Just for grins, let’s say that you read about the best burglary deterrents to use for your home and saw that cameras are THE MOST EFFECTIVE deterrent when criminals are choosing a target. A whopping 57% of surveyed, convicted burglars said that they would walk away from a house with cameras installed. Done. Threat eliminated.
Now it comes to finding the best security camera system to do the job, and you’re stressing over the extra cost and difficulty of installing an outdoor camera. Just don’t forget:
Outdoor cameras are an obvious, visible deterrent to burglars.
If you throw a camera in a window inside, a burglar may not even notice it until he has already chosen your house as a target. That, of course, assumes you haven’t plastered supplemental signage up outside your home (I know, tacky right?).
On top of an outdoor camera, you can even beef up your window security to prevent a quick smash in case you’re home during a break-in (read our article on window security film installation to get more ideas).
Barring all of that, if you’re still considering an indoor camera, please read on.
What’s wrong with using a window security camera
Or alternatively titled, “Just Don’t, Please Don’t“.
I’ve long since lost count of the number of times somebody has mentioned that they were shopping for cameras to cover their driveway or front yard and planned to buy indoor instead of wireless outdoor security cameras. I had to stop slapping my forehead for fear that I might start to look like some of the heads on Easter Island.
If you have a standard or night vision camera pointed through your window to see things outside at night and don’t have enough exterior lighting (it can visible or infrared) to make it look like its daytime, then you’re going to be disappointed with the results. Go ahead and visit our page to help you compare surveillance cameras and use the filters to look for outdoor cameras to do the job correctly the first time. They really aren’t that much more expensive! Or you can also read our honest review about the Reolink RLC-422W wireless camera to know if it’s worth it.
Here, I’ll hold your hand with a video. I promise, it’s really quick.
Don’t Learn How Prevent Glare Through Your Window with a Security Camera, Avoid it Altogether
If you plan on getting an indoor camera with night vision, then you better make sure that you can cover or disable the IR LEDs on the camera meant to provide night vision. Or, you’ll get something like this (your mileage may vary):
What about anti-glare window film to reduce glare from a security camera?
The problem is the windows reflect IR. If you add a sheet of film on top of the window, it may ease the transition to the window so that less light reflects back into the camera. But, you’re not really solving the problem. If you insist on installing the camera inside, you COULD install special IR glass that is transparent to the light. But, that’s going to be more expensive than just buying an outdoor camera.
Or, just disable the IR LEDs and purchase an external IR illuminator.
But what if I really want to point a security camera through a windowIf you just can’t resist the temptation, the only good approach is to:
The Exceptions: When you can use a window sill security camera
Some of you are trying to talk to the computer, “But, but, but . . . [waah waah wa wa waah waaah]!” (that’s from Charlie Brown in case you didn’t get it).
OK, I will readily admit that there are a few specialized situations when an indoor camera would be suitable looking outdoors.
“I Only Want to Film the Mail/UPS/Milk Man/Package Thieves”
If the ONLY thing that you’ll EVER want to see from the camera happens during the day, then go ahead and buy an indoor camera. Just make sure you know how to be an educated security camera shopper and account for the other pitfalls that you can fall into when purchasing a home security camera.
And NEVER forget, that you can’t complain when you can’t make out the face of the guy that kicked your front door in at dusk after it happens. After all, you assessed the risk and chose to save a few bucks and accept it.
“You Can See My House from Space at Night”
The other option to avoid glare when looking out of a window is to block or disable (electrical tape or some cameras have software disable settings) the IR lights that may be (probably are) on the camera. Then, you will need to add equivalent or better lighting outside the window to illuminate the area of interest.
You can install flood lights or another type of visible light, but the neighbors may not like you shining a light across the street at their house just to illuminate the side walk. Or, you can buy IR illuminators to mount outside. These can also be a good supplement to your camera lighting even if you decide to buy an outdoor light.
Or, if you want something from a bigger site with some other reviews, here’s a highly rated unit on Amazon:
Hopefully, nobody’s crying after that tirade. I tried to be clear about why you’ll likely expect more from your camera installation after you install it than just the 1 reason you’re getting it now. So, it pays to think ahead and plan for an installation that you’ll be happy with (and will protect your family) for years to come and in all conditions. After all, that kind of longevity is worth the extra $30-50 bucks you might pay for a good outdoor camera.
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Hi, I’m Jody. I graduated with honors with a Masters of Science in Computer Engineering and have over 15 years of experience working as an engineer with electronics products. I’m a lifelong learner and tinkerer and enjoy automating things around the house so I can solve bigger problems than getting out of bed to check if the garage door is closed . . . like too little sleep!