How to Hide Outdoor Security Cameras [7 Stealth Methods]

One of the best ways to hide outdoor security cameras is to paint the casing of the camera to match your home. This way, the cameras won’t stand out. If you don’t want to paint your cameras, install them in tucked-away places under the eaves of your roof. To hide your cameras and protect them from tampering, you can install outdoor cameras inside your home, where they can record outdoor activity through a window. Finally, you can hide your cameras in several places in your yard. In a tree, behind bushes, inside a birdhouse, in a PVC pipe, or hidden inside lawn decor such as a false rock.

How to hide outdoor security camera

Should You Hide Outdoor Security Cameras?

Hiding all your outdoor security cameras is not the best course of action. Studies show that one of the biggest benefits of security systems is that they deter crime. If thieves spot cameras on your property, they’re less likely to attempt a break-in. Instead of hiding your cameras, consider installing these Vivint cameras that use light and sound to deter lurkers and thieves before they ever attempt a break-in. Talk to a Vivint representative today to upgrade to a system that stops crime instead of just recording it.

  • It is not recommended to hide all your outdoor security cameras.
  • Visible cameras with light and sound deterrents stop crime in its tracks—hidden cameras only record crime as it happens.
  • Not having visible cameras on your property may make it more likely for your home to be targeted by criminals.
  • We recommend having several visible outdoor security cameras.
  • It may be good to hide one or two cameras in case thieves destroy your visible cameras.
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*The editors of Pepper's Home & Garden own a Vivint Smart Security System and highly recommend the company and their products.

The biggest benefit of hiding your outdoor security cameras is that thieves cannot tamper with a camera that they cannot see. However, hiding your cameras will remove the deterrent effect that a security system has. So, consider keeping most of your cameras visible. Then, hide one or two cameras to record determined thieves that try to disable a visible security system.

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  • Stop package theft before it happens.
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  • Check in on your home from anywhere.

*The editors of Pepper's Home & Garden own a Vivint Smart Security System and highly recommend the company and their products.

7 Ways to Hide Outdoor Security Cameras

If you want to hide outdoor cameras to boost the effectiveness of your visible security system, there are several great ways to get the job done. Here are the best ways to hide security cameras in plain sight:

Paint Your Cameras to Match Your Home

If you have some extra paint for the exterior of your home, use it to paint your security cameras so they match your home. This may not seem like much camouflage, but cameras painted the same color as the walls of a house blend in much more than stark white or black cameras.

  • Cover the lens of your security camera with this painter’s tape.
  • Paint the camera mount and casing with paint that matches the exterior of your home.
  • Allow 24 hours for the paint to dry.
  • Remove the painter’s tape.
  • Repeat for additional cameras.

When painting security cameras, first use painter’s tape to protect the lens, so no paint obscures the camera’s view. Then, paint the casing of the camera. Once the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape. Now your surveillance cameras will be much harder to spot. Plus, they won’t ruin the look of your home.

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In a Corner Under the Roof

To keep your cameras out of sight, install them in areas tucked under the eaves of your home. In many cases, you can install cameras that record activity all around your house, but the cameras won’t be visible from the street. This solution is simple but highly effective, especially when it is combined with painting the casing of your cameras.

  • Install outdoor security cameras in hidden areas under eaves, soffits, porch roofs, and in areas hidden by gutters.
  • To hide them further, paint the camera casing to match your home.
  • Work with a Vivint professional install technician to place your cameras where they can remain hidden but still be effective.

We recommend Vivint’s incredible outdoor security cameras. Vivint’s cameras are installed by professionals. You can work with your professional technician to find out-of-the-way areas to install outdoor cameras that still have a useful field of view. Vivint cameras can be installed under a porch roof or in the gap between a gutter downspout and the wall.

Behind a Window

Outdoor cameras don’t have to be installed outdoors to be effective. Instead, hide your outdoor cameras by installing them indoors, behind a window. This way, the camera can record all the activity going on outside, but it can’t be tampered with unless the intruder breaks into your home. This simple solution makes hidden cameras easy.

  • Mount an outdoor camera in a room inside your home, pointing out a window so it can record outdoor activity.
  • Installing a camera indoors renders it much harder to tamper with.
  • Consider mounting the camera on a wall a distance from the window, so it can’t easily be seen from outside.

When installing an outdoor camera indoors, there is no need to put it right up against the window. Instead, consider installing it in the corner of the room, pointing out toward the front porch, yard, or street. This way, the camera will be almost invisible to anyone outside your home.

