Designing A Surveillance System

Tips For Designing A Surveillance System
By Christian M Gillman

There are numerous factors and environmental conditions to consider whenever designing a surveillance system. Additionally a lot of the factors you will be considering will depend on your specific applications. There are however some key constants to keep in mind, and we will look over a few different factors to always have in the back of your head when building a CCTV system.


To begin you are going to want to decide whether you plan on installing your surveillance system yourself, or if you are going to hire someone to do it for you. If you’re going to hire someone, then it will be a good idea to contact some installers before purchasing your system. This way you can get an idea of installation costs and factor them into your budget beforehand.

Additionally if you decide to hire someone, they will most likely be able to help in the design of your system as well.

Video Feed

How do you plan on getting your video to your monitoring station (DVR, Monitor, ETC…). This is something you want to consider as it can determine whether you will prefer a wired or wireless system. Each different type of system has its ups and downs which we won’t go into here, but the basic thing you should determine for yourself is whether installing a wired system will be problematic or not, and if so to what degree. This is also an instance where hiring an installer could be beneficial as they can help determine the best course of action for you.


How well lit are the areas you are going to be recording? Do you want to be able to record both during the day and night? These are questions that are good to know the answers to before buying your security cameras.

If you are going to need cameras that can handle low light applications, then you are going to want to find security cameras with low LUX ratings. The lower the LUX rating, the more capable the camera is at recording in low light scenarios.

Now if you want to record in pitch black or nearly pitch black conditions, you will want to look into getting security cameras with IR (Infrared) functionality. These types of cameras will provide artificial infrared light for your cctv cameras to see with in pitch black settings.

Camera Protection

Protecting your cameras is crucial in some settings, and you will want to not only consider environmental protection, but also vandal protection.

Vandal Protection

If you’re in an area where tampering with your cameras is a distinct possibility, then you are going to want to look into armored dome type cameras that can help protect against vandalism. In some cases the domes are so strong they can help protect against the force of a hammer hitting it.

Environmental Protection

If you are going to be using your cameras outside, then you will want to look into the proper protection against the elements. Sunshields, Heaters, Blowers, Waterproof Ratings; these are all good features to have depending on your application.

Overlapping Coverage

Finally an additional way to help protect your cameras is to design a system that employs overlapping coverage. Basically if one camera is tampered with it will be seen and recorded by another one of your security cameras.

There are many other factors to consider when building a surveillance system, but by having these few different ideas in hand you will make your task that much easier in the long run.

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 6 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at

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