A Deep Dive Into Outdoor Cameras
Outdoor camera technology has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, driven by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and other emerging technologies. Today's outdoor cameras aren't simply passive recording devices; they are sophisticated systems capable of intelligent surveillance, proactive monitoring, and real-time analysis.
In this article, we take a look at outdoor cameras and how to choose the right one for your home.
Overview About Outdoor Cameras
Outdoor cameras are electronic devices designed to capture video and images of activities occurring in exterior environments. They are often equipped with weatherproof enclosures and specialised lenses to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide clear vision even under challenging lighting.
Outdoor cameras are usually equipped with video recording capabilities to capture high-resolution video footage of events happening outside your property, motion detection to automatically start recording when movement is detected, and night vision to enhance nighttime surveillance.
Considerations for Choosing Outdoor Cameras
Selecting the right outdoor camera can be daunting when you are confronted with all of the options available. Here are a few factors to consider before making your decision:
It goes without saying that the more features a camera has and the better its quality, the more expensive it will be. A single-lens camera with basic features is ideal for monitoring small areas or specific points of entry but may lack functionalities like night vision, two-way audio, or smart home integration. Be realistic about your budget and prioritise features based on your specific needs.
Resolution determines the clarity and detail of the footage you'll capture. Higher resolutions provide sharper images, facilitating identification and evidence gathering, but require more storage space and bandwidth, potentially impacting storage costs and network performance.
Power Source (Wired vs. Wireless)
Wired cameras come with a continuous power supply and reliable connection but can be complex to install and place. A wireless camera is easy to install and can be placed nearly anywhere, but it is reliant on battery power and is generally more expensive than a wired camera. Wired cameras may be best for permanent installations, while wireless cameras are perfect for temporary setups without easy access to power.
Storage Options (Cloud vs. Local)
Storing footage in the cloud gives you remote access to footage and ensures secure backups and continuous recording without local storage limitations, but it comes with subscription fees and requires a reliable internet connection. Local storage gives you more control over your data and doesn't carry recurring costs, but it is generally more vulnerable to theft or damage.
Outdoor cameras play a vital role in enhancing home security. The visible presence of cameras can deter potential intruders, discouraging criminal activity and reducing the risk of break-ins. You can keep tabs on your property and loved ones remotely through live feeds and recorded footage, monitor activity around your home, identify suspicious behaviour, and take timely action if necessary.
Business and Commercial Use
Outdoor cameras offer significant advantages in various business and commercial settings, including monitoring employee activity, identifying safety hazards, and ensuring a safe working environment. You can use outdoor cameras to secure valuable assets, inventory, and equipment from theft and damage, and monitor areas vulnerable to unauthorised access.
Public Spaces and Infrastructure
Outdoor cameras play a crucial role in public safety and crime prevention in various spaces. They can enhance public safety in parks, streets, and other public areas, deter crime, identify suspicious activity, assist law enforcement efforts, and secure critical infrastructure like power plants, bridges, and transportation systems to prevent unauthorised access, vandalism, and potential threats.
How To Install Security Cameras Outside
Step 1: Plan Your Placement
Start by analysing potential entry points, vulnerable areas like backyards or garages, and any high-traffic zones that intruders are most likely to target. Choose locations offering clear views of desired areas without obstructions. Take care to avoid aiming directly at the sun or reflective surfaces. It's best to position 8-10 feet above the ground for optimal coverage and to deter tampering.
Step 2: Choose Your Mounting Method
You can choose between several mounting options. A wall mount is ideal for flat surfaces like brick or concrete walls, while an eave mount fits neatly under eaves or soffits. Pole mounts can offer flexible placement anywhere on your property.
Step 3: Prepare the Wiring
For wired cameras, you'll need to run cables from the camera to the power outlet and recorder (if using a local storage system). You can conceal wires for a cleaner look and protection. For wireless cameras, test the Wi-Fi connectivity and consider signal boosters if necessary.
Step 4: Mount Your Camera
Follow the camera's mounting instructions. Each camera may have specific mounting procedures. Ensure proper alignment and secure attachment and fine-tune the camera's direction to capture the desired area after mounting.
Step 5: Connect and Configure
Start by powering up the camera, either by connecting the power cable or ensuring that the battery is charged. Most wireless cameras require a dedicated app for setup and monitoring; download the app and connect to the Wi-Fi if applicable. Next, adjust settings like motion detection, recording schedules, and image quality based on your needs.
Where to Place Your Outdoor Security Cameras: A Strategic Guide
Mounting a camera above your front door, angled slightly downward to cover the porch and potential hiding spots, will capture anyone approaching your home. Don't let side entrances be vulnerabilities. Mount cameras above each door at an angle to cover the walkway and surrounding area.
Back and Side Doors
Back and side doors are often less visible, so prioritise clear coverage. Mount cameras at angles covering the door, the path leading to it, and any potential hiding spots like bushes. Pay attention to blind spots like fences or corners. Consider multiple cameras or a camera with a wider viewing angle for complete coverage.
