Are you looking for a discreet way to keep an eye on your home or office? Hidden cameras can be a great solution but can also be expensive. We’ve put together this list of DIY hidden camera ideas for beginners.
From potted plants to stuffed animals, there are plenty of creative ways to hide a camera in plain sight. Keep reading to learn more about these clever hidden camera ideas and how you can make your own.
Here are a few ideas for a DIY hidden camera:
- Inside a plant or flowerpot: You can place a small camera inside a potted plant or flowerpot, either on a shelf or on the ground. This can be a good option if you want to keep the camera out of sight while still having a clear view of the area.
- Behind a picture frame: You can attach a camera to the back of a picture frame and hang the frame on a wall.
- Inside a book: You can place a camera inside a book and keep the book on a shelf.
- Inside a stuffed animal: You can place a camera inside a stuffed animal and keep the animal on a shelf or in the corner of the room.
- Inside a clock: You can place a camera inside and keep the clock on a shelf or wall.
- Inside a lamp: You can place a camera inside a lamp and keep the lamp on a table or desk.
- Inside a smoke detector: You can place a camera inside and mount the smoke detector on the ceiling.
- Inside a clock radio: You can place a camera inside a clock radio and keep the clock radio on a nightstand or dresser.
- Inside a tissue box: You can place a camera inside a tissue box and keep the tissue box on a table or counter.
Ways of Hiding a Hidden Camera
There are many ways to hide a hidden camera.
In this article, we cover the seven ways listed below in detail:
- A birdhouse
- A door entry camera
- A two-way mirror
- An emergency monitor
- A light bulb or screw
- A picture frame to track performance
- A power outlet
A Birdhouse Monitor
Hiding a camera in a birdhouse can be a creative and effective way to monitor the outside of your home or a specific area of your yard.
Here are a few steps to follow when hiding a camera in a birdhouse:
- Choose a birdhouse: Choose a birdhouse that is large enough to fit the camera and has a good view of the area you want to monitor.
- Install the camera: Ensure the camera is positioned to have a clear view of the area you want to monitor.
- Mount the birdhouse: Ensure the birdhouse is securely mounted and is not easily visible to anyone passing by.
- Connect the camera to a power source: Connect the camera to a power source using the appropriate cables and adapters. You can use a battery pack, a solar panel, or a plug-in power adapter, depending on your needs and the location of the birdhouse.
- Configure the camera: Configure the camera according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may include setting up a wireless connection, configuring motion detection settings, and other desired features.
Plant monitor using a hidden camera inside a birdhouse
Smoke Detector or Monoxide Detector
You can hide your hidden camera inside an emergency monitor, such as a smoke detector or fire alarm.
It can also be arranged to activate in an emergency when the alarm or detector detects an issue such as smoke or high co2. This would allow you to see any visible activity at the site, so you can see exactly what’s happening. It could help see how urgent the situation is and to respond accordingly.
You can buy these products with built-in cameras, but they usually only function as hidden cameras and don’t work as emergency monitors. So alternatively, you can place a hidden camera inside a real monitor.
The picture shows a fake smoke detector with a hidden camera concealed inside.
A false smoke detector with a real hidden camera concealed inside
Light Bulbs and Screws
You can use a light bulb instead, like an emergency monitor, where the hidden camera is disguised.
A light bulb with a hidden camera has the advantage that it can be positioned to provide a very good view of an area without anyone suspecting it has a hidden camera inside. Usually, it is positioned centrally, and it can provide a wide 360° view. It will function both as a light bulb and also a hidden camera.
The picture shows a light bulb with a built-in hidden camera.
A light bulb with a built-in hidden camera
Another object that may not be suspected to be a hidden camera but can be positioned flexibly in various locations is a screw. You can buy purpose-built screw-type hidden cameras, as in the picture below, but you can also place a hidden camera somewhere and disguise it as a screw.
A screw-type hidden camera
You can use your hidden camera to track your home or workplace performance.
Tracking performance can be handy in a workplace environment, but you might also need to do the same at home. Consider using a hidden camera. One place to hide it would be a picture frame hanging on the wall.
You can either buy a ready-made one or make your own.
A picture frame with a hidden camera
Things to Consider and Be Careful About
When concealing a hidden camera in place of a normal, larger camera, there are some things to consider and be careful about.
Wireless vs. Wired Hidden Cameras
If you aim to conceal the camera so that it is not detected easily, then it might be appropriate to use a hidden wireless camera rather than a wired one. However, a wireless camera may require more power and be susceptible to discovery by a network scanner. So, you may need to take these things into account.
Positioning a Hidden Camera
It would be best if you were careful about positioning the camera or disguising it so it is not easy to spot. Usually, you should avoid positioning it at eye level or in any other spot that could make it easily discovered. However, it would not be a good idea to place it in a dark area unless the camera is equipped with night (IR) vision.
Privacy and the Law
Another thing to be careful about is your local laws, depending on where and how you will use the hidden camera. Consider privacy issues, especially if the camera will be used in a public place. If using a hidden camera in such a place, you should put up a notice to inform passers-by.
Hidden camera in use notice
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