Installing commercial outdoor security cameras on your property is a key safety step for many businesses. It’s true that a surveillance system alone doesn’t deter all crime, but there’s strong evidence that when paired with other security measures, cameras can be very effective.
There are so many different factors you need to take into account when you’re looking to buy commercial grade security cameras, whether indoor or outdoor. Our goal with this post is to walk you through all of the major ones. We’ll start by giving you the different criteria you need to evaluate within your own business. This will help you identify the specific needs you have for commercial outdoor security cameras.
After that section, we’ll move into the different features you’ll find in the commercial grade security cameras on the market today. Keep what you learned in the first section in mind. That way, you can evaluate how useful each feature would be for your purposes. Let’s start by defining those purposes.
Aspects of Your Needs
Commercial grade security cameras are not a one-size-fits-all type of solution. In the following sections, we’ll cover each area that you need to think about when determining the type of cameras your business needs. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should get you thinking along the right track.
If you only need one camera and don’t have too much area to keep an eye on, then you can probably handle the installation and setup process on your own. However, that’s not the case for many businesses. You’ll want a camera covering every area of concern. For companies with a larger footprint, that can mean a fairly complex system.
Call in the professionals if that’s the case. They’ll know exactly what to do, and their expertise means they’ll make a quicker and more reliable job than you likely could. After all, commercial outdoor security cameras can’t help solve any crimes if they’re not functioning properly. Having a company install your cameras will give you that peace of mind.
As with most major purchases, you should set your price point prior to shopping around for commercial outdoor security cameras. Know how much room there is in the budget.
This will help you make a lot of other important determinations. For example, you’ll have a better idea of whether you can afford professional installation or not, roughly how many cameras you can purchase, and how high-end those cameras can be.
Setting your expectations for how much you can spend early on will make the whole process more smooth, and it’ll allow you to make better decisions. And if you discover a feature you absolutely must have that breaks the budget, then you can always go back to the drawing board.
You can choose to go the DIY route if you want, like we talked about in a previous section, but if you want to have ongoing support for your commercial grade security cameras, it’s a different story.
Security systems need regular maintenance and other types of support over time. This is especially true for commercial outdoor security cameras, which are often exposed to extreme temperatures, rain, hail, snow, and all kinds of other weather concerns. Professionals can make sure the lenses aren’t clouded or dirty and that the system is functioning properly.
Even the best commercial grade security cameras won’t catch any wrongdoers if they’re not working. Ongoing support can help you avoid any malfunctions or down time.
Outdoor Specific Concerns
Most of what we cover here is valid for anywhere you want to put a security camera, outside or inside. However, we did want to spend a quick second talking about what you should be looking for when it comes to commercial outdoor security cameras specifically.
Placing a camera in the great outdoors means dealing with weather and wildlife. Plus, there are different needs when it comes to preventing vandalism. So, that means if you’re looking for commercial outdoor security cameras, you need to keep durability at the top of your list. Some of them are designed to blend into their surroundings, and others are housed in protective boxes.
Aspects of the Cameras
Now that you’ve considered all the important aspects of your needs and business when it comes to commercial grade security cameras, you should turn your attention to the cameras themselves. Here, we’ll go over all the different features you should be looking for.
Do you need your commercial outdoor security cameras to capture audio? It depends. Not all of them do. Most IP (Wi-Fi enabled) cameras do have built-in microphones, while most traditional DVR surveillance cameras do not have audio capabilities.
However, if you do have commercial grade security cameras that capture audio, that added information can help identify suspects. This will go hand-in-hand with another consideration we’ll talk about in a later section, but for now, just keep in mind that some security cameras have an audio component, while others don’t. Which kind you should buy will depend on the specific needs of your business.
It’s also important to keep the specific regulations of your state in mind. Some states in the U.S. require all parties to a conversation consent to having it recorded. So, check the local laws before installing devices with audio recording capabilities to make sure you’re all in the clear.
For many folks, this is the most important one. Getting a clear image is vital to identifying any wrongdoer your commercial outdoor security cameras capture. There are two components to video quality that we’ll discuss here: Resolution and frame rate.
Resolution refers to how many pixels a camera captures. A higher resolution will allow you to see more details when reviewing footage. The frame rate of a camera is how many pictures (frames) it captures per second. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the footage from your commercial grade security cameras will look when you play it back.
