Continuing with our FAQ Explanations, the question for today is "I want to install security cameras outdoors. What should I look for?"
There are many situations in which you would want an outdoor camera. Many houses may face situations such as vandalism or trespassing during the night times, or even day times, and as such may require some surveillance. Sometimes a sign indicating video surveillance is enough to ward of some people, but the lack of a physical camera may be an invitation for these hooligans to proceed with their acts of vandalism or trespassing. So today I want to address the issue of what kind of camera you're going to be looking for and why when it comes to outdoor installation.
It should be no surprise to you when I say that any camera is "capable" of being installed outdoors. If you can run a line from your DVR to the camera or if you can find a power source to plug in an IP camera, you'd be golden. Definitely not the case at all times.
Security cameras as well as many other items come with an IP rating. The IP (International Protection) rating system is represented by two numbers. The first digit represents a protection rating against solid objects such as dust, and the second rating is against water. The actual chart marking the ratings of each number can be found here. Most security cameras these days come with an IP66 Rating that marks total protection against dust as well as protection against strong jets of water. Many other items that claim to be waterproof of dustproof may also have this rating as well. So the IP rating is definitely something you want to look for when purchasing a camera for outdoor usage.
Secondly, you want to note the make of the actual camera. The two different types are metal and plastic. One or the other does not designate one to be better than the other in outdoor usage. Many believe that a metal-cased bullet camera is better outdoors but it may not always be the case. The design of the actual cover plays a great part in deciding such a thing. Granted the camera may come with a IP66 rating, the exposure of wires and connections may affect how weather resistant the entire camera is. Sometimes the cover is flush against where the wire is exposed, blocking off any kind of water whereas some covers do not. The design of the camera itself is very much important.
Third, you have to decide dome or bullet. Consider your situation and environment. Do you have many possibilities of vandalism to the point where someone could knock out your camera as a means of taking out your surveillance? May not everyone, but there are those who may say yes to this question. For example, our camera the STO-7001 is built to be vandal-proof and waterproof. It's casing is a dense metal and the plastic cover around the lens is also dense, making it very hard to break. This is something I would decide on if such vandalism is a concern only because a bullet with a stem, regardless of its metal casing, will probably break off from the stem depending on the amount of impact. So please take your situation and environment into account when purchasing your camera!
Third, you do not want to forget about the wires. Many times people will only look at the camera and figure that because of the weatherproof label, everything is good to go. Wires are not completely weatherproof, nor are they cat-proof, dog-proof, and many more. It's always important to think of the possibility that something else other than just weather may get to your wires. You may have to cover your wires with pipes or electric tape the area where your camera connects to the wires. So when it comes to outdoor set ups, you'll have take your wire protection into account as well.
This was a relatively quick overview of what to consider when buying cameras for outdoor usage. So don't just go on the fact that a camera says "outdoor camera," be sure to check these things before you make your purchase.
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