The security of lives and property has remained one of the most important needs for modern living. Different types of cameras have evolved over the years for security surveillance. Motion-triggered and remote-operated trail cameras are one of such evolutions; however, you may ask: can I use a trail camera for home security?
You can use a trail camera for home security. Once the motion-sensor detects motion, the camera will take pictures or record videos of burglars, trespassers, or even mail thieves.
Trail cameras have become quite popular and can also be used for wildlife photography. However, to get the best experience, you need to know how to set it up for security purposes, and in this guide, you would learn just that. Let’s begin!
Setting up your trail camera depends largely on your situation and particular need. What you may need your trail camera to do will be different from what someone else needs it to do. The worst thing is to spend a lot of money on a trail camera with features and functions you don’t need. So it’s best to consider the specifics of your intention. However, the basics for setting up a trail camera for security remain the same and they include:
- Step One: Test run your trail camera before committing to the full install
The first step is to test run the camera to make sure it functions as expected; mount it with a tape so you can monitor and evaluate the feed for optimal performance. Check if you can see everything you want to see without any fault. Additionally, if it is a Wi-Fi trail camera, check if the Wi-Fi signal is strong enough. You also need to check if the exposure is too much or if an obstacle is blocking the field of view.
- Step Two: Find the best place to install the trail camera.
Everyone’s budget, property, and surveillance priorities are different. Thus, there is no one-size-fits-all rule that applies to everyone. Some people just want to know who enters and leaves the house. Some others want a very tight security surveillance system with trail cameras all around the compound. Figure out what you want; however, there are some best places to install trail cameras; and they include your exterior front door; exterior back and side doors; exterior garage and driveway; exterior yard; interior stairway, or hallway; interior common areas, and mailboxes.
Wherever you decide to install your trail camera, make sure you install them in places that do not violate your neighbor’s privacy.
- Step Three: Mounting Options
There are many sizes and shapes of security trail cameras. Some of them have long antennas, some come in cylindrical shapes, and some are square-shaped. How you mount your security trail cameras depends on your situation, your budget, your needs, and what’s available to you. However, there are three basic mounting options for most of the security trail cameras. There is the option of a tree strap; this is ideal if you have trees around your house or the building where you want to install the trail camera as they can’t easily be detected and are easy to camouflage. The only disadvantage of mounting your trail camera on a tree with a strap is that the angle you want the camera to face cannot be easily adjusted. Secondly, except you use a cable with locks, a tree-mounted camera can be easily stolen as they are usually not strapped so high on the tree.
There are also the angle mounts which are quite common for security trail cameras. They are cheap and easily adjustable to face any direction and at any angle. The only disadvantage of this is that they are not secure. While they are usually mounted about 20 feet away from the subject, making it difficult for thieves to reach, but with a ladder, it can be stolen easily.
Lastly, there are trail cameras that are mounted with security cases and python locks for maximum security. The only downside is that they are large, bulky, and expensive.
Birdhouses are commonly found outside homes. You can disguise your trail camera by placing it in a coop or even create an enclosed style birdhouse with an opening in front of the lens of the trail camera. You can also place it like a light post. This is an effective way of keeping intruders at bay. Ceilings are another option; you can install your trail camera under the ceilings. This way, the trail camera becomes invisible, especially when camouflaged to match the ceilings. The fact is that it is easier to hide smaller trail cameras in the ceiling, and no one would detect it from a distance, except if they pay close attention to it.
- Step Four: Concealment and Protection for your trail camera
Security cameras generally are heavily reliant on concealment from theft to function effectively. Essentially, a trail camera is just like a little box mounted or attached to a tree or any other place that takes pictures and records videos when a subject comes within a particular range of its lens. This means that if a trespasser sees it, they can steal it easily if not properly secured. Thus, make sure you hide and secure your trail camera well. There is nothing worse than having your house robbed and the trail camera is also stolen or destroyed. Most trail cameras come in conservative colors and camouflage patterns. You can take extra steps to conceal your camera by using grass and leaves. The simple idea is to make your trail camera part of the environment and landscape; this way, it’s difficult for anyone to notice it.
If you intend to use your trail camera to cover small areas such as a side yard, tool shed, or a part of your fence, always ensure that the camera is at least 20 feet away from its target.
- Step Five: Memory Cards
Another thing you should do after getting your trail camera is to get some SD cards. Not all trail cameras come with SD cards, and it’s always nice to have backup SD cards in case they get filled up. You should also check the settings of your trail camera to see if you can adjust the sensitivity of the trigger to be less sensitive. This way, leaves, moths, mosquitos, and other flying insects wouldn’t trigger the camera, thereby filling up your storage with photos and videos that you do not need.
- Step Six: Battery life
Most high-ranked trail cameras boast of long battery life, which can be up to a year in some cases. A trail camera close to the main entryway is going to be triggered by you and your family members every time you pass by it. This means that the camera is going to be used more and thus might need more battery power.
There are trail cameras that are solar-powered. Ensure that the solar panels are positioned in a way that they can receive and store enough sunlight. But also be mindful that this doesn’t affect the amount of light the lens is exposed to.
