Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Arlo Pro Cold Weather Performance and Battery Life

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hoop0040 Guide
Guide

Hello -

 

I am the proud owner of a new 3 Camera Arlo Pro system which I set up on this past Sunday 12/3. I spent months researching reviews on the Arlo before finally pulling the trigger on Cyber Monday. So far I am very impressed with the system out of the box.

 

As I did my research, the main item that concerned me was how the battery life would perfrom in the cold weather months. I am located in Central MN so during the months Jan and Feb, we can have sub-zero temperatures registering fairly consistently during an average year. It seemed like there were definitely some owners that were having challenges in the cold weather with battery life and the camera's staying on, but others that were not seeing the same level of performance drop off. Some of the posts I read were from late 2016/early 2017, so I'm wondering if anyone has any hacks or tips they can share in terms of maxmizing battery life in cold weather. I have read all of the knowledge articles and understand what to expect. I also understand that there operating temperature range is clearly called out in the specs, so one shouldn't expect these cameras to perform well past those ranges, but just thought there might be some creative things that can be done with the settings to maximize longevity in a cold environment. At the end of the day, Netgear is selling alot of these cameras at the big box stores (Costco and Bestbuy) in this Market so I would hope the installations here are going beyond just interior applications.

 

After 2 days of having the camera's installed, I would say I'm averaging only 3-4 recorded events per day on both cameras, so not a ton of activity. Our temperature here has been in the 45-55 F range for the past 2 days, but dropped down to 15 this morning. One of my 2 camera's dropped down to 90% battery life while the other still shows 97%. Hoping the drain that I'm seeing on the camera that had the 10 point drop off in battery % yesterday stabilizes, but I am keeping an eye on it.

 

Thanks for your help and advice in advance!

 

 

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
Master steve_t Master
Master

I wouldn't worry about the battery percentage difference at this stage. See how it goes over a few months. As a new user, you probably have used the cameras slightly differently in terms of getting them set up. Even just logging into the app polls each camera so if you do that 500 times per day, your cameras will run down a little bit faster but it's definitely mostly impacted by the duration of recording. Enjoy your new cameras

hoop0040 Guide
Guide

Thank you for the response! Can you point me in the direction of how to adjust the recording duration? So far there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the length of the videos being taken. For example when my wife backs her car out of the garage and the camer picks her up it seems like we're getting 13 seconds of recording, but the recording stops before the vehicle is fully out of frame. When I shoveled the snow this morning the camera stayed recording on me for a full 2 min. Are there settings to adjust the length of recording time, or is it best to stay with the default?

Master steve_t Master
Master

The default for the Pro is "record until motion stops" but this is also highly dependent on motion sensitivity and doesn't seem totally consistent. The adjustment is in the camera rule in the recording mode. To the right of the record option is a > or a pencil icon which allows you to change the recording to a fixed length of time between 10s and 120s. The good thing about the Pro is the time to 'recycle' and be ready to detect motion again is relatively short

hoop0040 Guide
Guide

Thanks again for the help. Just wanted to follow up with an update, after dropping by 12% over night (from 100% to 88%) the first evening that it was cold her (15F), my battery on that particular camera has now bounced back to 98%!

 

The other camera, which I had in my driveway is reading 94%. This has been after 3 consecutive days of temps in the 10-20F range, which I think is pretty good! 

 

I'm continuing to monitor the battery life closely but I'm hopeful that this will hold up as we move into colder weather and winter takes hold in Minnesota.

Master steve_t Master
Master

That's good. Batteries and their charge indicators do weird stuff with temperature changes. Hope it doesn't get too cold there

hoop0040 Guide
Guide

FYI just wanted to post an update as we are getting slammed with the polar vortex right now in MN. My cameras have been offline for the past 2 days due to the sub zero air temps. Frustrating, but i understoold the operating temp range when I purchased them. What i'm really interested in seeing is when my cameras do come back online, which will hopefully be tomorrow when temps rise above 0 again, how much the batteries have been drained. I've been very happy with the battery performance thus far but this really throws a wrench into things.

 

Really wish there was a "cold weather" solution for these cameras since I've really been impressed with the system so far.

 

 

Paul_FCCL Prodigy
Prodigy
Working just fine here......with -20c this morning. Battery doesn't seem to be affected at all.
hoop0040 Guide
Guide

Interesting - we are at -1F (-18C) and each of my 3 cameras says "Your Camera needs to warm up before you can use it"

 

Why would yours be working but  not mine? is there anything I can do to get better cold weather perfromance?

Paul_FCCL Prodigy
Prodigy

hoop0040 wrote:

Interesting - we are at -1F (-18C) and each of my 3 cameras says "Your Camera needs to warm up before you can use it"

 

Why would yours be working but  not mine? is there anything I can do to get better cold weather perfromance?


