☀ How to Choose the Best Solar Powered Backup Camera (2019 Update)

How to Choose the Best Solar Powered Backup Camera

Solar Powered Backup Camera

Driving is an essential mode of transportation for many of us. While it is necessary, it comes with great risks. Back-over incidents kill or seriously injure thousands of children and elderly adults every year. A typical rear blind spot can hide objects up to 25 feet away. The best solar powered backup cameras help mitigate some of these risks, are easy to install, and can save a life.

This solar powered parking sensor from TypeS is a great option to add onto any vehicle. The simple license plate mounted sensor makes installation easy, with no wire routing to fuss with. The sensor searches for objects behind your vehicle. When something is detected, visual and audio cues are sent directly to your phone alerting you of their presence.The instant notifications allow hands free use, easing stress while backing up and parking your vehicle. The solar panel will keep the battery topped up, so after an initial charge the sensor will be ready to go whenever you need.

This solar license plate mounted camera hasn’t been released yet, but will provide 1080p video feed directly to your phone through the downloadable app. The maker claims the camera will work five times daily with just two hours of sunlight. The G sensor technology activates the app automatically when going in reverse. It can also be activated by touch with the included QuickLaunch button, or by voice in the app.

This camera is a good budget option and will fit most cars and trucks. It comes with a dedicated video monitor allowing use without a smart phone. After an initial charge the rechargeable camera batteries will be topped up by the sun. As with most solar backup cameras, no wiring or drilling is necessary making installation simple. The camera has three user selected time modes of operation depending on your preferences.

How to Choose a Solar Powered Backup Camera

Most of us drive, which means we have to backup our vehicles multiple times daily. Even while being cautious, objects can seem to come out of nowhere. New cars sold in the USA are now required to include a backup camera. Even so, millions of vehicles on the road do not have one installed. A solar backup camera can be installed on any vehicle and will require no additional wiring. They are a simple solution and provide added safety. Everyone should have a backup camera on their vehicle.

Blind Zones

On all sides of a vehicle there are blind spots the driver can’t see. These blind spots can stretch as far as 15 to 25 feet behind a vehicle, making them extremely dangerous to pedestrians. Shorter individuals driving large SUVs and trucks make this blindspot even larger. Children do not understand the risks of these blind spots and can walk into them as an unsuspecting driver reverses.

Backup Crashes

Backup crashes occur anytime someone backs their vehicle into an object. This type of easily avoidable accident costs drivers thousands of dollars every year. Backing crashes can involve trees, poles, other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. These types of incidents can be avoided almost entirely with the use of a backup camera.

Backovers

A backover accident occurs when a driver reverses their vehicle into a non occupant, killing or severely injuring them. Backover accidents are a preventable tragedy that kill dozens of children and elderly adults every year, with thousands more injured. Between 2002-2006 there were an estimated 292 backover fatalities and 18,000 backover injuries annually. 78% of backover fatalities and 95% of backover injuries are caused by passenger vehicles, with children under 5 and adults over 70 most at risk.

These accidents occur in driveways(where most fatalities occur), residential areas, parking lots(where most injuries occur), and public roadways. About 40% of the time, the victim is related to the driver. The victim usually approaches from the side as the driver begins to reverse, neither having time to see each other or react.

Mandatory Backup Cameras

On February 28, 2008, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 was sign into law. This required the United States Department of Transportation to issue safety regulations regarding backup crashes within 3 years. Although the law stated a deadline of February 2011, the USDOT repeatedly granted itself extensions. In September 2013, the father of Cameron Gulbransen along with a group advocates petitioned the courts, demanding regulations for backup cameras within 90 days. Six months later, on March 31, 2014, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that all automobiles produced in May 2018 and thereafter would be required to have backup cameras installed.

Aftermarket Backup Cameras

Adding an aftermarket solar backup camera is the simplest way to protect yourself from backing crashes. These cameras require no additional wiring and can even be used while driving, unlike models that receive power from the reverse lights. The camera will require an initial charge from an outlet, but once fully charged you never have to worry about it again. A few hours of daily sunlight captured by the solar panels will be enough to keep the camera running. They are mounted directly with your license plate and installation usually takes just a few minutes. The camera and panels are unobtrusive and will look good on any vehicle.

