In certain occasions it’s convenient to put a surveillance security camera in the window facing outside to monitor front door/backyard, or mount a security camera indoor looking out through glass or window. Many consumers come out saying security cameras won’t work through glass/window. So does a surveillance security camera work through glass/window glass?

There a few issues when placing the camera behing a glass window.

There a few issues when placing the camera behing a glass window.

Or to be exact, what potential problems you might experience when placing cameras inside looking out through glass or window pane? Can an IR equipped camera see through glass or window? Does motion detection work through glass or windows? Can a surveillance security camera record properly through windows or glass? This article will explain a few key points regarding this interesting and curious case.

Potential issues when a surveillance security cameras is used through glass or behind a glass window

One of the common problems you might experience with using an IR equipped (infrared) surveillance security camera behind/through a glass window is window glare, either by infrared LEDs, ambient lights, or status lights. The window glare or glass reflection is very likely to cause washed out images or videos whitened by the overexposure of lights at night, which makes it hard to make out the details. During the daytime the camera may work fine (no window glare), however during the night time, where most of the crime tends to develop, window glare is a persistent problem.

Another issue is related to motion detection and motion-triggered recording when a security camera is placed behind glass or glass window looking through glass. Sometimes, motion detection doesn’t work through glass. It won’t trigger and that’s a serious problem, because you may lose valuable footage.

Do IR security cameras see through glass/window?

IR equipped (infrared) surveillance security cameras are prone to wash out picture when placed behind a glass or window glass panels at night or in low light conditions. In those scenarios, you won’t be able to see things clearly.

Recommended fixes:
1. To prevent glare on a surveillance security camera looking through a window, users could turn off or disable IR lights as well as status lights at night, which helps mitigate IR security camera window reflection and enable you to see through glass or glass window screen.
2. To reduce window glare and reflection, get the camera lens as close as possible against the glass when placed behind a glass window.
3. Use a suction cup mount that sticks to the window facing outside, for example, this suction cup mount even comes with a magnetic screw mount that allows it to attach to the outdoor cameras like Nest cam.
4. Installing a motion-activated or automated external lights like this one helps lighting up the front door or backyard, which provides illumination for security cameras to see more details.

Street lights help the camera to get a better picture.

Street lights help the camera to get a better picture.

Does motion detection/recording work through glass or behind a glass window?

There are two main types of motion sensors used in surveillance security cameras/systems. One is a motion sensor that triggers alerts by measuring changes in pixels, which relies on software algorithm, such as these cameras. Another is the passive infrared motion sensor that sets off motion alarms by detecting body heat and infrared energy, known as PIR motion sensor, such as these cameras.

Security cameras with a motion sensor that calculates changes in pixels will still be able to detect movement and record through glass or a glass window. PIR motion sensor security camera doesn’t work reliably or sometimes doesn’t work at all through windows or glass because most glasses used in modern houses today are insulated, limiting heat coming through the glass, which in return undermines motion detection.

Recommended fixes:
1. To detect motion and record motions through glass or a glass window, you have to place the camera outside, mounting the camera on the wall or window ledge, installing them under a soffit or overhang. For example, installing wire-free security camera outside on the wall to keep an eye on areas of interest.
2. Choose motion sensor security cameras that detect motion by calculating changes in pixels like these cameras and place it in the window for daytime monitoring.

Tips for using security cameras through glass/window

When you use a night vision security camera through glass or behind a window facing out to monitor front door, front porch, backyard, driveway, parked cars or your property outside, or place a security camera in the window looking down through glass or a glass window, it’s important to consider these following tips of security camera placement, mounting and usage through glass or glass window.

  • Tip 1. Disable IR light at night to reduce IR security camera window glare/reflection.
  • Tip 2. Get separate IR illuminators for infrared night vision security cameras and put IR illuminators outside.
  • Tip 3. Choose a window mount security camera when using through or behind a glass window.
  • Tip 4. Use window mounts or wall mounts for security cameras that face out through window glass.
  • Tip 5. Try to find an alternative spot to install or place surveillance camera outdoor, for example, soffit, overhang, ledge, exterior wall.
  • Tip 6. If possible, leave the window open for a bit when placing infrared wireless security camera in the window.
  • Tip 7. If you really need to point the camera out through the glass, try placing the camera close against the window or glass.
  • Tip 8. Make sure the room the camera is in is darker than the outside at night.
  • Tip 9. Keep the glass panels or window glasses clean so that the cameras catch more details through the glass window.
  • Tip 10. Make sure your home security cameras are placed out of reach and can’t be snatched away easily.