Ensuring that you’ve got decent (or better) video quality will give you peace of mind, knowing that if anything does go wrong, you’ll be able to tell exactly what happened (and who did it) from the camera footage.
You’ll also want to consider the video quality in low light, or any night vision capabilities the cameras might have. Crimes don’t only happen in the daylight, so make sure you can clearly see what’s going on when the sun goes down, whether in real time or after the fact.
If commercial grade security cameras were recording all of the time, then you’d have many hours of wasted energy and worthless footage. Motion detecting technology solves those issues. The camera will pick up when something changes, and recording only begins when it senses movement.
This kind of technology greatly decreases how much footage you’ll have to sift through if anything of interest were to happen. It also saves battery power and energy, as well as memory space.
We’ve described basic motion detecting capabilities, but higher-end cameras can have even more advanced versions of this technology. Video analytics technology has additional software built in, which allows the system to identify motion that’s actually of interest and filter out unthreatening events, like weather, animals, and loud noises.
These advanced features are beyond what most commercial grade security cameras can do, and it’s beyond what most business owners need. However, if you’re interested, they are out there.
How much video footage you can store at a time will vary between different commercial outdoor security cameras. So, before you buy commercial grade security cameras, make sure you know about how much storage you’ll need for playing back footage.
Also know that there are different options for where that footage is stored. One is in a hard copy, like a DVR recording. The other is in cloud or network storage.
This technology is what allows you to be able to review footage from other devices. We’ll talk a little more about the benefits and potential pitfalls of internet-based storage in a later section. For now, it’s enough to say that where you store the videos from your commercial grade security cameras should be a main concern.
These cameras come in several different shapes. The best shape for your business will depend on the kind of area you want to put the camera in and how much space you have for it. There are bullet cameras, which serve corners very well. Bullet cameras are often the preferred choice for commercial outdoor security cameras, while the other shapes we’ll list are more common indoors.
There are also dome cameras (and the very similar turret cameras), which do tend to be more difficult to install than their bullet-shaped counterparts. They are mounted on the ceiling, which can be a bit of a pain, but that also means they’re harder for vandals to access. A dome camera could be a good choice because of their wider field of view, but they’re usually best for indoor purposes.
That more narrow angle on bullet cameras means they can capture distance better than dome cameras, which tends to be more useful in an outdoor setting.
With the wonders of Wi-Fi, you can often access certain cameras’ footage from your own devices. This isn’t possible with hard copy storage cameras, of course, so this aspect is an important one to consider alongside the one we just detailed regarding storage. If you’re prioritizing remote access to your footage, then you need to select a storage option that allows for your preferred access method.
Being able to remotely access the footage from your security camera is a huge perk to lots of people. Viewing the videos of interest directly from your phone, laptop, or other device is majorly more convenient than the alternatives.
Many commercial grade security cameras are powered traditionally, but then there are also more modern alternatives. Take IP cameras, for example. They draw their power through a technology called Power over Ethernet (PoE). That means you only need to run one cord to the camera, and it will deliver the video and get its power from that one line.
The other main type of commercial grade security camera requires two different cables. One, a coaxial cable, deals with the video. The other is a power cable that connects it to an AC power source.
Can you speak through it?
Remember how we talked about commercial outdoor security cameras that also capture audio recordings? This one wraps back to it. Some of them record audio and also allow you to speak to whoever’s on your property through them. This capability can definitely come in handy in certain situations, but other businesses might not have a need for it.
If you’ll have someone watching the footage from commercial outdoor security cameras in real time, then the ability to talk to anyone who might find themselves on your property could be useful. However, if you’re only planning on reviewing footage after any potential burglaries or vandalism events, then it’s probably not the top feature on your list.
Select the right commercial outdoor security cameras.
The bottom line is that you need to get the right commercial outdoor security cameras for your specific purposes. With all of the criteria we’ve listed here, you’ve got plenty to consider when it comes to making your decision. Sure, we couldn’t possibly cover every aspect of security cameras that might be of interest to you, but we certainly got you on the right path.
You’ve got plenty of great options out there, and if you need a place to start, look through the commercial grade security cameras we offer here at Mastor. Our Internet Protocol (IP) cameras boast impressively clear images due to high resolutions and frame rates. From dome cameras to bullet cameras, whether inside or outdoors, we’ve got commercial grade security cameras that cover all the bases.
We’re always happy to steer you in the right direction if you have any questions or could benefit from one of our other commercial telecom services, too, so don’t hesitate to reach out.