How to Install a Security Camera Yourself The Easy Way
Whatever the reason you’re embarking on this project, you probably have factored in the cost of installation too, albeit grudgingly.
There’s no need to fret, a lot of brands now make their security camera systems all-inclusive and easy to install.
Are you getting motivated to save some money?
If you’re still wondering if you need this, we’ll fill you in on the importance of installing security cameras. You’ll also find out important features to look out for. Then, we’ll run you through the detailed process of the installation.
Without further ado, let’s get things started.
Why is it Important to Install a Security Camera?
Monitoring the surroundings of your home with camera installation will make your residence that much secure.
You will be able to see what’s going on and respond proactively. Security cameras also provide video footage of what happened which makes it easier to identify the perpetrators.
On top of that, a report gotten from the University of North Carolina’s Department of Justice and Criminology stated that 60 percent of burglars will scan for security cameras before they enter a property. Furthermore, 40 percent of them will leave to seek another target if they found cameras.
If you never saw any use to install a security camera system, the fact that it significantly deters the occurrence of crime should motivate you.
What to Look Out For When Buying a Home Security Camera
Wired and wireless
As you can expect, wireless security camera installation is way easier to install. There are fewer wires to deal with. If you only need to cover the perimeter of your home, a wireless camera system will do. This type of security camera is also ideal for monitoring valuables indoors as well as your kids.
On the other hand, if your home is huge and you want to cover your entire ground as well, then a wired system will be better. Also, look out for how long they can record. Those that can go on recording for 3 days are a great option.
Indoors and outdoors
Not all security cameras are made the same. Some are designed to weather the storm while others aren’t that strong. Think about it, there’s no need to design an indoor camera to be weatherproof.
So, when selecting one for your home security needs, you have to choose accordingly. An indoor camera placed outside, even under shade, will still break down quickly as nature takes its toll.
As the name implies, with this type of camera installation, you can view the footage remotely. These high-end cameras have Wi-Fi connectivity and a dedicated app.
You only need to install it on your phone or laptop and you can see what’s going on in your home from anywhere around the world. This is a great option if you set up an indoor camera to check on your kid or pet.
This is a great feature as it only records when it senses motion. That way, your security camera installation will save tons of energy and memory space since it only records when there’s something worth watching.
If you have a camera system that combines this with remote viewing, it can alert you if it senses movement in or around your home.
This feature amplifies small amounts of light to provide a brighter image in finer details. However, if there’s no source of light at all, it won’t be able to see anything. So, look out for those ones that emit near-infrared light to improve visibility in the dark.
Security Camera Installation: The Process
If you have decided to install cameras to boost your home security, way to go. The following instructions will guide you through the installation process from start to finish.
The entire process is divided into 3 stages for a clearer understanding: planning, the installation itself, and putting it all together.
- Know your needs. Like all worthy endeavors, planning is crucial. First, you need to check around your home or consult a blueprint of it. This will help you determine which areas you want the cameras located to cover maximum ground. Some good locations are front and back doors, porches, off-street windows, driveways, etc. Note that there’s no point in trying to cover every part of your home. That will be too expensive and inefficient. Checking each location can help you estimate how many cameras you will need and be sure there are no obstacles in its line of sight.
- Purchase the camera system that meets your needs. The result you get from the previous step will come in handy here. A bundled security camera system will come with at least 1 to 3 cameras. Depending on your need, that will do. You should also expect to get a digital video recorder (DVR), wiring, and power cords along with the cameras. Alternatively, you could get the components of your security camera installation individually. Now that you understand your needs and know the important features of a security camera, going this route will not be daunting.
- Set up the monitor and recording device. The cameras are only a part of the system. You need somewhere to store the video footage and view what has been recorded, right? That’s where the monitor and DVR come in. The DVR collects the feed and transfers it to the monitor. The recording capacities vary so, you have to pay attention to that. Kindly note that if you go for a bundled camera system, all the components will be included.
- Test the system before you begin the installation. You certainly don’t want to go through the process only to find out something isn’t working. So, you want to connect all the components first to make sure they work as they should. If all is clear, let’s move on to the next stage which is the actual installation process.
