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  • Ideas for where to hide outdoor cameras on or near a garage

    I need to hide cameras, preferably wired cameras, outdoors on or near a garage - one on the right pointing left and one on the left pointing right. I am having a hard time being creative and coming up with covert locations. In a porch light would be ideal, but most porch lights don't have the room and I am also concerned with the extra heat. What kind of decorations do people stick on a garage that I might hide a camera in? All wires need to lead to the garage, drilling a hole in the wall behind the decor being one way to do it.

  • #2
    My reccomendation: don't hide them at all. Get a small bullet camera instead. By the time anyone spots them, it'll be too late- they'll already be on camera.
    The CCTV Blog.

    "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

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    • #3
      Can you see the garage from the house? You could always have a camera pointing out a window towards the garage if it is in view. Otherwise, I would agree with CameraMan. Unless it is absolutely necessary to "catch" someone in the act of doing something, it is much better to deter anything from happening in the first place with a visable camera.
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      • #4
        some ideas for your challenge

        Since you're an installer, I'm guessing this is probably specified by a client... so suggestions of visible bullet cameras probably are out of the question. I would think you could do something with decorative trim or a large hollow finial hanging down from each corner of the garage eaves.


        Maybe a non-solid finial (these stair finials - http://www.architecturaldepot.com/c/stair-finials/ - are similar to what I'm picturing. These don't seem to be hollow, but, I'm sure there are hollow plastic ones that can be purchased -- maybe check at Lowe's, or at a decorator's store). Or you could do some sort of weird hollow statuette if it's some sort of over-the-top European-style McMansion. Hiding cameras on a garage seems like it would be much easier on an ornate home.

        You could always build some sort of interesting decorative trim box under the eaves to conceal a camera, too. Only a really discerning eye would recognize that box as out-of-place.

        Let us know what you come up with. Welcome to the forums!

        Geoff
        SecurityInfoWatch.com

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        • #5
          Geoff - Good idea! You also reminded me that I've seen decor made to hang from gutters.

          bjohs - the house is set back from the sidewalk with the garage being the most forward. The left camera will view mainly in front of the garage, watching the car and trash can areas (both have had vandalism). The right camera will look left and watch the walkway to the house as well as the front yard area (which has also had vandalism to the plants).

          In regards to hidden vs visible, the goal is to catch who is doing the vandalism.

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          • #6
            As an installer you probably have taken into consideration the light levels and possibility of blooming. Along with Geoff's suggestion, consider an infrared illuminator built around the camera, killing two birds with the same stone.
            Enjoy the day,
            Bill

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            • #7
              Thanks Bill. I've experimented with infrared vs Sony ExCam (.0003 lux) and I am currently thinking the Sony's will be going into the decor without infrared. This particular installation is shaded for much of the day (and rains half the year) and in theory the cameras will be under the eaves, so I am not anticipating a huge problem with blooming. It also has a street light right there as well as the floodlight in the center of the garage, which will be using real floodlight bulbs once the new cameras are in.

              Admittedly my experience with security is less than most of you as I primarilly do home automation, so I appreciate tips on things like avoiding blooming.

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              • #8
                Another product you may look into is motion detector outdoor lights with the camera built in. They are concealed and also provide a level of security when the light comes on.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by madmartian View Post
                  In regards to hidden vs visible, the goal is to catch who is doing the vandalism.
                  Here is a question for you about the above approach - what will you or your client do if you catch someone on the video vandalizing a property? Do you know what entails to go forward legally against such vandalism or costs associated with possible prosecution or possible restitution (if provided you will pursue this as a criminal case) vs. if you were to decide to take such party in a civil case?

                  The answers are not that easy as it may seem...
                  http://www.cctvshowroom.com
                  http://www.everythingcctv.com

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                  • #10
                    Rooney - I've been trying to find a model of motion detector floodlight cam where the cam is concealed. Supercircuits used to carry a good one that had the camera hidden in the motion detector that they would configure with an ExCam. Unfortunately, it's been discontinued. I have seen others that I don't like as much because the camera is not concealed or the camera is not low light enough. A bullet camera mounted to a floodlight is too obvious for this application and most cameras above .05 lux just aren't good enough.

                    MetzLyov - That's a different and involved discussion, and one that doesn't have an answer yet. The key is to get the evidence first, then identify the person, then determine what to do about it. Is it a close neighbor? Is it someone known or unknown? Is it a member of the neighborhood association? Is it someone not part of the neighborhood at all? Why are they doing it? Different answers to these questions would lead to different results.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by madmartian View Post
                      The key is to get the evidence first, then identify the person, then determine what to do about it. Is it a close neighbor? Is it someone known or unknown? Is it a member of the neighborhood association? Is it someone not part of the neighborhood at all? Why are they doing it? Different answers to these questions would lead to different results.
                      It is much more difficult than most people realize, to identify someone, much more so outdoors, and in the dark. Typically, if you know the persons being recorded, they should fill you screen or view, from head to toe. If you do not know the person, they should fill you screen from head to waist. This is FBI recommendations. If you've spent much time reviewing video or watching live video, you know what I mean.

                      So deterrance is much better than having them on video. That being said, get the highest resolution at the lowest possible lux, provide as much light as possible (if the lighting is behind the subject, add light or re-consider the IR illumination, otherwise you'll just have a shadow), and record at the highest resolution possible.
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                      Rocket Science
                      Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


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                      The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

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                      • #12
                        I don't know if this will help, but here are a few links to covert outdoor cameras that may just do the trick.

                        http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/ou...en-camera.html

                        http://www.4hiddenspycameras.com/elboxcocawib2.html

                        http://www.123securityproducts.com/st115wc.html
                        Learn more about Video as a Service platforms:
                        www.byremote.net
                        www.offsitevideo.com

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                        • #13
                          integrator97 - thanks for the recognition tips.

                          bjohs - I have looked at the electrical box cams but prefer something less unsightly. I found an ideal product, but unfortunately not available in the US, or even a compatible system like Japan:

                          LAMP-CAM

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by madmartian View Post
                            integrator97 - thanks for the recognition tips.

                            bjohs - I have looked at the electrical box cams but prefer something less unsightly. I found an ideal product, but unfortunately not available in the US, or even a compatible system like Japan:

                            LAMP-CAM
                            You can't put a small camera in a lamp yourself?
                            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                              You can't put a small camera in a lamp yourself?
                              I was gonna say.... Hop on over to your local Lowes Depot and look at the lamps, and see how much room you can have. Then order up a camera that will fit, grab your power tools, some glue, a hammer, tape and a can of nut buster, and you're good to go.

                              What I like in these catalogs, even the popular ones here in the USA, is the camera in the non-working smoke detector (shown on the lamp-cam page). These are illegal to use or install (though not to posess), yet still sold. According to national fire codes (NFPA 72 etc), you cannot install a non-working smoke detector. If it looks like a smoke detector, it better work. That's not to say you can't put one in a working smoke detector, but that's never done.
                              sigpic
                              Rocket Science
                              Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                              http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                              One Man's Opinion

                              The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                              Comment

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