In the world of security cameras and surveillance, there’s a lot more questions to answer than you would think. Let’s see if we can help answer a few!
Note: This article is based around Ring cameras, however it applies to many different brands, so do your research accordingly.
When you’re shopping for a home security system, the last thing you want to deal with is trying to figure out what each different camera does and doesn’t do. There’s a lot more information to process, and a lot of terminology that can seem overwhelming and hard to decide on. When you want a great product to protect your home, the last thing you want to do is worry about technicalities. Unfortunately, it can get very confusing no matter which brand of camera you choose. Whether its a professional camera from a company such as LTS, or a more consumer oriented camera from places such as Nest or Ring. No matter which brand you choose to go with, the basic facts remain the same. Here’s some of the most answered questions when it comes to security cameras.
- Spotlight or Floodlight?
You’d think these are the same thing — or at least I did. They’re not at all similar other than the fact that they both record video. The spotlight camera from Ring produces about 350 lumens of light, which is a fairly average amount of light. Similar to about a 40 watt light bulb, it’ll give you quite a bit of coverage in the dark. Conversely, the floodlight gives you quite a bit of a punch. The coverage from the Ring Floodlight Cam produces around 1750 lumens, which is over 5 times as much light. That’ll light up even the smallest cat if the motion detector is set off on the camera. It also will help you see at night in somewhere such as a backyard or garage area, especially somewhere that might be a trip hazard. Floodlights have some very specific purposes that can only be met with the huge amount of light they produce, which may be just right for your situation. It might seem like overkill to some, so test out the brightness of each along with your terrain, and decide if your home needs a spotlight or floodlight.
2. What is the difference between Wired or Wireless or Wi-Fi Mount
While you’d think there’s only two options when it comes down to how to mount your camera, there’s actually quite a few. The main ones are a wired mount (a wire sticking out of your camera can be easier to install, however it can be a lot easier for a thief to cut that wire unless you conceal it in the wall — a wiring mess). There’s a battery powered option which is great, since you won’t have to fret about wires being both installed, or cut off. The biggest catch is that it’s only great until the battery dies. Then it becomes a problem until you switch it out. What a hassle. The third main option is a flush mount wired version. While you have to deal with wires, the flush mount makes the process much easier, and connects to your already wired home. Yikes, that is a lot of decisions to make.
3. What the heck are megapixels, anyways?
Security cameras follow roughly the same guidelines as digital cameras. You’ve all seen the advertisements of the newest Canon Rebel with 24.3 megapixels. That means there’s 24,300,000 individual pixels in the little tiny sensor that lives in the heart of your camera. Consumer security cameras don’t need that many for most of their applications, and they’d be quite more expensive if they had that many. Most security cameras come between 4–8.2 megapixels. To capture 1080p HD video, only 6.1 megapixels is needed by mathematical purposes of rendering that quality. Even a 4 megapixel security camera is going to give you plenty of resolution to ensure you’re capturing exactly what you need to. Another thing to consider along with megapixels is the aperture. You’ll see another number usually with something between a 2.8–4. That’s your aperture. The size of the hole that the lens is taking the photo through, and essentially how much light is getting in. It works opposite of how you’d expect, however. Lower numbers for aperture mean more light going in, so 2.8 lets in almost twice as much light as 4. Generally, unless it’s some very high number such as f/8, you’ll be fine with something that’s a 2.8 or 4 when it comes to your aperture. There’s a few other numbers you’ll see when buying cameras, but these two are the most important to consider.
4. Do I need Wi-Fi or not?
Many newer cameras are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity. It really helps to be able to always check an app on your phone when you’re unsettled by the status of your home during a weekend away, or if you want to spy on the dogs activities while you’re at work. Either way, an app is a very useful thing to tie to your camera system. Some older systems don’t offer it, and you have to use an SD card to sift through the data from the camera and find what you’re looking for. While it’s a bit cheaper to go that option, it can be cumbersome and irritating to always have to download your data instead of stream it to your phone. Nearly every new product has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so we’d recommend that your camera system does too.
Have any other questions?
There’s a lot of things to consider when you want a foolproof security system. We’ve previously touched on different types and brands of systems to get, and we’ll likely touch on different aspects of this subject again. Please send us a message, or give us a call with your questions, and we’ll do our best to write about them in the future. Regent5 loves to help in any way we can, and the more information we can pass off to you, the better! The more informed you are about your security system, the more secure your home will be.