Posts Tagged ‘ Video Cameras ’

Security Lights with Camera

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Talk about “getting caught in the act,” that’s exactly what security lights with camera will do. Using a security lights with camera device will not only illuminate the subject with a flood of high wattage bright white light, but it will take still pictures or video images of them too.

It’s a proven fact that the incidence of crime is decreased in areas that are well lit by bright security lights. Obviously, criminals and trespassers are less likely to frequent areas that are strongly lit because of a higher probability of being caught and ultimately being prosecuted. In addition, both the London, England and New York City police departments have also proven that the mere presence of video cameras reduces the incidence of crime. So why not combine these two into one with a security lights with camera system that offers the power and protection of both?

Generally, a security lights with camera system is a self contained unit. However, using motion detectors, digital video camera illuminators, and digital video cameras, it is conceivable that a custom made security lights with camera system can also be constructed. However, for this article we will limit our discussion to the more common self-contained units.

The self contained security lights with camera system is usually one unit that consists of three major components: 1) A high wattage extra bright floodlight; 2) A motion detector relay; and, 3) A digital video camera and mini Digital Video Recorder or DVR. The unit can be mounted just about anywhere that a regular house current AC power line can be connected to it. The specific locations for mounting the unit are virtually endless. Here’s a partial list of suggested uses or places to mount the unit:
• Front and back of residences near possible points of entry;
• Boat slips and docks;
• Entrances to storage facilities;
• Inside storage facilities that are normally not lit at night;
• Back entrances to stores and other business locations;
• Entrances to barns and/or equipment sheds;
• Property that is posted with “No Trespassing” signs; and
• Machinery and other valuables kept outside.

A typical security lights with camera unit will contain a high-wattage motion activated halogen lamp. Most units use halogen elements rate at about 500 watts. Mounted somewhere on the unit (usually directly below the lamp) is a built-in digital video security camera. Both the lamp and the camera are activated by an on-board motion detector so that when motion is detected, a relay activates the camera and turns on the security light at the same time.

The motion detector used in these units is usually a PIR or Passive InfraRed motion detector. The PIR works by scanning the field of view of the camera and security light. It detects the inherent infrared radiation being emitted in this field of view. When a sudden change in the infrared radiation signature occurs, it interprets this to be an object in motion (such as a human walking past it). The PIR sensor is connected to a relay that is then switched to the “On” position activating both the security light and digital video camera at the same time.

The camera immediately begins taking pictures or digital video footage. Since digital video is actually several digital photographs taken at a high rate of speed in succession, the security lights with camera unit allows you to set it in advance to take either digital still photographs or digital video. The digital photographs or video are saved by the on-board DVR.

The mini on-board DVR usually consists of some sort of built in memory that can be expanded by adding additional memory devices to it (such as a thumb drive, an SD card, etc.) To access the digital photographs or videos, simply remove the portable digital memory media and plug it into your computer.

The entire one piece unit is normally rated as an outdoor device meaning that it can protect the components from weather and other elements (like dust). Installation usually consists of:
1) Mounting the unit and adjusting the aim;
2) Connecting it to a typical residential type AC power line;
3) Inserting the portable memory media; and,
4) Setting the camera and light for duration of the “On” state and the type of digital picture format.

That’s all there is to it. So if you are looking for maximum security at a safe distance with relatively low price, you should consider purchasing a security lights with camera system today.


Hidden Video Cameras

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Hidden video cameras can provide security and surveillance monitoring for those special circumstances when it is advantageous not to expose the recording equipment. There are several types and varieties of hidden video cameras that are designed for a wide array of applications. Electronic technological advances have permitted the creation of the smallest cameras, yet these cameras can still produce high quality images and some can also record audio as well.

There are several types of hidden video cameras. You can choose the type of hidden video camera based on your need for clandestine security monitoring. Cameras range from incredibly small in size, known as “pin hole” cameras, to cameras disguised as other devices so as not to indicate that they are actually a security or surveillance camera.

Probably one of the most popular hidden video camera types is the dome camera. This type of camera case looks like a dome or bubble. Although the dome camera is not truly hidden or disguised, dome cameras with mirrored or blackened covers can prevent visual accessibility from the outside in. In other words the subject being recorded cannot tell if the camera is pointed at them or not.

Truly hidden, disguised, or often called “covert” video cameras can be extremely small cameras that are self contained units. These cameras are not only small enough to be hidden out of normal view, but may also contain their own power source, usually a rechargeable battery, and their own digital video recorder or DVR in the form of a compact flash memory card. These cameras often contain built-in motion sensors that activate the camera only when motion in the target area is detected, conserving power and storage resources. Small hidden video cameras are often only 1 ¼ x 1 ¼ inches in size which makes them very “unnoticeable” and easy to conceal.

The technology behind these types of cameras is one of two light sensing imaging devices. A Charged Coupled Device or CCD or Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. These devices can be extremely small, as little as ¼ or 1/3 of an inch in size and provide a 420-line high quality video image. CCDs benefits include extreme sensibility to even the lowest lighting conditions and inherently sensitive to infrared (IR) radiation. CMOS benefits include an extremely low power demand making them an excellent choice for portable objects.

Disguised hidden video cameras are constructed in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here are just some of the different cameras that are available:

• Faux smoke detector complete with blinking red light. The case is the same case used for typical ceiling type detectors. Up to 4 cameras can be hidden inside the case.
• Standard office type, round wall clocks. These units appear as typical round wall clocks found in most offices, schools, and warehouses. It contains a working clock as well as a hidden video camera.
• Sunglasses. These units use a hidden CMOS sensor and capture video at 320 x 240 resolution or greater and can record video for up to 90 minutes or more.
• Digital picture frames. Recently, the digital picture frame device that displays several hundred digital photographs have become a very popular desk or end table addition. These units come with a hidden video camera embedded in the digital video frame unit.
• Speaker cameras. Actual Operating speakers that contain a hidden video camera.
• Heating and air conditioner thermostats. Once again the thermostat is fully functional for most heaters and air conditioners but in addition to his function, a hidden video camera is built into the unit.
• Flood light or emergency lighting units. These devices provide the lighting function as well as contain a hidden camera.
• Artificial plant and planter. Looks just like a typical “potted” plant but contains an artificial plant and a hidden video camera.
• Other hidden video camera devices include belt buckles, ball point pens, pencil sharpeners, neck ties, baseball caps, electrical outlet boxes, tissue boxes. Painted pictures with frames, and even coffee mugs.

Hidden security video recording is generally legal in just about every state. However, some states do have laws regarding hidden video recording as well as audio recording. Check with your state to verify any legal requirements before investing in a hidden video camera system.

As you can see, there is almost an infinite amount of varieties of hidden video cameras. Modern scientific advancements have allowed these cameras to be hidden almost anywhere and disguised as almost anything.