Smart home devices might seem like they use up a lot of electricity, but is this true? How much energy is being used by your Ring devices?
Ring’s smart home products do not use a lot of electricity. Even the most power-hungry Ring devices are still only using a small amount of electricity and shouldn’t have a big impact on your electricity bill. Ring’s smart lighting uses roughly the same amount of electricity as a regular LED bulb with no smart features.
We’re going to cover everything from how to calculate the energy cost of smart devices to the wattage of your favorite Ring devices in this guide!
Ring’s Smart Home Products
Ring is one of the biggest names in smart home technology. Since being acquired by Amazon, Ring has only gotten more popular and these devices have spread throughout the country.
You’ve probably heard a Ring thanks to their smart doorbells. These are incredibly popular and there are even cities in the United States where you can get subsidized Ring doorbells provided by the city. These doorbells send you alerts, video and picture notifications, and also feature video and audio chat with whoever is at your door.
Ring also makes a wide variety of cameras. This includes the same camera technology that you can find inside of the Ring doorbell. There are also floodlight and spotlight cams (with built-in lights), and a stick up cam, so that you can have extra outdoor security sent straight to your smartphone.
Then there’s the Ring alarm system. The core of the system is the Ring alarm base station that can then be attached to a variety of other sensors that you can place on doors, windows, and throughout your home.
Ring also has a growing selection of smart lighting options, including everything from indoor lights to pathlights and floodlights.
A Summary of Some of Ring’s Products Electric Usage
Before we dive into more detail below, below is a quick summary of the expected electric usage for some of Ring’s products:
|Ring Product||Typical Electric Use|
|Ring Doorbell Wired/Pro/Pro 2||1.2 watts (standby)|
<10 watts (recording)
|Ring Floodlight Cam||24 watts (recording and lights on)|
|Ring Stick-up Cam||<5 watts (recording)|
|Ring Indoor-Cam||<1 watt (standby)|
<5 watts (recording)
|Ring Alarm Base Station||12 watts (base usage)|
25 watts (when many sensors are added)
|Ring smart light bulbs||5-10 watts (depending on brightness)|
|Ring Floodlight (the light, not the camera)||20-25 watts (maximum)|
As you can see, the energy usage is quite low for many of Ring’s products. Their wired-in devices are often designed with low-energy use in mind, thankfully.
Of course, some Ring devices use batteries instead so you will need to factor in the eventual cost of replacing or recharging these batteries. But in general, many Ring battery devices only need recharging once every 6-12 months (such as the Ring Doorbell models) – or new batteries ever 1-3 years (such as the Ring Alarm sensors). In other words, the battery based Ring devices have very low energy usage too.
What “Electric Usage” Actually Means
There are a lot of misconceptions around what electricity usage actually means when it comes to smart home technology. This is because there are a lot of different ways of measuring electric currents and each one is very important, but for different tasks.
Most people think of electric usage when it comes to their energy bills. We’re not really thinking of electricity usage as the total load on a circuit in our homes unless we’re really pushing what our circuit breakers can handle.
Let’s sift through some of this information to get to the important parts that are going to the fact that you were energy costs.
Watts, Volts, and Amps—Oh My!
A lot of people get shocked when they realize that there are several different types of measurements for the power and usage of electricity. Let’s break down amps, volts, and watts to make sure that we’re all charged up for the next step in this high-energy smart tech discussion.
- Let’s start talking about amps. You can think about amps as a measurement for the volume of electricity that’s being moved through a current. The higher the amperage, the more electric energy is being moved through a particular circuit.
- This is a bit of an oversimplification, but volts represent the speed that the electricity moves through the circuit. The higher the volts, the faster you can think of the electricity moving through the circuit.
- Wattage simply represents a calculation that combines volts and amps. This gives us a sense of the total amount of electric usage going through a particular device. The formula is Amps * Volts = Watts.
Watts is the measurement we need in order to calculate the impact any given piece of tech has on your monthly energy bill.
Ring Technology and Your Electric Bill
Now that we have started to unpack what electric usage even means, we need to talk about what this means for your electricity bill.
The voltage and amps of your Ring devices is important to make sure that you don’t overload your home’s circuit breaker. However, the watts are the important measurement when it comes to what winds up on your electricity bill.
We’re going to go over how you can calculate your electricity cost for each Ring device in your home. It’s a simple series of easy calculations that uses nothing more complicated than basic multiplication and division. Oh yeah, and you get to use a calculator in this math exam!
How to Calculate the Kilowatt Hour Cost of Ring Devices
One of the sneaky advantages electricity companies have over consumers is that most people don’t know how to calculate the kilowatt hour cost of appliances. Every device in your home that plugs into an outlet to get some electricity has a kilowatt hour cost associated with it. Calculating this cost is surprisingly easy and you can do it with just some basic high school math.
Let’s walk through this calculation step by step. By the end of this quick tutorial, you’ll be able to quote electricity costs of every smart device and your house on the fly.
Calculating these costs is a three step process. Step one is to convert the wattage listed on your device to kilowatts. Next we’re going to determine how many hours per month that device gets used for. The last step is to calculate the cost of powering that device.
- Step 1: Convert the Ring device’s watts to kilowatts by dividing the device’s wattage by 1,000. Example: 60 watts / 1000 = .06 kilowatts.
- Step 2: Multiply the number of hours your device is used each week by 4 to get the total number of hours your device operates each month. Example: 10 hours per week * 4 = 40 hours per month.
