Installing an outdoor security camera is the most efficient outdoor security system and a smart move if you have anything that might be a target of petty crime. The cost to purchase and install a security camera is a much more intelligent choice than the wage sucking, smack talking beef head you would hire to patrol your premise. Not to mention the headache. Of course you could stand out there yourself like you have nothing better to do all day. There are a few things to consider when buying a security camera.

The first thing most people consider when they buy anything is the amount of dollars to spend. Security camera systems can range from ten dollars to thousands of dollars. I say ten because theoretically you can put together something yourself, such as my simple homemade setup with a cheap 10 dollar webcam. You can buy just a camera to hook up to your medium of choice, or buy an all inclusive fancy pants system with sound recording, joystick controller, monitoring systems and feed recorder not unlike the kind they have in control rooms in movies, although those seem too easy to break into.

The area you want to monitor and physical limitations is your next concern. Where you mount the outdoor camera should be determined by two factors. What area do you want the camera to capture and what is supporting the physical mounting of the camera. Try this field of view calculator offered by our good friends at CCTV Security Camera Systems. Ideally you can point the security camera precisely where you need to; unfortunately you need to consider where to plug the power cable as well as the video cable. Some cameras are battery powered for incredible convenience. I’ve even seen solar powered cameras . Wireless security cameras are highly recommended. You’ll have to spend a little more but with today’s technology it’s just as easy to find one you can afford. Get creative and your options are almost limitless.

Lighting of the area, especially since most people want to monitor night scenes, will affect how much security your camera will provide. You can choose from night vision, to built-in lighting, or external motion sensing lights or just put a lamp or pretty up the area with some landscape lighting to keep the area lit (which is a deterrent in its own right).

Be sure to check that the durability is designed for the outdoor conditions where it will be used. There are cameras that have built in fans for hot weather and heaters for extremely cold places. Make sure your camera tough enough to handle things like rain, hail, snow, wind, debris and even possible animals depending on where it’s mounted. Will people be able to tamper with it? If it’s behind a fence you might be okay, otherwise make sure you account for the people factor. You can purchase external housing to protect, heat or cool, sometimes even power your camera.

It’s in our nature to feel uncomfortable with the unknown. And when it’s property or anything of value to you, an outdoor security camera works wonders as a deterrent and insurance if you ever have to bring the violators to justice.