The Best Camera Angle for Outdoor Security Cameras

by Ross Garner

Security cameras are installed for two reasons. They act as a deterrent to would-be burglars and, if somebody should break in, they provide evidence that can help in subsequent arrests. This can give you great peace of mind, but because of the cost of security cameras you want to make sure that you make the most efficient use of the ones you have.

Cover the Exits

If someone were to try to enter your home it would most likely be through a door. For this reason, the best angle for a security camera is one that takes in the entrances and exits to your home. While you want the camera to be close enough to get a good look at whoever the burglar is, you also want to take in a wide enough range of vision to have more than just a fleeting glimpse of the person. Experimenting with the position of the camera is the best way to do this until you feel satisfied that your home is covered effectively.

Light Levels

The camera should never be pointed directly at the door. In their book, "Introduction to Security," Robert J. Fischer and Gion Green point out that the daily peak for robberies is 10:30 p.m. That means that it will often be dark when it happens. If a burglar exits your house with a light on behind him he will only appear as a black form in front of the white light if your camera is pointed directly at the door. To compensate for this, your camera should take a side-on view so that their faces are illuminated by the light behind them.


Depending on your thieves' ambitions, they may need a vehicle to transport larger items they have stolen. Similarly, they may use one to flee the scene quickly. For this reason, angling an outdoor security camera toward your parking area is also a good idea. You also want to keep the area well lit if possible, not only to prevent crime in the first place but also so that a camera can get a good read on the vehicle's license plate.

Multiple Cameras

It will almost inevitably be difficult to position a single camera so that it takes all of these factors into account. For the most effective home security, multiple cameras should be used so that no entrance to your home is vulnerable. This needn't mean surrounding your home with unsightly cameras. Intelligent positioning of just two or three to take into account likely entrances, light levels and parking areas will leave your home far more secure.

About the Author

Ross Garner began writing professionally in 2008. Before this he took part in placements with the "Press & Journal," "G41" and "G42" magazines, then began paid freelance work for "Enterprise Matters" magazine. He now works for "Scottish Television" online. Earlier this year Garner graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in journalism and creative writing with English.

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