Have you ever considered having a home CCTV installation? These days, they’re not limited to celebrities and the wealthy. In fact, you can buy some good equipment for reasonable amounts of money.
The cost for CCTV installation as a basic system, including four cameras, will be about £230 plus another £300 if you want them professionally installed. It probably won’t take that long either. The four–camera system will take between 4 to 8 hours depending on where you want the cameras.
So, you must be considering it otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Am I right? Have you had a spate of burglaries in your neighbourhood recently? Are you going away from home on business a lot and want to make your family feel safer? Or, is it because you’ve had problems with the neighbourhood kids drawing graffiti on your garden walls?
Whatever the reason, installing CCTV will make you feel safer, act as a deterrent to prospective burglars and should reduce your home insurance premiums.
So, what types are available? We’ll go into this question in more detail later. But, for now, we’ll just say that you can buy different versions for both daytime and nighttime surveillance. And, get full-on high-quality resolution images, that the police could get a good description from. You can even buy ones that connect to your home WiFi so you can monitor the cameras from smartphones or a tablet computer.
From this, you might think that they cost a lot to buy and install, but you’d be wrong. They are surprisingly very affordable and simple enough for someone with basic DIY skills to install. Of course, some types need to be installed professionally too, but that’s another story.
How Much Does CCTV Installation Cost?
In the following table, we’ll look at three different security camera cost calculations together with the cost of installation.
CCTV Installation Price List:
|CCTV type||Description||Number of cameras||Camera cost (per unit)||Installation cost||Total estimated cost|
|Low end||Mains electricity-powered, data cable connected with 1TB hard drive||4||£60||£300||£540|
|Medium||Connected to WiFi means fewer cables to hide||4||£115||£300||£750|
|High end||WiFi connection. Use via a smartphone app. High definition, Night vision & online alerts. Family facial & pet recognition.||4||£160||£200 to £300||£840 to £940|
|8||£150||£400 to £500||£1,600 to £1,700|
Benefits of Fitting Domestic Security Cameras
There are many reasons to fit CCTV. Let’s consider a few of them.
You and your family will feel safer
You’ll know that the system is monitoring your home, especially if you combine the cameras with motion detectors. Furthermore, you can constantly check on your property if there’s no-one home or if you’re tucked up in bed. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to keep an eye on your home and belongings.
Lower insurance premiums
Most insurance companies recommend that you have a system installed. Although, you’ll have the initial outlay (which isn’t very much), the reduced insurance premiums more than compensate.
It’s well-known that criminals avoid homes with cameras because there are plenty more houses that haven’t got it. Why risk being caught on camera, when you can find somewhere else?
Criminals know that if they come near the house, cameras record every movement and store it safely. Moreover, they know that if they burgle the property, the police will soon knock on their door with irrefutable proof of who did the crime.
Most modern camera systems just need a power connection. They connect to a central hub using your WiFi network. So, there are fewer wires to maintain and the camera data uploads onto a hard drive.
Help make the surrounding neighbourhood safe
If a criminal knows there are cameras recording everything, they’ll avoid the area. Furthermore, you’ll be happy that the kids can play outside and any stranger will be permanently recorded onto a hard drive. So, your area will be secure and everyone benefits.
Types of CCTV Cameras
There are a few different types of CCTV cameras available on the market in the UK. And, each type uses different technologies, has its benefits, and its applications.
These have minimum installation costs with only a power cable to fit. But, they’re often more expensive to buy. They’re easy to install and because they use internet technology you can view footage just about anywhere. Furthermore, the cameras link up to your home WiFi and store their pictures onto a hard disk or in the cloud for future retrieval. Prices range from about £30 up to about £200 for a solar–powered model. Or, £20 for a basic, mains powered version up to about £400 for a kit of four cameras.
PTZ Security Cameras
PTZ stands for ‘Pan, Tilt & Zoom’ and that’s exactly what these cameras do. You can steer the camera through 360 degrees and zoom the image in or out. Moreover, these are ideal if you have a security guard to monitor what’s going on and needs full coverage. Even if you don’t have security staff, you can programme these cameras to follow and zoom in on movement within their field of vision. These cost from about £30 for a basic one, up to £2750 for a top of the range model.
