Let’s talk about the rechargeable batteries used in the Arlo Pro line of security systems from Netgear.
The Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, and the new Arlo Ultra home security camera systems are our recommended choices for a complete and easy to setup smart camera system.
One of the reasons these systems are so useful is because they can operate 100% wire-free – which allows you mount (and move) the cameras with ease.
You can cover any area you need – as long as you have Wifi signal.
But, wire-free also means batteries – lots of batteries.
Let’s look at Arlo Pro battery life, how to use rechargeable batteries for maximum benefit, and what to do when we need replacement batteries.
Here’s the Arlo products we’ll review in this article.
Arlo Pro Battery Life
First of all, people want to know – How long do the Arlo Pro batteries last?
This question is complicated by a few factors.
First of all, the Arlo line of cameras are triggered by motion (Motion Detection) or audio triggers – they only record once triggered.
This means they are pretty efficient – they aren’t constantly recording (and having to send that video to “the cloud”).
Secondly, the Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, and Arlo Ultra line use high capacity Li-ion batteries.
This is a pretty advanced battery technology – just like that used in the most powerful smartphones and laptop computers.
But what does all this mean for Arlo battery life?
First of all, the battery life is going to depend on how often the cameras are activated, and how often they are used to view live video.
A camera in a high activity zone may have shorter battery life compared to one that is triggered less often.
For example, if your Arlo camera is mounted with a view of the road, every passing car may activate the motion detection. Depending on traffic, you may only get 2 weeks from a full battery charge, or less.
Secondly, temperature can impact Li-ion battery performance greatly. The colder it is, the quicker the charge will drop.
Therefore the battery life you see will vary.
However, thanks to those high capacity advanced Li-ion batteries a typical camera battery life is measured in weeks or even months!
And that’s pretty good – especially considering the amazing things these cameras can do.
How to maximize Arlo Pro battery life
So – how can we maximize the life in our Arlo Pro cameras?
Firstly, place the camera such that it has the greatest probability of detecting the appropriate motion – you don’t want cameras that trigger every time the wind blows, for example.
There are also configurable battery life modes in the camera settings.
There are three different Power Management settings.
The Best Video setting will provide the best video resolution, but may drain more battery.
Optimized is a balance between video quality and battery life. This is the default setting.
Finally Best Battery Life will ensure the longest time between needing to change batteries, but will probably result in lower quality video.
Arlo Rechargeable Batteries
The Arlo Pro (and Arlo Pro 2) line of cameras use Li-ion batteries. These are a proprietary battery design.
The original Arlo cameras use CR123A batteries – which is a standard form factor of battery.
You can get these batteries from a variety of sources.
So, if you need rechargeable batteries for an Arlo system (NOT the Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2), you need the CR123A style of battery.
For Arlo users, we recommend the Keenstone Rechargeable RCR123A Battery with 8 Slot Charger kit (Buy on Amazon).
The “R” in the name indicates these are rechargeable.
This pack comes with 8 rechargeable batteries that are in CR123A form factor – but it also includes an 8 slot charger.
This is great, because the Arlo cameras require 4 batteries each. This means you can charge 2 camera’s worth of batteries at a single time.
Is this item expensive? Yes – but these are rechargeable batteries – you’ll use them over and over again.
By the way, the fact that the Arlo Pro line uses one big, long lasting battery is what we like about that line. I’d rather not deal with the hassle of multiple batteries per camera.
Arlo Pro Rechargeable Batteries
Let’s look at Arlo Pro replacement batteries.
Why would you need replacement batteries?
First of all, the Li-ion batteries used in the Arlo Pro line will wear out eventually – so you may need replacements.
Over time, their ability to hold a charge will degrade – and they will eventually have to be replaced.
Secondly, having an extra set of batteries allows you to recharge spare batteries and keep your cameras running.
The Arlo Pro take a proprietary battery size and shape. So, your best option for an Arlo Pro replacement battery is the Rechargeable Battery VMA4400 (Buy on Amazon) direct from Arlo (Netgear).
Both the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 cameras use the same battery model.
There are no aftermarket battery options for the Arlo at this time.
And, if you want to avoid camera downtime – keep a spare battery on hand.
That way you can swap batteries quickly.
You can charge batteries using the “wall wart” charger and micro-USB cable included with your Arlo Pro system.
But a fast charging station will let you charge multiple batteries quickly.
We recommend the Arlo Charging Station (Buy on Amazon).
This unit will let you charge two batteries at once.
And, it uses fast charging technology to give you up to 4x faster charging as compared to charging using the micro-USB cable.
How to avoid charging Arlo batteries all together
Tired of recharging batteries? Here’s two alternatives.
First of all, did you know that there are solar charging panels (Buy on Amazon) for your Arlo smart security cameras?
These handy devices act like a trickle charger – they’ll ensure the battery stays topped off with just a few hours of direct sunlight per day.
These are a great option when your cameras are mounted outdoors, and near the roofline or otherwise high up off the ground.
Secondly you can use accessories such as the Weatherproof 25ft/7.6m Arlo Cable (Buy on Amazon) and the Wasserstein Quick USB charger (Buy on Amazon) to effectively “hard wire” your camera to a power source.
How does this work? Simply plug in the quick charger into a electrical outlet, and attach the Wasserstein cable.
Of course this assumes you have an electrical outlet within close reach.
Batteries for Arlo Ultra
The new Arlo Ultra line of cameras are amazing.
They’ve taken everything you love about the Arlo cameras – easy wire-free installation and excellent picture qualit – and made them even better.
The Arlo Ultra have beautiful 4K Ultra High Def video and a nightime security flood light built right in!
Of course, powering this advanced tech takes more electricity.
This requires a new battery that is NOT compatible with the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2.
So, if you are looking for a spare battery for the Arlo Ultra camera – be sure to get the Arlo Ultra Rechargeable Battery (VMA5400) (Buy on Amazon).
This high-powered battery is made specifically for the Arlo Ultra camera line.
This also means you’ll need a different sort of fast charger.
The Arlo Ultra Dual Battery Charger (Buy on Amazon) is what you need for rapidly recharging up to two Arlo Ultra batteries at a time.
We always recommend you have a spare battery available – and you use a fast charger.
And while Li-Ion batteries will last for hundreds of charge cycles – they will wear out eventually.
Don’t risk a gap in video coverage, be sure to have a spare battery on hand.
The 100% wire-free mode of the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 systems are the secret to their flexibility and ease of setup.
But, it also means batteries – lots of batteries.
With the right accessories and rechargeable batteries you can minimize this chore.
Last update on 2019-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API