This past week we experience the following temperatures: 5, -11. -20, and -27, so I though now would be a great time to answer the only weather-related question that matters: Do Ring Doorbells work in cold weather?
To answer the question: yes, Ring doorbells work in the temperatures we experienced. In fact, the featured picture was taken on one of the coldest days ever recorded. In fact, the Ring Video Doorbell may detect motion better in these extreme temperatures.
Continue reading to learn about some of the doorbells strengths and weaknesses when working in the cold.
According to Ring’s website, the Ring Video Doorbell 1 is designed to work in temperatures as cold as -5 degrees, and as hot as 120 degrees. In addition, the doorbell is rated ‘weather resistant. As I mentioned, this doorbell worked fine when the temperature dipped to the negative double digits.
It appears that these specifications are guidelines to reduce liability as my doorbell experienced 72 hours of temperatures below -5 degrees.
What’s the Difference Between weather-resistant and weatherproof?
Before we dive deeper into the video doorbells ability to work in the cold weather, let’s quickly discuss the difference between weatherproof and weather-resistant.
If an object is weatherproof, it simply means that the doorbell can withstand almost any weather event that occurs directly or indirectly. The device is configured and insulated to prevent damage to internal hardware and it is expected to work without any issues during most weather events.
While weatherproof devices are expected to work in most situations, weather-resistance devices are expected to work under normal weather events. These devices are not expected to work in extreme conditions (like extreme heat or cold). In addition, if the doorbell experiences weather outside of normal conditions, you can expect reduced functionality. Reduced functionality may include:
- Reduced battery life
- Missed events
- Delayed events
- Damage to internal/ external components
If possible, you should look for outdoor devices that are weatherproof or
Does the Ring Doorbell Work Better in Cold Weather?
It seemed like my Ring Doorbell worked better when the temperatures are colder. It appeared that the doorbell detected motion faster, and further away than usual. For example, the featured picture captured a white car (under the basketball hoop) about 100 feet away. Ring claims the motion range for this doorbell is around 30 feet.
Also, the doorbell doesn’t usually capture objects of that size at that distance. While it does catch full-size school buses, it rarely catches a car from that far away.
Why Does the Video Doorbell Seem to Work Better?
In basic terms, motion detection uses infrared sensors to measure the amount of light radiating from an object. Motion detection detects the radiation that objects that are emitted. Motion detection has its name because that is easier to explain then “an infrared system that detects changes in radiation.”
The key component in motion detection is that detection is based on anything that is above 0 digress. I believe that due to the extreme cold, it is much easier for the infrared system to make that determination.
Drawbacks to Cold Weather Video Doorbells
While having a better-infrared camera is a nice upgrade, there were several issues I noticed over the last few days. While it’s possible that these issues are coincidental, I believe they are related to the Ring Video Doorbell needing to work overtime. Below are a few of these issues:
- Reduced battery life
- Delayed motion events
- Missed events
- Catching too many events
Let’s discuss some of the drawbacks that occurred during the extreme cold.
Reduced Battery Life
I just installed a freshly charged battery the Sunday before the cold weather. Here is a brief timeline of the upcoming week:
- Monday: snow (about 8 inches)
- Tuesday: Low -11 degrees
- Wednesday: Low -20 degrees
- Thursday: Low -27 degrees.
Before beginning this post, I noticed that my battery is 33%. Usually, my battery needs to be recharged every 3 weeks. The amount of charging is higher than most owners because I have my motion detection set to the most sensitive. In addition, I have the motion detection distance configured to the maximum distance.
At this rate, I will need to recharge my battery within one week of a recharge. This is not the fault of Ring, it is simply an example of potential drawbacks of using this type of system in extreme weather.
Delayed Motion Events
It appears that there is a slight delay in catching motion events. Usually, the video doorbell begins to record an event when the object first comes into the picture. However, over the last few days, the Ring camera would begin recording when the object is at least halfway through the field of view.
This delay could lead one to believe that the delay was due to reduced internet speed. While it is true that we at home these last few days, our internet speed remained consistent as I checked a few times throughout the day.
Missed Motion Events
I also believe that the weather had an impact on the number of events that were missed over the past few days. On average, my doorbell misses less than 5 events per day. Some of these misses occur because an event occurs right after a previous event occurs Other times, I blame missed events on the sun shining on the camera lens.
These past few days were different. It seemed like every 3rd or 4th event was outright missed. The Ring Doorbell failed to capture any motion during these missed events.
For example, my wife who drives a full-sized SUV came home from work and parked in the driveway. The doorbell didn’t capture or record the time it took her to get out of the car, grab her stuff and walk in the house.
This was a bit concerning because the main reason I purchased this doorbell is to capture motion events. I will say that in normal cold weather (between 0 and 32 degrees) this event is almost always captured. Like the previous two drawbacks listed, you can’t blame Ring for Historic low temperatures.
Recording Too Many Events
The other unusual thing that occurred over the last few days is the doorbell recording events at random. I noted a few times which sitting on the couch that push notifications occurred at random. Once during the last few days, I received a push notification while looking out of the window. There was nothing outside except blowing snow.
To answer the original question: “Does the Ring doorbell work in cold weather?” The answer is yes, the Ring doorbell will work in normal cold weather. However, when approached with extremely cold weather (-10 and worse) the Ring Doorbell will work with a few hiccups.
As I mentioned, I believe that the Ring Video Doorbell both benefited and suffered from the cold weather. The doorbell benefited with an increased motion detection event recording. This benefit helped both the motion detection awareness and the motion detection distance.
Also, there were a few drawbacks to the cold weather. The Ring Video Doorbell missed more events than usual, was extremely late on a few, and had a dramatically reduced battery life.
Most of these issues, I believe, should be attributed to how cold it has been over the last few days. Earlier this year, when it was regular cold, the Ring Video Doorbell worked as expected.
Is the Ring Doorbell Waterproof?
Yes, I believe that the ring doorbell is waterproof. I have had my doorbell in the elements for 3 years without experiencing any problems shoring out. According to the Ring website, the video doorbell is weather-resistant. No further details were provided by the website.
How Long Does the Ring Battery Last?
This will vary greatly based on several factors. For example, my doorbell will need to be recharged after one week. Other times my doorbell and cameras will last 8 months. Below are some factors to consider when determining how long the batteries last
- Motion detection
- Configured motion detection distance
- Traffic (how busy the street it)
- How often you enter live viewing mode
Can You Have Two Ring Doorbells?
Yes, you can have multiple doorbells, cameras, and even security systems on one account. Each account is designed to accept a different combination of cameras.
Can My Ring Doorbell Get Wet?
Yes, my Ring Doorbell has sat uncovered for almost three years. I’ve never had an issue with this camera malfunctioning. While covering the camera may be a recommended solution, this camera is rated to resist effects from the weather.
Note: the above blog post is based on my experiences and may differ from your usage. This is not a recommendation or should be taken as legal advice.
Can My Ring Doorbell Be Hacked?
Yes, your ring doorbell can be hacked. However, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the chances of this happening. To reduce the chances of your Ring Doorbell being hacked, follow these steps:
- Secure your Ring Doorbell with a strong password
- Secure your home network
- Secure your Router
- Rotate passwords regularly
- Use more than one password for everything
To see the complete steps to prevent your Ring Doorbell from being hacked, click here.