How To Hide A Security Camera In A Window- A Guide to Discreet Surveillance

In this post, I talk about how easy it is to hide a security camera in a window and I have to tell you that in order to do it properly it is a bit of a challenge!

But in this post I also dig a little deeper into the best ways to hide a camera indoors or outdoors. After all, you don’t always want your cameras to be ion display because intruders might be tempted to steal or disable them!

Placing Security Cameras in Windows.

Your options are limited when it comes to hiding a security camera in a window. The most common way is to just set the camera on a windowsill facing out. With this setup, the camera is protected from vandals, thieves, and harsh weather conditions. 

This also means that the camera lens is positioned closely behind the glass window which may affect the motion detection and night vision features of the camera. As a workaround, you can use software-based motion detection and install external lights to serve as infrared illuminators for night vision to work.

Another method is to use a gooseneck-style mount for your security camera and wrap it around the curtain rod so that it can be positioned close to the window pane. Suction cup mounts and twist mounts are good alternatives as well.

[2] Can a security camera see through a window?

Yes. Typically, a security camera can see through a glass window, but it is not without its problems. 

The infrared LED, status light, or ambient light coming from the camera may likely cause window glare or glass reflection resulting in whiteout images and videos.

While the security camera will work fine during the daytime, the same thing cannot be said at night. Overexposure of lights results in images being too bright that it’s hard to make out face details. It defeats the purpose of monitoring and surveillance work.

Another problem you may experience when you set up your camera behind a glass window is related to the motion-detection and face recognition features of the camera. Because the window acts as a barrier, the camera may not be able to detect motions or faces, rendering the features useless.

The quick fix for this is disabling the motion detection or motion-triggering features or turning off the infrared lights and status lights. You can also reduce the glare or reflection by positioning the camera lens against the glass. The closer it is to the glass, the better because it reduces the glare from the lights.

If you have enough exterior lighting like a floodlight or porch light, your security will work better through a glass window. This will drown out the reflection and glare from the camera. 

 [3] How could I hide a security camera indoors?

There are plenty of ways to hide your indoor security cameras and these five ideas are the most clever ones.

  • Camouflage your security camera with skins. 

Skins come in different colors and design patterns so you’d be able to find one that blends into the surroundings seamlessly. This works amazingly well to make your camera appear invisible to prying eyes. Skins also function as a protective case. This disguise turns your Nest camera into a sunflower plant decoration.

  • Mount your security camera within the foliage of an indoor plant.

This is an effective way of hiding your camera because no one will go through the trouble of inspecting a harmless house plant. This requires using an octopus tripod or something that will attach to the plant without destroying it. The leaves can conceal the camera’s body, but make sure that they are arranged in such a way that they don’t obstruct the camera lens.

  • Place your security camera inside an enclosure.

This is perhaps the most inconspicuous way of hiding a camera. You can use common household items like a tissue box, a shoe box, or an alarm clock case. It requires little DIY skill to put a hole on the box so it’s pretty easy to do. The best part is that you can place it anywhere and no one will suspect it’s a camera.

  • Hide your camera in a stuffed toy

As creepy as this may sound, it is a great way to keep an eye on people inside your house. If you want to check on your kids or their babysitter, you can do so unnoticeably.

It’s essentially building some sort of a webcam teddy bear (or any plush toy). You have to remove one of the plastic eyes of the toy and position the camera lens so that it can look through the hole. You have to modify the look of the other plastic eye to look like the camera lens or vice versa.

If you’re DIY challenged, you can get a plush toy spy camera, but where’s the fun it that? Besides, your own security camera probably has better features.

  • Place your security camera out of a person’s line of sight.

One of the best ways to conceal a camera is to make it out sight and that means putting it way above a person’s line of sight whether she is standing up or sitting down. Great options are bookshelves, high fireplace mantel, ceiling, beams, arches, and light fixtures. Add pieces of decoration around the camera for good measure.

[4] What are the most common ways to conceal outdoor security cameras?

There are numerous ways to hide outdoor security cameras from prying eyes, but these four ingenious methods are not only fool-proof but they’re also burglar-proof.

  • Place your security camera up in the tree. 

