There are several advantages to using battery powered surveillance cameras. There are just about as many types of battery powered surveillance cameras too. Thanks to recent discoveries and improvements in electronic circuitry, battery powered surveillance cameras are not only possible, but the run longer and can be ever smaller in size.
Before we talk about battery powered surveillance cameras and their power systems, let’s briefly describe how a digital video security camera works. The digital video security camera is one of three major components in a digital video security system, the other two being a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and a monitor.
A digital video camera works by converting light energy into electrical energy that can be measured. The camera uses to different instruments to do this, a lens configuration and an electronic sensor chip. The lens or lenses focus the reflective light of images in the field of view of the camera. They focus this field of view, with very accurate precision, onto a sensor chip that typically ranges from 1/4 to about 1 inch in size.
There are two different sensor chips in use today. Both accomplish the same objective, but each goes about doing it in a different way. Charged Coupled Devices or CCDs and Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductors or CMOSs, are sensitive to light. When the focused image strikes the CCD or CMOS, they excite electrons in the sensor material which produce a slight electrical impulse that can be measured. These impulses create digital video images.
Initially, these sensors were extremely expensive. However, in recent times their cost has dropped considerably and so has their size. Typical CCDs and CMOSs used in non-specialty digital video security cameras are 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2 inches in size. Also, because of how they convert the light into electrical energy, CCDs have typically created a higher quality image than CMOSs but they do so at the cost of using more electricity. However, as time passes innovations in the sensor chip manufacturing and design have created lower power-consuming CCDs and higher quality CMOSs that already use less power.
Most non battery powered surveillance cameras get their power from a low voltage Direct Current (DC) power supply wire. This is usually run from a power distribution center (that powers all the other cameras in the system as well) or from a plug-in outlet transformer. The electrical power provides the circuitry for creating the digital video images as well as any additional functions of the camera (such as Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) for example.
These cameras require extra effort during installation, because not only does the camera require a coaxial cable run, but the power supply wire will need to be run also. This may entail drilling through walls, ceilings, studs, etc. Sometimes cameras may be needed in places where it is difficult to run any wires. This is when wireless battery powered surveillance cameras come in.
Battery powered surveillance cameras normally operate off of power from a rechargeable battery or even a one-time use battery. Rechargeable batteries may be nickel cadmium (NiCads), nickel metal halide (NiMH), or lithium ion (LiPO) types. NiCads are typically the cheapest of the three will LiPOs have a much greater working efficiency, lasting longer per charge and not exhibiting an annoying side effect of NiCads called battery memory which reduces lifetimes between charges.
In addition, there are extremely small disguised or hidden type battery powered surveillance cameras such as ink pens (see Security Camera Kings product # HC-PEN) and wristwatches (see our product # HC-WATCH) that operate off of very small on-board rechargeable batteries or watch type batteries.
Credit should also be given to the computer memory industry. Their innovations in cramming more and more memory in tinier electronic spaces and using less electricity to do so have made not only battery powered surveillance cameras possible, but entire battery powered surveillance systems as well. These systems (usually consist of a camera and DVR that can download its stored video to a computer for playback and editing) can be built into almost any object. Some examples that Security Camera King offers for sale in addition to the two already mentioned include a portable lighter (product # HC-LIGTR-DVR), a mini desk clock (product # HC-CLOCK-DVR), and sunglasses (product # HC-SUNGL-DVR). We even have a portable car key fob (product # HC-CARKY).
As technology continues to increase, battery powered surveillance cameras will more than likely be the wave of the future.