The Ring Doorbell is a great concept, but I’ve struggled with poor battery life with both the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Ring Peephole Cam. After lots of experimentation, here are some sure-fire ways to improve your Ring Doorbell’s battery life if your battery is draining too fast.
What Is Normal Battery Life for a Ring?
But first of all, we need to know what “normal” battery life means. Ring claims the battery should last between six and twelve months with normal use. Now, I have never achieved anything even close to that kind of battery life in my Ring Video Doorbell 2, and I haven’t seen Amazon reviewers or Reddit users report battery life that long either. There’s even a class-action lawsuit against Amazon by people who haven’t gotten anywhere near the quoted six to twelve-month battery life. Please let me know what your Ring battery life is in the comments below!
The typical battery life that I’ve experienced (and seen online) is more like one to two months with real-life settings on a properly-functioning Ring.
If you’re “only” getting one to two months of battery life, that might just be the way it is, with no way to improve it other than by reducing functionality or wiring it to power. See below.
1. Try Tweaking the Settings
If you’re getting less than one month of battery life, the first thing to try is to turn off or minimize the battery-draining features to make sure it’s not just a settings issue. This is what Ring and most articles on short Ring battery life recommend.
Open the Ring app on your phone and select your doorbell. Turn off Motion Detection, Motion Alerts, and Motion Warning. Click Power settings, then turn off or turn down all of the suggested settings:
This will establish a baseline battery life. If your battery life improves at least three months after this (i.e., about 1% usage per day max), your Ring is probably fine. You’ll need to fine-tune your settings to balance battery life with functionality.
If your battery life is still bad, keep reading.
2. If You Have Weak Wi-Fi…
Another cause of low battery life can be a weak Wi-Fi signal, especially if your unit is completely losing signal from time to time. On your Ring app, select your Ring device, then click on Device Health:
You’ll see your Wi-Fi signal strength as a negative number in dB (decibels). The more negative the number, the weaker the signal. The closer to zero it is, the strong the signal.
Typically, this value will vary throughout the day depending on a number of factors, such as whether other people in your building are using wireless devices. So, take several readings over a period of time.
If your signal number is red, you may want to try to improve it. Ring’s article gives some advice on how to do this, but really the most effective way is to move your Wi-Fi router closer to your Ring doorbell and/or remove obstructions. Removing devices that might cause interference, such as cordless phones might also help.
In one of my locations, my Wi-Fi signal was indeed weak, often in the red even after moving my router closer, so I went out and bought a better Wi-Fi router with a stronger signal. In my case, it didn’t improve the Ring’s reception, and in the end, this wasn’t the root cause of my Ring’s short battery life. But, it might help yours.
If you have a newer Ring that can do 5GHz Wi-Fi, you might want to try that, or if it’s already set to 5GHz, switch to 2.4GHz. This seems to have worked well for some folks on Reddit.
3. If It’s Cold…
Ring says that their doorbell might not charge at all in freezing weather, even if your Ring is wired directly to power. At -5 degrees F, the battery might stop working altogether.
This is just due to physics and the limits of battery technology.
If you live somewhere where it gets very cold, my recommended solution is to get a Ring Peephole instead. With that unit, the battery is on the INSIDE of your door. Just remember that the Ring Peephole can’t be directly wired to power, and the camera cannot “see” your doormat, so you won’t be able to check for packages with that unit.
4. If It’s Old…
If your Ring is more than a few years old, the battery pack might simply have worn out. Try getting a new one.
I’m assuming, though, that most people reading this have a problem with a relatively new Ring though. If so, keep reading.
5. If Your Battery Is Draining Very Fast…
On my Ring Peephole Cam located at my Mom’s home, I tried all of this and more. No matter what I tried, my ring drained the battery by a whopping 8 to 10 percent per day!
When I was looking at the Amazon reviews for the Ring Peephole Cam, I saw that someone posted that they were contacted by a technician from Amazon after posting a bad review. So I posted a one-star review and it worked!!! Within a few days, someone from Amazon contacted me to schedule an appointment to try to debug the unit!
And note, this was about A YEAR after I bought the unit!!
A few days later, the technician called me a the appointed time. It was a pretty short call, because she had access to all of my unit’s data, including its battery life. She immediately saw that it was draining way too fast, and offered to send me a brand new replacement unit!! Wow, I was impressed.
This new unit has been working great so far. I haven’t had a chance to test it for a long period, but so far the battery is losing less than 1% of its capacity per day. It should last over three months at this rate.
So, if your Ring battery is draining really fast, even with the battery-guzzling features turned OFF, there’s a good chance it’s simply defective. You can do what I did and leave a bad review on Amazon, but I would recommend first trying to contact their customer service first (I never even thought to do that!)
6. If All Else Fails…
Many of the Ring models (not the Peephole Cam though) can be easily hard-wired to power. At first, I dismissed this option because I don’t have power going to an existing doorbell that I can connect to. But, I figured I could wire a thin power cable through the gap around my front door with no problems.
Unfortunately, though, there is a TON of conflicting information on which power adapter works with which Ring models; much of that conflicting information is from Ring itself.
Ring sells a Plug-In Adapter (2nd Generation) that they claim works with the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and outputs 24V DC.
However, elsewhere on Ring’s website it says: “The Ring Video Doorbell 2 can only be connected to an AC transformer. DC is not supported.” Echoing the AC-only instruction is Ring’s master chart showing what kind of power goes to each model. That says “AC only!”
And, if you go on Amazon and look for third-party power adapters, you’ll find power adapters that claim to work with the Video Doorbell 2 that output 24V AC!
Based on the Amazon website and the third-party product claims, I went ahead and purchased this third party AC power adapter:
After a few months of use, I can say it works great! My doorbell didn’t get fried like one reviewer was afraid of. My battery is always at 99% or 100% all of the time now! I LOVE not having to worry about changing the battery!
It was actually pretty easy to install. Just screw the exposed power leads to the two screws behind the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Note, the resistor mentioned in Ring’s article was not necessary and I didn’t install it. Here are Ring’s installation instructions for running power to Video Doorbell Pro.
The main DIY thing you have to do is file out a little notch in the plastic Ring case for the wire to exit. I secured it using a staple carefully pressed in by hand over some electrical tape. You can add some caulking if you really want to hide it.
The wire itself was thin enough to go through the gap between my door and doorway. It was 26 feet long, which was long enough to reach a plug inside.
In the end, the power wire isn’t even that visible unless you’re really looking for it.
So, this setup worked for my Ring Video Doorbell 2. I can’t say whether it will work with other Ring models, or whether it’s better to get the official Ring power adapter. If you try either, please leave a comment below with your results!!
So, after a lot of hassle, I completely solved the battery problem for two ring models! For my Mom’s Peephole Cam, I get a replacement unit from Ring which solved the problem. For my Ring Video Doorbell 2, I hard-wired it to a third-party power adapter.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! – Brian