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What You Need to Know About Protecting Outdoor Camera Wires

Jul 06, 2023|

Outdoor security cameras are some of the most popular security devices on the market, and it’s easy to see why—they help deter crime, let you answer your door from your phone, and give you an extra set (or two) of eyes on all areas of your property.

When it comes to installing outdoor cameras, however, things can get a bit tricky, especially when you’re attempting to conceal wires and cables. Read on to learn more about the wiring of home security cameras, tips for hiding and protecting the wires, and whether or not professional installation is right for you.

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro.

Types of outdoor home security cameras

There are different types of outdoor surveillance cameras. Most comprehensive smart home security systems include a doorbell camera and an outdoor camera. Together, these cameras provide protection for all areas of your home.

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Outdoor security cameras

Outdoor surveillance cameras are placed outside and provide a view of specific areas of your property. They typically feature weather-resistant housing that protects them from the elements and night vision for clearer views at night.

Outdoor security cameras provide an effective deterrent for criminals, and they also allow homeowners to keep an eye on sensitive areas, such as swimming pools, outdoor sheds, or barns where animals are kept. Smart outdoor cameras feature motion sensors and notify you whenever someone comes into a defined area, so you can take action if needed.

Doorbell cameras

Doorbell cameras, also called video doorbells, focus primarily on your front porch area. These devices are some of the most popular smart home devices—nearly 20% of all homes in the US have doorbell cams, according to one survey.

Video doorbells are important security devices. They make it difficult for a visitor to know whether or not someone is really at home, but they also record who comes to the door. If you miss a visitor or someone steals a package, you can access the recording later. They can also potentially assist law enforcement in identifying and catching burglars.

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro.

Powering outdoor security cameras

One thing to consider when you’re selecting your outdoor cameras is the power source. Most security cameras fall into two categories: wireless and wired.

Wireless security cameras

Wireless cameras are powered by either batteries or through a solar panel. They offer several benefits, including:

  • Easy installation. Wireless cameras eliminate the need for extensive wiring, making installation hassle-free and convenient.
  • Flexibility. Since they are not dependent on power outlets, wireless cameras can be placed in a variety of locations, providing flexibility in where you place your cameras.
  • Portability. Wireless cameras can be moved to different areas if needed, making them ideal for renters or homeowners who want to change where they live.

That said, wire-free security cameras have a number of disadvantages as well. Battery-powered cameras require frequent battery changes, which can become pricey over time. Solar powered cameras, which typically only have batteries as backup, still require favorable weather conditions to stay powered.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of wireless cameras, however, is the lack of signal. Wi-fi powered cameras require a strong connection, and wireless cameras can lose as much as 50% of their signal trying to get inside the house. This can result in a spotty, unreliable connection.

Wired outdoor security cameras

Wired cameras require a physical connection to a power source and network cable. The benefits of wired cameras include:

  • Reliability. Wired cameras provide a consistent and reliable power supply without the need for battery recharging or replacement.
  • Stable connection. Because they are hard-wired, wired cameras are not subject to the signal interference that wireless cameras face. This means you’ll get a more stable and secure connection.
  • Continuous recording. With a continuous power supply and cloud storage, wired cameras can record footage continuously, ensuring there are no gaps in monitoring.

The main downside of wired cameras is the installation complexity. Most wired cameras are not DIY-friendly. Because the cameras must be hardwired, a decent amount of electrical know-how is needed to install properly.

Hiding and protecting the electrical wires and cords is another downside of wired cameras. Exposed cords can shorten the lifespan of your camera and even create an electrical hazard, especially in harsh weather conditions. Professional installation is recommended to ensure wired cameras operate properly and safely, and this can be costly, depending on the company you choose.

There’s also the aesthetic factor to consider. Exposed wires are unsightly and look unfinished, which is a concern to most homeowners.

How to protect and hide security camera wires outside

If your security camera system includes outdoor cameras, you’ll want to take steps to hide them. This is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also protects the security camera cables and wires from the elements, damage, and vandalism.

