Cameras can be mounted almost anywhere. Sometimes it feels like the great American classic Green Eggs and Ham security edition—I can mount them here or there. I can mount them anywhere. I can mount them on a house and with them I can see a mouse. I can mount them to a boat, although it might be hard to mount to a goat. Obviously, I just butchered some of the most well-known quotes in all of children’s literature and this is a silly use for it, but it carries my point in a very simple and poignant way. Cameras can be mounted to trains, boats, cars, houses, businesses, walls, poles, the ceiling, trailers, trees, and everything in between.
Where you put the camera(s) will have a huge impact on their success. Obviously, each situation is not the same. Some cameras will need to watch the door to the business, others will watch the entryway as cars come and go, a couple might watch the loading docks, and still others will watch the parking lot. And that’s just to cover the outside of a business. Add shelves, people, inventory, support beams and pillars, etc. and you have even more to cover on the inside. Because the needs of both the cameras and the location are extremely varied, so are the mounting options.
Camera mounts are like the bass sound in an orchestra. For those who aren’t musicians—the bass sound is produced by the tubas, bass trombones, timpani, bassoons, contrabassoons, cellos, the bass (go figure), and others. If you have ever looked at sheet music for a bassline it’s dull and extremely repetitive (just ask any cellist who has suffered through the same eight notes of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major over and over). However, the bassline is vital to the music. It creates the time structure for the entire orchestra and builds the foundation of sound for the other parts. Without the base sound, the entire piece would fall apart.
Much like the bassline, camera mounting methods and structures are boring. In fact, I would argue that it is one of the dullest features of security cameras to read about because it is certainly one of the dullest to write about. (Try Googling it and see how long you last researching it. Told you. Boring.) However, just as the bass sound is essential to the success of the orchestra, the mounting structure is vital to the success of the camera. In fact, the mounting fixture provides the foundation for successful security.
Where and how your camera is mounted will greatly affect its productivity and the quality of the images. Cameras require particular vantage points, certain heights, and correct angles to provide quality sightlines. Unlike a picture that can be hung after pounding a single nail into the wall, cameras take more finesse. To mount a camera you need brackets, screws, a drill, and other tools depending on where you are hanging it. Some you can mount yourself while others require trained technicians. Next, they need access to the internet, either wired or wireless, and to a power source. Furthermore, if they are a pan, zoom, tilt (PTZ) camera they have to have the room to pan, zoom, and tilt without obstructions.
Obviously, camera mounts are finicky and maybe more interesting than you originally thought (please say yes because I am really trying to make this an insightful and entertaining read). While there are many security camera mounting accessories, I have narrowed it down to four common, outdoor options.
- Wall mount—wall mounts are an extremely common security camera mount that does exactly what it sounds like. It mounts the camera to the wall. These mounts are a type of bracket that includes gooseneck, flush, and other variations. Wall mounts are good when your building is next to the area you want to monitor. This includes views of a back alley, loading docks, skirt front items, or part of your parking lot. Cameras mounted on buildings have the advantage of height, but they automatically limit your visibility of assets further away from the building because they are fixed. Typically, cameras on your building will have easier access to power and internet connections. However, if you have a large retail building or tall office building it is harder to install a wall mount purely because of height (aka you won’t be able to visit your local home improvement store and pick up a three-story, A-frame ladder).
- Pendant mount—Pendant mounts normally attach to the ceiling and dangle the camera. However, they can also attach to poles that run parallel to the ground. Pendant mounts have a similar advantage and disadvantage of height that wall mounts have. However, they do allow more flexibility than wall mounts do. They can be mounted inside parking structures and carports as well as on poles, traffic lights, and more. This allows for better visibility further away from your building. However, the further away you move the mount, the harder it will be to connect to the internet and power. This is where you will want to consider looking into cameras that connect through cellular or Wi-Fi and run off a different power source.
- Pole mount—Unlike wall mounts, pole mounts have the advantage of placement. They can be attached to any pole on your property, including light poles. Like a pendant mount, this type of mount will help you see areas further away from the front of your building but will attach to poles running perpendicular to the ground. Pole mounts can be attached at any height. Obviously, you don’t want to put it six feet high. That won’t help you see anything and people will be able to damage it. However, with a pole mount you are not tied into a single height like you are with pendant mounts and sometimes wall mounts. This is an advantage when you need a particular angle or sightline on your property.
- Mobile mount—I cheated a little bit. This section actually includes two mounts—trailers and tripods. Both mounting options give you the flexibility of placing cameras literally anywhere at any height. Furthermore, they can be easily moved to get better or new views and can even be relocated if a new problem arises at a different location. This allows you to observe any area of your parking lot, construction project, or even a remote work site. Trailers over an overt security method, while tripods tend to be more covert. Mobility does present different challenges. First, you have to figure out how to connect the camera to access its footage. Many cameras use either Wi-Fi or cellular data or you can store footage on the camera. However, if the camera is in a remote location, you don’t want to routinely visit it to retrieve the data. Second, cameras need power. Traditional cameras rely on running power lines or plugging into the electrical system. But this defeats the purpose of mobile cameras. Therefore, when cameras are mobile, they need a different power source like solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, and/or generators.
Now if you have read this far, you have my admiration. Security camera mounting options are boring, but they are necessary. Furthermore, they are one of the first decisions you have to make when installing a security system. As you are researching different options, give us a call. LiveView Technologies (LVT) offers multiple mounting options for our security cameras. However, our flagship product is our mobile security trailers. These offer the flexibility of mobile mounts with the stability of stagnant ones. They can be easily set up and moved in 30 minutes or less and do not require power or internet. Rather, they run on a combination of batteries and solar power and use cellular connectivity to upload footage to our cloud-based platform. LVT trailers can be deployed anywhere in the world. In fact, units are deployed everywhere from big box retail parking lots to the shores of a mountain lake. We have taken the best security camera features and combined them with cutting-edge software to create a complete security solution.