Surveillance video is one of the most important parts of the smart home monitoring system, allowing us to picture what really happened in the situation. Luckily there are many types of security cameras that can monitor your smart home. There are closed-circuit television (CCTV) ones that are internet independent and internet protocol (IP) ones that are internet dependent. Companies make these devices that you can buy from large retailers, but you can also find many tutorials online on how to make a DIY security camera.
The security of your home should not be taken lightly, but neither should the price that you’d pay for the entire system setup. HomeAdvisor states that US national costs of security camera installations range from $150(USD) to $3500(USD). This cost will depend on what type you buy, its quality, how many should be installed, size of house, and other factors like optional monitoring services. However, this cost can be reduced by building DIY security cameras and implementing them into your home security system. This article will only focus on IP devices as they are cheaper to make and more popular on community websites.
The most popular security cameras were made using Raspberry Pi with the Raspberry Camera module or a USB webcam, along with some structural housing holding the device together. This just means that these DIY devices are inexpensive at a basic model but can increase with more exterior features.
Basic models look like this Security Camera Project using Windows 10 IoT Core that use a Raspberry Pi, any USB webcam, and a PIR Motion Sensor with optional add-ons like a 3D Printed Case for the Raspberry Pi. This project should cost less than $100(USD) per device plus additional costs for more hardware.
Although the above model is perfect for an indoor camera, an outdoor one needs proper housing for all of the components to survive the weather. Some designers took extra precaution into making the housing, like this DIY Professional Open Source Night Vision Security Camera that used PVC pipes, PVC glue, and a waterproof mouthpiece. Others took a simpler, cost-efficient route like this Raspberry Pi As Low-cost HD Surveillance Camera project that fit their hardware inside a dummy security camera. These dummy-devices look and operate like real security cameras that monitor shopping malls but differ by cost and capability to do any monitoring.
If these prices are still too expensive, then try using the Raspberry Pi Zero which costs about $5(USD). It is also much smaller, about half the width of the Raspberry Pi B model. Some designers preferred using this model in their projects like in this Zero Security Camera that used a dummy security camera as their housing for the Raspberry Pi Zero, or this Smart Security Camera where the designer made their housing from scratch. The Raspberry Pi Zero offers your project a decrease in cost and size, both of which can be a deciding factor for most of projects.
Monitor your Smart Home System
Each tutorial featured how to make security cameras and where to monitor it from. Some tutorials linked you to expensive IoT services like Microsoft Azure, a service which would cost more than your entire monitoring system.
If those services are not something you want to spend your money on, then why not sign up for a free account with uBeac, an adaptive IoT platform that allows for easy data collection and simplistic visualization. How will this benefit your monitoring system? On uBeac, you can make a dashboard to view your sensor data, or in this situation, all of your security cameras at once. On the dashboard, there is a Raw widget, which you can customize to add each security camera in your smart home and monitor all of them.
If you are confused, don’t worry. We will be coming out with a tutorial on how to view your security cameras from uBeac. Feel free to ask any questions about uBeac works, and we will be happy to answer them for you. Happy connecting!