By: Chris Winkler

With crime rates that never seem to fall and a world economy that is struggling to recover it’s no wonder that people are turning to surveillance cameras for added security whether it’s at home or in the workplace.

Although there has been no noticeable increase in the number of high street shops selling spy cameras and equipment, it has taken off in a big way via the internet. If you are considering purchasing a surveillance system for your home or your business premises, here are a few things you may want to think about before you rush into making an order;

1. Do you know the legal implications when installing such a system?

2. What kind of lighting conditions will it be used under and what is the image quality/storage trade off?

3. How much are you going to spend on the system and who will be installing it?

4. What do you want them for and where will they be sited.

Deciding what you want to use the system for will affect the cost. People will fall into two types- those that want it just as a deterrent and those that want it so it can be used in any criminal proceedings that may result from catching on camera whatever actions that may be against the law.

Where you are going to be placing the camera is another thing to think of, you may be the owner of a depot where trucks or goods are stored overnight. If this is a large yard you might consider a wireless system but if it’s just a certain room within a building, you could go with a wired system. If you are going to install them outdoors you need to make sure they are waterproof and that the cameras have an automatic iris as they will be working in differing conditions.

Your budget will play an intricate part in what type of system you can get for your money. If you want top quality and are going to have the system installed by an expert, then you are probably better off with a wired system. If you’re going to do it yourself then a wireless system is safer and less complicated to set up.

It matters not what you’re going to use the set up for, you still need to think about the lighting conditions. Cameras work by measuring light on a scale known as “lux” which is the amount of light that can be measured in a square meter. The lowest level is 0.0001 and used for conditions where light is at a premium. The top end is 100000 which work well for conditions of bright sunlight. So, if you want to survey a workplace that is well lit, then you would want a “lux” rating of between 50 to 400, but if they are going to be used outside at night then you want a system that will work with a rating of 1 or less. Cameras now are even coming with a colour facility. If they are going to be used at night then colour imaging is of no use unless you’re going to pay for a system with infra red lights.

Be sure to do your research before making any purchases.