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Why Your Ring Camera (Or Doorbell) Makes A Clicking Noise

I recently set up a second Ring Indoor Cam, which I put in my study to test a few things out. However I made sure to disable the audio and motion recording on it, so that it wouldn’t disturb anyone when we were at home. Heck, I even pointed it at the wall so it wouldn’t show anything on live view either.

So I was a bit confused the other night when I was downstairs, and my wife (who was in the study) started asking me what I’m doing with the Ring camera: “it keeps making noises – is it faulty?”.

“Uhh… it shouldn’t be making noise, I disabled the recording on it”, I replied – to which my wife said that it keeps making clicking noises. Thankfully this isn’t the start of some dystopian sci-fi movie – after looking into this noise more, I found out why it does this – and thankfully it’s not something you need to worry about.

A Ring camera or doorbell usually makes a clicking noise when it is switching to (or from) night vision mode, in other words when there is minimal light around. It’s often nothing to worry about, but there are some causes that might indicate a problem.

Let’s dig into this topic in a bit more detail.

How Ring Cameras & Doorbells Work

The Ring Doorbell Wired
The Ring Doorbell Wired

Less than a decade ago, people had standard “ding dong” doorbells and CCTV systems that recorded to a DRV box (or they had no cameras at all, of course). But now it’s a new world: doorbells have built-in camera lenses, and you can have smart cameras that automatically send motion-activated recordings to the cloud, ready to view on your smartphone in seconds.

Ring are a key player in this new smart camera/doorbell market, with dozens of smart devices to choose from. They have battery (and solar) powered doorbells, hardwired doorbells, indoor and outdoor cameras, and more.

These devices record short 30 second – 3 minute video clips when motion is detected, and these clips are sent to the cloud for you to view back on the Ring smartphone app (unless you have local storage enabled).

They are ultra-convenient and often easy to install, leading to an increasing number of households also having smart cameras inside their home. This was once considered a little weird, but there’s so many privacy settings available nowadays that they can be a convenience, not an oddity.

Of course, one downside is that if you’re sat near a Ring camera (or you walk past an outdoor Ring doorbell or camera) and you hear it making a bunch of clicking noises, you might get wierded out.

Thankfully this isn’t (usually) a cause for concern, as the next section explores.

The Most Common Reason Why Ring Devices Make Clicking Noises

Ring’s cameras and doorbells are designed to work in both day and night, which can be problematic when there’s barely any light around. Due to this, Ring’s devices contain infrared recording capability that use infrared light sensors to record even when it’s really dark:

Cat captured during nighttime on my Ring Doorbell Pro
Cat captured during nighttime on my Ring Doorbell Pro

Recording with infrared light (during nighttime) is different to recording in daytime conditions (i.e. where there’s lots of light around), meaning that if a Ring device was to pick up all the infrared light in the day time, the image would look quite strange.

As a result, Ring cameras and doorbells contain an IR (infrared) cut filter that physically moves over the camera sensor in the daytime to block out any infrared light. (As an aside, sometimes this filter gets stuck, resulting in fairly purple/pink looking recordings).

It is this IR cut filter inside your Ring device that usually makes the clicking noise, since it physically has to move towards (or away from) the camera sensor depending on light conditions in the room.

Of course, this clicking noise usually isn’t too loud or noticeable – it is more of a minor nuisance – but if it is overly loud, it might be a fault with your Right device. This might be the case if some of your recordings look weird or low quality, especially during the night-time.

But assuming there’s no hardware fault here, let’s look at if there’s a way of ‘fixing’ this problem.

Can You Disable This Clicking Noise?

Front view of the Ring Indoor Cam in recording mode as shown by the blue light
Front view of the Ring Indoor Cam in recording mode as shown by the blue light

In general, there isn’t much you can do to stop this clicking noise – it is just a legitimate part of owning a Ring device (and indeed, other cameras – including non-smart ones – tend to make this sound too).

