Ideas for How to Hide Outdoor Home Security Cameras
Updated: Sep 28
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How to Camouflage Outdoor Security Cameras
When looking to upgrade the security of your home wireless cameras are one of the best ways to catch potential burglars. But if you put too many out in plain sight, then you run the risk of making your home look like a prison. A home should be warm and inviting and in today’s world having security cameras is normal but let them clutter the look of your home.
Using hidden outdoor cameras is a great way to balance home security with aesthetics. This way homeowners can have peace of mind to see what is happening on their property while using hidden cameras, so they don’t bring down the resale value of the neighborhood. There is a fine balance that needs to be achieved between monitoring your property and looking like the weirdo on the block.
This balance can be found when owners camouflage most of their outdoor cameras. This does not mean setting up spy cameras. It simply means placing an outdoor security camera where it isn't easily spotted or ruins the look and feel of the home. When looking at how to hide outdoor home security cameras, you need to understand the value of overt and covert cameras.
Two Types of Home Security Cameras
First off, it’s important for us to understand the value of overt and covert cameras. An overt camera is placed in plain sight. These are visible cameras. The first place that comes to mind for an overt camera is a doorbell camera at the front door.
These serve a dual purpose to act as a doorbell while providing surveillance. These visible security cameras need to be seen so that visitors can contact the homeowner. Many homes in America sport these devices and they’ve become very commonplace.
The advantage of the overtly seen camera is to let people know that they are being recorded. This is good to dissuade anyone from trying to commit a crime at your home. It’s also a courtesy to let anyone know that they can potentially be recorded for their actions on your property. So having a camera in plain view can be advantageous.
Covert cameras are designed to be hidden. One of the best ways to hide any home security camera is by placing it where people don’t think to look. Unlike the Ring Camera serving as a doorbell, these should provide a good view of the yard while not screaming, “THERE’S A CAMERA HERE”. While overt cameras do have their place, covert ones will help you spot suspicious activity better.
Homeowners should be seeking a blend of both methods. While a doorbell camera is a great tool, it cannot adequately cover most yards well. That’s when other cameras are needed to cover other areas of the property. These cameras should be covert, hidden to where no one can really notice them.
How to Hide Outdoor Home Security Cameras
When thinking of how to hide security cameras, you might think of everything from a fake bird feeder to a fake rock with a camera inside. Concealing a camera doesn’t necessarily mean spending money on technology that is made to look like everyday objects.
The simplest way to conceal a camera from view is to place it where people don’t think to look. As beforementioned, doorbell cameras are commonplace today so it’s not unusual to see one at the door. So ask yourself, "Where do I not expect to find a home security camera?"
At the front door, perhaps you can place a camera high up, hidden by the porch with a good view of the walkway, porch, and front door. This way it cannot be seen from the road. By the time anyone can see the camera to be recorded, then you know they intended to get to your front door. This location can also act as a backup to a doorbell camera.
Another great spot to tuck a camera is in the clutter of a carport or garage. Cameras can easily be hidden in plain view in these locations. Tuck one on a shelf that gets a view of your back door, driveway, and cars. No one should be in this area, so anyone who shows up on camera is suspicious from the get-go.
An advantage of putting a camera in the garage is the power supply. While battery-operated Wi-Fi cameras can go just about anywhere, the proximity to power in a garage can offer AC-powered cameras a nice hiding spot.
When considering where to place cameras on or near your home, consider the color of the area. It would clash and stand out if a black camera were placed on the side of a white garage door wall. You can purchase wraps, camouflage skin, and covers for popular wireless security cameras that will help them blend into your home’s natural colors. It would be bad to find a great spot for a camera only to have it stand out and be noticed.
Next Level Camouflage Security Cameras
Fortunately, home security camera companies know that we want covert cameras. Options range from simple to very complex – and so does the budget.
If you are invested in a system like Ring or Blink, both companies offer floodlight cameras. These are some of your best options for simple ways to hide a camera. These are standard cameras that have an extension that houses two floodlights. The motion sensor of the camera can also turn on the power floodlights to illuminate your property.
While many homes have floodlights, it can be easy to overlook a camera in such a common place, giving you an element of surprise. Blink offers one that is wireless while Ring needs to be tied to your home’s power. Both cameras will blend in with their respective systems.
