You have a real problem.
You have set your security camera up in the perfect spot- the place where it will capture the most useful footage but the footage are less than useless because of the glare of the sun.
Any footage that you look at is a bright and blurred mess. You can’t even make out the shape of any objects, let alone any really important details such as the features on people’s faces or the licence plate on a car.
One solution that you might look for is to buy some anti glare film for your security camera.
Anti- glare film for security cameras
The trouble with anti glare film is that it is not widely available in custom sizes to stick straight onto your security camera.
Which is not a surprise when you think about the many shapes and sizes that security cameras come in.
And so you need to think out of the box.
Which leaves you with three main anti glare film buying options
- Packs for car mirrors.
- Packs for tablets, such as iPads
- Rolls of anti- glare film.
The most highly rated are the anti glare screens that you can buy for your iPad. This product is very highly rated.
But will they work for a security camera? That is a much trickier question to answer.
An alternative is to make your own anti glare hood.
D.I.Y Anti Glare Hood
I have found two videos for you on YouTube which offer step by step guides for making your own anti glare hood.
Neither of the hoods are being made for a security camera but they can be easily modified.
This video makes an anti glare hood from a used pizza box…
Whereas this video demonstrates using a “paper lunch box”
Now that we have looked at the use of anti glare films on security cameras, let’s look specifically at some of the problems and solutions of positioning a security camera next to or near a window.
Why do people need to set security cameras up by windows?
The main reason why most people like to place a security camera by a window is because it is easier and cheaper than buying and installing an outdoor security camera.
Outside security cameras are more expensive than indoor ones.
Let’s face it, installing a power cable that runs from the inside of your house to the outside will involve lots of drilling and mess.
More costly, would be to have an outside electrical socket installed- which for most of us will involve paying a professional.
How about a battery powered outside security camera?
Ah, the perfect solution.
Only it isn’t.
Installation of one of these is easier because you won’t need to install an electrical socket.
But, you still need to think about how you will recharge the battery when it is flat.
Is the battery detachable or do you need to connect a power cable to the camera?
And on top of all of that, will your outside camera connect to your WiFi?
Sure about that? 😂
I will just put it on the window sill then..
Why can’t I use my indoor security camera, outside?
There are two main reasons that you shouldn’t use any indoor security camera outside. The first reason is because indoor security cameras are not built to be weatherproof.
The body of an indoor security camera is not designed and built to be waterproof and dustproof- which is what all top quality outdoor security cameras are designed and built to be.
And there is an easy way to check this on any outdoor camera and that is by looking for its IP rating. IP stands for ingress protection. The rating contains two numbers- one describes how well the camera is protected from dust, the other number is a description of the protection against water.
The second reason that you shouldn’t use an indoor security camera outside is that the power leads that come when you buy an indoor security camera are also not designed to be used outside.
Common problems with using security cameras behind glass
When setting up a security camera inside a window, a common problem is glare. This occurs because the glass of the window is reflecting the light from indoors off the window. How do you prevent glare on a surveillance camera looking through a window? One simple fix is turning off the lights inside the room, this will get rid of the glare on the window and allow a clearer picture for the security camera.
What about situations where the room isn’t always dark? Sometimes you cannot always achieve perfect darkness inside the room where the security camera is facing out of a window. If you are filming an area such as your driveway which has a light of its own you may not need to use the security cameras night vision setting so you could consider disabling IR lights to mitigate reflection.
How to reduce glare
There are a couple of ways to avoid glare when placing a security camera looking out of a window. You could consider using an anti-glare film for security cameras which can be applied to the window. This helps diffuse harsh reflections from bright ambient light or sunlight. Another trick for getting rid of the annoying glare is to put the security camera directly up against the window.
By doing this, the camera itself will block light from reaching the window in front of the lens. Next time you are getting into a car, give it a try. Place your cellphone a few feet from your car window and observe your reflection in the window. Then put your cellphone camera directly up to the glass and see how your reflection is no longer visible in the image.
Can an infrared camera see through glass?
An infrared camera uses infrared lights which produce light in a wavelength that is invisible to the human eye but is perceptible by the camera itself. This allows infrared lights to be cast in an area without actually visibly lighting the area. Infrared light is capable of shining through the glass but it will still create a reflection on a window which can hinder the security cameras image.
How to stop IR reflection is a question that may come up when setting up your infrared security camera. The infrared light may reflect off of the window and create an IR reflection. Infrared light may also bounce off other solid objects such as a ceiling creating a washed out or distorted image. You know you have too much IR reflection when an image becomes hazy or appears foggy.
Does motion detection work through glass?
For the overwhelming majority of security cameras, the answer to this is “no.”
Motion detection will not work through a glass window because most cameras use PIR (Passive Infra Red), which is a type of heat energy.
As most modern windows are insulated, the camera will be unable to detect any infrared because any heat will be blocked by the insulation.
*Some people are suggesting that installing an outside motion activated light is a work around: until you realise that it isn’t.
The supposed logic is that if an outside motion activated light is activated, the area will be lit up and the security camera will record the activity.
But the fault with this idea is that the camera will not record the activity because it will not detect any activity because most security cameras only record footage when they detect motion and motion sensors do not tend to work through glass.
A possible workaround for this workaround is to use a security cameras that records continuously (CVR cameras.) But these cameras are still few and far between and such cameras have huge storage needs, which means more money.
And let’s face it, when I start suggesting using a workaround for a workaround, we both know that it is a non starter.
The only way that an outside motion activated light will work with a security camera placed indoors is if the two devices are linked together, normally by a wire.
And if you need to install a wire, why wouldn’t you install an outside security camera in the first place?
So another crazy work around that you might consider is to replace your nice modern double glazed window with a pane of single glass and with only one pane of glass to pass through, your camera’s PIR sensors might detect some of the heat energy!
IR illuminator and other workarounds for IR reflections on windows
Using an IR illuminator will require you to determine the wavelength of the IR that the camera uses in order to ensure that the IR illuminator uses the same wavelength.
Another option is to build an enclosure for the security camera itself using various glass materials that will allow IR to easily pass through as opposed to the materials used in the window glass.
Another fix for IR reflections involves using a regular motion detector light in the area you wish you to film.
Instead of using the infrared lights of the security camera to light up the driveway, you could consider getting a regular light which is motion activated and installing it in the area you wish to record.
That way when motion is detected by the security camera the light outside will illuminate the area allowing your security camera to capture a clear image. This eliminates some of the work involves in setting up an IR illuminator and determining the wavelength of your IR security camera.