Learning how PoE security cameras are powered is necessary when considering security camera systems or using a standalone security camera. All IP security cameras from CCTV Camera World have a RJ45 Ethernet connector for PoE and data, and a separate connector for power when not using PoE. In this article we cover how to use the power connector, with a compatible 12V DC power supply. 

Keep in mind that when using PoE or power over ethernet switches, or injectors you do not need to use the power adapter connector.

Only use one power source at a time

What are common uses for 12V DC power with a PoE security camera?

For most installations we recommend using PoE power where possible, which would consist of either a PoE switch or PoE injector. A 12V DC power adapter is useful for the following situations:

  1. Troubleshooting the camera to determine if it’s still powering on
  2. Manual configuration of a camera using a PC
  3. 12V DC is required to power a WiFi security camera
  4. There is a power outlet near the camera and a power adapter is more cost-effective than purchasing a PoE switch or injector
  5. When using a security camera with SD card as a standalone camera

Using the correct 12V DC Power Supply

Caution: Check your power supply before connecting anything

Understanding power requirements is the most important aspect when powering security cameras. Damage as a result of using incompatible power is not covered under warranty. 12VDC power supplies will have a label that states the input and output. Ensure that the output is 12V DC, and is center-positive. If the power supply you have does not have a label, do not use it.

A center positive 12v dc power supply label

How do I use a 12V DC power supply with a PoE security camera?

12V DC power adapters feature a wall plug on one end, and a male DC power connector on the other. 12VDC Power connectors are 2.1mm in diameter and connect directly to the camera’s female power connector.

12V1A power supply with labels

Here’s how to power a PoE camera with a 12V DC power supply:

How to use a 12v power supply with an IP camera

  1. Plug the power adapter into a 120-220V wall socket, or into a surge protector that is plugged into a wall socket. If you are using a surge protector, ensure that its power switch is in the “ON” or “I” position.
  2. Connect the male 12VDC connector of the power adapter to the female power connector of the security camera. If you need to run power over long distances using a 12VDC power adapter, consider using our 100ft DC power cable.
  3. The camera should power on and begin it’s boot up procedure. Listen for a click, this is the IR cut filter. PTZ cameras will do a self-test during boot up, make sure PTZ cameras are in a safe position so that nothing is preventing the motors from panning or tilting.

    If you’re unsure if a camera is powering on, cup your hands over the glass, put a box over it, or turn the lights off to see if the IR lights turn on and glow red.

  4. To network the camera to an NVR, your router, or directly to a computer, connect an Ethernet cable to the RJ45 connector on the camera. Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the NVR, router, or a computer’s Ethernet port.

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.

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