|Select and Install a Security Camera
can give you peace of mind, whether you're keeping an eye on children at
play or watching to see who's coming to the front door.
Homebound people and those concerned about neighborhood safety appreciate an
increased awareness of their surroundings. Cameras differ in their
suitability and function, so make sure to choose the one that will give you
the best picture for your needs. Lowe's is happy to provide this information
as a service to you.
security camera system requires a few basic decisions. Here are some
questions to help guide your purchase:
many cameras will you need? Some monitoring systems can accommodate
only one or two, while other systems offer further expansion.
- Do you
need audio as well as video?
systems include microphones so you can hear what you're seeing.
- Do you
want color or black and white? Color pictures are often clearer, but
the equipment can be more expensive. Color cameras might not work in
- Do you
prefer wired or wireless?
choice for you depends on where the camera will be located:
cameras are fixed in place and must be put in a spot where the wiring
won't get in the way. They offer greater assurance of a high-quality
cameras can be moved around easily and can be installed in more places,
but other devices (such as cordless phones, baby monitors and some
computer networks) can interfere with signal transmission.
the camera be outside?
monitor outdoor locations require special weatherproof housings and may
not be appropriate for extreme temperatures. Those that might be the
target of vandalism need extra-tough casings to resist tampering.
What is the light source? Steady, reliable light
— either from the environment or from the camera itself — is required for
clear images. A camera's lux rating measures its ability to capture
images in the dark. The lower the lux rating, the less light is required
for a clean picture.
monitoring in the dark or near-darkness can be done with infrared light,
which is invisible to the human eye, but the technology can be expensive.
there a power source nearby? Some cameras and monitors must be plugged
into a wall outlet. Others can run on battery power.
- Do you
want to use your computer? Some cameras can be attached to a computer,
allowing you to view the images from anywhere using an Internet
connection. The required software is usually included with the camera.
you record the images? Some cameras are meant just for viewing — to
see what the kids are doing in the backyard or who is ringing the
doorbell. Others are meant for long-term monitoring and may be attached to
VCRs. If a VCR attachment is planned, make sure the camera system is
compatible with the recorder. Special VCRs can use time-lapse recording to
fit many hours on a standard videotape. Some recorders can be set to
activate only when motion is detected.
Wireless systems may include portable cameras that can be moved around
without permanent installation. Take care that nothing between the
camera and the monitor degrades the signal that is transmitted. Cordless
telephones, baby monitors and some home computer networks may cause
Security Camera System
Most home security
cameras require little wiring, but installation differs according to model. Here
are the basic steps:
Determine the area
to be monitored and, using the instructions that come with the system, place
the camera at a proper distance to focus clearly on the desired area. The
distance between camera and subject area will vary from camera to camera.
If the camera is
to be mounted on a wall or structure, hold the mounting bracket to the surface
in the correct position and mark the location of mounting screws.
drill pilot holes. Attach camera to wall and secure tightly.
If using a wired
system, connect the camera and monitor according to the manufacturer's
directions. Try to expose as little as possible of the wiring, to prevent
vandalism of the system.
Plug the monitor
into a wall outlet, turn it on, and adjust the picture for best reception.