One of the most common questions we get asked is about real security cameras vs. fake security cameras; more specifically about the red light on the camera.
When we look at a security camera, there is often a little blinking light on it somewhere. That is what we want, right? That means it is a real camera, right?
Well, it might not. There has been some confusion about what the red light means on a security camera. We have done some research. Here is what we found out.
What Does A Red Light Mean?
While there are red blinking lights on some security cameras, they are more commonly found on fake security cameras. The red light is supposed to indicate that there is power coming to the camera and that it is recording. There is power coming to the light, but that is usually all there is.
Most criminals can tell that a security camera is fake by there being a blinking red light on the front of it. A red light only gives an impression of a camera being real and is not an indication of the camera being real (though real cameras can have them).
The cameras with red lights that are real security cameras are generally not powerful enough to function as security cameras. Most criminals are not intimidated by cameras with lights, blinking or not.
Should You Use A Fake Security Camera?
Many fake cameras have a red light on them and are very convincing. So, is it worth investing in one (and saving yourself a little money)?
We would recommend against it. As we have already said, the light is often an indication that the camera is not real and is easily spotted by criminals. If you are buying a fake camera, then try to get one without a red light. This may just fool criminals into thinking that you have a real camera.
But There Is More
You may be able to fool criminals into thinking that you have a real security camera, but that is about all that they will do. There are many reasons why you should not use a fake camera.
While a fake camera may deter a criminal, they will do absolutely nothing if the criminal spots that it is a fake or continues with a crime irrelevant of the camera there. The main drawback to a fake camera, of course, is that they do not record anything.
If criminal activity occurs below your security camera, then you are not going to be able to do something about it. An investment in a real camera will pay off where a fake camera will not. They can also make it more likely to have a crime take place in the vicinity of the camera. If a criminal does spot that you have a fake camera, then they can have more confidence that committing a crime in that area is going to be easier. If you have a fake camera, then you have probably not invested in any real deterrents.
A False Sense Of Security
A fake security camera can give a false sense of security. While criminals may not know that your camera or cameras are fake, someone on the inside may. If you own a business and are using a fake camera, or own a property with employees, then the camera can deter outside crime but can make you more likely to suffer from an inside job.
If your employees know that the camera is fake, they can take advantage of that information. Your employees can also let this information slip to their friends and family. If criminals get word that a business or residence is using fake cameras, then they know an easy place to hit.
The final point on our list is your liability. There can be people who are lulled into a false sense of security by the presence of fake cameras. Imagine an employee who does not know that there are fake cameras in the parking lot where they work. They park their car there and leave valuables inside. When the valuables are stolen, they may want to sue the business or person who is using a fake camera.
The best advice that we can give you is to spend a little extra money on a real camera. Fake cameras can be a deterrent, but they should not be used to protect an area. It does not cost a whole lot more to upgrade to a real camera, and it can save you a lot of hassle.