‎How much activity (recordings, spotlights, notifications, etc.) is the outdoor camera battery life estimate based on? | SimpliSafe Support Home
worthing's profile

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 4:35 AM

How much activity (recordings, spotlights, notifications, etc.) is the outdoor camera battery life estimate based on?


The number of notifications/recordings/spotlight activations that are generated for a camera in one yard may be wildly different than a camera in another yard due to foot, vehicle or animal traffic as well as camera configuration. When you all came up with your battery life estimate for the Outdoor Camera, what settings did you all use and how much daily activity (notifications, recordings, spotlight activations, etc.) did you all assume would take place?

Community Admin


5.5K Messages

3 years ago

Hi Worthing,

Unfortunately we likely don't have exact numbers for this. But I can tell you that our alpha and beta testing deliberately targeted a wide variety of environments - homes in suburban, urban, and even rural locations. Our battery estimate would be based on the default settings - e.g. People-Only Detection, but with no custom zones, etc.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

701 Messages

@Johnny M

Our battery estimate would be based on the default settings - e.g. People-Only Detection, but with no custom zones, etc.

Can you please confirm that the settings below are "default" for the Outdoor Camera?

Motion Detection = On
Motion Events = On
Motion Notifications = On
Sensitivity = Medium
Motion Type = People Only
Activity Zone = Disabled
Rotate Image 180 Degrees = Off
Picture Quality = 1080p
Night Vision = Standard
Night Vision = On
Night Vision Mode = Standard
Spotlight Brightness = Medium (but greyed out since it's disabled under "Night Vision Mode")
Mic & Audio = On
Status Light = On
Siren = Off

FYI, I'm asking you to confirm because I change some settings but just removed and re-added my camera which changed my settings to what's above. I just want to make sure that is in fact true out-of-the-box default.



5.9K Messages

@Worthing  My camera are the same with two exceptions:

Activity zone is active, with street and a few other areas marked for no detection
Status light = off, same as my doorbell pro and my base having no lights and no sounds.  I am in the school of not drawing attention to the devices.  That said, as I posted in my review and is a general practice for me, battery estimates of usable like are estimates and if the sun rises on the correct path, earth rotation matches and a corn stalk lines up with the the north star on an even day (poetic license for "if conditions are perfect) then the estimate is close to reality.  Of course, it never is and why I would only consider an outdoor camera with a secondary power source.  A solar panel is a long shot 2nd, and a good old power AC cable is what got me to be willing to buy the camera in the first place.

No offense to Simplisfe but I throw Apple, Google, Telsa and every other company that puts a battery into the their product: caveat emptor.(Especially when it comes to  facing the usual Chicagoland winters.)

701 Messages


Of course estimates are going to to be a range and not a definitive absolute number. That's literally what estimate means. :)

@Johnny M,

I am a little concerned that the estimates advertised don't include some of the most hyped features like the spotlight being enabled. (The support article for maximizing battery life even suggests to not use spotlight at all as well as to consider using 'low' for the sensitivity which is ludicrous, imo.) This new information (along with my own experiences) makes me thing the estimates may be accurate but they ignore use cases that are likely to be extremely common which makes the estimates far less valuable.

Speaking of my own experiences, my battery lasted less than 2 weeks before running out completely. I know this because my base station announced it was shutting down the camera at almost 3AM. Based on other user reports I am not the only person experiencing wildly lower battery life than the estimates we were given. I am becoming increasingly concerned that there are either hardware/software issues, that the settings we use make a huge difference, or a little of both.

Edit: I went back and looked at the delivery date and the late night notification and it was 7 days, not two weeks.



5.9K Messages

3 years ago

@ Worthing I laughed when I read your post.  As the saying goes "your mileage may vary".....comparing fed mileage estimates and what you get in the real world.  As I posted, don't care who makes what, if it has a battery you have to have an alternate power source to keep it running, in my case the optional AC adapter. Works great and, especially in Chicagoland, won't have to worry when its 20 degrees below 0 and a dead battery. The soon to be released solar pannel is another option, but I'll take a good old plug in any day.

That said, with future firmware updates, I have no doubt SS will get the battery life improved.  Have a good week.
New to the Community? Get started by reading our Welcome Article and please be sure to review our Community Guidelines before posting.