A Ring doorbell camera is an excellent tool for enhancing your home’s security. However, scratches on the lens can significantly reduce its effectiveness by affecting image clarity.
Here’s the short answer on how to fix scratches on your Ring Camera.
To fix scratches on a Ring camera lens, remove or protect the camera body, then sand the lens using progressively finer grits of sandpaper, starting from 600 grit up to 22000 grit. After sanding, protect the lens from future UV damage using a specific screen protector, then reassemble and test the lens for improved clarity.
In this article, we will outline a step-by-step process on how to fix scratches on the lens of a Ring doorbell camera. I have personally done this on my Ring Doorbell Pro (first edition).
Before starting the lens repair, take a “before” picture if you don’t already have one saved. That way, you will have something to compare to when you are done.
Step 1: Prep the Ring Camera Body and Lens
The first step involves removing the cover from your Ring Doorbell, if it has one, so that it does not get damaged while sanding. The Ring Doorbell Pro does have an outer cover.
Technically, it’s not the camera lens that is scratched or has UV damage, but it is the plastic lens cover on the outside, in direct contact with the elements, that has become damaged. That is the part we are fixing.
Since it’s on the outside, we don’t need to disassemble the camera.
Once you have removed what you can on the outside, use painter’s tape to protect the edges of the Ring Camera while sanding.
This will prevent unnecessary damage to the surrounding parts.
While it’s only necessary to leave the camera area exposed, you may want to leave other areas exposed as well if they have damage.
Step 2: Sand the Lens Using Various Grit Sandpapers
The second step entails sanding the lens to remove the haze and craze.
Begin sanding in small circles using 600 grit sandpaper. I recommended using regular 600 grit sandpaper, as it works faster than the green polishing paper rated at the same grit. Use this sandpaper to remove the bulk of the damage.
After using the regular sandpaper, then move to the green polishing paper (600 grit) and continue sanding. The objective is to gradually remove the scratches and restore the lens’s clarity.
Progressively move through the different grits of sandpaper included in the kit from rougher to finer (1200, 1800, 8000, 10600, and 22000 grit).
Remove the dust while switching sandpaper grits so they don’t cause more scratches. Use a small brush, microfiber cloth, or just blow it off.
Remember to move in small circles while sanding.
Step 3: Evaluate the Lens Clarity
As you move through the different grits, the lens should gradually become clearer. Once you get to 22000, it’s going to look nearly brand new.
The lens does not need to be perfect, but it should be significantly clearer than it was before you started the process. You can stop the sanding process once you’re satisfied with the lens’s clearness.
Step 4: Reassemble the Doorbell and Protect the Lens
With the sanding process complete, be aware that the lens’s UV protection has been completely removed during sanding. Therefore, you’ll need to find a way to protect the lens from UV damage, or the plastic will fade fast.
One solution is to apply a UV protective clear coat (Amazon Link). 3M makes them for the automotive industry, which is used on vehicle lenses to prevent yellowing and hazing caused by exposure to UV rays.
A second option is using UV protective tape (Amazon Link), also made by 3M.
Finally, put the doorbell back together if you removed any pieces. Test the lens’s clarity by taking a screen capture of the video feed. Compare the before and after images to ensure that the lens clarity is where you would like it to be.
If the above steps did not repair the scratches on your Ring camera, the damage might be too severe for a DIY fix. In this case, consider contacting Ring’s customer service if your device is under warranty, or you may need to replace the camera unit entirely.
Even if your Ring camera isn’t under warranty, Ring’s customer service may still give you a discount to buy a new camera.
Maintenance and Future Considerations
After successfully restoring your Ring Doorbell camera lens, you will want to maintain its clarity for the best possible security footage. Regularly clean the lens with a microfiber cloth to remove dust and smudges that may accumulate over time. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or cloths that could scratch the lens.
If your Ring doorbell is located in an area where it’s susceptible to physical damage (from passersby, pets, or weather), consider installing a protective cover or housing. These accessories can provide an extra layer of defense against scratches and other damage. Damage from weather is one reason a Ring camera may go offline.
When it comes to UV protection, remember that the sanding process likely removed the original UV coating on the lens. The screen protector applied in Step 4 will provide some level of UV protection, but it may not be as robust as the original coating.
Monitor the lens periodically for signs of hazing, which can indicate UV damage. If you notice hazing, you might need to replace the screen protector or consider other UV protection solutions.
Overall, Ring cameras are durable and reliable security devices, but their lenses can suffer from scratches and clouding over time.
Following the steps outlined in this article and implementing preventative measures, you can maintain a clear, effective lens for your security needs. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any damage will ensure you’re getting the best performance from your Ring camera.