Trail Camera Power Options
If you've owned trail cameras before, then you know the process of finding a reliable and long-lasting power solution can be a difficult one. Multiple questions come to mind, such as:
- Should I use an external battery or solar power?
- How long will AA batteries last in a cellular camera?
Which option will save me the most money in the long run?
It can be frustrating having all of these questions and finding no answers. Luckily, Spartan Camera has put together this power options guide for you to reference whenever you need it!
Before you get started
Think about what you want your camera to do, where you'll be setting it up, and how frequently you'll be visiting the camera site. Make a basic checklist going through your requirements. Make sure you're asking questions such as:
- Is it a cellular or non-cellular camera?
- Will the camera be in a high-traffic or low-traffic area?
- How far will I be from the camera?
How many photos, videos, and/or live streams will I want my camera to take?
With more energy-intensive, cellular camera actions like videos and live streaming, you're going to need a power system that can handle the increased demand. You do not want to put AA batteries in a GoLive that will be four states away, constantly going live, and set on photo+video mode. Planning out your setup before getting out in the field is the best way to prepare for just about anything.
In terms of power options with Spartan Camera, you have three choices:
- AA batteries
- External batteries
- Solar panels
Don't worry about picking one and getting stuck with it. These three options can be interchanged and combined to make a power system that works best for you. Keep in mind that these options will require different accessories depending on the camera in use. When making your purchase, double-check to be sure that the option is compatible with your camera.
Option 1: AA Batteries
AA batteries are the most affordable short-term power solution available. Because these batteries are used in countless other electronics, they're easily accessible and can be found in nearly every store around the country. All of our camera models have AA battery compartments, so you'll never feel as though you're wasting batteries by keeping them on a shelf.
AAs are great for on-site or at-home camera testing and function exceptionally well when used with non-cellular models, like our Lumen and Eclipse cameras. However, you may want to use a stronger and longer-lasting power option with Spartan cellular cameras as their data usage, including photo and video transmissions, take more power than saving to the SD card alone.
Option 2: External Battery
As one of our longest-lasting power solutions, external lead-acid batteries are a popular and frequently bought option by many trail camera enthusiasts. One 12V external battery in one of our voltage regulating battery boxes is enough to keep your camera unning for a large portion of the year - depending on your camera settings and location.
While external batteries and battery boxes can be expensive and bulky, setting them up is quick and easy. The nature-resistant design of the battery box and cables makes it a durable and reliable power solution for all of your Spartan cameras.
Need to purchase an external battery or battery box? You can find them here:
Option 3: Solar Power
Solar panels are quickly growing in popularity, especially for Spartan cameras capable of direct solar connection. With the direct-connect capability of Spartan GoLive and GoLive 2 camera models, solar panels are a simple and quick plug-n-play power solution.
Not only are solar panels a long-lasting energy solution, they can be combined with other power options to optimize your trail camera's battery life. When paired with an external battery, the cons of using a solar panel practically disappear. Solar panels will keep your cameras running all day and switch over to external battery power during the evening; which means you won't have to worry about your camera working after the sun goes down.
Thinking about using solar panels as a power solution? You can find our best selling solar options here:
Never lose track of how much power your camera is using by downloading the Spartan Camera Management App. You can set the external power indicator to read exactly what power setup you have on each camera. For more information on the battery indicator and how it works, check out our Knowledge Base articles: Battery Indicator and Information for GoCam and Battery Indicator and Information for GoLive/Ghost.