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CCTV camera housing - Vandal Resistant to Nitrogen Filled

Updated on November 11, 2010

If you are setting up a security system for your home or your office premises you want to make sure that you are using the right equipment and installing it properly so that it can do the job of protecting you and your assets properly. In this article we will look at the main components that make up a typical cctv camera housing.

The housing unit is made up of two main components, the housing and the mounting bracket. The camera itself will sit on a track inside the housing and the adjoining cables are connected through the bracket. When buying a unit the most important thing to consider is what is the camera going to be used for and where is the camera going to be placed. Once you have answered these questions you can look for the appropriate housing.

Indoor and outdoor cctv camera housing.

Camera housings can serve a variety of functions. Some security systems are intended to be seen while others aim to be more discreet. Usually indoor cameras will be much smaller and therefore the housing can be much simpler. In most cases a simple plastic cover will be enough to protect the camera from dust, steam, insects and other things that may interrupt the camera from functioning properly. Cameras placed inside public buildings need to be stronger or placed well out of reach, in most cases these will feature a vandal proof dome cover so that it cannot be tampered with.

Outdoor cctv camera housings will need to be strong enough to handle the weather conditions while protecting the camera. These housings are commonly made of die cast aluminium and their construction makes them waterproof to resist the weather and prevent any moisture from building up inside the unit. The housings can also be secured with a padlock to prevent theft and vandalism.

As the weather can affect the security cameras significantly, the housings commonly include a slight lip over the camera to prevent water blurring the focus on the opening of the unit and also shielding the unit from the heat. In certain climates it is necessary to buy a unit with a heater and fan inside to prevent the cameras components from freezing or overheating respectively. Some additional features that you may find will include IR infrared illumination which will enhance your existing cameras capacity to see in low light conditions and flame resistant housings.

A good camera housing can also serve in place of a real security system. Dummy cctv cameras are becoming increasingly  more popular because of their economic advantages and some users are using a combination of real and fake cameras in their security systems.

CCTV camera housing
CCTV camera housing

Camera Mounting Brackets.

The bracket is what secures the housing to the building or pole. Many of the cheaper mounting brackets will simply hold the camera stationary at one angle. In many cases there is no need to adjust the view of the camera for example if it is placed in a hallway or just monitoring a single entrance. If you want your security system to be more versatile then you should look for a bracket that will allow the camera to move and adjust its field of view. In this case the housing or bracket will contain a small motor that is able to turn the entire housing independent of the bracket.

As with most surveillance applications, the materials that you use should be appropriate for the job so the bracket must not only be strong enough to hold the camera but ensure that the camera cannot be tampered with. Most outdoor specific brackets will have a specific hole or groove to enclose the cables connecting the camera to the rest of the system. The brackets themselves can be as cheap as $5 for indoor use and made from plastic through to industrial steel versions aveaging $50. Typically more expensive units have a bracket built into the housing.

Advanced security camera housings

On top of the typical security applications there are a range of special housings which can include the following features;

Stainless steel housings with an anti corrosive film – these are most commonly used for marine applications where sea water and spray would destroy the typical aluminium case.

Wipers and Washers – like a car windshield, a remote water spray can be added to a camera housing if the window opening becomes dirty.

Nitrogen filled housing – For very sensitive camera equipment there are units that can be filled with nitrogen. Much like a good telescope the nitrogen functions not only to reduce the fire hazard but keep the clear window from fogging up and keep out any water vapour.

Germanium window – these are typically used for thermal cameras for their anti reflection and anti scratching properties

Camera housing ratings

Camera housings are evaluated based on 2 main scores, the NEMA standard and the IP standard. NEMA defines standards for electrical enclosures mainly for industrial use. The rating is passed on the ability to protect the unit from environmental circumstances such as water, dust, and oils these measures extend to gases in the atmosphere like gasoline and acetylene. The IP code or International Protection Rating evaluates items based on how much they protect against solid objects also including dust and water but extending to the use of hands and other tools.

How much does a camera housing cost?

The price range for camera housings is quite large bearing in mind all of the features that we have covered and for outdoor applications the prices start at $20 through and beyond $500 for the larger units that are typical in major traffic areas like train and bus stations. Though you may not need a housing that is very sophisticated, you need to take the ongoing alarm system monitoring cost into account. When you are purchasing yours be sure to get one that will protect your camera well so that you can always keep a good eye on things.

How to install a camera into an outdoor housing


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    • JamesWhitaker profile image

      James N. Whitaker 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you for sharing detailed hub about housing of cameras. Great help!

    • profile image

      neopublishco 6 years ago

      This is a great article about camera housings! Thanks for the additional info about nitrogen filled housings, and the Germanium window.