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Over 36 million Americans use home security cameras, and the facts are out. Surveillance systems reduce the chances of burglary by over 300% and save you between 5 and 20% on your home insurance. So exactly how much does it cost to install home security cameras?
The most basic answer to this question comes down to the cost per camera. The most straightforward systems are usually single-unit devices that you place right outside the front door of your home. On average, the installation costs for security cameras are between $125-$450 per camera. On the whole, surveillance camera installations can range anywhere from $612-2,044 or an average cost of $1,323.
Those cameras, however, come in quite a variety, so here, we’ll break down several different types of cameras you can install as single-unit systems to protect your home.
The cameras themselves run about $20-$300, not including the cost of labor to install them.
Types of Cameras
The following are types of cameras and their price points (without labor).
A deterrent “camera” (doesn’t function); doesn’t provide surveillance. These units cost between $10-$20.
Offers an expansive view and can operate RC. These units cost $100-$200.
This type of camera blends into the environment or acts as furniture/decor to not stand out. These units cost $100-$200.
This is a simple, straightforward standalone camera typically used in commercial settings. As a unit, these cameras can cost anywhere from $75-$275.
As the name implies, a floodlight cam is a floodlight fixture with a camera affixed to it. These can cost anywhere from $100 to a whopping $300.
The Wi-Fi light bulb security camera looks like a regular light bulb however, this bulb has a hidden security camera. It ranges in price from $25-$150.
This unit simply plugs into an outlet and stands on a flat surface. It costs between $50 and $150.
These cameras replace the doorbell button to surveil the front door and package deliveries. They cost $100-$200.
Solar security cameras use a solar panel to get the required power and they don’t need any cable or electric sources. They cost $70-$200.
Standalone Units vs. Whole-Home Security
Whole-home security systems also consist of alarms and sensors that work with the cameras to maintain maximum surveillance around your home. More extensive systems also integrate with mobile phones (another feature that costs money), so you can see what’s happening outside your home wherever you are with your smartphone.
CCTV System vs. Standalone Surveillance Camera
Analogous to the TV vs. internet, you can choose between CCTV camera systems which are wired coaxially, or cameras that use Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). CCTV usually has a more robust overall performance, but on the flip side, you cannot back it up as easily because it’s not connected via the internet.
CCTV systems usually comprise four cameras and cost, on average, $1,300 to install. Each CCTV camera itself runs between $75 and $350.
IP camera systems run from $500 to $1,500 to install, with each camera costing between $100 and $400. IP systems store footage on the cloud and different systems have varying amounts of storage.
Home security camera systems require professional installation. Depending on the job, you’ll need an electrician or a professional security camera installation specialist – and those decisions will determine the labor fee structure for your installation. You can expect labor charges to be 50-70% of the total cost.
Electricians generally charge by the hour, so you can expect to pay $50-$100 multiplied by however many hours it takes to set up anywhere from simple to complex security systems. By contrast, security camera installation experts charge between $50-$200 per camera (or, on some occasions, will charge a flat fee).
Wireless vs. Wired
As mentioned before, PoE cameras are built into your home’s electrical wiring. This is the case for anywhere from one camera to multiple. The cost per wired security camera is about $100-$500.
The cost for wireless security camera installation is similar, from $100-$400. These cameras work off battery or solar power but must be installed within the proper range of your home’s wireless internet system; otherwise, they could lose signal/footage due to local internet downtimes or outages.
Camera Locations and Their Costs
On average, an outdoor camera costs $20-$55 more to install than an indoor camera because they have higher fidelity/resolution, a wider field of view, and are trickier to install.
Frame rate indicates the quality of the footage that the cameras will yield. For instance, 15-second frame-rate cameras cost $80-$160 to install, whereas 60-second frame-rate cameras cost up to $350.
The field-of-view of cameras simply denotes how wide and far their surveillance range and distance reach can go. Factoring in FoV adds another $80-$100 in security camera installation costs.
In general, the larger the lens, the smaller the viewing range, but the larger the surveillance distance it captures. Given these factors, homeowners can make highly individualized and customized plans, given their home and yard layouts.
For a reference point, dome cameras with between 180-360º ranges usually come in smaller lenses and can cost between $200 and $1,000.
Breaking Home Security Systems Costs Down by Feature
Apart from the standard equipment and labor costs, homeowners on various budgets can select different security features for their home security cameras. We list many of these features and their associated costs below.
Cameras with motion detection add $40-$150 in installation costs. They are not necessarily recording cameras; they will only switch on when they detect motion.
Most sellers of home security systems recommend pairing these motion detection cameras with alarms, which can convey to you immediately if something suspicious is afoot at your home. Such alarm system setups cost between $25-$200 a month.
This sophisticated system of recognizing faces, such as your kids when they get home from school or any other family members or immediate friend circle, is made of technology similar to Face ID on iPhones. This boosted feature costs an additional $150-$250 per home security camera.
Installing a camera with a built-in microphone costs between $100-$200. As doorbell cameras increase in popularity, many companies include microphones as a camera feature.
Infrared cameras cost between $150-$200 to install. If parts of your house become so dark that even night-vision cameras can’t pick up on activity, this is a good option for you.
Simpler security camera systems, especially indoor and wireless ones, are reasonably easy to install yourself. On your own, you’ll be paying $100-$300 in security system installation costs for said systems – that includes the unit(s), a drill ($75-$200), a hammer ($5-$20), and drill bits ($3-$15 per bit). You’ll also need to know how to set up a hard drive and video monitor.
In the below YouTube Tutorial you will learn how to install and point security cameras:
Depending on your familiarity with ethernet cables, you could consider installing PoE surveillance cameras yourself, as well. You’ll need to be familiar with how to set up ethernet cables as part of your home internet system.
All told, outside cameras and home security system installation usually require professional assistance.
Cost of Installing Security Cameras by Resolution
The resolution of camera footage is simply the size and detail proportions. Higher-resolution cameras cost more money. Resolution is often measured in pixels, so the higher the pixel count, the higher the resolution, and the higher the cost.
In comparing some common resolutions, a basic 720p camera will cost between $80 and $160; a 2160p (4k resolution) camera would cost $200-$500; and an extremely sophisticated, high-res camera of 2800p would cost anywhere from $850 to $1,200.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How difficult is DIY installation?
Wireless or solar-powered security systems are relatively easy to install on your own; however, systems that require integration into your house’s electrical wiring must be done with professional help (unless, of course, you are an electrician!).
2. What is the time commitment for installing home security cameras?
This depends on the number of cameras, the system’s complexity, features, and the size of your home. Expect a time commitment of anywhere between four hours to two days.
3. What are other features available in home surveillance systems?
Remote monitoring is another feature, albeit expensive, that you can customize and integrate into your home security system. This will alert you and local law enforcement of intruders, fires, and other disturbances.
4. Do these systems really work? Are they worth the cost?
As we indicated above, these systems dramatically reduce the chances of burglary at your home. There can be diminishing returns if you get something so fancy and complex, but in general, from low-end to high-end, simple to complex, single-unit to multi-unit with any number of features, these systems are worth it.
5. Are there any non-camera features that will make the system even more effective?
Home alarm systems are a worthy add-on that can enhance your cameras’ efficacy. These will cost you between $100 and $250 upfront, with a monthly fee of $20 to $60.
6. How much does a business or commercial surveillance system cost?
These will be decidedly more expensive, averaging between $1,000 and $2,500 for four cameras and hardware, $300-$500 to install security cameras and activate the system, and a monthly professional monitoring fee of $50-$150.
7. How far can a wireless security camera transmit?
These ranges vary based on the material your walls are made of and where the camera is placed. In general, the ranges are between 150 and 500 feet.
8. Are these systems durable? Do they last long and stay in good shape without much need for repair?
Any technology requires upkeep and maintenance, but if you seek a high-quality camera or cameras from a reputable company with a proven track record, you will definitely own a system with longevity enough to be well worth your money.
We hope we’ve provided some good perspectives to inform an educated purchase of home security cameras. As you’ve seen, there are a whole host of features, large and small, that you can add to even the most straightforward cameras and systems.
From IP to CCTV, motion sensors to tactile alarms, low frame rates to high frame rates, and much more, you can be sure that if you want to protect your home from being blemished by crime, purchasing such systems is a solid investment.
Remember that labor costs money – it can be misleading to see the price of the equipment without the installation costs that go into it. To repeat, expect labor to make up 50-70% of the total installation costs.
We’ve also shown you that with the right tools, such as a drill, drill bits, and a hammer, you can install ethernet camera systems on your own. So long as you have the patience and meticulous detail orientation to work with these tools, you can save a lot of money by doing the work yourself.
Lastly, remember that safety is the highest priority. Make sure to choose a system based on the best reviews from friends, family, experts, and consumer ratings. You want a system that will protect your home in a way that makes you, your loved ones, and your property feel the safest. Happy camera hunting!
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