Additionally, if you set the trail camera to record videos, it is going to consume more battery. Thus, you can get more batteries, solar panels, or even a direct power supply for your trail camera depending on how frequent you don’t mind changing batteries. Also, note that solar panels make the trail camera a bit harder to conceal, so have this in mind when mounting it.
The cameras that make our list have been chosen mostly based on user reviews and they include:
The Browning Strike Force trail camera allows you to take 24MP resolution pictures and record 900p videos with a length of 5 seconds and 2 minutes. It comes with a 16GB SD card and is compatible with up to 512GB SD card. With its zero blur technology, blurs will be removed from images of fast-moving animals or potential burglars. The trail camera can take up to 8 pictures in 2 seconds per trigger, in rapid-fire mode.
This trail camera also comes with adjustable infrared LEDs, which have a detection range of 100-feet for taking bright night-time pictures and videos. With its smart infrared technology, it can adjust its illumination power for clear pictures at night. The camera has a good detection range of 80-feet. It has a reflex trigger speed of 0.4 seconds. It features a backlit green display that enables you to change the setting areas with low light and even under direct sunlight.
The Strike Force can last for at least three months on 6 AA batteries. It also works in bad weather conditions due to its well-built weatherproof case. The Browning Strike Force trail camera is a great camera at an affordable price. It has a TV-out connector to allow you to watch your videos on our television and a USB port for media transfer on your computer.
The Campark T86 Wi-Fi Bluetooth trail camera is a trustworthy camera that sends real-time images and videos directly to your phone through its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. You can also change the settings of your camera by using the app which is available for android and IOS. You can also preview your videos and photos using the 2.3-inches TFT display screen. It can accept up to 128GB SD card.
The Campark T86 trail camera features 36 pcs 940nm LEDs with an illumination range of 65-feet. With three passive infrared sensors, it increases the accuracy of the camera in detecting any animal or stranger. The T86 can also use eight alkaline AA LR6 batteries to give the most optimal battery life. It comes with a 30 days’ payment back and 12 months’ warranty, which is useful if your camera comes with a defect.
It is waterproof with a rating of IP66. It has a 20MP camera sensor that can record 1290p videos with quality audio in 30 frames per second and can capture beautiful pictures. This camera is a users’ favorite for home security due to its huge expandable option and wireless control.
The Victure HC300 trail camera is designed for wildlife watching and even farm or home surveillance. The camera can take stunning 20MP pictures and record 1080p HD videos at 15 frames per second. It also comes with three shooting modes. It can perform well in bad weather due to its waterproof casing with an IP66 rating.
The HC300 features 38 pcs with no-glow LEDs with a flash range of 60-feet, for producing detailed and crisp images at night. With its adjustable motion-activated sensor, it can take up three pictures in burst mode when activated. It also has an ultra-fast trigger speed of 0.3 seconds and a detection angle of 90-degrees. The trail camera has an input for an external 6-volt power supply just in case you want to use a solar panel or a battery pack.
The Victure HC300 trail camera is also equipped with a 2-inches color LCD screen for checking out videos and pictures taken. It has a USB port that allows you to transfer pictures and videos to your computer. You can also navigate through the setting through the display and arrow buttons. It can support up to 32GB SD card. It can also stamp pictures and videos based on time, temperature, and location.
The Stealth Cam DS4K is probably one of the first 4k trail cameras. It can be used as either a security camera or as a wildlife camera. The DS4K has a dual camera sensor; one of which is designed for taking low light night pictures, and the other sensor is optimized for taking colored high definition daytime photos and videos. It is compatible with SD cards up to 32GB.
The trail camera can capture high-resolution 30MP pictures and record incredible 4K videos that also includes sound. It is equipped with an adjustable Passive Infra-red (PIR) Sensor that has a trigger speed of fewer than 0.4 seconds. With hybrid mode, this camera can take both still photos as well as videos when it is triggered. It can take about 1-9 pictures in burst mode each time it is triggered.
The Stealth Cam DS4K features 42 no glow infrared emitter with an adjustable range. It has a wide flash range of 100-feet. It also has a feature called retina low light sensiti ty which increases the ability of the camera sensor to absorb more light in low light conditions, making your pictures brighter and clear.
The Spartan Gocam (4G/LTE) trail camera doesn’t require a Sim card for you to get connected to a Verizon or AT&T network; all you just need is to activate the service from HCO. You can connect your trail camera with your phone anywhere in the world by using the Spartan app through the 4G cellular network. You can also change the settings from your phone through the Spartan app. It also has a 2-inches LCD display screen for previewing videos and checking out pictures.
This trail camera features an 8MP camera sensor for taking pictures and 720p videos. It can take up to 3 photos in burst mode when the camera is triggered. It can accept up to 32GB memory cards. It sends pictures directly to your phone in real-time if it is triggered by a potential target. It can also send videos to your phone, although it will require a premium account.
