Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Arlo doorbell battery life

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redcbx78 Tutor
Tutor

Well I replaced my batteries this evening. Now the door bell is reporting 99% battery. But the door bell does not work. No led, no sound. The push button switch was fairly wonky when I purchased it. There is almost no play on the switch which makes it difficult to tell if you have pushed it enough or hard enough. Not impressed at all. I guess I will be returning this and give a second unit a go.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Is that the one that the doorbel is connected to?

skingspan Luminary
Luminary

I have two Arlo doorbells both installed for two weeks.  One is reporting 92% battery and the other 83%.  At this rate neither will last the advertised year battery life.

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redcbx78 Tutor
Tutor

Well today I'm taking back my Arlo Doorbell. I moved the Base Unit up a little highter and away from the WiFi router. I removed and added the doorbell and chime back to the base station. When I press the doorbell it is difficult to tell if I have actually done anything. The ring does not light. Then after a fairly long delay - a good couple of minutes the chime rings and our phones ring. The audio played back on the doorbell is of very low quality and difficult to understand. WHAT would have been good is if Arlo had designed the doorbell to use what most people have, a doorbell that is connected to the chime transformer. BAM no batteries needed.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

If you check the installation directions, you will see that the doorbell will connect to an existing chime. 

redcbx78 Tutor
Tutor

Yep, I do know that, but the battery is still used and still drains and needs replaced.

sacornel Apprentice
Apprentice

I feel your pain.  My batteries were dead in 2 weeks because it constantly detected cars driving by my house.  I won't reinstall it until they allow the user to adjust motion sensativity. 

RChobby Virtuoso
Virtuoso
3.5 weeks, 85%. At this rate the batteries might last 6 months.
Terminal3 Apprentice
Apprentice

20 Days and my battery is at 86%.  I am not impressed at this point.  It is hit or miss as to whether you will get a connection to the camera after the button is pressed.  Mostly miss at this point.

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lnkaye Star
Star

We just recently (a week ago) installed lithium phosphate batteries instead of the included batteries. These are much preferred for longer life and for use in cold weather. Our original batteries went down to 89% after 3 weeks. With the new batteries, we're still at 99%. Our WiFi signal is at max bars. I highly suggest that folks invest in these better batteries!

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

While it could be the batteries, I would repeat the experiment with both types of batteries since outside influences could also explain the battery drain. Try to keep the usage and circumstances the same.

delewarl2 Aspirant
Aspirant
The doorbell is a disappointment. It is silly to not have it powered by the existing wire. Not only that, the batteries drain way too fast. At this rate, it's going to be cost ineffective to use it. Also, the camera that comes with it is powered by the 123 size batteries. And these drain even faster than the doorbell. I have other Arlo pro cameras and assumed that this one was similar... I didn't do my homework! I feel completely ripped off by Netgear!
Panther6834 Star
Star

Before I type my comment, I'd first like to say that I find it extremely "strange", and NOT in a good way, that my previous posting seems to have been removed, so, for those who might read what follows, and think to themselves, "I think I remember reading this before", now you will understand why it's no longer showing in the comments.  Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand, I came up with what might be the most perfect solution.  What appears below is (essentially) what I typed 3-4 weeks ago (I will reword it, to reflect 3-4 weeks have passed).....

 

About 3-4 weeks ago, I installed my Arlo Doorbell.  Having read all of the battery drain problems, as reported by others, I came up with a solution - placing electrical tape over the sensor.  The truth is, I'm not even certain why Netgear felt the need to include a sensor, as there's no camera.  In order to use the Arlo Doorbell to its full capabilities, it has to have a connection to an Arlo camera, and, since the camera has a sensor, and the camera will be aimed in the general direction of the doorbell, there's no need for multiple sensors covering the same area.  I'll use my setup as an example.

 

First, the camera (I have more than one, but I'm strictly referring to the camera for the front door) is inside, aimed out a window, towards the front patio.  It shows the front door, the doorbell, and the walkway leading up to the front door.  Unfortunately, the camera is inside, pointed through a window, and, since Arlo cameras use infrared sensors, and heat signatures can't be detected through glass, I installed an Arlo LED Security Light outside, pointed away from the front door, which illuminates the front patio, the walkway, and anyone coming up said walkway to the front door.  For those few not aware, all three devices (camera, LED, and doorbell) use the same type of sensor.  Anyway, the sensor in the security light performs the same duty as the sensor inside the doorbell, thus the sensor inside the doorbell is doing nothing more than duplicating the duty of the light’s sensor.

 

So, with the setup described, above, there are two separate “scripts involved.  With the first, when the sensor inside the security light detects a person, the light is turned on, and the camera records.  With the second, when a person presses the doorbell, it activates the 2-way audio/video, exactly as it’s supposed to.  Of course, with the second “script” activated, the first would already have been activated.  All of this should show everyone reading this how use of the doorbell’s sensor isn’t even needed.

