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Uninterruptible Power Supplies: Keeping your Security Camera System Working During a Power Failure

When the power in your house or business goes out, there is no reason that your security camera system should also go down. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can keep your security DVR and cameras running during short-term power outages or brownouts, which are short-term drops in voltage. For long-term power outages, consider combining a UPS with a backup generator.


What Happens to my Security Camera System when Power goes out?

Without a battery backup, your security camera system will shut off when the power goes out. You will not lose any settings saved on the system or video recorded to the hard drive before the power outage began, but your security DVR or recording device will not be able to record video from your security cameras during the power outage. This means you will not be able to remotely connect to your system, and you might miss key events. When power is restored, your system will turn back on and resume recording.


Will I Still be able to Remotely Connect to my System After Power is Restored?

After power is restored, you may not be able to connect to your Lorex system over the Internet. This is because the IP address of your Lorex system may have been changed when your router reset. It is highly recommended to assign a fixed IP address to prevent this from occuring, which will ensure that the IP address of your system will never change. See Assigning a Fixed IP address to your DVR for more details.


What is an Uninterruptible Power Supply or Battery Backup?

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is essentially a surge protector with a built-in backup battery for your DVR and security cameras. It can power several devices and protects your equipment from power line surges. When the power goes out, the backup battery kicks in to keep your equipment powered until power is resumed or the battery is drained. When power returns, the UPS recharges the backup battery.

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An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) has a built-in battery that charges when it is connected to a power outlet. When the power to your home or business stops, the backup battery supplies power to the devices connected to it.

The duration of backup power varies between models.


What Devices Should I Connect to Battery Backup?

Connecting your security DVR and security cameras to battery backup will allow it to keep running during short-term (less than an hour) power outages. The power supplies for your security DVR and security cameras must be connected to the UPS to maintain recording. If you use wireless cameras, make sure to also connect the wireless receivers to the UPS.

It is highly recommended to also connect your router and Internet modem to the UPS, to ensure that you can remotely access your system. Please note that this will decrease the amount of time your system may run on backup power.

The amount of time that a UPS will keep your security camera system working depends on the model of the UPS, the number of devices connected, and the power draw of those devices.

TIP: Many UPS devices feature outlets that do not draw power from the backup battery. You should plug non-essential devices, such as your security monitor, into these outlets to increase the amount of available backup time, while making sure that these devices are protected from electrical surges.


Ideal UPS configuration



What can I do if my Area has Frequent Long-Term Blackouts?

If you need your security camera system to operate during long-term power outages, you may also need to purchase a backup generator to provide power beyond the limits of your UPS's battery backup. Backup generators use gasoline or other fuel sources to generate electrical power and can generate emergency power for hours or even days, provided enough fuel is available. However, backup generators usually take a few minutes to start up before power can be supplied to your equipment. A UPS ensures that your security camera system will remain running, uninterrupted, during the time between when the power goes out and your generator kicks in.


Last Updated: 12/17/2012