12-volt Security Cameras: Things You Need to Know Before Buying

Usually, the most common choice of small business owners and homeowners are 12-volt security cameras. However, before considering this choice, there are several questions which need to be answered before deciding on the best model.

In this article, you will understand how to choose the best 12-volt security camera.

12-volt security camera

The lack of technical information for the 12-volt security cameras

There are certain things about 12-volt security cameras that product pages do not reveal. They just show these types of security cameras as plugged-in surveillance devices that you can buy and hook-up on your small business or home.

The 12-volt security camera is the most popular choice of both small businesses and homeowners. Why? Because it can fit into these small businesses and homes. Aside from being budget-friendly, of course.

Make sure you are installing a 12-volt security camera within the correct distance range

Running a 12-volt security camera is not a problem. Other people have this misconception that using it it's not a good idea, because of the long power cables and potential voltage drop.

This is not true, though. As a matter of fact, security industry insiders reveal that according to statistics, 90% of users set up the security cameras 100 to 130 feet  from their Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

So, if you are installing your security camera in such a range you are OK.

One of the ways to solve this problem by installing an individual power supply as close as possible to the security camera as shown in the picture below. 

12-volt security camera with individual power suppy

As you can see, it's possible to use one individual power supply per camera thus installing at a short distance to avoid the drop voltage problem.

==> There's another interesting way to compensate for drop voltage problems when installing 12-volt security cameras using a centralized power supply. I recommend you to read the article: How to choose the correct power supply for your CCTV camera

I prefer using a centralized power supply to keep the installation more organized and easy to maintain. But it's up to you deciding which one to use.

Factors to Consider When Buying 12-Volt Security Cameras

There are several things to take into consideration when you plan to buy 12-volt security cameras. These factors will serve as your guides so you will be assured that you get the best option and avoid future headaches.

Buy 12V Cameras from Reputable Security Camera Brands

This is a popular factor to take into consideration. In any product that we plan to purchase, especially if it means investing a certain amount to acquire it, we need to make sure that it will be durable, reliable and effective.

One way to achieve this is by making sure that the product is from reputable companies who deliver reputable brands.

Just make sure you buy a good power supply that has the amperage enough to make your camera work properly, the Zozi 2A power supply is a good option. 

Power adapters are included in most brand name 12V security camera kit

Consumers usually have this misconception of being able to “save” when they buy cheaper products from unknown brands. This is not true, though.

There are instances when these products do not come with complete accessories.

In other words, you still have to spend on wires, accessories, and other attachments. In the end, you end up spending too much, more than you would have shelled out if you bought a product from reputable brands.

One more thing, if you buy from a reputable brand, it comes complete with everything. So no need for you to waste time looking for accessories and other essentials which will suit or will be compatible with your 12-volt security camera.

As an example, you can buy a Zozi Security Camera Kit which already comes with everything you need for the installation which includes the power supply.

Neither will you need to consult with experts regarding such issues. They might charge you for their services. That is another additional cost on your part.

Make sure the 12V security Cameras Can Withstand Voltage Changes

Another factor to take into consideration is the capability of your security camera to withstand voltage changes. Now, this factor is an important one.

There are 12-volt security cameras which might “fry” when you connect it to 12V power supply that can have some voltage  variation.

Therefore preventing accidents and catastrophes like fire. Branded security cameras come with certain voltage tolerance. This gives them the ability to function properly and withstand power fluctuations without damaging the device.

It is very important that we give attention to this factor. If we neglect this it might be the cause of accidents and who knows, these accidents might mike us lose our properties, and worst, even lose lives.

Professional security cameras usually have 10% voltage tolerance which means the camera can work in the 10.8V to 13.2V and that can avoid a lot of problems.

Reliable security brands offer you a long warranty and responsive support

This is one thing which devices from reputable brands have – warranty and responsive support. It cannot be avoided that devices might malfunction at times, despite passing quality control. Reputable brands come with warranty and support in case this happens.

In other words, in cases where the 12-volt security camera you bought malfunctions, you can count on these companies to resolve your problem, without you having to spend additional for repair, or replacement, as the case may be.

Furthermore, in cases like these, reputable brands have expert technical manpower to address your problem and resolve it.

These people have domain knowledge and expertise when it comes to the brand they cater to. No need for you to find somebody to fix it, and pay extra.

Consider Buying PoE Cameras

If you are buying IP cameras, consider using PoE (Power Over Ethernet) instead of a regular 12V power supply. This type of technology is easier to use.

==> To learn more about PoE read the article: ​PoE switch for IP cameras

Measure the voltage on the camera

To make sure the security camera will work correctly you can measure the voltage to confirm if it's in the range (from 10.8V to 13.2V if it's a professional model).

Just use a multimeter or ask an electrician to check the voltage for you.

It the voltage is not enough you can use some of the options to fix the problem:

  1. Buy a new power supply which allows the voltage to be increased.
  2. Approach the power supply to the camera.
  3. Use a ticker cable from the power supply to the camera.

Make sure the current is enough

If the security camera uses infrared to illuminate a dark area during the night it will use extra current, which means the amperage is higher during night time.

Usually, a regular security camera uses around 1A (Ampere) to work properly even using the infrared illumination, so make sure to buy an appropriate power supply.

Please, just don't confuse the voltage with the current. You need the correct voltage (12V) and enough current (1A). You can find both information when buying your security camera kit or power supply, make sure to take a look at these details.

Useful Tips on 12V Security Camera Power Supply and Installation Range

Useful Tips on 12V Security Camera Power Supply and Installation Range

Insufficient or improper power supply for your security cameras might mean you will encounter problems like rolling lines on the screen, blurred images, and worse, your device might get fried. So proper power supply is important.

Set Up 12V Security Camera Systems within a Certain Range

Be aware of the maximum range which your 12-volt security camera can deliver quality images and coverage. If you go beyond its maximum range of coverage, do not expect to get quality results.

That is why following proper instructions is important. These instructions are given to ensure that you get the best performance from such devices.

Apply Junction Boxes for 12V Outdoor Security Cameras

The outdoors can bring about a lot of factors which can affect the performance of your outdoor security cameras. Especially the weather.

Weather conditions are main factors affecting your security camera’s performance and might cause damage to it. To avoid these damages to your outdoor security camera, it is recommended that you provide it with a junction box.

Wrapping Up

We are always conscious of things like security in our homes, businesses, and other properties. Hence, the option of installing security cameras.

However, it does not mean that you just get one and install it. We must also be aware of some important factors which must be considered.

If we neglect these factors, it might mean causing more problems, instead of keeping us safe and secure.