How Do I Weatherproof My Security Cameras
Security cameras are the backbone of a sound surveillance system. They come in combinations of indoor and outdoor cameras. While indoor cameras are protected against extreme weather conditions and vandalism, outdoor cameras are not that lucky. In fact, when a camera is placed outside, countless factors affect the lifespan of the camera. For example, if a camera is placed facing the side where the sun rises, it will have a shorter lifespan than one protected from the sun’s heat and light.
Outdoor cameras are made to last the harsh conditions outside; you will see many of them with IP ratings. IP ratings define the dust and waterproofing levels of the cameras. But because of the build of these cameras, they can never be claimed to have complete protection against water. There are many solutions to the problems that outdoor cameras face. This article will look into the typical weather conditions that outdoor cameras face and their solutions.
Protecting Your Camera from Bugs, Insects, and Spiders
Outdoor security cameras you get for your home, especially ones with infra-red lighting, become home to many little critters such as mosquitos and moths. They are attracted by the infra-red lighting and may nest on the camera over time. If your camera is covered in spider webs and dead bugs, all it would do is block your camera’s vision. Not only can this be annoying, but it can generate false triggers, especially in motion-sensing cameras.
There are several ways that you can turn to so this does not happen to your camera. A very obvious solution is to use bug spray or an insecticide on the camera housing or the camera’s areas. You can also turn off the IR LEDs or get a separate IR LED light from your camera. This way, the insects will be attracted to the separate LED instead of the camera. To prevent a spider from making a web close to your cameras, you can apply petroleum jelly to the areas around the camera. You can also use natural insect repellants like citrus, lavender, and peppermint. Cleaning the camera regularly will also serve as an avoidance tactic against pesky bugs and insects that may nest on the camera.
Protection from Heat, Cold, and Rain
No manufacturer can accommodate the very extremes of temperature or weather when it comes to the build of a camera. The quality of your surveillance system can suffer significantly if it has to face subzero or scorching temperatures. Camera hardware is resistant to change in temperatures, but only to a limit. Anything beyond that can permanently damage it. Users need to protect their camera hardware against harsh weather conditions for a long camera life.
The first step in protecting your camera from weather conditions is to check its rating against weather conditions. Cameras come with an IP rating. Let’s take IP67 as an example. The first 6 after IP is the protection the camera has against dust. Most cameras come with a 6 on this rating, and this signifies 100% protection against dust. The 7 is a rating of how much the camera can withstand water. The 7 indicates that the camera can withstand temporary immersion and low-pressure sprays of water. You also need to check what the range of temperature and humidity is that your camera can withstand. All of this will help you in weatherproofing your camera. Suppose you realize that your camera needs to be protected against water, temperature, or dust. In that case, you can build an enclosure to avoid a camera dealing with such weather conditions. You can put a silica gel packet in the outdoor section you make for your camera to protect it against harsh weather conditions.
How to Avoid Camera Fogging, Clouding, or Condensation
Most security cameras are rated IP67, but some of them are IP66 as well. Both cameras are significantly sealed against any moisture or water that may enter that camera housing from the outside. There are reports of cameras fogging up in rainy conditions, signifying moisture inside the camera housing.
Sometimes you may find your camera to be foggy early in the morning. This happens as a result of dew and moisture in the air that is generated by plants overnight. This should go away as soon as the sun comes up by itself. But if the fogging retains itself for a more extended time, it can result from moisture in the housing of the camera. You can place a packet of silica gel inside the housing of the camera to remove the water. Also, a reason for any moisture seeping in maybe a compromised seal. Clean the camera thoroughly and see that the rubber ring sits perfectly with the camera for a good seal against moisture.
Saving Your Outdoor Cameras from Lightning and Thunderstorms
While this may seem far-fetched, your security cameras can be very susceptible to lightning strikes and damage through thunderstorms. This is due to the conductive property of most metal housings and the high position of some outdoor cameras. Cameras struck by lightning can become entirely useless for the house owner or potentially cause damage to the house’s electrical system too!
The first step that you should take, even if you do not have a camera installed at a high place in your home, is to have a steel bar installed more elevated than the house pointing up to the sky. This gives lighting an easier target, and the rod should be the only thing that gets struck when lightning falls close to your house. The bar should be grounded so that any lighting that strikes it goes directly to the ground. Also, ground your CCTV cameras well, too, so in the rare case that any lighting makes it to the camera, it goes to the ground instead of frying the camera’s circuit. You can also have surge arresters installed in the camera circuit that blocks any high spikes in voltages if thunderstorms are common occurrences near your home.