Does a Ring solar panel need direct sunlight? What you should know

2 comments by Brett Decker

Ring solar panels are an excellent option for those want a cleaner and more efficient energy source for their Ring devices.

While it's easy to just install it outdoors and wait for it to generate electricity, there are instances when the solar Ring panel may fail to charge your device, especially when its not under direct sunlight.

Generally, you'd want at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight for Ring solar power gadgets to function.

So, what happens when your solar power system doesn't receive enough sunlight?

Can it still function even with indirect sunlight?

Does Ring solar panel need direct sunlight?

How a Ring solar panel works

The Ring solar panel system uses photovoltaic cells to produce electricity through the photoelectric effect.

This means that direct sunlight is needed for energy production, but solar panels work even without it.

Both direct and indirect sunlight carry photons, which the panels convert to electric current.

If there's no direct sunlight, solar panels will use indirect sunlight to produce solar electricity.

Can the Ring Solar Panel work without direct sunlight?

Without direct sunshine, the Ring solar panels will use indirect sunlight for power production.

But expect a drop in power output as Ring solar devices need 1000 W/m2 of sunlight to generate electricity.

Remember, direct sunlight (or direct beam solar radiation) carries more photons than indirect light (or diffuse solar radiation).

Direct sunlight also increases the efficiency of solar panels since they use a photoelectric effect to create electricity.

And that much sunlight can only be achieved with sunlight hitting the panels directly.

What impacts the solar panel efficiency

Light quality

The ability of solar panels to create electricity is greatly impacted by the lack of quality of light.

Its energy output depends on the number of photons from the sun's rays to its location. The lesser the photons, the harder it is for the solar cells to create power. It may not be enough energy to power bigger appliances like security cameras, but it may be enough to charge your mobile phone.

Weather conditions

Cloudy weather conditions mean no direct sunshine, which significantly lessens the Ring solar panel's ability to generate power.

While a few hours of indirect sunlight may be enough to power smaller devices, the panels still need direct sunlight to be able to support devices such as your spotlight camera.

On cloudy days, your solar panels can only produce around 10% to 60% of their regular power output, depending on how thick the clouds are.

Where to mount your Ring solar panel

To maximize your Ring solar panel's energy production, it's recommended that you mount it in a spot directly hit by sunlight.

If you live in a place with abundant sunshine all year round, you shouldn't encounter any problems.

Luckily, there are solar panels that have a 360-degree rotatable mount and extra long cable to ensure it's positioned in the best area possible, for maximum sunlight exposure.


How can I tell if Ring solar panel is working?

Your Ring app will show your solar charger or solar panel as connected when it has stored power.

How far away can the solar panel be from the Ring camera?

The Ring solar panel's cable allows you to position the solar panel up to 10 feet away from the Ring camera.

Do you keep the battery in with Ring solar panel?

Yes, you can keep the battery even with a Ring solar panel. Ring solar panels are meant to keep the Ring battery charged.

How long does a Ring battery last without a solar panel?

Without solar panels, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and Ring Stick Up Cam Battery can last anywhere between 6 and 12 months.

Can a Ring solar panel work through a window?

Yes, solar panels may work through a window. But depending on the quality of light, the electric current produced may only be enough to power smaller devices like a mobile phone or tablet.

Is the Ring solar panel waterproof?

Yes, the Ring solar panel is waterproof. A weatherproof connector connects it to the camera.

Does Ring solar panel work in the rain?

Yes, the weatherproof connector on Ring solar panels allows for safe usage even under the rain.

Does Ring solar panel work in winter?

Solar panels generate electricity using the sun's rays, not its heat. So as long as solar panels get direct sunlight, then they'll work even during winter.

Does Ring solar panel work in the shade?

Yes, the Ring solar panel can still work under shaded areas. Though it still requires at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight to power devices.

Does Ring solar panel work at night?

No, the Ring solar panel requires at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight to produce enough energy. But if there's enough power stored, it can still charge devices even at night.

Can I connect multiple solar panels to my Ring Video Doorbell?

No, the Ring solar panel can only be connected with one Ring Video Doorbell.

Can a Ring solar panel power two cameras?

No, the Ring solar panel can only power one camera.


  • Ann

    I found this article to be very informative, I was going to send my solar panel back as I was thinking it wasn’t any use.Changed my mind after reading this article

  • David Samler

    The above comments also apply to the ARLO systems that utilize Solar Panels for backup power. I use various models of ARLO cameras and have had no issues to-date. You verify in the application that the Panel is working as it shows a charging symbol in addition to current power level available.

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