Mount the camera above the driveway at an angle for a full view, ensuring it covers the entire width of the driveway and any potential access points from the street to capture vehicles entering and leaving your property. Don't let parked cars block your view. Mount the camera high enough to see over vehicles, ideally 8-10 feet above the ground.
At home, you want to monitor activity in your garden and deter intruders. Place cameras strategically to cover key areas like patios, play areas, and swimming pools. For businesses, cover entrances and exits, parking areas, loading docks, and perimeter fencing. Consider additional cameras for specific areas like cash collection points or sensitive equipment.
Garages or Detached Buildings
Detached structures are often targeted for tools, mowers, bikes and vehicles. Mount cameras covering entrances, windows, and any access points like back doors, windows and up and over garage doors. If necessary, install additional lighting to ensure clear nighttime footage. Motion-sensor lights can be a good option for deterring intruders and providing good visibility for cameras.
If you aren't sure which option is the best outdoor security camera for your needs, consult an expert.
Our top DIY outdoor cameras for your property
We've compiled a list of the best outdoors security cameras for your home which you can install yourself without professional help:
Best As Part of an Indoor-Outdoor System: Ring Outdoor Camera Battery (Stick Up Cam)
The Ring Outdoor Camera Battery (Stick Up Cam) is a versatile and affordable security camera that lets you see, hear, and speak to visitors, monitor your property, and build a custom security system—all without wires. It's ideal for monitoring your home when you're away and pairs well with the Ring Front Door Camera.
- 1080p HD Video
- Two-Way Talk
- Motion Detection - with realtime notifications
- Flexible Installation
- Works with Alexa
- Affordable Alternative to hard-wired CCTV
- Free 30-Day Trial of Ring Protect
It's available for £59.99 for the base unit, with optional accessories like the plug-in adapter, solar panel, and Ring Protect subscription sold separately.
Best Motion Detection: The Arlo Essential Security Camera
The Arlo Essential Security Camera is a versatile and affordable wireless security camera system that lets you monitor your home from anywhere, day or night. With 1080p HD video, instant motion alerts, two-way talk, and colour night vision, you can see, hear, and deter unwanted visitors.
- 1080p HD Video
- Instant Motion Alerts
- 100% Wireless
- Two-Way Talk
- Colour Night Vision
- Arlo Secure Subscription (optional)
- Live Stream and Two-Way Talk (without a subscription)
- Smart Home Integration
The camera (without a subscription) costs £99.99 and is available through major retailers.
Best For Alerts: Google Nest Outdoor Cam with Floodlight
The Google Nest Cam with Floodlight is a versatile outdoor security camera that combines bright LED lights with intelligent motion detection to keep your home safe. See what's happening 24/7 in crisp 1080p HDR video, receive personalised alerts for people, animals, and vehicles thanks to intelligent object detection, and deter unwanted activity with customisable lighting routines.
- Smart Detection
- Bright Floodlight
- 24/7 Monitoring
- 3 Hours Event History
- Customisable Lighting
- Two-Way Talk
The camera, with Floodlight, costs £266 from major retailers.
Best Lighting: Blink Outdoor + Floodlight
The Blink Outdoor + Floodlight is a wireless, battery-powered HD security camera with a 700-lumen floodlight. This versatile system lets you see, hear, and speak to visitors in real-time, deter intruders with bright lights, and customise motion detection zones for targeted security.
- 1080p HD live view and two-way audio
- 700 lumens of motion-triggered LED lights
- A free 30-day trial of Blink Subscription Plan
- Local storage option
- Customisable motion detection zones
- Free Blink Home Monitor app
- Easy setup
- Works with Alexa
It costs £62.49 for the 1-camera kit on Amazon and leading retailers.
Best Colour Imagery: Wyze Cam v3
The Wyze Cam v3 is a wired indoor/outdoor camera that captures stunning 1080p HD video in full colour, even in the darkest conditions. This camera's innovative Starlight Sensor and f/1.6 aperture let you see every detail, 25x darker than traditional cameras and with 2x more light capture.
- Colour Night Vision
- Indoor/Outdoor Versatility
- Motion & Sound Detection
- 24/7 Continuous Recording
- 2-Way Audio
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT
At just £59.99 from leading retailers, the Wyze Cam v3 is a fantastic value for money.
Best For CCTV Integration: Yale SV-DB4MX-B
The Yale SV-DB4MX-B is a flexible WiFi outdoor camera that delivers crisp 4MP Full HD video. This camera can function as a standalone unit or seamlessly integrate into a larger Yale CCTV system, giving you complete control over your home's security. The Yale SV-DB4MX-B comes in three different configuration options, including a standalone WiFi option, a front door two-way talk camera, or a floodlight camera.
- 4MP Full HD
- Wireless Connectivity
- Standalone or Integrated
- Night Vision
- Motion Detection
- In-App Control
- Works with Alexa
The standalone Wi-Fi Camera is sold for £173.99.
Outdoor camera technology has come a long way, transforming from simple recording devices into intelligent, proactive security solutions. Ready to embrace the future of outdoor security? Head over to securityalarms.co.uk and explore our wide selection of innovative cameras. With expert advice and competitive prices, we'll help you find the perfect solution for your home or business.