The Spartan Gocam (4G/LTE) trail camera also features a blackout flash for night vision. It also has an adjustable Passive Infra-red Sensor with a trigger speed of 0.6 seconds and a field of view of 52-degrees. The camera comes with a 12 months’ warranty.
The Browning Defender 850 trail camera is one of the best trail cameras for security in the Browning line-up. It allows you to connect to your camera from inside your house with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections through the Browning trail camera app. The connectivity gives the ability to check out videos and images and even change the settings of your camera from your bedroom.
The trail camera features a 20MP camera sensor that can capture crystal clear pictures and record 1080p full HD videos. With the multi-shot mode, it can take up to 8 pictures. It has a fast trigger speed of 0.4 seconds and a wide detection range of 80-feet. It compatible with the Browning buck with time-lapse viewer application making watching time-lapse pictures easier.
The Browning Defender 850 trail camera has a memory card slot that comes with a 16GB SD card and can support up to 128 SDXC memory cards. It also has an adjustable infra-red flash, which has a range of about 120-feet. You can also use an optional security box to protect your trail camera from theft and impact.
The Skypoint Solar Dark is a unique trail camera with integrated solar panel technology giving your camera unlimited battery life. It features a 2-inches display for programming your camera with ease. Apart from the solar panel that supplies power to the camera allows 8 AA batteries to be used. It switches to the batteries when the charge of the solar panel goes below 20%. This reduces the chances of you missing footage of potential thieves or other targets because of dead batteries.
The trail camera is compatible with a memory card up to 32GB. It can capture sharp 12MP pictures and record full 1080p HD videos. It can also take up to 6 pictures in multi-shot mode. It has a sing motion sensor that can cover five zones for detection. It also has a fast detection speed of 0.07 seconds and an impressive detection range of 110-feet.
The Skypoint Solar Dark is equipped with 42 infrared LEDs with a flash range of about 90-feet. You can change the settings of the LEDs to either no glow, optimal, boost or blur reduction. It is advisable to change it to no glow in order to reduce the probability of your camera getting spotted. A 2-year warranty program comes with this camera just in case of any factory fault
The Bushnell Trophy Camera Aggressor is a tough trail camera that can withstand almost any harsh weather. The new design of this camera gives you the option to remove the anti-reflection LED cover just in case you feel it is affecting the quality of your pictures. It also comes with a strong cable and latches to protect your camera from getting stolen in case it gets spotted. It also has an LCD text display that is in black and white for changing the settings of the camera.
The trail camera has a camouflage design that will help to prevent it from getting spotted easily around your home by potential thieves or other targets. It can also work with a solar panel giving it that extra power boost. It has 48 no glow infrared LEDs, which allows you to capture images and videos at night.
The Bushnell Trophy Camera Aggressor comes with a 14MP camera sensor for recording 1080p HD videos with audio while also capturing high-quality pictures. The video length for each video can be up to 60 seconds. It has a reflex trigger speed of 0.2 seconds and a wide detection range of 100-feet, which means it might catch potential thieves even if they are walking fast. You can adjust the sensitivity of the Passive Infra-red Sensor as you wish..
The Skypoint Force 20 is an excellent entry-level camera for security guaranteed to give you quality pictures. It comes with 48 infrared LEDs with an illumination range of 80-feet. This will help catch any potential burglar lurking around your backyard at night. It also has a small 1.5-inches LCD screen for checking out clips and pictures.
This trail camera comes with a 16GB SD card and can support up to 32GB in case you need more space. It can capture crisp 20MP images and record 720p HD videos. The camera can take up to 5 pictures each time it is triggered in multi-shot mode. It has only one motion sensor which has three zones of detection and a trigger speed of 0.7 seconds.
The Skypoint Force 20 can also stamp pictures based on the date, temperature, and moon phase. It can use eight alkaline AA batteries that can last up to 3 months. You can also connect it to a battery pack with a DC 12v input if you want the camera to last for a long time without changing the batteries. The trail camera also comes with a 2-year warranty in case of any fault from the manufacturer.
The ScoutGuard BG590 is a sleek camera with a unique design. It is equipped with a 2-inches LCD screen which allows you to preview footages and pictures on the spot. The housing of the trail camera is designed to protect your camera from harsh weather conditions. It can accept a memory card of up to 32GB.
The ScoutGuard BG590 features a 24MP camera sensor that can take sharp pictures and records 1080P HD videos making sure you don’t miss any detail. The resolution of the camera can be adjusted to 10, 12, 16, and 18 megapixels. It can also take 5 seconds to 3 minutes’ video clips, which should be enough to check for any suspicious activity around your home. In burst mode, the camera can take up to 3 pictures per trigger.
This trail camera is equipped with 40 invisible black infrared LEDs with a flash range of 30 meters. The invisible black infrared LEDs make it very difficult for potential thieves to spot your camera while making them visible to you at night. It has a trigger speed of 0.7 seconds and a detection angle of 57-degrees with a detection range of 30 meters.
We believe you have gotten enough information about security trail cameras through this and other articles on this site. We are glad to help you make that confident and informed choice!