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The Ring Solar Charger promises solar power for your Ring Video Doorbell 3 or Plus. By using solar energy, it extends the Doorbell battery life, saving you dollars in the long term. At least that is the claim. Version 2 had some complaints about the charger not charging, so is version 3 any different?
The Ring Solar Charger is better than the previous version. It works only with Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, but charge time is quick and dependable. But you need to be aware of its limitations to avoid frustrations. We also look at the solutions to common complaints about this charger.
How Fast is the Ring Solar Charge Time?
Under ideal conditions and average use, the charge should be from 60%-85%. You might get a full charge yes, but only in maximum direct sunlight. Changing the settings also affects battery performance, but numerous events will reduce battery power significantly.
The Ring Charger works only with the Doorbell 3/Plus as stated, and here doesn’t seem to be any problems. The Ring app has a status bar and it reads “Connected” to let you know the Charger and Doorbell are running fine.
it is impossible to give an estimate of charge time because conditions vary. Just to give you an idea though, it is not unusual to see the Ring Solar Charger take 6 weeks to go from 47% to 70%. it does not always take that long, but do not be surprised if it did.
In ideal weather the Ring goes up to 90% and stays in the 85%-90% range. It might go up or down a few percentage points here and there, but it should remain stable. As many customers hve pointed out, it is all about the positioning, which is applicable for all solar panels.
If the Ring Solar Charger gets a dozen hits daily and 6 hours of direct sunlight, it should be between 80%-90%. Remember that this charger only works with Doorbell 3/3 Plus so don’t try it with the earlier versions.
Ring Solar Charger Performance
Just like in our Arlo Pro Solar Panel review, performance depends entirely on how much sunlight it receives. For the most part the Ring works as expected. As many have pointed out, the unit is well packaged and setting it up is easy.
Having to uninstall the Doorbell to use the Solar Charger is a bit of a hassle, but it’s not a big issue. When installed the charger works like any solar panel. Once exposed to the sun it will start to charge. There are some settings you can adjust but the default should be fine for most users.
Charge time will vary from case to case. Just like with any solar panel it, everything depends on sunlight and location. You can put the Ring in the best, clearest spot but if there’s no sun, there’s no charge. If there’s lots of sun but the charger is under shade, charge will be slow.
Ring Solar Charger Specifications
|Solar Power Rating||0.52W|
|Power Source||Sunlight (several hours required)|
|Power cable built in||Yes|
|Compatibility||Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Doorbell 3 Plus|
|Dimensions||6 x 3.8 x 0.5 inches|
What is Included in the Box?
- Solar charger
- Mounting anchors and screws
- User guide
Ring Solar Charger Installation
Installation is straightforward. There are specific instructions in the user guide, so this is a general overview of the steps.
- If you have Doorbell Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, installed, uninstall it first. Lift the security screw, remove the faceplate and take off the mounting screws.
- Mount the solar charger to a wall with the provided screws. Use the bundled wall anchors if you want to set the charger on a stucco or brick wall.
- The screw terminals at the end of the Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, should be loosened. Place the charger connector below the screws. Tighten the screws when you are done.
- Place the Doorbell 3 / 3 Plus, into the charger. Carefully feed the cable in the charger. Use the bundled bolts to secure it.
- Reconnect the faceplate on the Doorbell 3/3Plus. Fasten with the screws. Installation is complete.
Why is the Ring Solar Charger Not Working?
If the Ring Charger is not working, the most likely reason is there is not enough sunlight. If you are certain installation is correct, it could be due to any of the following.
Not enough direct sunlight: do not mount the charger on a porch, under a tree, or anywhere there is shade. A slight shade could slow or stop the charge. This does not mean the Ring is deficient, that is just how solar power works. Remove the shade and try again.
Not enough charging time: the Solar Charger needs a few hours minimum to fully charge. It might take six hours or more depending on the weather. As we pointed out earlier, it might take weeks just to move a few percentages if the weather is cloudy.
Cloudy/rainy conditions: the Ring will not charge under these conditions, period. Direct sunlight – and plenty of it – is needed. if it is often cloudy or rainy in your area – with only occasional clear skies – you will not get consistent results.
Charging inside: Ring Solar Chargers – all versions – are not designed to work with indoor lighting. You may see a bit of charge but it will not reach 100%. This is also true for all solar panels.
Blue light blinks on and off: it means the Ring is updating firmware. It’s normal and should stop when updating is complete. Note: update the charger as soon as you can. There is firmware that allows the charger to run even under a covered porch. However it will not be as fast as in an open, clear area.
Dirt and grime: all solar panels slow or halt charging when dirty, and the Ring is no exception. Remove any dirt and try it again. Just remove the dirt with a clean cloth and it should be fine
Damaged: if the solar panel is damaged you need to have it replaced. Check the warranty if the issue is covered or how you can get a refund from where you bought it.
If the Ring Solar Charge is not working, it means there is insufficient sunlight. Also the Device Health Page does not provide information about the solar panel. Even with the charger installed it will still say the power source is the battery. But if the charger is working then the battery won’t get used up.
One more thing we want to point is this. If the Charger doesn’t receive enough sunlight, it will use the battery. If battery usage is faster than the charge, you’ll see the indicator level go down. Numerous events, live streaming and cold weather can lead to fast battery depletion.
Bottom line is the Ring Solar Charger works with the proper installation and location. That is the key here. if it does not get sufficient sunlight it will not charge, period. But if the conditions are right and there are no obstructions or shade, the Ring will power the Doorbell 3 nicely.
I am an advocate of solar power. Through portablesolarexpert.com I want to share with all of you what I have learned and cotinue to learn about renewable energy.