 

So, all you need to do (as briefly mentioned, above) is take a piece of electrical tape, and lightly place it over the lower portion of the doorbell.  Next, take an X-ACTO knife, and carefully cut the tape along the curve (between the front & case pieces).  If you’ve correctly cut the tape, firmly press the tape to hold it in place.  If you goofed up the cutting, simply remove the tape with another piece, and repeat the cutting process.  As a “back-up”, within the app, lower the doorbell’s sensor sensitivity to the lowest setting.

 

I installed my doorbell 3-4 weeks ago, and, upon completion, the battery was showing 99% (the Duracell batteries I installed were purchased about 6 months ago, so I didn’t expect them to be 100%).  3-4 weeks later, the batteries are showing 96%...so, in the past 3-4 weeks, the batteries have only drained 3%.  If they continue to drain at an approximate rate of 1%/week, then the batteries should last slightly less than 2 years…WELL beyond the one year claimed by Netgear.  Some might want to say that I’m getting few, if any “detections”, but, the truth is, the sensor on the security light is triggered approximately a dozen times each day (I have the videos to prove it).  The only power-draw occurring on the doorbell itself is when someone presses the button, which occurs so infrequently, thus battery-life is GREATLY extended.

 

I’m not going to tell everyone reading this that you “need” to do what I did…but, considering the results (so far), combined with the fact that the doorbell’s sensor isn’t even needed (again, due to the camera and/or LED security light sensors being used to trigger video recordings), following my suggestion could prove a very smart thing to do.

RChobby Virtuoso
Virtuoso
7 weeks, original batteries at 60%. Moderate to light use, button pressed perhaps once per day.
mshet Aspirant
Aspirant

I've gone through three sets of batteries so far. Each time they lasted about three days. Temps have been in 30's and 40's.

Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station
lnkaye Star
Star
Did you use the Lithium batteries? They work better in colder temperatures.
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

That implies a poor connection to the base and/or tons of activity. What is the house construction and how is the doorbell mounted?

ilovedogs Aspirant
Aspirant

This sounds like a great idea, but one question how is the response time between the doorbell being pushed and the notification? Is there any lag time with the sensor being covered? My daughter-in-law lives on a very busy street and I don't want them to have to change the battery all the time.

 

thanks 

 

Panther6834 Star
Star

First, there is no connection between the sensor, and any "lag time", be it the sensor on the doorbell, a camera, or security light.  To continue, and in answering your first question, there is a lag between the pressing of the doorbell, and notification, but it is no different than the lag that occurs when a camera or security light is triggered.  What I can tell you is that, since covering the doorbell's sensor, approximately 2 months have passed, and the batteries have only decreased by 7%.  At this rate, the battery life should exceed Netgear’s claimed life by approximately double.

 

Of course, in order for what I suggest to work, a camera needs to be aimed in the general direction of the doorbell, as it will be the camera’s sensor that triggers video recordings.  Additionally, it would be highly suggested that the camera (and security light, if using one), are plugged into an outlet.  As you mentioned, your daughter-in-law lives on a busy street, thus the camera (and, again, if applicable, security light) will be triggered quite frequently.  You can lower the sensor’s sensitivity on the triggering device, to help lower this possibility, but, nevertheless, being triggered frequently, thus is the reason for the triggering device(s) to be plugged in.  Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best.

RChobby Virtuoso
Virtuoso
78 days (2.6 months), now batteries at 18%.
Panther6834 Star
Star

@RChobby  Have you tried what I siggested...placing electrical tape over the sensor on the doorbell?  My installation was done almost 3 months ago, and my battery sits at 85%.  Again, since the camera you would have pointed in the direction of the doorbell already has its own sensor, there's really no need for using the doorbell's sensor.  If you plug the camera in, it's "battery life" is (essentially) 'unlimited'.  Even if you don't plug the camera in, it's a lot easier to swap camera batteries than it is to swap the doorbell's batteries.  So far, the batteries insode my doorbell are draining at an approximate 5%/mo, which means (if this rate continues) I should get approximately a 20-month lifespan from the batteries.  Of course, it also depends on what batteries you put inside...I used Duracell.

mshet Aspirant
Aspirant

Just put in some different batteries today - NiMH. Will try the tape next.

Panther6834 Star
Star

@mshet Just remember, rechargable batteries never last as long.  Additionally, Netgear strongly advises against using rechargable batteries in the doorbell.

lnkaye Star
Star

Just to let you all know that my lithium batteries are still reading 99%! That's impressive!!! I installed them on 11/20/18. I strongly urge everyone to try them.

Abmet Apprentice
Apprentice

19 days and I'm at 95%.  Only a couple of uses outside of my multple tests to get phones and Echo's working.

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