If you’ve decided that you want to consider installing a home security camera system, you have a lot of options available. Choosing to install a camera system is a great move toward tighter security and greater safety in your home, but where do you begin?
First, let’s take a look at your purposes for choosing to purchase a home camera system. Are you concerned about potential intruders? Are you concerned about your child’s babysitters? Do you want to keep an eye on who comes and goes on your property? Do you want to be able to check on your family while you’re away? All of these questions are important to ask, and their answers will help you narrow down the large list of camera options you have to sift through.
The first major question is, do you want outdoor or indoor cameras, or are you looking for both? Most indoor cameras will break down quickly if placed outside because of different weather exposure. However, most outdoor cameras can function as both indoor and outdoor, and they are made specifically to withstand whatever weather may throw at them. Once you know whether you want outdoor or indoor cameras, you can continue narrowing your list.
Next, do you want largely visible cameras, or smaller, more concealed cameras? If you want any potential intruders to know that they are on camera, you have a larger list of options between size, shape, wired, or wireless. If you want to keep your cameras hidden, you will need smaller cameras and either a wireless system or professionally hidden cables.
What is the lighting of the area you want under surveillance? Is it a dim lighted room? Is it a brightly lit area? Is it an outdoor area that will be changing lighting depending upon day or night? Cameras are made to withstand different levels of light. In a brightly lit area, most cameras will have no problem giving you a visible picture. However, if the area is going to be dim, you will need to get a camera specifically made to capture dim-lighting footage. If you need this kind, you can look for cameras that have light sensitivity ratings of 1 Lux or less.
If you know that you want to survey an outdoor area that will be changing brightness or dimness depending upon whether it’s night or day, overcast or sunny, you will probably want to purchase day/night video cameras. These are most flexible as they can register the amount of lighting in the area and change settings to match and record a clearer picture.
Movement and Placement
Where do you want your cameras placed? If you are doing the installation yourself, there are many factors to take into account. You have to think about optimum angles and how wide you want your visibility range to be. If you’re placing cameras outdoors, try to find a spot under an overhang, possibly right beneath the roof where it meets the outside wall. Depending upon where you want it, you may need a different sized or shaped camera.
Once you have an idea of where you want your cameras placed, you’ll need to think about movement. Do you want your cameras to be fixed or moveable? Fixed cameras can only record one specific view, and this can be great for a small room or to watch something specific. If you want to be able to change the angle of the camera, however, you will have to opt for a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera, or PTZ for short. PTZ’s allow you to move the camera to almost any angle in the room as long as it is not blocked by walls or objects. Some of these can even be programmed to follow movement in the area so that you can catch important footage more easily.
If you are looking for something simpler, such as only one or two cameras for some specific areas that you want under surveillance, you could probably easily install them on your own. However, if you want a full security camera system, seeking professional help will always lend the best results. They can also tell you more about the different kinds of cameras available and which would work best for your situation.