is an option for you, this doorbell may be a good choice considering its low price. If you plan on using the Ring device strictly on battery power though, I would recommend avoiding it. You may get lucky and get the battery life advertised by Ring, but you might be stuck recharging the battery every month.
The second model of video doorbell by Ring claims to have the same battery life as the first, 6 to 12 months. After the surprising results of the original doorbell, I was suspicious to say the least. Users appeared to be much more satisfied with the battery life on this device. It appears that Ring may have heard users’ complaints and managed to improve battery life when compared with the original device.
Ring also may have recognized the large inconvenience of going 5 to 10 hours without a doorbell during the charging period. Ring’s answer to this was removable rechargeable battery packs. Many users found the extra battery packs to be very helpful during charging periods. One battery can always be in the doorbell while the other recharges. Even if you find your Ring batteries draining quickly, the ability to swap out battery packs eliminates most of the inconvenience.
The Ring Pro doesn’t have an onboard battery. This device draws power from an existing doorbell. Wel this can be really convenient for those looking to replace an existing doorbell, those going for a new installation are out of luck. Wiring a new doorbell can be tricky for some owners and they may need to hire outside help. If you do decide to go the DIY route, be sure to take the proper precautions.
Similar to the Pro device, this model also doesn’t use an onboard battery. Instead of requiring an electrical connection however, this device relies on power over ethernet (PoE). The power will be delivered to this unit using the same ethernet cable used to provide a wired internet connection. Again, setting this up may be a challenge. The ethernet cable will likely need to be run through walls and may require outside help. In addition to the complicated installation, this doorbell also happens to be the most expensive offered from Ring. At $500, it is around double the price of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and the Ring Video Doorbell 2.
The newest doorbell in Ring’s lineup is the Ring Video View Cam. With this device, they returned to the rechargeable battery pack and I returned to reading user reviews to back up Ring’s claims. Numerous user reviews claimed the battery lasted less than 60 days. Some users reported the battery dying as quickly as 25 days. As with the Video Doorbell 2, additional rechargeable battery packs can be purchased to help. Ring appears to have backed off of the 6-12 month claim with the release of this lock. Some users reported Ring quoting battery life lasting for around 500 activations.
Effect of use on battery life
The battery life estimates above are all based on typical use. The more sensitive your settings and the more activations your doorbell receives, the quicker you can expect your batteries to drain. If you are looking to increase the battery life of your device, we suggest trying some of the tips below.
Increasing battery life
Reduce the Level of Motion Sensitivity
Turning down the level of motion sensitivity has a positive effect on the life of your Ring device. Depending on where you live, this could have a drastic effect on your battery life. Many users report their devices registering passing cars. If this is happening to you, your Ring doorbell may be activated nearly 100% of the time. Adjusting the sensitivity here may take some trial and error, but once you get it right you should notice a drastic improvement on battery life.
Minimize the Time on Two-Way Communication
Another step you can take to preserve the battery life of your Ring device is to avoid two-way communication as much as possible. If you find yourself frequently using two-way communication, you’ll probably have noticed you’re charging the battery often. Cut back on this to lengthen battery life.
Change Smart Alerts to Standard or Light setting
Smart Alert is used to identify repeated or continuous motion and notify you once that motion has stopped. By lowering the frequency, you receive fewer notifications and will extend the battery life of your Ring device.
Specify Motion Zones
Ring uses motion zones to determine where it should or should not recognize the activity. Zone 1 is all the way on the left of the device, while zone 5 is on the right. Zone 6 is the area immediately in front of the doorbell. Disabling the number of zones your Ring doorbell is watching will lower its power requirement and thus lengthen your battery life.
How to Check the Battery Level on Ring Devices
If you already have a Ring, you can check the remaining charge on your doorbell by using the Ring smartphone app. To do this:
- Open the Ring app
- Under the “My Devices” menu, select your doorbell
- The battery level will be shown on the top right
- Touch the gear above the battery icon to see an exact percentage
How to Charge a Dead Ring Battery
Once you notice your battery levels dropping, you will need to recharge your device. Luckily Ring has made this process fairly easy and it shouldn’t give you too much trouble. There are two methods for recharging your doorbell, the first is the standard method of recharging the doorbell directly. The second involves using a rechargeable battery pack. If you don’t have a rechargeable battery pack, you will have to go with the standard method.
Recharging Original Ring Video Doorbell
If you don’t have a rechargeable battery pack, or if your Ring device doesn’t use a rechargeable battery, you can charge your doorbell by bringing the entire device inside and connecting it to your computer’s USB port. Simply lift the device to remove it from its mounting bracket. On the back of the device, you should see a small micro USB port. Your doorbell should have come with an orange cable to use with this port. Simply plug one end into the doorbell and the other into a USB port on your computer. That’s it! Your Ring doorbell will now begin charging. The charging time will vary based on how low your battery was before the beginning.
If your Ring device’s battery is fully drained, it can take 10-12 hours before regaining its full charge.
Recharging Ring Devices with Replaceable Battery Packs
If you happen to have a rechargeable battery pack the process is significantly easier. Underneath your Ring device, there is a screw that will need to be removed. Once removed, press the silver tab to slide the battery pack out. If you have an extra rechargeable pack already charged, insert the charged battery pack in the dead pack’s place and reinstall the screw from the bottom. Take the dead battery pack inside and connect it to the orange micro USB charger that came with your device. You will see two lights light up on the battery pack; the orange light and the green light. The orange light indicates it is charging. When the orange light turns off, charging will be complete.
Alternatives to Running on Battery Power
If you like all of the features Ring has to offer but aren’t sold on frequently charging the battery, there are some alternatives.
Power Ring Devices by Hard-Wiring
Choosing to run a hard-wired version will eliminate the need for charging any battery packs. Although this process is slightly more complicated, the benefit of knowing your doorbell always has power may be worth it.
Power Ring Using Power Over Ethernet
If you don’t feel like messing with electricity or don’t have a wireless router close enough to connect to your doorbell, powering your Ring device over ethernet may be the way to go. It may be tricky, but if you are up for the challenge this may be the best option. Not only do you never have to worry about charging your battery, but you also never have to worry about a weak WiFi connection.
Power Ring Using Solar Power
If you have an original Ring Video Doorbell there is another option for charging your device. Ring now offers a Solar Charger. This charger acts as a mounting bracket for your Ring doorbell and includes solar panels to continuously maintain your device’s charge. It will require direct sunlight however and is not available for Video Doorbell 2 users, unfortunately. The reviews seem to tipped on the negative side of the scales but if you are looking for a better way to charge your original Ring, this is an option.
In the end, Ring doorbells are great products, but they do have an issue with battery life. Ideally, all of these problems can be avoided by hard-wiring them to power or using power over ethernet. In reality, these are not always options and some users will be stuck using battery power. Luckily, battery life has gotten better over time and with the introduction of rechargeable battery packs and solar charging mounts, recharging your battery has become less of an inconvenience than before. Ultimately, your situation will vary, but hopefully, this article gave you enough of a background that you can feel comfortable that you are making the right choice.