Can you use rechargeable or Li-Ion batteries in your Blink Cam? No, you shouldn’t. It’s incompatible and it could damage your camera’s ability to hold a charge or take in power from a battery in the long-term. However, technically it works but at the cost of power drainage and damage.
Preserve your batteries inside the Blink Cam or Video Doorbell by removing them from the unit and storing them elsewhere. The charge of such batteries get sapped even when the devices they’re inside of aren’t turned on (like in the case of laptop that’s not plugged in but turned off).
With that in mind, I’ve always wondered myself, can I use rechargeable batteries in a Blink camera? Blink has a USB port that allows for wired power to flow through. Can it charge rechargeable batteries through this route?
Can I Use Rechargeable Batteries in Blink Camera?
No. Don’t think that just because there’s a USB port that allows you to plug your battery-powered Blink Cam to the nearest socket that you can do a “Life Hack” on it and put in Li-Ion (Lithium-Ion) rechargeable batteries and have the recharge that way. It doesn’t work that way.
Use only Lithium AA 1.5 volt batteries for your Blink Cam unless otherwise specified. You can also get a battery pack that works as an adapter, turning the current of a Li-Ion battery into something Lithium-AA-like, thus allowing you to recharge. But that will cost you extra!
Blink’s Battery Port Can’t Recharge Your Li-Ion Battery
Alternatively, if you insist on using rechargeable batteries with your Blink Cam, you have to get a separate charger for them because the battery compartment of the Blink Cam isn’t capable of recharging rechargeable batteries.
Your cam that uses non-rechargeable batteries won’t suddenly turn into a laptop-like or smartphone-like device when you put in rechargeable batteries inside it then plug it in using the USB cable.
What Kind of Batteries Do Blink Cameras Use?
Blink Cams use non-rechargeable Lithium AA 1.5 volt batteries. If you insist, you can also use rechargeable Li-Ion batteries or Alkaline batteries you can buy at the store, but it comes at the cost of immediate power drainage that hampers Blink Cam operation.
Those batteries won’t last for two years like Lithium AAs because they’re incompatible with the system and alkaline batteries tend to drain in mere weeks or even a whole day of heavy usage.
Are There Possible Exceptions to the Lithium AA Rule?
Some Amazon sellers claim that their Li-Ion batteries can power up a Blink Cam but with the caveat that you have to recharge them on a separate port or charging station since Blink doesn’t have a rechargeable battery compartment.
Others offer a third-party battery pack with Li-Ion batteries inside of it in order to convert your Blink Camera into something that does recharge. These packs have their own separate USB port where you can put in a USB cable and plug for recharging purposes.
Such packs might not be compatible with Blink Cams across the board such as XT and XT2. What Blink itself recommends is to stick with the Lithium AA. Use Li-Ion batteries at your own risk.
Things That Can Hurt Battery Life
The battery lifespan and the ability of your battery-powered Blink Cam to operate in battery mode can be affected by the following.
- Slow Internet: If your Internet speed is slow, it saps your battery power faster.
- Extreme Temperatures: If it’s extremely hot or cold, the battery performance of your Blink can be affected.
- Weak Signal: If your Wi-Fi connection has a weak signal, it can drain batteries like slow Internet.
- Incompatible Batteries: Please use only Lithium AA. Li-Ion, Ni-MH, Ni-Cd, or Alkaline batteries tend to drain faster or lack sufficient current for the cameras to work properly.
- Rechargeable Batteries: Use rechargeable batteries at your own risk. Lithium AA batteries with 1.5 volts of power work best. Otherwise, use a third-party battery pack or get Li-Ion batteries with a separate charging port.
Expected Battery Life for Blink Cams
Lithium AA batteries can provide 2 years of power for Blink Cam models like the XT2, Video Doorbell, and Indoor and Outdoor Cam (Generation 2). This means 4,788 seconds of Live View with two-way talk, 5,882 seconds of just Live View, and 43,200 seconds of motion-triggered recordings.
In other words, they work for 70 seconds daily unless your motion-triggered recording happens quite often (so your cam can drain the battery as fast as 98 to 720 minutes or half a day).
For XT and Indoor (Generation 1) Blink Cameras, the 2 years of operation instead involve 40,000 seconds of non-stop operation divided into 50 seconds a day. The batteries won’t drain that fast because Blink cuts of recording in short bursts and has no 24/7 surveillance service as of 2021.
Installing a USB Power Cable to a Blink Cam
You can supplement the power of a battery-powered Blink Cam with a USB power cable plugged into a wall socket. When plugging such a cable, make sure it reaches your camera without stretching. Otherwise, also invest in an extension cord for the wall plug.
Also check if the adapter plug and camera case have no debris, dirt, oil, or liquids on them. Now insert the micro USB end to the device to the port. Expect a little resistance when doing so because of the case’s form-fitting silicone.
Now plug the USB end to an appropriate USB power plug before plugging that into your electrical outlet. You’re now done.
The Deceptive “OK” on a USB-Plugged Blink Camera
Let’s say the power goes out and your plugged-in cam goes into battery mode. When the power goes back on and it says your battery power level is “OK”, it might not be. It might instead indicate that you’re on USB cable plug mode.
Once you unplug the camera, you should see the real percentage of battery power left. In regards to which battery type you should use, it should be Lithium AA instead of Alkaline or Li-Ion. Why? Using the wrong battery type can hurt battery life.
No, you can’t recharge your rechargeable batteries on battery slots reserved for Lithium AA instead of Lithium-Ion rechargeables. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t recharge your battery on just any slot—you need a special slot that allows for recharging.
If you wish to use rechargeable Li-Ion batteries with your Blink Cam or Doorbell, it’s imperative that you get a battery pack with a special adapter that allows or converts the energy from the Li-Ion into something like Lithium AA.