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Save battery for Nest cameras and doorbells

The Google Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Doorbell (battery) have built-in, rechargeable batteries that are made for long-lasting performance. But the battery life you get depends on several things, like how much activity is recorded and your settings in the app.

If your Nest camera or doorbell needs to be charged more often than you’d like, here are a few things you can try.

This article is only applies to the following devices:

Nest Doorbell (battery)

Nest Cam (battery)

Expected battery life 

Battery life will depend on factors including activity, temperature, and camera settings that you select. You can extend the battery life of your camera by adjusting video quality, length of video clips, time between recorded events, and using activity zones to monitor specific areas. Here are some typical scenarios. 

Nest Doorbell (battery)

  • Busy - About 1 month battery life (about 25 - 30 recorded events per day)
  • Typical - About 2.5 months battery life (about 13 - 16 recorded events per day)
  • Quiet - About 6 months battery life (about 2 - 5 recorded events per day)

Nest Cam (battery)

  • Busy - About 1.5 months battery life (about 20 - 25 recorded events per day)
  • Typical - About 3 months battery life (about 9 - 12 recorded events per day)
  • Quiet - About 7 months battery life (about 2 - 4 recorded events per day)

Battery charge time

Battery charge time depends on several factors, including ambient temperature and the state and condition of the battery.

Nest Doorbell (battery)

Typical: It takes approximately five hours to fully charge the battery using a compatible 7.5W AC adapter (sold separately).

Nest Cam (battery)

Typical: It takes approximately five hours to fully charge the battery using the provided 7.5W AC adapter and charge cable.

Battery life estimation

Google Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Doorbell (battery) will show you an estimated battery life in the app approximately 48 hrs after each time they’re charged. As your camera or doorbell learns over time, its battery life estimate will adapt to conditions to improve accuracy. So if there’s a lot of recorded activity at the beginning, the estimation will be relatively low. But if the activity drops off after, the battery life estimation will increase.

Change settings to save battery

Lower the battery usage

When you lower the battery usage, your camera or doorbell will adjust video recording settings to do the following:

  • Optimize its video quality.
  • Shorten the length of time for which events are recorded.
  • Take longer to begin recording between events.

Here’s how to lower the battery usage:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings   Battery.
  4. Tap the switch next to More battery life to help improve your camera’s battery life.

Use the battery saver

When the automatic battery saver is enabled, your camera or doorbell will automatically adjust its features to help conserve battery.

Here’s how to turn on the battery saver:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap  Settings   Battery.
  4. Tap the switch next to Automatic battery saver.

What happens when battery saver mode is on

Nest Cam (battery)

If you have a Nest Cam (battery), it will automatically adjust its settings and features when it has about 7 days of battery life left (or about 20% of its remaining battery life). Here’s what you can expect:

  • The video quality is optimized to help improve the battery life.
  • Your camera will only detect and record people events. Other video events like familiar faces, vehicles, and packages will not be recorded.
  • Emergency events will still be recorded at the default 3-minute clip length. Otherwise, person event clips can be a maximum of 10 seconds long.
  • After an event is detected, your camera will take longer to decide when to begin recording again if the activity is still occurring.

Nest Doorbell (battery)

If you have a Nest Doorbell (battery), it will automatically adjust its settings and features when it has about 7 days of battery life left (or about 20% of its remaining battery life). Here’s what you can expect:

  • The video quality is optimized to help improve the battery life.
  • Video events like people, vehicles, animals,and packages will not be recorded.
  • When someone presses the doorbell button, your doorbell will record video for about 20 seconds following the button press.
  • Emergency events will still be recorded at the default 3-minute clip length.
  • Your doorbell will turn off its wake up sensitivity for a few hours. This means that it will only wake up if you turn it on in the app or if someone presses the doorbell button.

When your doorbell has about 24 hours of battery left, it will automatically switch to doorbell only mode. It will only send notifications when someone presses the doorbell button. Other features will be turned off to conserve battery.

Change the video quality

Adjust the video quality in settings to balance high resolution video with longer battery life and lower bandwidth use.

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings   Video.
  4. Under “Video quality,” tap High.

Adjust how much activity your camera records

Turn off seen events

Motion events use a lot more battery compared to other events, and are turned off by default. If you turned motion events on in your camera or doorbell’s settings, you can turn them off to conserve battery.

If you have multiple events enabled, try turning off events that aren’t as important to you.

Here’s how to turn off specific video events:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Events.
  4. Select Seen events.
  5. Tap the switch next to any events (for example, Motion) that you want to disable.

Use Activity Zones

You can also create custom Activity Zones to further reduce the amount of activity your camera detects. Use the app to draw an Activity Zone around a part of your camera’s view, then select the event notifications you want to receive for that zone.

Set up and use Activity Zones

Tweak your camera’s angle

Your camera or doorbell uses up battery faster if it detects activity in high traffic areas (for example, a busy street or sidewalk). Adjust your camera’s angle so that areas with a lot of unwanted activity are out of view of the live stream.

Shorten the maximum event length

The maximum event length defines how long your camera or doorbell will record each individual event. Making the event length shorter will reduce battery usage.

Here’s how to shorten the maximum event length:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Video.
  4. Tap Maximum event length and choose a shorter event length.

Change the wake-up sensitivity

You can adjust the wake-up sensitivity of your camera or doorbell so that it uses less battery to decide when to wake up and start recording.

Keep in mind that lowering the wake-up sensitivity does the following:

  • It decreases the range at which the camera or doorbell can sense activity.
  • It increases the amount of time it takes for the camera or doorbell to wake up once it senses activity.

Here’s how to lower the wake-up sensitivity in your camera or doorbell’s settings:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Video Wake-up sensitivity.
  4. Choose the Low setting.

Protect your camera from extremely cold temperatures

When the weather is extremely cold, your camera or doorbell might need more power to run properly.

If you live somewhere with extremely cold weather, your camera or doorbell might get a low battery more often than you expect. You might also notice that your camera or doorbell uses up its battery faster during the colder winter months.

If your camera is outdoors, try to move it someplace like under an eave so that it’s better protected from cold temperatures.

Otherwise, you might want to connect your camera or doorbell to a power source so that it stays charged.

Connect your camera or doorbell to a power source

If you don’t want to worry about charging your camera, you can connect it to an indoor power outlet using the included USB cable.

If you have a doorbell, you can install it using the doorbell system wires for your home, or use an indoor power adapter.

Important: To help prolong the life of your doorbell's battery, it will only charge to 75% if the doorbell is wired to the doorbell system. Before you install your doorbell, you can use the USB cable to charge the battery above 75%. However, after the doorbell is wired to the system, the battery will drop down to 75% and stay at that level or below.

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