In home security, camera installation plays a crucial role. Learning how to install security camera wiring can be complicated. However, most security camera systems include detailed instructions that will help you get your setup properly connected and up and running.
This guide will help you learn the basics of how to install a security camera and plan your security camera setup.
Create an Installation Plan
Before you purchase any equipment, decide where to install security cameras. Planning the camera locations will help you figure out how many cameras you need.
- Sketch out your home’s layout. Identity the priority areas you want to monitor. Consider possible camera angles. Typical security camera placements include entry doors, off-street windows, porches, stairways, driveways and interior common rooms.
- Walk around your home. Check to be sure each location has no obstructions and has a clear line of sight.
- When installing a security camera outside, try to choose a placement that is higher than 10 feet and will offer some protection from inclement weather. Outdoor-rated cameras are built to be durable. Choosing a good camera placement will help extend the life of the device.
- If you plan to use a wired system, map out the location of the components. Figure out how you will run the wires that connect the camera to the DVR box. Running cable for a wired system will require drilling holes into walls and ceilings. Measure the space so you know how long the cables need to be.
- If you are not comfortable drilling or running cable, hire a professional installer.
Purchase Home Security Cameras
As you continue to learn how to install a security camera, it’s time to decide on a wired setup or a wireless setup.You can also determine which security camera features you want.
- Typically, the most convenient installation option is a wireless security camera system. Wireless security cameras require minimal drilling, but powering them can be tricky. In addition, image quality can be impacted by the size of the area you are trying to cover. The farther the camera is placed from the receiver, the more interference can diminish the picture.
- Wired security cameras are an excellent choice if you have a larger property to cover. However, the installation process will require more steps.
- Bundled home security camera systems are the best value. Systems are also the most convenient option since all of the accessories you need for installation are included. Read the packaging carefully to see what features are offered in each system. Choose one according to your needs.
- A motion-sensor feature, available for both indoor and outdoor cameras, saves recording space and energy. Motion-sensor cameras operate at low power until they sense movement, then "wake up" and capture images.
- Remote viewing is a feature generally found in more expensive systems, allowing you to stream footage to your laptop or smart device. The added expense may be worthwhile if you are often away from your property or for added security if you have children who are old enough to be home alone.
- When shopping, refer to your setup plan to determine if you will need extra security camera cables or cable extenders to help you reach power outlets and parts of your wired security system.
- To protect outdoor security cameras, you may be able to purchase weather shields that will block the rain and snow without obstructing the view. Check to make sure the shields are compatible with your cameras.
- A recording device is needed to store footage from your security system. You can purchase a digital video recorder, or DVR, separately, but most complete systems are sold with a recording device. Expect to receive either a DVR or a network video recorder (NVR) with wireless systems.
- When you have purchased your selected system, be sure to unpack, connect and test all the components before you begin installation. For a wired system, lay out all the included security camera cables to be sure you have enough length to reach your camera locations. If the cables are not long enough, you may need to purchase cable extenders or rework your layout.
How to Mount a Wireless Security Camera
As you’re installing a security camera, find a solid surface for the mount. Camera mounts typically come with screws to attach it. Most camera kits come with a drill template to help you place the screws correctly.
- Using the mounting template as a guide, drill pilot holes where indicated for the mounting screws.
- Install any included mounting pins by lightly tapping them with a hammer.
- Screw the camera mount securely into the wall.
How to Mount a Wired Security Camera
When installing a security camera that’s part of a wired setup, you’ll need to attach the camera mounts and run the cables to the DVR box.
- Using the mounting template as a guide, drill pilot holes for the mounting screws.
- Using a spade bit, drill a larger hole in the center of the guide. The hole is where the cables will exit.
- Following your map, run the security camera cables through the camera mount point and behind the wall until you reach the point where the DVR box will be mounted. Use fish tape to help feed cables behind the wall and in tight spots. You may require assistance with this step.
Install the Cameras
- If your Wi-FI cameras require batteries, install them first.
- If using a wired system, connect the cable extending from the wall to the camera.
- Attach the camera to the power source, if needed.
- Secure the camera onto the mount and then adjust to the desired angle.
- Repeat at each camera location.
Connect Security Cameras to the Network
- Connect the input cable of your wired camera to the DVR box. Write down which input port each camera is being connected to. If your monitor only displays one camera at a time, you will have remember the input number for each one to select which camera to view .
- Connect the DVR output port to the input slot of a monitor.
- Be sure all of the components are connected to a power source and that all cables are securely connected.
- If your system is wireless, you should only need to install the software that came with the device. Then, follow the instructions to complete the setup process.
Tip: Record the IP address of the wireless camera. If you need to view the camera feed remotely, just type the number into a web browser.
As you figure out how to install a security camera, decide which places in your home you’d like to keep an eye on. Once you have planned where to install security cameras, you can figure out which camera features will best meet your needs. Installing a security camera is a matter of placing the mounts and securing the cameras. With wired systems, you’ll also need to place the camera cables.
Ready to get everything that you need to install security cameras? The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.
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