- Step 3: Multiply the result you got in step 1 by the result you got from step 2. Example: .06 kilowatts * 40 usage hours = 2.4 kWh.
- Step 4: Take the result from step 3 and multiply that by the per kilowatt hour cost that your energy company charges. This gives you a rough estimate of how much you spend on any given device in one month. Example: At an $0.09 electricity rate * 2.4kWh = 0.22 or 22 cents per month.
In practice, most of your Ring devices are going to look similar to that in terms of per month electricity usage and cost. The biggest variance here will be with what your utility company charges for electricity.
Another important factor to consider is that you’re likely running more than just a single Ring device. You probably got several Ring lights, some outdoor Ring lighting, the Ring doorbell, and the Ring security system base station. Each of these devices is going to have a small electric cost, but together this cost can start to get noticeable.
Typical Electric Use for Ring’s Doorbells
The Ring doorbell range is one of the more energy-hungry devices that Ring makes. The only thing that draws in more power than these devices are the Ring alarm base station and the Ring Floodlight Cam. However, you’ll be pleased to know that the Ring doorbell doesn’t actually use that much electricity.
Most of the time, your Ring doorbell isn’t doing all that much. It’s just waiting to sense a motion alert activity. It consumes very little electricity in this state.
Electricity usage of your Ring doorbell picks up when it starts recording especially during the night. Ring doesn’t list an official wattage for their doorbells outside of the 1.2 watts used in standby mode, but some sources claim that the usage during recording is still less than 10 watts overall.
Side Note: The exact energy usage will vary depending on how the doorbell has been wired up, though. If the Ring Doorbell rings an existing doorbell chime unit, it will use more than without a chime unit. Equally using the Ring Pro Power Kit will use less energy than a resistor.
That’s pretty low and your Ring doorbell will be spending most of its time in standby while it waits for an event to trigger a motion alert or a guest to arrive.
The Electric Usage of Ring’s Cameras
The wattage of Ring cameras varies greatly from device to device. A quick shorthand for this is the larger the Ring camera, the higher the wattage.
The Ring floodlight camera is rated at 24 watts. This makes it one of the most power-hungry devices that Ring makes. If a rating of 24 watts is already placed near the top, we can safely say that plenty of Ring’s devices aren’t going to be putting much of a dent in your electricity bill.
The Ring stick up camera use is somewhere between 2 and 4.5 watts depending on what recording mode it’s using. Like other Ring devices, it has to use more watts when it’s trying to record during night.
Tracking the Ring Indoor Cam’s Power Usage
The energy use of the Ring Indoor Cam is similar to that of the Ring Stick-Up Cam (they’re very similar devices, after all) – between 0.5 and 5 watts of power use.
To prove this, I plugged one of my indoor cams into my Kasa energy-monitoring smart plug:
I then launched my Kasa app and checked the energy usage. In standby mode (i.e. when the Indoor Cam is not recording), it uses less than 1 watt of energy:
When it was recording, it then went up to around 2-3 watts:
Of course, the power usage does jump around a bit – even when it’s recording:
This is expected, because a device won’t tend to use a constant amount of power. Nonetheless, it’s quite clear that Ring’s cameras and doorbells are fairly low power. They won’t cost you much at all in electricity to run.
Expected Ring Alarm System Power Usage
The Ring alarm base station is one of the interesting case studies when it comes to the electricity cost of using Ring smart home technology. Users have actually measured the power usage of the Ring alarm base station and get figures somewhere between 12.4 watts and 24 watts. This is incredibly reasonable and shouldn’t put too much of a strain on your energy bill on its own.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the sensors that go with the alarm base station run on their own batteries. They won’t be directly putting strain on your energy costs, but you’ll still need to pay to replace batteries every now and then which is a related, but distinct, cost.
How Much Electricity The Ring Smart Lighting Range Uses
Ring smart lighting uses LED technology which means it costs next to nothing on your energy bill. Ring has a new line of smart light bulbs out and those are estimated to cost around $1.04 for every year they operate – due to their sub-10 watts of energy usage.
Naturally the Ring floodlight (the light, not the camera) uses more energy, but even this is rated around 20-25 watts maximum.
Switching over to Ring smart lighting might actually decrease your energy bill if you’re still running incandescent lighting that has a much higher energy cost.
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4 thoughts on “Do Ring’s Smart Home Products Use a Lot of Electricity?”
Ring doorbells power usage varies depending on if the actual ringing door bell is an existing or added external mechanical or electronic doorbell powered by the Ring power circuit or a Ring doorbell, which is just triggered by the ring circuit and uses the house wall circuit. While in net the difference may be small, the power required for the Ring doorbell from the Ring transformer or Power Adapter will be significantly less if the current is reduced by the electronic power kit rather than using a resistor.
Great point, thanks Henry. That’s very true – the more the wiring setup demands (i.e. if a chime unit is part of it), the more energy will be used. I have added a note to clarify that – thanks.
I bought a ring indoor/outdoor battery stick up camera along with 1.9w solar panel as a package. I’m concerned that the solar panel won’t produce enough power to keep the stick up battery charged. In your opinion, should I consider the larger 2.4w or 4w solar panel?
I haven’t tested any <2W solar panels myself, but I have heard that they struggle to keep a Ring camera fully charged up throughout the day and night. You could, of course, just try it out for a few days - but my hunch is that unless you get a lot of direct sunlight, a 1.9W panel might not be powerful enough sorry.