Light Bulb Camera for Home Security
Have you ever seen a light bulb camera? Lightbulb cameras are not just for super spies. These specialty cameras are made to fit into a light socket but are fully functional pan/tilt/zoom HD cameras. Plus, they even offer LED lighting.
Now you can turn your porch light into a security camera. This LaView Bulb Security Camera comes with motion detection, and audible alarm, and even works with Amazon Alexa. This is a great option for renters who may not be allowed to install a camera because of a restrictive rental agreement. For more information on light bulb cameras for home security, check out this article.
Of course, if all of this sounds like too much work, then a simple way to hide such cameras is to tuck them into a potted plant on the porch. This is an easy way to get a small camera close to a high-traffic area. Just make sure it can't be seen easily but still offers a great view of the area.
Trail Cameras for Home Security
Originally designed for wildlife observation and tracking, trail cameras have proven to be versatile tools that can effectively monitor and safeguard homes. The first reason a homeowner might want to consider using a trail camera is for enhanced surveillance. Trail cameras are equipped with motion detectors that trigger image or video recording whenever movement is detected within their range.
Perhaps the most attractive reason someone would want to add a game camera to their property for home security is the potential to have a hidden camera. Trail cameras can be easily hidden from view, making them inconspicuous to possible intruders who may be wary of conventional security measures. The advantage of a trail camera with decent battery life is that it can be placed anywhere on the property, out of plain sight.
Of course, trail cameras make a great addition to an existing home surveillance system. Perhaps a lack of Wi-Fi connectivity prohibits placing a traditional camera in the backyard. A trail camera is a good option to add coverage in a hard-to-reach space.
To start your research into a trail camera for home security, consider the GradePro E6 Trail Camera. This model offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a smartphone app, and a 24 MP 1296p camera. For more on how to use a trail camera for home security, check out this article.
Hidden Home Security Camera Testing
It may take some time to figure out exactly where you want to place a hidden home security camera. Remember that wireless cameras can be moved anywhere you want at any time. Do not feel like you must commit each camera to its final spot at installation.
To help you get the best view of your property, consider temporarily mounting a camera to a garden stake or PVC pipe. This way the camera can be moved as often as you want to figure out the best places to catch the action on your property. And if you find the garden stake ideas work for you, simply tuck it behind a tree or plant and leave it. No one is going to look for a camera in your flower bed.
What to Look for in a Home Security Camera
Modern security cameras have come a long way in the past 10 years. No longer do you need a professional to go and drill holes in your home and run cables through your attic. Now, most people can install their home surveillance system. That being the case, here are some things to look for when purchasing an outdoor home security camera.
Motion detection – This is a staple of home security cameras. Users need to know when something is happening on their property, and they need it recorded.
Night Vision – Just about all modern cameras come with the ability to record decent video clips at night. But most cameras don’t have true “night vision” so make sure they get clear footage after dark.
Power Source – Just about all Wi-Fi outdoor cameras are battery-powered, but not all of them. Before you purchase one, make sure that the camera is not going to need to be close to an outdoor outlet for power.
Live Footage Alerts – While you may not want to be alert to every motion clip your camera records, some will cover critical areas like entry points. For these cameras, you’ll want to have live footage alerts from the smartphone app.
Two-Way Audio – Chances are you’ll want to talk to someone who has shown up at your front door. Having two-way audio is a great way to find out why someone is on your porch.
Home Security System Integration – It can be nice to have your alarm system and surveillance system on the same app. Consider Ring Cameras that also work with the Ring Home Alarm system.
Field of View – This refers to how much of an area a camera lens can see at one time. Lenses between 60° and 110° are a good place to start.
Signal Distance – Unfortunately wireless cameras don’t have unlimited Wi-Fi signal strength. When choosing a camera location, make sure it’s going to be close enough to your router to provide a quality signal.
Camera Quality – There are many attractive very cheap options on Amazon for outdoor security cameras that have terrible picture quality. Make sure the camera has at least a 4MP camera that shoots in a minimum of 1080p HD.
Data Security – Understand upfront that the footage captured on your cameras can also be seen by employees of the company. Choose a company that has a reputation for protecting your footage. Ring recently got in trouble for being lax with its internal policies.
Hiding Security Cameras Can be Fun
Overall, the process of hiding your home security cameras can be simple and fun to do. Don’t feel like you have to put your cameras where your neighbor put his. These battery-powered Wi-Fi cameras can be moved anywhere as long as there is a network signal. So have fun and be creative in your placements!