I don’t know.......mine are installed just outside the front door and covered porch. One is mounted right on the brick wall beside the door and the other at the edge of the porch overhang about four feet from wall. It could be some of the house heat, might help keep them a little warmer. Expecting -22c tonight.......will report back tomorrow.

goodlord00 Aspirant
Aspirant

Battery life can be real shore if they stay to cold to long.. I have two PRO camera with solar and one eats the life of the battery from 100 to about 80 in a day to two days time. yesterday one stopped LIVE and CHARGING when the temp held at 30 for more then 10 hours. Keep them as dry and warm as you can. I even put the skins one mine with the hopes that they would help. No...

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
timonya80 Aspirant
Aspirant

Looks like when it is cold it effects on the battery and also the motion sensor seems to be 5 sec behind the actual motion.

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

You may need to adjust the motion detection sensitivity when temps change dramatically since the objects being detected may be producing different amounts of IR (clothing,heavier fur, whatever).

feedoy8 Aspirant
Aspirant

I have two cameras mounted under car port (one close to the house) and a third mounted against a brick wall (back of house).   All three are "Your Camera needs to warm up before you can use it".  Currently -20C with a windchill of -30C.   I was hoping that, because they are covered by a roof and sort of protected from the elements, the ones under the car port would work.  I guess not.  😞

hoop0040 Guide
Guide
We are currently back up to +5F. One of my cameras (happens to be the one under our covered porch) will let me live view. The other 2 are still giving the “your camera needs to warm up” message. again I understand these aren’t designed for sub zero temps but I’d expect them all to be back up and running as soon as the temp climbs.

The one that did come back online is still showing a charge of 87% , which seems pretty good to me - it’s been up For over a month and gets 2-3 recordings per day.

Paul_FCCL Prodigy
Prodigy

Still ok here, we had a low temp. of -21c overnight but cameras stood up well. The one camera had battery charged last week, not a very high activity spot, after 4-5 days of extreme cold still at 100%.

feedoy8 Aspirant
Aspirant

At 8:00AM this morning, it was -27C and a windchill of -38C.   I guess I'll be watching for a thaw of -15C next week.  🙂

 

I wonder if hardware version has an impact?   All three of my outdoor cameras have a hardware version of H7.   I do have an indoor camera that is H8, so it looks like there was a change in hardware.

 

 

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
hoop0040 Guide
Guide
We are up to +5F and now I have 2 of 3 cams back online. Looks like the cold temp dropped the battery by 15-20% over the course of 3 days. Not sure why my 3rd cam is not back online yet - I actually have the ghillie skin on that one so it is the only 1 of 3 that has any sort of skin on it.
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

For the record, wind chill has nothing to do with how the cameras act. It's simply an attempt to measure how fast skin will freeze since moving air draws heat away more quickly. However, the ultimate temperature will always remain as whatever the ambient temp is.

feedoy8 Aspirant
Aspirant
Agreed. Windchill is just mentioned for effect - it's freezing here, let alone the true temperature of -27C. 😞
Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
illmonk Aspirant
Aspirant

So i bought a set of two yesterday got everything setup, both covered one in a carport and the secound under the front stoop, yesterday with battiers they were both at 100% this morning t 85% and now they are showing 15% for both now i dont think this has to do with temps here in PA we are currently at 20F and last night it got to 11F. just kinda of wondering on how they would drop so fast, all setting are currently what came out of the box. any ideas?

timonya80 Aspirant
Aspirant
this what happened with my Cam. Started when temperature dropped to 25f. I am going to buy a power usb cable.
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Fast battery drop usually means lots of recording and live viewing (>5 minutes per day total is the spec) and/or poor connection between the base and camera which can be due to a wide variety of things. Temperature certainly affects teh battery but not even close to that sort of drop.

mhnatt Luminary
Luminary

I mentioned this before, and am about to try it on my own. Building somewhat of a “hat” like (3 sided enclosure) with the following “heating pad” ($10 for two on Amazon) inserted between the camera and enclosure:

 

Motorcycle ATV Heated Grip Insert Handlebar Hand Warmer kit pads 12V

1D7B3094-E306-454F-BC32-B4291F737BF2.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

atomthompson Aspirant
Aspirant

Anyone know how the cameras perform in cold weather when plugged in?  I'm rather tired of swapping out batteries every 2-4 weeks, and especially having the cameras go off-line whenever it gets cold.  So I'm wondering if they work in colder temps when plugged in.  Otherwise I need to find a different security system or a heating process I can add to the cameras.

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera