This guide covers TOP-6 best smoke detector cameras, their main types, differences as well as explains how they operate and what benefits offer. You will also learn why such aspects as the camera adjustability and the way in which the data is transferred are that important. It is noteworthy that also the price generally affects product efficiency, this does not mean that low-budget models will not work well. An FAQ section will provide you with answers to the most common questions asked by consumers.
What You Will Learn From This Guide:
- Why do you need a smoke detector camera
- How do smoke detector cameras work?
- What are the types of smoke detector cameras and their differences?
- What to look for when buying a product?
- TOP-6 best smoke detector cameras
Why Do You Need a Smoke Detector Camera
When monitoring an area, it's important to stay covert no matter what. This is why so many people operating cameras try to place them in unexpected locations, allowing them to spy on certain areas without anyone suspecting anything.
There are many good reasons as to why someone might feel compelled to begin monitoring an area. Whether you're a boss trying to figure out what happens at work when you're not there, a homeowner worried about a break-in, or even a school teacher looking to protect your classroom, you have a right to know what is happening in your space while it is happening. I even have a friend who uses a smoke detector camera whenever they hire a new babysitter, to make sure that nothing bad happens in their house when they're not there!
Personally, it me feel safer to place a camera in my living room once I heard of how many break-ins have been occurring on our street. Because I keep so many expensive instruments in that room, knowing exactly where they go and when is essential to making sure that my collection isn't stolen or vandalized.
However, no matter how covertly you place many modern-day cameras, they will be noticed. This is because many still take up a good deal of space, making it more and more necessary for them to not only blend in around devices, but blend into devices.
This is why this is such great investment. By using these devices, consumers can observe any desired area with an incredibly thorough but well-hidden device, disguising it through the image of a familiar device. Because people don't often inspect or take note of smoke alarms, hiding a camera there is a perfect way to effectively be covert.
In this Buyer's Guide I'll be going into detail on what you should be looking for in a smoke alarmcamera before taking a look at 6 of the market's most notable models.
So, as always, let's get right into it:
How Do Smoke Detector Cameras Work?
Believe it or not, a majority of these devices are not actually working smoke detectors. While there are some models that combine the two technologies, a great portion of the market is filled with cameras that are simply disguised as smoke detectors. This is still incredibly helpful for many people, as you're allowed to keep tabs on an area without having to be there. For the purpose of this article, I won't be taking a look at cameras that double as smoke detectors, as our focus is on finding the most effective hidden cameras and not dual capability devices.
Regardless of whether or not it is combined with a working smoke detector or not, this device works just as any hidden camera does. The device films footage through a lens and communicates the data to some type of computer, allowing anybody to either view the image retroactively or monitor it live. Like a regular smoke detector, the unit will need a battery to run, requiring the consumer to regularly supply batteries for continued usage. Those using one of these cameras will also have to With this technology, consumers can keep track of an area without having to be there, being able to review footage.
What Are The Types of Smoke Alarm Cameras And Their Differences?
They are defined in two specific ways: the way in which they capture the data and the way in which they transmit it.
For example, many models will have high-quality cameras within them, with some being more high-quality than others. Regardless of the quality of the lens or camera itself, though, the main limitation of using this device is the placement of the lens. Because the lens is typically on the smoke detector to look like part of the unit itself, it's confined to the direction in which this unit faces: downward.
As a default, there is no way to adjust the camera due to the stationary nature of the unit itself. However, many models circumvent this issue by coming with adjustable cameras, allowing users to control the camera and subsequently get viewpoints of a room that wouldn't be seen otherwise.
The way in which the camera transmits this data to a computer or monitor is also a distinguishing factor between different brands. For example, a large majority of the market's current models have WiFi capabilities, allowing them to transmit data over a network. Computers or other devices connected to the network can then access the footage, allowing them to store and edit the video as they please. For products that don't include WiFi capabilities, it's more likely that you'll have to connect to the device via a cord at a later time to retrieve the recorded data.
Some devices will also have motion detectors, allowing you to only be sent footage or photos when it is relevant to what is happening.
What To Look For When Buying A Product?
When purchasing a device, it's most important to take into account the quality of the device's camera. This is because without a high-quality camera, the camera you're using is essentially worthless.
The next important aspect of this product is whether or not the camera itself is adjustable. If a given camera isn't adjustable, then you won't be able to see as much of the covered territory as you might like. If what you want to protect can be placed within sight of the stationary smoke detector, then this is fine, but anybody looking to cover an entire room or a larger space should look into an adjustable camera.
The last (and least important) aspect of looking for a smoke detector camera is the way in which the data is transferred. Those who are looking for a product that will give them flexibility might be disappointed when they have to manually connect to their camera in order to get the footage off of it. However, investing in a device with high-quality WiFi capabilities can be a great way to ensure that you are able to effectively take any data off of the device. Many models that have WiFi capabilities will also be wireless, so that is something to be on the lookout for as well.
Of course, the price will affect the choices you have, so it's best to keep that into consideration when looking for a model. However, it's worth noting that there are definitely some low-budget models that work pretty well. I'll be sharing reviews of the TOP 6 products below that are a wide variety of price points so you can understand just how open your options are.
TOP-6 Best Smoke Detector Cameras
In this review, you will find six best products within the price range from $50 to $200 that are commercially available. They have different resolutions, amounting to either 720P or 1080P, however, both are high definition resolutions. Recording time is also a crucial parameter as it shows how long the camera will be able to do its part.
Night Vision Hidden Spy Camera | QUANDU
Night Vision Hidden Spy Camera: QUANDU is a company that makes some good budget products, allowing you to find a fix on the fly. However, because of the cheap nature of their products, it's safe to assume that what you'll be getting won't be as high-quality as other models on the market. The biggest bonus for this device is the fact that it really does look exactly like a smoke detector. Though it's not functional as one, the high-quality disguise allows users to effectively monitor an area without being noticed.
Those who are interested in monitoring an area in the dark will be happy to see that this model comes with night vision, making it easier to see things when the device is used for overnight spying. This feature especially works well when it's combined with the motion detection system, meaning you can get photos whenever it senses motion or other types of intrusion. The only downside of this device, though, is that there isn't much flexibility with the camera itself.
QUANDU: Check the current price
Smoke Detector Camera with WiFi Digital IP-Signal | SCS Enterprises
This is a moderately-priced device when compared to the rest of the market, allowing you to spy on people in any given area with a well-designed shell. I especially love the camera on this product, with a high resolution allowing you to get some pretty magnificent shots of any given area. There's also a very wide angle on top of the lens already being adjustable, giving you extra control over what you're looking at. The camera can also shoot 720P HD video, further detailing any footage or photos that are shot.
However, what separates this device from the rest of its competition is the incredible wireless-N connection that is not only intuitive, but fast. This is a product that is truly on the high-end of this market.
SCS Enterprises: Check the current price
HD 1080P Motion & Smoke Detector Camera | UMANOR
As the cheapest product on this list, it makes sense that you would be drawn to the UMANOR Hidden Camera. After all, it is a pretty worthwhile product that allows you to fit your budget without having to sacrifice quality. For example, it can shoot 1080P HD videos, making it have a better camera than some of the high-end models on this list.
You can also record up to 2 hours of footage with an 8GB micro SD card included. If that isn't enough space for you, though, it is also possible to upgrade to a 32GB card. On top of all of this, you can control it with a remote! The biggest downside to this product, though, is the lack of wireless capabilities that does limit you in terms of being able to access your data, but it is still a pretty great product.
UMANOR: Check the current price
36-hour Battery-Powered Smoke Detector WiFi Camera | SecureGuard
For those who are looking to pay extra for the device that's truly a luxury product, look no further than the SecureGuard. This camera has a very durable shell design, mimicking a smoke detector precisely. It also has a great 1920x1080 resolution on the camera, even allowing you to view the camera's feed live no matter where you are.
However, the price is obviously prohibitive for many people, so it should be taken into account. If you're looking for something to use in your office or a large area, this is the most durable and effective option.
SecureGuard: Check the current price
Hidden Smoke Detector Camera | PalmVID
For a camera that is on the high end of moderately-priced models, this PalmVID camera has a curious design. It looks quite sturdy in the photo, but in reality, feels very flimsy to the touch. Now, nobody under the camera would even notice this unless they were to reach up and touch the camera, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue.
However, aside from the design, this is a really solid product that you should definitely look into. Not only does it have a lot of the same features and characteristics as the aforementioned SecureGuard model, it also is a fraction of the price and comes with a 2-year warranty and a lifetime guarantee for tech support.
PalmVID: Check the current price
Smoke Detector Camera with Adjustable View | PalmVID DVR PRO
As with the other PalmVID product on this list, you'll surely be getting a good product when purchasing one of their models. Which model is the better one, though, depends on your preference, as they are both the same price.
The main difference between these two is that this one boasts an incredible charge, being able to last up to 100 days in standby mode, while the other has WiFi capabilities. Both great devices, but it just depends on what you intend to use it for. Regardless, you have an included 2-year warranty and a lifetime of tech support to ask any questions you might have!
PalmVID DVR PRO: Check the current price
Comparative Chart of Smoke Detector Camera Effectiveness
UMANOR Hidden Camera
SecureGuard WiFi Spy Camera
PalmVID Hidden Camera
PalmVID DVR PRO
What is the best smoke detector camera on the market?
In terms of the sheer amount of value you get for your dollar, I'm going to have to go with the SecureGuard. Though it is the most expensive product on my list, it provides you with the highest quality camera and the most durable, believable shell, making it an ideal choice if you're looking for the absolute best available on the market. However, if you want a truly budget buy, look into the UMANOR Hidden Camera.
How to mount it on the ceiling?
How you mount the device depends on which type of model you got. If you have a model that is wireless, you should use a power transformer to run the unit. Otherwise, you have to mount the camera by wiring the connection by hand to other areas in the space, a process that might be difficult if you're not prepared for it. Wiring by hand also requires the assistance of an electrician, meaning that—unless you are sure you can mount it safely—you shouldn't try it yourself.
Even if you have a wireless unit, though, it's advised that you hand wire it to the space. This is why I don't emphasize battery compatibility too much in my reviews, as I don't view it as a standout part of a product. If you have hand wiring, you can be confident that the device is being reliably connected. These types of devices also take up a large amount of power in general, making it important to never be caught off-guard and lose footage because the camera was off. I mention battery time because it can be effective for those looking for a truly wireless product.
What brands manufacture smoke alarm cameras with audio?
Some notable brands that include audio recording with their products include VisionTek and PalmVID. For reference, the PalmVID and SecureGuard items on this list all support audio recording.
How long does the device’s battery last, on average?
The device's battery charge will depend on which product you have. I detail a bit on each specific model in my reviews, but the longest-lasting is surely the second PalmVID camera I took a look at.
Will it give you text alerts on your phone if any motion is detected?
Most cameras have this functionality, but it's important to verify before purchasing if this is a deal breaker for you. For example, the first QUANDU model on my list is a device that will do this, among the last three products I reviewed as well.
Pros & Cons of Using These Products
- Monitor areas covertly and effectively
- Access footage on your computer or phone
- (With some devices only) monitor footage live
- Clever placement required to make a second smoke detector
Finding the right product can often mean the difference between effectively staying covert and being discovered. Thankfully, though, there are many different options to choose from that are able to fit a variety of budgets and preferences. I hope this Buyer's Guide has been helpful so that the next time you're in the market for a smoke detector camera, you can make a well-informed decision on what's best for you.