- Position the cameras. If you’re going to install the camera outdoors, be sure to place it about 10 feet above the ground. That way, it won’t be easy to knockdown. Also, be sure to locate it in a position where it will cover vital points. This will depend on the camera’s coverage angle though (so pay attention to that too). For indoor positioning, place the camera on a corner where the wall meets the ceiling. Also, make sure entries and exits are within its view. Finally, the security cameras have to be located close to a power outlet, unless it runs on batteries.
- Mount the camera. Now that you have a good location, it’s time to secure it in place. While some cameras come with sticky pads for quick and easy installation, the safest way to go about this is to screw it to the wall. This installation process might be slightly different by brand but we’ll generalize it as best as we can.
- Place the camera on the spot you intend to install it.
- Use a sharp object to mark the position the screws will go into.
- Use a drill to bore a hole.
- Use a hammer to drive in the holding pins.
- Screw the camera into the wall and be sure it holds firm.
- Adjust the angle to ensure it covers as much of the vital area as possible.
- Connect the camera to a power source. Most security cameras come with plugs that will work with regular wall sockets. Connect the small rounded input into the back of the camera. This might come differently by brand but the power cord must lead into the camera.
- Connect the camera to the DVR. Wired security cameras often use BNC (Bayonet Neill-Concelman) connectors. These cables have the same connectors on either end which makes them easy to use. Plug one end into the camera and the other into one of the “input” ports on the DVR. Be sure to know which as you need to tune the DVR to that port to view that particular camera’s feed. If your cable is not BNC, you can easily get a BNC adapter in a hardware store or online. It will fit on your cable to make it compatible.
- Link wireless security cameras to a computer. Use the accompanying CD to install it so you can view the feed. Also, connect the camera’s receiver to a USB port on your computer. Look for the camera’s IP address and keep it for easy retrieval. If you type that address in a web browser, you’d be able to view the camera’s feed remotely. Attach the monitor and the DVR to each other. This connection could come with different ports. Some systems use BNC while others might use an HDMI port. A third option is coaxial cables. Whichever it is, one end goes into the DVR output while the other is for the monitor’s input. Ensure connections are secure and all inputs working. Turn everything on and make sure each component works as it should. Note that some monitors can show the feed from every connected camera at the same time. Those that can’t, you only need to hit the “input” button to cycle through the cameras. This completes the camera installation process. Let’s move on to the final stage where everything works in sync.
Putting it all together
- Create a ‘command center’. Your DVR should be able to handle all your security cameras. You need a place where you can view all the feeds. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, though. Your attic or office are good options to station the monitor and DVR. Make sure where you choose is easy to run wires from different areas of your home to.
- Use Siamese cable to connect the entire system. This type of cable is the go-to option because it combines both power and video in one. That way, you will only have to wire the system once. If you go for the bundled option, your unit will come with this wire. If, however, you choose to buy the components individually, be sure to look out for a top-quality Siamese cable like this one. The power side of the cable will be braided red and black while the video cable is a single one with either a BNC or a coaxial connector.
- Use a power supply box to power multiple cameras. There might be cases where your camera cannot be located close to a power outlet. You can wire it to this supply box as well as other cameras that are in close proximity. The only downside is you might need a lengthy wire to connect multiple cameras. When choosing a power supply box, be sure to know how many outlets it can support. Furthermore, always connect the cameras before plugging to the power box.
- Each video cable should go to an individual DVR port. This is how you will get a separate feed from each camera. If your monitor allows it, you can view multiple feeds on the same screen.
- Make the wiring discrete. You don’t want your security camera installation to disfigure your home. Even though it’s a DIY project, you can still give it a professional touch.It’s best to drill holes and run the wiring through the walls towards your ‘command center’. You can secure cables to the baseboard using a staple gun and then cover it up with your carpet. That way, it won’t constitute a tripping hazard. If you’re not confident enough to drill walls and discretely run cables, you can have a handyman do that part for you.
We hope you now have the confidence to handle the installation of security cameras in your home. First, be clear about your needs. Next identify the components to fulfill the need, then purchase them. Finally, follow the instructions above to fortify your home security. Life feels better when you know you’re safe and a security camera installation will give you that.
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