In Plants or Trees

Thieves may look for cameras mounted on your home, but they are less likely to search for them among your plants. Both wired and wireless security cameras can be installed in tall trees, to give you a bird’s-eye-view of your property. Just make sure to install the camera where it won’t be obstructed by leaves or branches.

  • Consider installing a hidden camera in a tree in your yard.
  • You can also hide cameras low to the ground, among shrubs and flowers.
  • When placing a camera among plants, make sure no foliage blocks the camera’s view.

Instead of installing a camera in a tall tree, you can tackle the much easier job of installing cameras in bushes or behind garden plants. You can even tuck a camera into a pot alongside a potted plant. As long as the camera has a clear line of sight to record your property, it will be effective.

In a Bird Feeder or Birdhouse

Birdhouses and feeders are great hiding spots for outdoor cameras. The hollow interior of a birdhouse can be modified to fit a surveillance camera. Plus, if the birdhouse is mounted on your home, you can run a combination wired/Wi-Fi camera that does not need to be charged but will continue to record even if the wire is cut.

  • Install an outdoor camera inside a birdhouse to keep it hidden.
  • If the camera won’t fit in front of the birdhouse, remove the back to place the camera inside. Then, put the back of the birdhouse back on.
  • If you install a camera in a birdhouse or feeder, check periodically to make sure it is not disturbed by animals.

If you wish, you can install a wireless outdoor camera inside a bird feeder. Just make sure to check the camera feed regularly. Birds and squirrels visiting the feeder may dislodge the camera.

In PVC Pipe

A 1–2 foot tall (30–60 cm) piece of PVC pipe driven into the ground is the perfect place to install a hidden outdoor camera. Cut an opening in the front of the pipe and slide the camera inside, so it faces out the hole in the front of the pipe. Then, cap the pipe to keep rain from filling it. Now, you have an outdoor camera that looks like a pipe or sprinkler head.

  • Cut or drill a hole in the front of a short piece of PVC pipe.
  • Fit this small wireless outdoor camera into the pipe, with the camera lens facing the hole.
  • Cap the PVC pipe to stop rain and water from entering.
  • Drive the PVC pipe into the ground in your lawn or garden to create a hidden camera.

A small wireless camera is the perfect choice for this installation. You can combine it with the other tips on this list by placing the PVC pipe in your garden, hidden by plants. This way, it will be almost impossible for anyone but you to locate the camera.

In Lawn Decor

Much like a birdhouse or piece of PVC pipe, several types of lawn ornaments can be modified to hide security cameras. Fake rocks are our top choice because you can easily cut a hole in the rock and place a camera inside. Lawn gnomes and other small decorations can also be used to hide cameras in plain sight.

  • You can create an easy hidden security camera by drilling a hole in this hollow false rock so the camera can record outside activity.
  • Lawn ornaments and mailboxes can be used to hide cameras.
  • Make sure that wherever your camera is hidden, it still has a view to record activity on your property.

When it comes to creating your own hidden security cameras, the limit is your imagination. Mailboxes and holiday ornaments can be modified to hold security cameras. When combined with visible cameras with motion sensors, hidden cameras can make your security setup even harder to evade.

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Do Security Cameras Have to Be Visible?

In most areas in the United States, your home security system does not have to be fully visible. However, it is a good idea to speak to local law enforcement and your neighborhood association before installing hidden security cameras. Although recording activity on your property is your right, it is always illegal to invade your neighbors’ privacy when you install security cameras.

Where Can You Hide Your Outdoor Security Camera?

Although visible security cameras are a great crime deterrent, you may want to hide an outdoor camera in case thieves attempt to tamper with your visible cameras. Here are the best ways to hide a security camera:

  • Hide your cameras in plain sight by painting them to match your home.
  • Have your security cameras professionally installed under eaves and soffits, so they are hard to see.
  • Install an outdoor camera inside your home, so it can record outdoor activity through a window.
  • Place cameras in trees, bushes, or in potted plants.
  • Use a birdhouse as a hiding spot for a security camera.
  • Place a wireless outdoor camera in a short PVC pipe driven into the ground in your garden.
  • Use fake rocks, lawn decor, or your mailbox to create the perfect place for a hidden security camera.

These methods will help boost your home security with some well-placed hidden cameras. Just make sure your cameras have a clear field of vision so they can remain effective while hidden.

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