IP Camera PoE Power Consumption Measurements

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Sep 03, 2013

How much power an IP camera consumes is quite important, especially since most PoE switches do not support max power to each camera. Unfortunately, PoE Power Problems are commonplace. However, this can be overcome by measuring power usage.

In this post, we:

  • ******* ***** *********** **** ** ********* ** ******* ********* ********* from ****, *******, ****, ********, *****, *****,*********, *********, *****, **** *** *******.
  • ******* ***** ******** ** **** *** ************ *********.
  • ******** ***** *********** *** ********** ** ******* **** ** ************ on ** ***.
  • ******* ****** ** *** **** ** ******* *** ***** ***********.
  • ***** *********** ***** ** ******* ***** ***********.

Power ***** *************

***** ******* ******** *** ***** ***** (****** ~$*** ***), ** ******** ***** *********** **** ********* ** ******* ** a ****** ** *-* ******* *** ****. ** ********* ** our *** ********, ** ** ********* ** **** ~** ******* before ********* * *******. ** ******* **** **** ** **, and **** ****** ** *** ****/** *** ** *** ** do **. ** **** *****, ** ****** *** ******** *** functions ** *** **** ******** ***** ***** *** *********** *** use.

Power *********** ********

**** *** *** *** ******** **** **** ****.

  • ****** *** ***** *********** *** ********* ************* ***** **** ********* by *** ************.
  • **** ********** ******, **** ** ***** * ***** ***** ** the **** ** ****** **** ******* ** ****** ***** **** shaking *** ****** *** ******* **** ******** ** *** *** increase ***** ***********.
  • ******* (********** ***** **** ***** ** ** ** *******) **** at * ****** *******, *** ***** ~** *******, **** ****** at ******* ******. ** **** ***** **** ********** ** *****, 1-2W, ****** ** **** *****, **** ** ******************* *****, *** ** **** ** **.
  • ** *** ~** ******* ** ******, *** **** ***-***** *** the ****** *** ***********, ***** **************-*********-* *** *** *******.
  • ** ******* ******, **** *** ******* ******* **** **** ****, though ** **** ****** (~*.**).
  • ************* **** *********** ** ******* ****** ***** ***** *********** ** the ******* ******, *** *** *** ******* * **** **** IR *** ** ** **.
  • ***** **** ** ***** ** ** ************ ****** **** ****** to ******, ** *** **** ********* **********, *****, *** ****** of ***. *******, ** ******* ******** ** ~** *** ******, with * ******* ** ** **** ** *** ******** ** bullet (**** *** ******* *****).

*** ***** *********** ******* *** *** ****** ******* ********* ** straightforward. **** ************* ******* *********** ** *****, *** *******. *** camera, *** ******** *.**-**-***, ***** ** ******* *********** *** * heater ******* ****, ******** ***** ** * *******'* ********* * *** ******** *** **. *******, **** ************* ********** state *********** ** ***, ***** ****** ** ***.

Boot **. ***** *******

**** ******* ***** *********** ** *** ******** **-*********-* ** ****:

*** *****, ***** ******** ** *** ******* *******:

PoE ***** **********

**** ***** ******** *** ******* ** ************ *****. ** ******** manufacturers ***** **** ***'* ********* **** *** ********. ******* ****** are ******** **** ****** ** ******************** ***********:

**** ***** ******** *** ******* ** ** *******, *** *** wattage ********** ******* ** ** ** ***, *** *** ******** by****************'****** ***********:

Byte ******** ***** ***** **********

***** **** *** **** ******** ***** *****, ******* ******* *** PoE ******* *** *********, **** **:

Comments (21)

Ask, and ye shall receive!

Good and interesting article. PoE power is something I think many of us (wisely) fret about- making sure we have enough. Very interesting that real usage comes so far under spec's for many manufcaturers. A rare case of under promising and over delivering versus the other way around.

I suspect it's one of those things that manufacturers have little pressure to skew (compare to lux ratings, db ratings, etc.) as power consumption is not as often a deal breaker in specs. Also, it's fairly straightforward to measure (again compared to other major specs).

Someone fill me in on how the lower end / unmanged switches deal with this. All my net equipment is mid to high end, all managed. They work off a power budget concept so in the end (for me, w/ default configs) it matters more about what power class the camera states it needs not about what it is really using. So even if a camera were to only use ~4 watts but was "registered" class 2 it still allocates 7 watts from the power budget. Once the budget is gone.. no more power to future devices that might need (exact behavor can be vary by config. For the sake of discussion my comments are based on some Cisco defaults.).

So my question is, how do the lower end switches handle this? Juice it up till it runs over the capacity of the power supply and starts doing funny stuff? From some people's comments that's what it sounds like. Of course I'm sure this varies with make/model.

