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DIY Home Outdoor Security Cameras, What You Need To Know

Choosing The Right DIY Home Outdoor Security Cameras (Part 1)

DIY (do-it-yourself) outdoor home security cameras are your home’s first line of defense against thieves and criminals. They help you establish your first layer of residential security. You should choose the right DIY home security surveillance camera for your specific needs.

To do that, you will need to plan your surveillance system and then decide how much security is right for you.

Basically, the first thing you need to know is what it is that you want. You need to know what your security goals.

The following steps will help you figure that out.

Ok, let’s get started.

Step #1 – Plan The Exterior Setup – Take a look at the exterior of your home and decide how you’re going to survey your property. Decide how many outdoor home security cameras are required to setup adequate surveillance.


When it comes time to buying your DIY home security system, make sure that it supports the number of cameras you need. Also make sure that it allows for the addition of more cameras. You might change your mind and decide to expand your system in the future. You may also want to consider the installation of fake security cameras. When used effectively, they make great additions to exterior home security systems.

Step #2 – Location Of The Cameras – The physical location of the cameras is extremely important. What you decide upon now can affect many system details down the line.

Cameras should be placed in locations where nothing can obstruct their field of view. Usually at a high elevation, looking down. Make sure nothing (like a tree or a shrub) can grow into their field of view. Your outdoor security cameras should also be protected from vandals and extreme weather conditions. Encasing them in security boxes and weatherproof housings can solve both these problems. Make sure that the cameras are not located in areas where there is high electrical interference. This can degrade signal and picture quality.

Step #3 – Hardwired or Wireless – Hardwired outdoor DIY camera systems deliver a more reliable signal because the wires usually encounter much less interference. There are also no batteries to change. Power is wired from the source. Because of the wiring, hardwired cameras are usually more expensive and more difficult to install. Hardwired DIY kits require that you have the right kind of tools and that you know how to work with your hands.

Wireless outdoor DIY camera systems can also deliver a reliable signal if installed in low interference locations.

But you will need to change the batteries regularly.

Wireless cameras are generally cheaper in price and a snap to install.

Wireless DIY kits come with product instructions, an installation DVD, and help/support phone numbers.

A very low skill level (if any) is required.

Step #4 – Lighting Conditions – Exterior lighting conditions change often during the day. This of course affects the quality of the images that the outdoor security cameras record.


Some cameras can record clearly in low light conditions. They have a lower lux rating. Other cameras require more light and have a higher lux rating. Make sure the cameras are positioned in such as way as to make the most of the available light, but never pointed towards direct sunlight.

Consider installing automatic lenses on your cameras to help you achieve quality-recorded images even in poor daytime lighting conditions. Night vision cameras are probably your best choice. They can record clear video in total darkness. Yes, they typically cost a little more.

Step #5 – The Right Back-End System
– Each home outdoor security camera will connect to a back-end system or device that will be able to monitor and record the video images.


This can be your home PC or a dedicated DVR (digital video recorder). DVRs cost more but they are built specifically for this purpose. They are the better choice.

They come with huge hard drives that can record endlessly. They also have Internet capabilities for remote viewing. PCs are cheaper to configure, but require more technical skill. Your PC will require software, and the installation of one video capture card per camera. You must also make sure everything is compatible with your computer’s motherboard and operating system.

If you do use your PC as your back-end, consider choosing “motion sensor” outdoor security cameras. They will record the video images only when triggered my motion. This will be much easier on your computer because it will use up less hard drive space. With a little configuring and an Internet connection, your PC can also be set up for remote viewing.


Step #6 – Put It All Together – By having followed all the steps in the above tutorial, you’ve planned your surveillance and decided on what you want as a home outdoor security camera system.

You know:


  • How many outdoor security cameras you need.
  • How you’re going to setup your exterior surveillance.
  • Where each camera will be installed.
  • The type of connection (meaning either hardwired or wireless) you’ll be using.
  • How to position your outdoor home security cameras in sunlight, and how they are affected by lighting conditions.
  • The back-end system choices you have.

Now put it all together by comparing this list against the DIY security camera kits that are available out there. You may not find a perfect fit, but you’ll be in better position to choose the right DIY exterior security cameras and system.

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