How can I hide my security cameras but still get a good picture?

After being burgled twice, the beloved insisted on security cameras around the house. However, unless the criminals are incredibly stupid, all we will see is a masked face before the cameras are moved to where they won’t see anything.

Is there any way to hide them, but still get a good picture to identify faces? Obviously, any type of mesh will not do, and as our house is all concrete, I can’t hide them in the wall cavity.

Hidden cameras may help you get a good I.D., but cameras in plain view may also act as a good deterrent and prevent you from even needing an I.D. If your house is concrete, you most likely need a wireless multi-channel system. I suggest wireless assuming you don’t have anywhere to hide wiring. If you do, though, a hardwired system may work better as I’m not sure how concrete may interfere with the camera’s communication. Definitely consult an expert first.

Good hiding places may include behind a plant, in a bookcase (perhaps disguised in some way) or something like that.

Or you can opt for a hidden camera that looks like something else like a smoke alarm, a wall clock or an ordinary ceiling light.

Do you already have an alarm system? Whichever camera you select should be able to integrate with your current system.

Home Security Store has some affordable DIY options for cameras, alarms and other devices, which may help:


Hidden Cameras

Good luck to you. Having been burglarized before, I know how bad it sucks to feel vulnerable in your own home.

Faux birdhouse?

Cameras come in all sorts of clever containers. Tissue boxes, radios, clocks etc. Things that sit on a table and never draw attention.

I haven’t looked to see if wireless cameras are available in that stealth packing. Seems like they should be by now.

These are often called nanny cams

this is also true. Of course, you can’t prove a negative, so you may never know that you were not burgled. But it’s worth considering.

We have visible “dome” cameras, as well as some hidden in bird houses, bird feeders, etc. Our garden - and my shed - are almost 60 yards back behind the house, and no one coming in the back would expect it, but they trip a motion alarm and an IR camera in a bluebird box.

After more burglaries nearby, we also added hi-res cameras down at the street, so every car on the street gets a face and tag shot.

While masked bandits are not exactly rare these days, you’d be surprised at how bold and brazen - and stupid - some burglars are. Something new I’ve seen is door peephole cameras. Folks just walk up to your door, and never know they’re already being recorded.

Motion-sensing laser cannons are good, too.

Especially if you are tired of the cat.

Wireless networks suck at penetrating concrete walls. Masonry bits and CAT5 are cheaper than The routers you are going to need to get decent bandwidth through masonry walls.,,1094325,00.html

Like ducati mentions, a “best of both words” solution might be a combination of obvious and not-so-obvious cameras. Deterrence (to the extent that you get any) from the obvious ones, and more likely coverage of the undeterred from the hidden cameras.

Of course, this would probably roughly double the number of cameras required, meaning extra cost.

This might also permit less thorough concealment of the “hidden” cameras (which might mean less cost and/or better image quality), banking on the likelihood that thieves who disrupt the cameras they easily find won’t look hard for more.

Don’t they sell cheap, fake cameras for the deterrence part?

For the budget-conscious, motion-sensing paintball guns have their uses as well. Particularly if you have squirrels in your back yard.

One thing I saw in the news recently is some guy got caught using a hidden cam that was inside a wallwart. Amazon has one.

Getting a camera that is hidden inside such an everyday object is best. Note: have it face the fake camera so the crook will turn away from the fake and towards the real one.

(And don’t use any trick mentioned on a message board. Even this one.)

Yes, I put some on the rent house.

Most security cameras don’t record well in low light. So, invest in motion detectors… lots of them and bright. They are a deterrent, and if they don’t deter, then you have a good picture of them.

Also, if you want to get a bit more high tech and psychological, attach to the motion detectors spinning yellow lights or a strobe light with a slow pulse to make the criminals think they set off an alarm or are getting their picture took with a flash.

For the cost of all of the security cams you’ll need, wouldn’t the OP be better off with a monitored security system? Monitoring costs can be as low as $8-10 per month and a basic wireless system can cost as little as a few hundred dollars.

All you need is the base station, 2 PIR (passive infra red) motion sensors and maybe a couple of door/window or glass breakage sensors if you want to get fancy. For extra protection you can even add fire/smoke detectors.

In the event that you’re worried about the burglars cutting the telephone wires to the house, most now come with a SIM slot so that you can buy pre-paid cell service and use that as a back up to contact the monitoring station.

Two elements here: one is deterrence, the other is catching the bad guys.

For deterrence, just having cameras and/or a security system (or for real cheapo, buying a security company yard sign (on Ebay or Amazon) and a fake camera or two) makes your property less attractive to burglars.

There are inexpensive wireless cameras that not only snap photos on motion detection, they are capable of sending the photos to your e-mail. They can be mounted in fairly inconspicuous locations, assuming you can get a cord to a power supply.

Not too many burglars are going to want to prowl around wearing masks. At least, the ones I see caught on videos commonly don’t bother with disguises.

There’s a decent selection of DIY security cameras and home security systems on the market, and some have good reviews.

Cutting the phone wires won’t affect a home system that doesn’t use them.

The police here wait fifteen minutes before responding to alarms because of the high false alarm rate.

That sort of statistic is generally for unmonitored systems. A central monitoring station can directly query the base station and reduce or eliminate the possibility of a false alarm.

However where pets are involved, if you’re relying solely on PIR sensors, that could potentially be an issue. However there are specialized units that restrict sensitivity to eliminate areas close to the floor for example. If you combine this sort with careful placement, you should be ok.

edit: in addition, the monitoring station can contact neighbors to look out their windows to see if there is any suspicious activity or otherwise provide an additional check. Many base stations also will integrate with ip surveillance cameras.

A small but visible sign near the entrances can help:
“Video surveillance in use”
This may be required in states anyway (like Illinois).

I’m curious who you think is going to view the footage? What good is cinematic-quality high-def 3-D footage of a person whose name you don’t know? To prove to the police you were burgled?