8 Best Fake Security Cameras
Smile, you're on a candid camera. Or are you? Faux security cameras are a sneaky and low-cost way to protect your home and business.
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Family Handyman, via retailers (3)
What Are Fake Security Cameras?
Home surveillance systems can be expensive. Fake security cameras (also referred to as dummy, simulated or faux cameras) are designed to look like the real thing — sans the functionality. These decoys can act as a deterrent to would-be thieves, trespassers and loiterers at a fraction of the cost.
Besides being low-maintenance and affordable, faux cameras are simple to install and require no apps or costly monthly subscriptions to alarm companies. However, James Banta, chief safety officer at SecurityNerd.com, says substituting impostors for real cameras comes with risks.
“An ordinary opportunist will be more cautious seeing a camera mounted on a structure and will generally go to a place with less security to do ill deeds,” he says. “A more seasoned burglar will notice it is not a real camera and will break into the structure.”
Banta recommends avoiding faux cameras that look cheap, don’t simulate infrared capability and are stationary or fixed in a certain area. “This will just have a more seasoned thief go to a different part of the structure to gain entry out of the eye of the ‘camera,’ thus defeating the purpose of the device,” Banta says.
There are ways to increase a fake camera’s effectiveness. Install motion-sensor floodlights, add trigger alarms to doors and windows, upgrade bolt locks and join a neighborhood watch program. You can also get a big, loud dog!
When choosing a fake camera, look for:
- Realistic-looking housings;
- Visible wires or cables;
- Warning decals or stickers;
- Authentic infrared-like lights;
- Rotating ability.
Fake security cameras may not fool a slick burglar or catch a porch pirate in the act, but they don’t need to know that. Here are top-rated fake security cameras that can help you avoid the unthinkable.
Wali Fake Security CCTV Dome Camera
Harder to spot as fakes, these faux dome cameras make people think you’re keeping tabs on all the comings and goings around your home.
Place near the front door, over the garage, or in the office or shop — the compact, lightweight design makes them easy to install almost anywhere. The pack of four comes in black or white and can be scattered among real cameras to further heighten the hoax.
One Amazon reviewer claimed they even fooled the police! “One week after we installed the dummy dome cameras there was an incident that caused the police to knock on our door asking to see our security camera footage,” the reviewer writes. “I had to tell him they were fake.”
Idaodan Dummy Security Camera
They say the devil is in the details. That’s certainly true of the Idaodan dummy security camera. Its realistic blinking infrared LEDs (in five-second intervals) and the genuine-looking video cables coming out of it effectively sells the semblance of vigilance.
Installation is hassle-free, and batteries can be replaced without removing the camera from its mount. A simple turn of a screwdriver opens the lens, and out pops the battery box.
Swann Communications Simulated Security Camera
The kit includes the camera, mounting hardware and theft-dissuading stickers — everything you need to swindle the swindlers, at a surprisingly affordable price (less than $10).
Armo Fake Security Camera
Even the most experienced shoplifters and vandals feel like someone’s watching them when they eye the Armo fake security camera on the premises. Not only is the hanging-style unit convincingly realistic, the continuous blinking light gives further confirmation to sketchy types that the equipment works.
Mount on walls or ceilings with the included stainless-steel screws, and make burglars think twice before targeting you.
Sunforce Interior/Exterior Simulated Security Camera
No more fussing with changing batteries every few months or so — this simulated security camera is solar-powered. An integrated amorphous solar panel (a thin layer of silicon on a glass substrate) charges in natural and artificial light, so it can be used indoors or out.
The maintenance-free, silver-toned security camera comes with the panel, LED light, mounting bracket and a one-year warranty.
A-Zone Solar Motion Sensor Light
Each faux camera/light weighs two pounds, making it easy to install. (Mounting hardware and a key wrench are included.) When it’s dark outside, the sensitive sensor detects human movement from 10 and 26 feet away and at a range of 120 degrees.
GE Interior/Exterior Simulated Security Camera
Tough and dependable, GE’s simulated security camera is rated for outdoor use. It offers a security presence, real or imagined, rain or shine. Its waterproof rotating head replicates a high-tech, bullet-style security camera.
According to a Lowe’s reviewer, “I love how big it is and it’s strong and sturdy.”
Trademark Global Security Camera Decoy
Placing simulated cameras around your property willy-nilly gives away their phoniness. The Trademark Global security camera decoy, on the other hand, features an adjustable mount that lets you set the angle.
Point the camera’s “videotaping stream” right at hot spots (front and back doors, dark alleyways) favored by thieves for a totally convincing effect.
“Looks so real,” writes a five-star Walmart.com reviewer. “No one knows it is a decoy.”