So my question is, how do the lower end switches handle this? Juice it up till it runs over the capacity of the power supply and starts doing funny stuff?

That's exactly what they do. At best, it simply won't power up the next one. At worst, you'll get intermittant outages. It tends to not stick to one port, either. It could drop the camera on port 1, then that one will come back up and port 4 will drop, then that one will come back up, etc. etc. until you're going insane.

That's where the Power Panel comes in handy. On a managed switch, you could check the management interface for consumption to diagnose these things.

Good point on the power classes, also. One of the things I was expecting for while Derek was doing the test was for at least one camera to register a higher class and then drop, essentially "wasting" power. But none of them did.

I am installing several IP cameras. The manufacturers specs read... "Class 3 PoE Switch, 7.2W, 600mA". What does the 600mA refer to? That seems awful high?

Vincent - Without knowing what camera model it is, it is difficult to tell. But it sounds like the camera can be either PoE or externally 12VDC powered. 7.2W / 600mA = 12V.

An inexpensive meter that gives watts, amps, volts and amphours is made called "doc Watson" it is $60. it is aailable from rc electronics.

What was the load on the CPU for these cameras? (resolution, codec, compression, Analytics, events, etc).

Jeffrey, are you asking about how CPU load relates to power consumption?

Most cameras do not display real time CPU load, but we'll add a 'stress' test shaking a camera while having multiple clients connected to it.

I was just wonderingoff the cameras are being tested in a vms environment with streams being pulled and on board motion setup.

I am designing a bunch of solar sites, so loaded power numbers are critical.

Hi Jeffrey, the cameras tested were generally in a lit room, with a still scene. Settings were default, typically 30 FPS H.264.

Derek just tested a few cameras with our stage laser in the dark to create huge amounts of motion, and shook the tripod at the same time, and none of them increased their power consumption. Hope that answers the question!

Forgot to mention that we were viewing streams as this was done. Some were dropping frames, as well, so load was definitely high.

What if you put a 80-90 metre cable run between the switch and camera, with the power meter at the switch?

Any power consumption in the long cable?

Yes indeed. A wire does have resistance, inductance and capacitance based on its length. This is why you can find POE Injectors to put out more source power that what the spec calls for at the PD device.

For example, Phihong.

This means that for long cable runs you should consider the use of cable with 'thicker' wire (ie lower gauge numbers) to help mitigate the IR loss.

This is useful for us solar engineers; thank you!

Why is a power tester such as Byte Bros needed if the NVR software shows power consumption of each camera?

Ok, you're going to have to explain this joke.

Greg dug this discussion up from the grave dated 2013.

You may not need it if the PSE (switch, NVR, etc.) provides you with the power consumption, but you may want these tools to verify that information. Also, the PSE is reporting the power provided at the near end and you may want to check the power delivered at the far end.

If the equipment does not provide this function (unmanaged PoE switch, Injector, etc.) you may also find this helpful.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
GDPR For Access Control Guide on Jul 03, 2018
Electronic access control is common in businesses plus organizations are increasingly considering biometrics for access control. With GDPR coming...
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
Installation Hardware for Video Surveillance - Indoor Fasteners on Jun 22, 2018
As part of our Installation for Video Surveillance series, in this note, we cover drywall anchors. A key part of installing security hardware is...
Hikvision ColorVu Integrated Visible Light Cameras Examined on Jun 22, 2018
When it comes to low light, infrared light has become the defacto standard in surveillance. But IR is limited to monochrome images, making colors...
IFSEC 2018 Final Show Report on Jun 20, 2018
IPVM attended the IFSEC show for the first time this year. The Chinese took over the show, centered on Hikvision, flanked by Dahua, Huawei and a...
Mobotix Releases 'Move' Into 21st Century on Jun 20, 2018
For years, Mobotix stood resolutely against, well, every other manufacturer, selling it as a virtue: MOBOTIX equipment is designed with no...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...

Most Recent Industry Reports

AI Startup Anyvision Raises $28 Million Led By Bosch on Jul 20, 2018
Anyvision is the most ambitious heavy-spending video surveillance startup in many years. And, now, the startup has raised $28 million led by...
Fail: Dahua "Didn't Check The Lux Levels but It Was Dark" on Jul 20, 2018
Dahua UK has been promoting their camera quality on LinkedIn: I, and others, asked what the lux level of the scene was. (background: Lux Rating...
Free 100+ Manufacturer-Customized Camera Calculator Released on Jul 19, 2018
Now, any manufacturer has a customized IPVM Camera Calculator, free. The goal is to make it easier for companies to help their customers better...
Improved Security And Surveillance Bidding - 2018 MasterFormat Divisions Examined) on Jul 19, 2018
Navigating the world of system specifications and bidding work can be complex and confusing, but a standard format exists, and understanding it...
Last Chance - Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 19, 2018
Today is the last day to register. Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact