Using Wyze Cam 2 Outdoors After Almost a YearBy - 03/14/2019
In June of this past year, I purchased a cute, little case (Amazon Link) to protect my Wyze Cam 2. I placed it on the porch, and I left it.
Wyze Cam Indoor is an Indoor Camera
When we visited with Wyze Cam at CES 2019, they were clear in their plans to release an outdoor Wyze Cam. Until that happens, the only option is the indoor Wyze Cam. I remind you of this because the camera is not rated for outdoor use. If you use it outside, you run the risk of ruining the camera. Of course, it is a $20 camera, so while ruining it might hurt a little, it won’t hurt a lot.
The second thing to consider is that Wyze Cam Indoor requires power. I chose to plug my camera in on my porch which provides natural protection from the elements. You will need a weatherproof outlet cover. The casing I used and linked to above does provide a natural cover for the camera’s microUSB port. However, depending on your situation and the environment you live in, you might need to be slightly more creative. Also, you will want to test your Wi-Fi range to make sure the camera has a strong connection. Without an internet connection, Wyze Cam can record motion events to its SD card, but you will be without push alerts and cloud storage.
My Test Results
I live Nashville, a city which encompasses four seasons: freezing, humid, rainy, and tolerable. Of course, it’s not going to get as cold as Minnesota or as hot as the Keys, but over the past year, Wyze Cam experienced a range of temperatures from 99° on the Fourth of July to 16° in January. The camera remained outdoors through it all, and it’s still working. There is no moisture under the lens nor did I ever find any under the housing during the more humid months. I also don’t see any corrosion; even the microSD card I inserted before testing appears to be in tip-top shape.
The only problem I had with running the camera outdoors is that Wyze Cam 2 lacks a way to reduce notifications. You can add one motion zone for the camera to concentrate on, but even then, the tree in my yard and the bushes triggered a tremendous number of notifications to my phone. Though I intended to leave notifications on, I ended up turning them off after just two weeks. In the screenshot below, you can see that the camera captured five events between the hours of 5 am and 9 am. Of the events, three were cars and two were trees.
In addition to announcing an outdoor camera at CES 2019, Wyze Cam announced that they plan to launch person detection. This feature will help to reduce the number of false positives the camera captures, making it a more effective outdoor camera.
Extreme Test Results
I will take this moment to remind you that I kept Wyze Cam confined to my porch. As this didn’t seem like an extreme test, I removed the camera from the safety of the porch and exposed it to the elements. For two weeks, I left it completely exposed to the freezing rain. And rain it did. During the two weeks of ‘extreme testing,’ Wyze Cam endured 7.73″ of rain (according to NashvilleWeather.net) with temperatures ranging from 24° to 72°. It survived.
My friend Josh has kept his camera under the eave of his home, which is slightly more exposed, for the past two years. I spoke with him about this setup last year and things were going swimmingly, but I decided to check in with him again. In his words,
“Yeah doing amazingly. Going on two years, I think. Snow, ice, cold, rain, and even hurricane. Still going strong.”
It might be a ‘wise’ idea to wait until Wyze launches their outdoor camera. Though they’ve done a fantastic job of delivering cameras and features that work, we don’t know anything about the outdoor camera, its performance, or pricing. Until an outdoor camera is a reality, I’m giving the use of Wyze Cam Indoor as an outdoor camera a thumbs up.