Monitors

You’ll need something to view the video feed the camera is recording. Some models come with dedicated monitors while others can connect directly to your phone eliminating the need for extra wires and gadgets, which can clutter your cockpit. The solar cameras and monitors are completely wireless making them easy to use for everyone. I would choose an option that can connect directly to your phone as they eliminate the need for additional equipment.

Solar Panels

Charging and replacing batteries is time consuming and can be expensive. Solar panels eliminate the need for an external charge source and keep your backup camera charged for when you need it. I prefer backup cameras that have the solar panel at the bottom of the license plate. This allows a large surface which can be angled upwards to capture the most sunlight.

Best Solar Powered Backup Camera Reviews

This parking sensor from TypeS isn’t necessarily a camera, but I believe it is the most effective solution for cars that don’t have an existing camera. Large dedicated screens for cameras can take up space, clutter your cockpit, distract from driving, and obstruct your view. This app based sensor eliminates the need for any extra equipment. The sensor mounts directly onto your license plate in just a few minutes. After an initial charge of the camera, the solar panels will keep the camera ready for use.

The sensor detects hazards behind your vehicle and will send audio and visual warnings to your phone. The app, which easily installs, tells you how far away objects are with instant audio and visual notifications. The sensor is small, doesn’t cover your license plate, and is hardly noticeable on your vehicle. G-Sensor technology automatically shuts the sensor down when you park your vehicle, conserving battery for the next time you need it. This option won’t distract from driving and will still provide in the moment hazard notification.

Pros
  • Instant phone notifications
  • No charging required
  • Easy installation
  • Audio and visual hazard distance cues
  • G sensor technology
Cons
  • Doesn’t actually provide live footage

This camera is preorder only as of now but when released the company promises five camera uses with only two hours of direct sunlight. It will send HD 1080p video directly to your smartphone through the app downloadable on Apple and Android. The camera has G sensor technology that can detect when you backup your vehicle, automatically launching the app on your phone. The camera can also be launched with voice in the app or with the TAP QuickLaunch button, which triggers the camera and app.

The license plate mounted camera is securely held into place with four security screws, helping to prevent theft. The company is offering a 30 day money back guarantee and a one year warranty on product defects. This option is considerably more expensive than the others, but will be a good choice for someone who wants to add a no-fuss HD backup camera onto an older vehicle.

Pros
  • Will offer 1080p video
  • App allows voice activation
  • G sensor technology
Cons
  • Preorder only
  • Expensive

This camera is a good value option for consumers looking for a simple backup camera and screen for their vehicle. It comes with a dedicated monitor so can be good for those without a smartphone already. The camera will stay charged with the included solar panels after an initial charge from an outlet. The unit can be installed upside down and the image flipped if it impedes operation of your trunk handle. While the image quality provided by the camera isn’t superb, it is sufficient to see any obstacles behind your vehicle.

Whistler WBU-900 WIRELESS DIGITAL BACKUP CAMERA

The camera has three time durations of operation to choose from allowing a little bit of customization. The camera has some syncing issues, but it is a common problem with products of this type. The manual buttons can be a little tricky to operate and the unit doesn’t offer voice activation. Regardless of its flaws it is a good budget solar backup camera.

Pros
  • Can be installed upside down
  • Can be installed with only a screwdriver
Cons
  • Dedicated monitor
  • May have syncing issues
  • Fussy buttons

Conclusion

The best solar backup cameras offer a simple solution to a deadly problem. In as little as a few minutes you can install the camera and monitor in your vehicle making backup crashes far less likely. The Type S solar powered backup sensor is like having eyes in the back of your head. It connects directly to your phone, eliminating the need for extra equipment. The solar panel is large, efficient, and has no problem keeping the sensor charged. I like the simplicity of the license plate mount which can be installed on practically any vehicle.

The camera will send your phone automatic alerts, warning you of hazards and allowing you to keep both hands on the wheel. The Type S sensor is waterproof and has a large operational temperature so you don’t have to worry about the elements. Easy, functional, and affordable, the Type S sensor can eliminate unnecessary risks you may be taking everyday by providing you with immediate feedback about hazards behind your vehicle.