Up in the tree is a great hiding spot for the camera because it can have a bird’s eye view and can see more angles of your house. It would also be quite safe from vandals and thieves. Alternatively, if there are no trees around, you can hide the camera inside of a bush or shrubs.

  • Hide the camera under the eaves of the house.

Since this is way above a person’s line of sight, the security camera wouldn’t be noticeable. This requires a little planning and some DIY skills to make sure that you don’t damage the soffit, especially when running the wires to create an entry point into the house. If the camera does not have the same color as the eaves or soffits, you can use security camera skins to make even more inconspicuous.

  • Place the security camera in lawn ornaments or garden figurines.

Your garden gnomes and flamingos are great hiding spots for your security cameras. Hollowed out ornaments and statues are the best because you can easily insert a camera inside and just drill a hole where the camera lens could see through. Fake rocks, plant pots, and garden art poles are additional places where you can conceal your security camera.

  • Install cameras in light fixture or porch lamp.

This is an effective way to hide your security camera in plain sight. No one will suspect that the porch light is recording their every move. This requires drilling holes and wiring so it can be a bit of work. Alternatively, you can get a porch lamp that has a built-in security camera.

 [5] What is the best way of hiding the cables for a security camera indoors?

There are many ways to conceal security camera wires and cables but the best way is to hide them within baseboards.

Typically, security cameras come with cords and cables to connect to the electrical outlet and the internet. Unless you have a truly wireless camera, you would have to deal with wires and lots of them.

Baseboards are wooden or vinyl boards that run along the lowest part of the interior wall. They act as trims where the floor and wall surface meet.  While they are largely used for aesthetic purpose, they are functional as well. In this case, they can conceal wires and cables.

What some people do is just run the cables on top of the baseboards but they look very tacky that way. What you can do is to pull the baseboards back off the wall and run the cable down underneath the gap between the wall and floor where they will not be visible. Make sure to plan the wiring route first before dismantling anything.

Other ways to hide security cameras indoors include:

  • Paint the wires of the security cameras in the color that matches the wall. First, staple the wires on the wall then paint the wires to blend into the overall look of the room.
  • Use cord covers. There are 3-channel covers where you can insert different cords. You can stick these covers on the floor and on the wall. To make them more unnoticeable, stick them behind large pieces of furniture or under the carpet.
  • Run wires through walls or ceilings. This requires more work because you have to drill holes on the ceiling or wall and then thread the wires through the holes, but it does give you a clean minimalist look.

 [6] How should I hide wires on the outside of a house?

There are not many options for hiding wires of security cameras installed outdoors, but one of the most effective ways is running burial wires and using PVC pipes.

After planning the wiring route for your outdoor security camera, look for the shortest route to bury the conduits (e.g. PVC pipe, metal conduit pipe, etc.). 

Bury the pipes at least 18 inches for PVCs and 6 inches for metal pipes, following the guidelines of the National Electric Code. Use a fish tape and feed it into the conduit to pull the wires to the other end. This method not only hides the wire, but it also protects it from harmful elements and damages from harsh weather conditions.

Another method is to hide the security camera itself along with the wires in a PVC pipe and plant them vertically in the lawn or garden with a solar power source attached on top.

If you’re installing your security camera under a vinyl soffit, you can run the wire through the attic or crawl space down to where the power outlet is.

It’s important to remember that hiding a security camera outdoors also involves concealing the dangling cables and exposed wires from view. Some people don’t make the effort to hide wires and cords so they become targets for burglars and thieves who can easily cut them to disable the camera.

[7] Can you use a birdhouse to hide a security camera?

Yes, a birdhouse is a great place to hide a security camera because the enclosure keeps the camera safe and the round entryway is just about the right size for the camera lens to see through. 

Wire-free security camera works best with birdhouse disguise. What you’re essentially doing is creating an outdoor housing for your camera in the shape of a birdhouse. This is an ideal setup to monitor the backyard, the front yard, or the driveway.

You can modify an existing birdhouse or build your own. You can attach the faux birdhouse to a landscaping timber and mount it to the desired spot. 

Give the timber and the birdhouse a few coats of spray paint in the color that blends with the landscape and not cause attention to the birdhouse. Make sure to secure the post with dirt or concrete so it doesn’t move or sway.