Some things you can do to better hide your security cameras wires include:

  • Paint the wires. A simple way to camouflage your wiring is to paint the wires the same color as the wall or outside of your home. While this won’t hide them completely, it will help them blend in better.
  • Run the wires through the walls or ceiling. You can also hide wires behind the walls by drilling a hole where the camera will be. Use fish tape to feed the wires to the power source. If wires are higher up, a false ceiling can be created to conceal the wiring.
  • Hide wires behind baseboards. Another way to hide the wiring inside your home to the camera’s power source or ethernet connection is to remove the baseboards along the path the wires will travel, and place them between the gap in the flooring and the wall.
  • Cover power cables and wires with plastic tubing. Plastic tubing can also be used to conceal wires. These are usually placed along the wall, ceiling, or baseboard and can be painted to match the color of your home. They also help protect the wires from harsh weather conditions.
  • Bury your outdoor cables. If you’re going to run security camera wires outside, you can bury the wires underground. This will not only hide them, but protect them from squirrels and other animals and keep people from tripping over them. Be sure to use conduit to protect the wires from water.
  • Place cameras in hard-to-reach places. You can prevent outdoor cameras from being tampered with by installing them in places that are too high to easily reach, such as the soffit or eaves on the roof or higher along the wall of your home or structure.

Most of the materials and tools required can be found around the house, including basic items like PVC pipe, electrical tape, a staple gun, and a stud finder. Any materials you don’t have can easily be obtained with a trip to the hardware store or through Amazon or other online retailers.

Installation requires a lot of education, preparation, and technical work. We recommend working with an installer like Vivint to get all your cameras positioned and installed perfectly. Let us take care of the work while you relax and learn how to use your system.

Vivint tech installing a doorbell camera.

Benefits of professional installation

If the idea of installing your own outdoor security cameras seems daunting, you’re not alone. Many people opt for professional installation, which includes a number of benefits, including:

  • Expertise. Perhaps the biggest benefit of professional installation is the expertise of the installer. As professionals, they have been trained on how to safely and effectively install your camera systems in a way that ensures your cameras work properly while also hiding wires.
  • Experience. Professional installers who install security cameras on a daily basis have the knowledge that only experience can bring. This allows them to make recommendations for placement, including which areas to avoid or where to place your cameras to get the best connectivity. It helps prevent issues or problems that may arise from inexperience.
  • Integration. If your cameras are part of a complete smart home system, or you want to integrate them with other devices like lighting or alarms, professional installers can ensure each component communicates effectively.
  • Aesthetics. Professional installation results in a polished, professional-looking job. A good installer can make wires and cables disappear from sight both inside and outside, so your home and yard looks as nice as it did before the cameras were installed.
  • Testing and troubleshooting. If an issue with connectivity comes up, professional installers can quickly diagnose and resolve the problem. This saves you time and effort compared to troubleshooting and resolving issues on your own.
  • Guarantee. Most professional installers will guarantee their work. In the event something is damaged during installation, the installation company might cover the repairs. DIYers who make a mistake, such as cutting a wire or damaging a wall, have to foot the bills themselves.
Vivint tech installing an outdoor camera.

Why choose Vivint for professional outdoor camera installation?

Unfortunately, not all professional installers can be trusted to provide quality, affordable work, so choosing a security installation company that is knowledgeable, reliable, and licensed can be a daunting task.

That’s where Vivint comes in. All Vivint systems include professional installation, so you can be sure your cameras are installed correctly and safely. And because you can customize your Vivint system, our installers will be on hand to install whatever you need, whether it’s one outdoor camera or a dozen.

Some of the benefits of Vivint’s professional installation includes:

  • It’s included. Most people go the DIY route to save money, but with Vivint, you can rest easy—each system includes professional installation.
  • Licensed Smart Home Pros. Vivint’s installation team includes licensed, professional installers employed by Vivint, not a third party. Our Smart Home Pros are well-versed in each of our cameras and devices and know exactly how to get your cameras up and running.
  • Hidden wires without the mess. Vivint installers will install your cameras so they blend seamlessly into your home, hiding wires and ensuring everything is clean and tidy before they leave.
  • Product training. Professional installation with Vivint also includes training on your new cameras and devices, so you’ll know exactly how they work and how to get the most out of them.

Partnering with Vivint also means access to some of the best home security cameras on the market, including the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro—which uses proprietary technology to actively deter crime and a hybrid Wi-Fi connection that ensures the smoothest, fastest video experience—and the Doorbell Camera Pro, the only doorbell camera on the market that proactively protects your packages from theft.

With Vivint, installing your home security cameras doesn’t have to complicated or time-consuming. Contact us today at 855.822.1220 to get started.

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Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 expenditure on equipment after all discounts have been applied, professional installation, and execution of Vivint monitoring services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply.

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