How to Overcome Challenges When Installing Video Security Systems
A video security system is only effective if it’s installed properly. The most advanced, AI-based camera can be a great proactive security tool, but it’s no good if the view is blocked or the power source is spotty.
Security companies like Bay Alarm face many challenges when installing complex systems, some of which may surprise you. Here are a few obstacles that we encounter when installing video security systems for customers, and insights into how our security experts solve them.
Too much—or not enough—lighting
Lighting is very important. That’s not exactly breaking news but it’s worth emphasizing. Bad lighting can hamper your video system’s effectiveness and jeopardize the safety of your property. If you have to squint to see what’s happening on camera, or if the glare from the sun or a reflective surface makes it impossible to see, you have a lighting problem.
To combat lighting issues, security companies use camera technology designed to ensure better visibility in dark or bright conditions. This includes:
- Low lux cameras, which can capture footage in low light conditions.
- Infrared (IR) illuminators within the cameras, which provides additional visibility in instances of dim, poor light.
- IP white light illuminators, an IP powered external device that can enhance an area with light at variable distances as needed.
- Back light compensation, a feature that combats glare by allowing the camera to disperse (or distribute) the light entering the lens evenly to eliminate the glare or silhouette of the image.
Insufficient or inconsistent power
Just like poor lighting, a spotty power hook-up can stop a security operation in its tracks. Understanding the power requirements of a video system—and making sure those needs are met during the installation—is why you should hire an expert.
Here are some power issues your security provider will be paying attention to:
- Distance: Most systems installed today are power over ethernet (PoE), meaning the power for the camera comes from the switch it’s plugged into, which is typically a 120v outlet. The maximum distance the camera can be from the switch is 100 meters, or 300 feet. Anything longer will require a special cable or a device that will extend power to the camera.
- Network speed: A monitored system has to have sufficient throughput to enable smooth video streaming that isn’t choppy. Recording high-quality streaming video usually requires 10 to 15 images per second, which means your network needs 1.5-2 Mbps minimum bandwidth. So your security partner will use the number of total cameras and multiply that number by 2 Mbps to get the amount of throughout needed to power the video. It gets trickier when you factor in the other devices in the system including computers, printers, faxes and phones.
Misleading natural factors that can result in confusing video
A falsely triggered alarm is preferable to an actual threat, but a high number of false alarms defeats the purpose of a video security system (think the boy who cried wolf). Any number of things can confuse a system, from non-human moving objects to areas of extreme activity.
Here is where AI technology offers a huge advantage. Security companies can install state-of-the-art cameras with built-in AI that offers a range of benefits, including:
- The ability to differentiate between human and non-human objects like an automobile, a swaying tree branch, or a flying bird. This helps eliminate “noise” in the camera view that could otherwise be distracting.
- The ability to set up a geofence or virtual boundary line that can help determine a “hot” area that the camera is alert to. For an especially busy intersection, parking lot, or sidewalk with a ton of activity this helps the camera stay focused on real threats.
- AI-based analytic tools that are constantly gathering and assessing data and learning from that data.
Obstructed views or inadequate coverage
These are issues that a security partner will spot and help a customer avoid before installation occurs. Whether it’s a group of trees outside the office or a tricky area in a distant section of the parking lot, an obstructed view, or an area with poor camera coverage is obviously not ideal.
Your security partner will troubleshoot these problems in a number of ways:
- Determine the best camera placement by reviewing the mounting options and only using areas clear of physical obstacles.
- Take into consideration not only current physical scenery but potential issues that could arise due to deteriorating roof or wall material.
- Complete a thorough walk-through of all indoor and outdoor spaces to ensure every area that needs it has camera coverage and no dead spots.
- Ask you to help move or eliminate the obstruction so that you can take full advantage of the security system’s capabilities.
Your company shouldn’t be wasting time figuring out how to lessen glare or troubleshoot slow network speed. By partnering with an experienced security company you won’t have to worry about these common installation issues. Bay Alarm provides expertise in every facet of business security and can help you envision and install a video system that fits your needs and keeps you safe.
Contact us today to learn more about the support services we provide.
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