Will a security camera work behind glass?

A common question among users is "Will a security camera work behind glass?"

Security camera installed behind glass

The answer to that is not that simple and there's a lot of things to consider.

Sure, you can install a security camera behind glass or a window and you won't note so much difference during the day. But at night everything is different.

In this article, I explain what are the problems of installing a security camera behind glass and what are the possible solutions and workaround for each case.

The problems with a camera behind glass

OK, let's say you just installed a security camera behind a window.

In the daytime everything is great and you can enjoy your cameras recording people and cars passing by, no problem at this point.

But wait, you still can have some problems in this situation.

It's still necessary to think about factors like dust, glare, and reflection.

Dust and glare

If the window is dirty, the security camera facing it will have a hard time capturing a clear image, don't you think?

Things like that happen especially in situations where you don't have too much control of the environment such as in a skyscraper.

Here's a good example. In the picture below I have a camera at my office facing a dirty window on the 3rd floor because people didn't clean it up this month yet. 🙁

Security camera behind glass reflection

It's also possible to see that the camera is not completely facing the window due to the way the camera housing was designed. (only the upper part touches the glass).

Can you see the camera reflection in the glass?

If you just use the camera like that, later you will realize that the footage is not good enough due to reflections, ghost images, bright areas, etc.

==> The solution for this problem is to use a camera with a different shape that can face the glass. Check this camera model as an example.

The idea is to use a camera that can face the glass...

Here's an example of what you can do with your security camera:

Remove the camera sun shield

Most of the bullet cameras come with a sun shield to protect the camera.

There's a screw to remove it. Just release it.

Bullet camera with sunshield

After removing the sun shield you will be able to install the camera behind the glass facing it correctly as shown in the following picture.

Bullet camera without sunshield behind glass

That's a good solution, huh? I've tested here and now I can install the camera behind glass with minimum reflection during the day.

You can find this camera in the US named as Dahua.

Problems with insects

And there's more. You can have insects crawling around your window and sometimes you don't have a way to remove them unless the window cleaner guys come back to work (I'm wondering why they didn't come yet).

==> In this case just clean the windows and remove the insects 😉

Problems with motion detection

Depending on the security camera you are using there will be a problem with the motion detection feature if it's installed behind glass or window.

The PIR sensors (pretty popular on the Reolink cameras) don't work correctly in this situation and you can get disappointed with the results.

In this scenario would be much better using a traditional security camera that detects motion by comparing the movements in the scene frame by frame using a technology based on image pixels.

==> To solve this problem just use a model that works with such technology as the Hikvision or Dahua cameras.

Here's a security camera that works with such technology. 

Different types of cameras work with picture (pixel) based motion detection but I consider this brand (Hikvision) as a good one in terms of good products at reasonable prices. It worth the try.

Can night vision cameras see-through glass?

At first, the camera can have a lot of problems related to Infrared light reflection. So it's not recommended to install a security camera behind glass or window.

A night vision camera comes with its LEDs adjusted to work with the acrylic dome or the glass that protects the camera.

This configuration comes from the factory and it's designed to work correctly for such a situation, so you can't add an extra layer of glass in front of the camera and hope that it will work.

The picture shows an example of a bullet camera with the LEDs facing the glass.

Security camera with LEDs facing the glass

If you look closely, you'll be able to see that the LEDs are facing the glass and that there's a piece of rubber around the center of the lens.

This technique is used to avoid the IR light reflection back to the lens. 

The same principle applies to a dome camera and the rubber protects the camera lens from the light reflection as shown in the picture below.

In this picture, I'm pointing to the rubber that protects the lens.

Dome camera with rubber protection

Less talk about some options to have a night camera behind glass.

Using a suction cup mount

You can use a security camera that is ready to work with infrared illumination and install it outside the window with special support that can hold to the window frame or with a suction cup. Either way, it works. 

Let's see how to use a suction cup mount to install your camera behind glass.

Well, in this case, it will be in front of the glass, but I guess you got the idea 🙂

For this type of installation, you need a good suction cup mount just like the model from Delkin I'm using in the picture below.

Bullet camera and suction cup mount

As you can see, I have a professional bullet security camera that comes with a threat for installation. You need to use one like this or an extra adapter to hold your camera in place, either way, it's possible to install the camera outdoors.

Take a look at the following picture to see how the camera was installed.

Security camera installed on the glass

Nice installation, huh?

Now, there's no problem with glass reflection and things like that.

Conclusion

There are different ways to solve the problems of a security camera behind glass.

You just need to follow the guidelines presented in this article.

It's also possible to disable the IR to avoid problems at nighttime.

I hope this article can help you. Please share it with your friends.

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