Ago 162014
 

Thanks to home automation technology, home security cameras have never been more versatile or more affordable. The video feed and images can be sent directly to your smart device, in addition to being monitored by a professional home security provider every single day of the year.

But, before you commit to a home automation system and equipment, bear in mind a few basic camera features and how they might be adapted to your home.

There are an overwhelming number of variations for home security cameras, but all of them are based on a few basic designs. Thanks to modern home automation security systems, most can provide real-time streaming video to your home monitors or web-enabled devices.

No Peeking

Hidden cameras are used exactly how they sound. These small devices come in numerous shapes in order to be hidden near or in household objects or mounted inconspicuously in a wall corner. Hidden monitors are mainly used to keep a supervising eye on babysitters, housekeepers, technicians or any other stranger you invite into your home while you’re away.

Stop or I’ll Shoot

Despite their name, bullet cameras only take pictures of intruders. Their name comes from their cylindrical shape, and they are most often used to monitor the outside of a home. They can be programmed to take panning views of your yard in addition to being stationary. These are great for larger homes with wide yards.

Beneath the Dome

You’ve likely seen them in grocery stores or other businesses, but versions of dome cameras exist for the home as well. A small camera (or sometimes several pointing in different directions) are protected by a reflective or darkly tinted plastic cover, so that it can’t be seen which way the camera is facing. This is another great model for monitoring guests when you’re not at home and can help dissuade them from any wrongdoing since they aren’t able to see the camera itself.

The camera you buy for your home automation system may include a lot of bells and whistles, like sophisticated sound microchips and motion tracking. But these can often be expensive and unnecessary, so consider a few factors before making your choice.

Refined Palette

Black and white used to be the only option available for home security cameras, but cost has dropped significantly in recent years for models that record in color. This isn’t to say that black and white won’t always be a cheaper option, but color is almost universally recommended. Home automation monitors and smart devices are able to capture crisp, high definition images of intruders with color cameras, which makes capturing criminals much more likely.

Out Here in the Dark

If you live in a rural area that gets exceptionally dark at night, you should definitely consider cameras with infrared options. Infrared lenses can only see in black and white, but they’re able to record images from between 35 and 70 feet from where they’re mounted, without the use of night vision or any external light.

Take Me In

If your plan is to have cameras monitor the outside of your home, be sure that the model you choose is weatherproof and, for obvious reasons, in a vandal-proof casing. Extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on cameras that aren’t equipped to handle them, which can put your home at a higher risk during the summer and winter months.

Very Moving

While many homeowners are satisfied with stationary cameras for doors, windows or single rooms, don’t rule out the possibility of PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) models also. Many homes have these pointed at a particular area of the property or valuable object. PTZ is able to zoom in on small areas while keeping great picture quality, and it can be linked with your home automation system to move along a track or change its viewing angle automatically.

About the Author: Lindsey Patterson loves technology and home automation who is currently working with Vivint. For more information on home security systems check out Vivint reviews.

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