Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
Home surveillance cameras are getting more popular with each passing year as technology improves and prices drop. Here are some practical uses for home surveillance cameras, some which may surprise you.
Combine With a Floodlight
Many homeowners use floodlights to illuminate a backyard or another dark place around the home at night. The $149.99 Sengled Snap floodlight features an HD surveillance camera in a LED light bulb, allowing you to monitor your home day or night.
Perfect for over entryways, patios, and backyards, Snap is waterproof and offers features such as motion detection, an ultra-wide 140-degree field of view, cloud storage, and in-app playback. Best of all, it’s designed to fit into any standard E26 lighting socket. Just screw it into a location with a Wi-Fi signal nearby.
A free Snap app is available for iOS and Android.
Go Wireless for Extra Protection
Toddlers love to explore. Unfortunately, dangerous areas exist in and around a home. For added peace of mind, consider an Arlo HD Security System, which includes a wire-free camera option designed to monitor those areas where your child isn’t supposed to go.
Featuring 720p HD video, the $179 Arlo Wire-Free System works inside and out as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection nearby. The system includes motion alerts, an 110-degree field of view, and night vision. It’s also waterproof.
You can add up to six cameras to your Arlo HD Security System, which comes with seven days of free cloud recordings. Upgrade options are available starting at $9.99 per month. You can buy additional Arlo Wire-Free cameras for $159.99. Bundle pricing is also available.
Want to keep track of your pet when they’re on a run in the yard or inside alone? Arlo works great monitoring pets as well.
As a Baby Monitor
Additionally, most webcams also offer the ability to talk to your child through your mobile device. This tool can eliminate a lot of running around each time your child gets fussy at night.
Peace of Mind
Do you have teenagers under your roof? Home surveillance cameras let you know when your kids return home from school without seeming like an overbearing parent. Products like the $199 Withings Home push this a step further by offering two-way audio. Use it to communicate with your kids about their homework or let them know that you’ll be a little bit late from work.
Home security systems can also benefit those with elderly parents. For example, the $199 Canary security camera features an alarm. If you were to receive a motion alert and notice that there is a problem, Canary offers two solutions to resolve the issue. You can either sound the alarm remotely or push the emergency call button in the app.
Entryway Protection and Monitoring
Some entryway products feature cameras so you always know who is at the front door. The $199 Skybell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is one of a growing list of products that are both an outdoor video camera and a doorbell. The device features 1080p high-definition video and works in concert with IFTTT, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Nest.
Kuna offers a diverse line of attractive cameras that replace your home’s traditional outdoor lighting. With Kuna, you can keep track of who’s at your front door, or expand its reach to take real-time HD video of your entire house. Kuna also works well when you are waiting for a package to arrive or as a dog sitter for whenever your furry friend is outside in the yard
Priced at $199, the Kuna offers a two-way intercom, 100+ decibel siren, adjustable camera, and not surprisingly, is waterproof. Available models include the Contemporary, Craftsman, and Traditional. Optional service plans starting at $4 per month offer additional features such as unlimited video downloads.
The Big Unknown
Surveillance cameras aren’t just for monitoring whether someone is inside or outside of your home. They can also uncover strange occurrences that might happen when you’re away.
For example, use a home surveillance camera to see whether your pet is using the remote to turn on the television, or look at your video feed to see why energy usage tends to rise at certain times during the day. Additionally, check the camera to see who’s leaving the refrigerator door open each day.
One of the first mainstream home security systems was a “nanny cam.” This type of camera records people without their knowledge. The camera is “hidden” because it is not visible to the filmed person or it’s disguised as another object.
Part of a Larger Solution
Finally, consider adding your home surveillance camera to web-based IFTTT service, which allows webcams to talk to other smart home devices and do some pretty amazing things such as turning on lights or setting the thermostat. IFTTT, which stands for “If This Then That,” is a free service, available online and through apps on both iOS and Android.
For example, through IFTTT, you can tie your Withings Home to your Philips Hue lighting system. You can have your lights turn on whenever Withings Home detects motion or make your lights blink when someone enters the room. Only want your camera on when you’re not at home? You can set this up too.
The popularity of home security cameras is likely to rise even more in the coming years as they get more powerful and less expensive. Today’s surveillance cameras are also smaller, which adds to their appeal and flexibility.