However since it’s caused by the Ring camera going into (or out) of night vision mode, you do have some control over things. After all, if you’re in a room which is pretty dark but there’s a light that comes on brightly (and frequently), any Ring cameras in that room will keep switching between night vision mode.

A television in a darkened living room is the best example of this. Most of the time, the room will be dark and any Ring cameras in the room (such as the Ring Indoor Cam) will be in night vision recording mode. But if the TV suddenly has a bright image on it, the Ring camera will then switch back into “daytime” recording mode – resulting in the all-too-familiar clicking noise.

Unfortunately you can’t turn off the night vision mode with Ring devices (other than the Pro 2), meaning that you can’t prevent the IR cut filter from ‘clicking’.

The only exception here is the Ring Doorbell Pro 2, which contains a setting to disable night vision mode:

The night vision options within the Ring app allowing you to turn off night vision on the Ring Doorbell Pro 2
The night vision options within the Ring app allowing you to turn off night vision on the Ring Doorbell Pro 2

You could try brightening the lights in the room a bit, though, and this might mean that the Ring camera never needs to move into night-vision recording mode.

But if it’s movie night, having the lights on 50% brightness might kill the mood a bit. One other thing to try is to disable (or enable) color night vision, which some of Ring’s devices offer. This adds ‘fake’ color to any recordings that are made in low-light conditions:

My garage with color night vision
My garage with color night vision

Color Night Vision also has some interplay with the movement of the IR cut filter, so flipping the setting might also help to reduce the clicking sound. To do this, launch the Ring app, click the device in question, press the settings cog and then “Device Settings”. From here click “Video Settings” and flip the “Color Night Vision” option:

The color night vision option within the Ring app
The color night vision option within the Ring app

Change this setting and then monitor things for an hour or so, and see if it helps at all. If not, there is some bad news: you are probably out of options, sorry!

Can You Disable Night Vision On Ring Devices?

The reason you’ll probably be stuck with this clicking noise is because you can’t disable night vision mode on Ring devices, unlike Wyze and other smart cameras that do allow you to disable it.

You can’t even set the lux (daylight) levels to specify when the night vision mode should (or shouldn’t) kick in, unlike some other smart devices like Philips Hue’s sensors:

The Daylight Sensitivity option on a Hue indoor motion sensor from the Hue app
The Daylight Sensitivity option on a Hue indoor motion sensor from the Hue app

As a result, you really don’t have much control over this clicking noise with Ring’s cameras and doorbells. You mainly have to learn to live with it.

Other Reasons Why Ring Devices Might Make Clicking Noises

The overall Wylex enclosure with the Ring transformer inside, and all the cabling shown.
The Ring transformer which powers my Ring Doorbell Pro.

Before wrapping up, I wanted to cover that some Ring devices might make clicking noises for reasons other than the IR cut filter moving into place:

  • If you have a Ring doorbell, sometimes the transformer itself can make a clicking-type noise.
  • Alternatively some people have reported that an issue with their doorbell wiring has resulted in their internal chime unit making small ringing/clicking sounds.
  • Equally, some of Ring’s other devices are hardwired into your house’s electrics too, such as the Ring Floodlight and Spotlight Cameras. In rare cases, loose connections or other electrical issues could result in ‘clicking’-like noises.

In short, if your Ring doorbell or camera is hardwired into your home’s electrics, there might be a genuine electrical issue that is causing the clicking noise. In this case, you should probably look to call out a qualified electrical contractor to diagnose and fix the problem.

Do Non-Ring Devices Also Make This Clicking Noise?

Yes, other non-Ring devices also make this clicking noise because they will also offer night vision recording features, meaning they will also contain an IR cut filter. However some smart cameras/doorbells do allow you to disable the IR mode, therefore bypassing the clicking noise completely.

Many of Wyze’s and Eufy’s products offer control over the infrared (night vision) mode, which will help to eliminate the clicking noise – although you will then have really dark recordings.

So there are some pros and cons to this clicking noise: it is a sign that more-effective night-time recordings are about to be made, after all. Disabling it might just give you another headache: pointless night-time recordings.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

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