How to Install a Video Doorbell

Never miss a package again with our tips for installing both battery-powered and hardwired video doorbells.

ring video doorbell
Photo:

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 minutes
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Swapping a traditional doorbell for a video doorbell is a major step toward securing your home and creating a safer environment for you and your family. If the idea of installing your own video doorbell is intimidating, don't let this stop you from making the upgrade.

Even for those that aren't tech-savvy, installation is fairly simple, and most major manufacturers do a thorough job explaining the process. However, no two homes are alike and, sometimes, the manufacturer's instructions can leave you with unanswered questions. We've put together a step-by-step guide for installing your video doorbell.

How to Choose the Right Video Doorbell

While there are many types of video doorbells, each touting a variety of features, there's really only one feature that drastically alters the process of installing the video doorbell. That feature is the power source.

Hardwired vs. Battery-Powered Doorbells

Battery-Powered Video Doorbells: Naturally, battery-powered video doorbells are easier to install, as they require no wiring. This makes them perfect for homes without existing wiring or customers who simply aren't confident in their wiring skills. However, the downside to battery-powered options is the inevitable charging of the battery, which will require you to remove the doorbell for charging.

Hardwired Video Doorbell: A hardwired video doorbell utilizes the two wires from an existing hardwired doorbell. If you prefer a hardwired video doorbell, but your home lacks the two doorbell wires, an electrician will have to run the doorbell wires or you will have to use a plug-in power adapter, if available.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Flat screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Drill (optional)

Materials

  • Video doorbell kit

Instructions

How to Install a Hardwired Video Doorbell

Follow the steps below to install a hardwired video doorbell.

  1. Locate Doorbell Transformer

    Before purchasing a hardwired video doorbell, locate your existing doorbell transformer to check the voltage rating against the specs of your hardwired video doorbell. It should read something like "16 to 24 volts." If the voltage range doesn't match your video doorbell, choose a different video doorbell or swap the transformer for one that matches. To locate the transformer, look for a small box around the doorbell chime, electrical box, or hidden in a utility closet, crawl space, or basement.

    Before wiring, rewiring, or swapping components, always turn off the power at the electrical box. If you are unsure which breaker controls the circuit, turn off the main breaker or contact an electrician.

  2. Install Jumper or Power Kit

    Most hardwired doorbells include a wire jumper, which directly ties the two terminals in the chime box together, bypassing the chime and repurposing the wiring as power for the video doorbell. Some feature a power kit, which ties the two terminals together through a small power box.

    To install these, look for the terminals labeled "FRONT" and "TRANS." With the power turned off, slightly loosen these terminals, leaving the existing wires in place. Slide the ends of the jumper or power box below the wires and tighten the terminals. It doesn't matter which wire goes where.

    Once the wiring in the chime box has been repurposed to power the video doorbell, the chime will no longer work. While the video doorbell will still notify your phone of activity, you may still desire a traditional doorbell experience. For this, you'll need to install a compatible video doorbell chime box within your home.

  3. Remove Existing Doorbell

    Unscrew the existing doorbell from the exterior wall. You might have to pop off a cover using a flat screwdriver to access the screws. Once removed, loosen the terminals and remove the wires, being careful not to lose the wires in the wall.

  4. Mount Video Doorbell Bracket

    Mount the video doorbell bracket on the wall, positioned around the doorbell wires. On wood, simply screw the bracket using the provided screws. If mounting on brick, concrete, or stucco, use the included drill bit and anchors. Ensure the bracket is level before screwing it in place.

  5. Wire the Doorbell

    Connect the doorbell wires to the two terminals on the back of the video doorbell. It doesn't matter which wire is on which terminal.

  6. Attach the Doorbell

    Slide the doorbell into the mounting bracket and secure it in place using the provided security screws.

  7. Set Up Doorbell

    Restore the power to the doorbell and set it up using the compatible smartphone app.

How to Install a Battery-Powered Video Doorbell

Follow the steps below to install a battery-powered video doorbell. Before installation, fully charge the video doorbell.

  1. Determine Wall Placement

    Use the manufacturer's instructions to determine proper wall placement. Most manufacturers specify approximately 4 feet from the ground.

    Even battery-powered video doorbells can be wired to utilize an existing doorbell chime. Follow the steps above (minus the jumper wire) to wire the doorbell chime to the back of the video doorbell. Check the manufacturer's instructions regarding diode installation, which is necessary if your doorbell chime is digital rather than a traditional "ding-dong" chime. Always ensure the power is off before wiring and rewiring.

  2. Mount Bracket

    Hold the bracket on against the wall, adjust until level, then screw into place. If mounting on brick, stucco, or concrete, use the included drill bit and anchors.

  3. Wire the Chime (Optional)

    If utilizing an existing chime box, wire that to the back of the video doorbell now.

  4. Mount the Video Doorbell

    Slide the video doorbell onto the bracket and secure using the included security screws.

  5. Set Up the Doorbell

    Download the compatible smartphone app and set up the video doorbell.

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