When setting up a security camera, knowing the best vantage point isn't the only thing to keep in mind.
While visible cameras can help discourage burglars, you might be setting yourself up in letting them know they're being watched.
For one, crooks can devise ways to evade your outdoor cameras.
Worse, experienced ones can either tamper with your system or even take the whole camera out if it's not mounted securely.
This blog will give you tips on hiding security cameras for a more effective home security setup.
Why you should camouflage your security cameras
Prevent tampering. Visible cameras can be easily evaded by experienced thieves. If you have a wireless camera that can be easily dismounted, chances are it can be disabled or even stolen by burglars.
Catch a thief. A hidden security camera can catch anyone red-handed. If you suspect someone you know is stealing from you, disguising your outdoor security camera is the best way to catch him in the act.
Aesthetics. Opting for a wireless security camera not only gives you more options for discreet mounting, it also ensures no visible wiring ruins your home's aesthetic.
Consider this before hiding your security camera
Here are some pointers to consider before you hide a security camera:
Make sure the coast is clear. A hidden security camera system is useless if there's something blocking the view. Make sure to place hidden security cameras somewhere without obstructions.
If you're opting for a wireless hidden security camera, make sure you know when it needs a recharge. Or better yet, you can connect it to a solar panel for non-stop power.
Pick the right color. If you're mounting the spy security camera in a predominantly white area, go for a white camera, but if you're hiding it in a bush, a black one is a better fit. Some even paint their cameras, but you'll have to be careful when doing it as to not damage the device.
Make sure your wireless security cameras are within network range. With a strong Wi-Fi, hidden security cameras will be able to perform at optimal conditions. Having a strong connection means the camera automatically uploads video to the cloud storage, ensuring that you don't lose important footage and that you receive real-time alerts in your mobile device.
Think about people's privacy. If you're mounting your own hidden security camera inside the house, make sure you don't violate people's right to privacy. Avoid setting up in private areas of the house, or pointing towards your neighbor's house.
13 ways to camouflage & hide security cameras
Hide them in everyday objects
Put cameras in areas where people are least expecting hidden security cameras to be mounted.
This is especially helpful if you're using a tiny wireless hidden camera, which can fit just about anywhere.
For instance, you can hide one in between stuffed toys or perhaps inside a tissue box.
The location is everything
The first entry point burglars break into is the front door, with accessible windows, backdoors, and garage as other notable locations.
So, these areas should be the priority in setting up spy security cameras.
Paint your camera
Though it's not advisable, painting to disguise outdoor cameras could be effective, especially if you want it to blend in with the surroundings.
A quality hidden security camera should still be able to function after being painted over, but do this trick with caution.
Camouflage with trees, leaves, and bushes
A great trick to hide outdoor security cameras is by placing them behind trees, bushes, or even within a fake hanging potted plant.
The leaves can hide the camera's body to make it less noticeable.
Just make sure the lens itself is not covered with branches or leaves.
Hide security cameras with a fake rock
There are fake rocks that are hollow in the center which can fit a security camera inside.
Inside your home, hidden security cameras can be harder to disguise, but ornaments like decorative rocks can be a great camouflage.
Just make sure the fake rock blends in with your current motif, so as to not draw attention.
Use a birdhouse
Modern security cameras are compact enough to fit inside a birdhouse.
These days, there are birdhouse feeders that double as a camera case for specific types of cameras.
A birdhouse is the perfect way to disguise security cameras and make burglars think it's just a usual lawn décor.
This trick works best with a battery powered security camera as wires could be a dead giveaway to trespassers.
Choose a mini camera
Mini cameras are discreet enough to be easily hidden.
Having a small security camera gives you more hiding options, like inside a smoke detector, behind décors, or within a fake potted plant.
A mini camera has all the capabilities of traditional surveillance cameras and smart cams but in a more compact package.
Use a stuffed toy
If you want to know what your baby's nanny is doing while you're away, you can try hiding a home security camera in between stuffed toys.
You can even stuff it inside the toy. Though, your clueless child can mistake it for a usual toy, pick it up, and throw it away.
Hide your wires with the scenery
Security camera wires could give crooks an idea that you have a home security system in place.
While a wired camera isn't really the best option for camouflaging, you can still hide the pesky wires from plain sight.
You can paint over the wires with the same color as the walls or buy one that already matches your wall's color.
Other tricks include hiding the wires inside a false ceiling, PVC pipe, or baseboard and burying them underneath your porch or garden.
Hide security cameras in the mailbox
A simple way of hiding an outdoor camera is by putting it inside your mailbox.
This way, you're not raising suspicions about setting up a surveillance system.
Place the camera behind a glass window
Placing a security camera behind a glass window is a good way to discourage burglars from entering your property.
By seeing that they're being watched, thieves may think twice about going into your home.
Just note that the glass window can affect your camera's night vision function and motion detection feature.
You can get a camera with software based motion detection and install external infrared illuminators or visible light to help the motion sensors function properly.
Hide the security camera in the wall
Hiding a security camera inside a wall is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
You'll have to drill a hole in the wall that's big enough to fit the camera.
Make sure you're not drilling too close to any electrical wiring.
Also, position the camera so you'll get a clear view of the area you want to watch over.
Get camera skins
Camera skins made of silicone not only protect your camera from forces of nature, they also serve as a great camouflage.
These skins come in different colors that easily blend in with the environment in your camera's location.
They're available in multipacks if you have more than one camera you want to hide.
Cons of hiding outdoor security cameras
No threat. Studies have shown that visible security cameras are effective in preventing burglars from entering your property. If crooks see that you don't have any security camera, they'll think that your house is an easy target.
Poor visibility. Many hidden security cameras suffer from reduced visibility because of where they're positioned. Even if you have the right security camera with a 1080p resolution, limited night vision and inaccurate motion detection will greatly impact the effectiveness of your home security system.
Should I hide my security cameras?
This will boil down to preference. Generally speaking, visible cameras can better prevent thieves from committing a crime than hidden ones. On the other hand, cameras hidden nearby are great at catching crooks in the act, even the people you thought you could trust.
Can you bury a security camera wire?
Yes, you can bury security camera wires underneath your porch or garden. Another trick is running it through a false ceiling, PVC pipe, or baseboard.
Where to hide the DVR/NVR of your hidden camera?
Security camera DVR/NVR can be hidden inside the walls, closet, attic, bookshelf, or in a utility room. You can even use a locker or a security box attached to the wall to prevent it from being damaged, stolen, or tampered with.
How long do hidden cameras record?
If you're using wireless cameras, recording time will depend on the battery capacity and the amount of activity being recorded. Some last up to 20 to 30 hours of recording (either saved locally or in cloud storage), with up to 3 years of standby battery life. The more features in use (two way audio, motion detection, etc.), the lesser the recording time. You can prolong recording time by using a wired camera and solar panel.
How do you hide a camera in plain sight?
Make sure that you hide the camera where people least expect it to be. They can be hidden in everyday objects like stuffed toys, tissue boxes, shelves, potted plants, and even inside a fake rock.
How do you camouflage a camera for spying?
Camouflaging a smart camera involves careful planning and should only be done for your own protection and security. Spying on people isn't cool.