Bullet CCTV Cameras
These cameras view long distances so are often installed outdoors. Therefore, they’re made completely weatherproof and resistant to dust and dirt. They’re also highly visible and deter potential burglars. Often, companies use these on agricultural land, for property management and manufacturing. They always record good quality images and offer the best performance for outside work. Prices range from about £30 to £300 depending on the specifications you want.
These cameras sit inside a dome installed onto a wall or ceiling. They are particularly discreet and difficult for criminals to work out where they are pointing as they can cover 360 degrees. They’re good for indoor and outdoor use and difficult for anyone to vandalise the camera.
These are good for any retail environment such as shops and restaurants and can cover many different locations in the room. They are very affordable too. These range from about £20 each for a basic WiFi camera up to about £300 for a kit of 4 cameras complete with night vision and HD images.
Google Nest Camera
This type of CCTV costs between £130 for a single camera up to at least £1000 for a complete system. The range of Google Nest products includes smoke and heat sensors as well as video smart doorbells. The great thing about the Nest is that every product is compatible so you can add to the system as required.
The ‘Ring’ products incorporate video smart doorbells as well as security cameras and can all be amalgamated and controlled from a smartphone app. The doorbells range in price from £90 to over £300 and can be bought directly from the company’s website or by using online retailers.
Footage Resolution & Image Quality
I think we can all agree that a security camera only becomes useful when it gives a good image resolution. It’s no good recording images of burglars or vandals if you can’t identify them afterwards. Is it?
Image resolution in CCTV cameras relies on what are termed ‘lines’. A high number of ‘lines’ means you get a sharp image. Image quality also relies to an extent on the type of chip used by the camera. Generally, small CMOS chips give a lower quality than a larger CCD chip. Small chips can’t collect as much light as large chips so they produce low–quality images. A camera’s light sensitivity ranges from 130,000 down to 0.01 lux. And, if the camera has a low lux value, it will record better at low light levels. To record high definition images you also need a large amount of storage space. And, if you want to record moving pictures without any jerkiness, you need to have high ‘frames per second’ or FPS.
All these factors result in an expensive camera. So, remember you get what you pay for. And, it depends what you want the images for. Be wary of a budget camera, because it might not be any use at all.
Additional Extra Features
Software inside the camera continually compares pixels between successive frames. If the pixels change too much, then the software triggers a motion alert and the camera starts recording.
Ordinary cameras use the visible wavelengths of light to record images during the day. These aren’t around at night, but all living things emit heat or infra-red radiation (IR) which is. So, IR light uses light wavelengths normally invisible to the human eye. And, night vision technology uses Infrared LEDs to view images in low light or even complete darkness.
If you can access what your CCTV cameras see in real–time, wherever you are in the world, you can act accordingly. Internet technology combined with smartphones, tablets or PCs, allows you to keep an eye on the place if you are away from home. If your home is part of a smart hub, you can also do things like turn on lights, close blinds or speak through the front doorbell. All these make potential burglars believe you are at home.
Legal Requirements, Data Protection & Planning Permission
There are regulations about taking photographic images of people outside your private property. And, if you have CCTV you must abide by the guidelines. In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) handles information rights and data privacy for individuals. The UK government also publishes the regulations on using CCTV and reminds readers about the ICO and private individuals’ rights.
Installing CCTV cameras and other security systems that use mains electricity come under the UK Building Regulations Part ‘P’ (electrical safety). You’ll, therefore, need a qualified electrician to install them.
Normally Local Authority Planning Permission isn’t needed unless you live in a listed building or a conservation area.
Even if you comply with all the regulations and guidelines, it would be polite and neighbourly to talk to those people living around your home to see how they feel about your plans. They might need to feel comfortable in themselves and require proof that you are not recording images of them in their gardens or through their windows. Even if the cameras focus on parts of your property, you might be inadvertently recording portions of a neighbour’s property. So, beware!
CCTV Installation Cost FAQ
Is it worth having CCTV at home?
If you have an up-market home, and a possible temptation for a burglar, you should consider installing a CCTV system. If you have visible cameras and a warning sign, you’ll be far less of a target. This will help keep your belongings and your family safe from intruders.
Is wired or wireless CCTV better?
Wired cameras might be difficult to install but they are more reliable. Wireless cameras are better if you want to move the cameras around or if you rent your property.
Does CCTV work without Internet?
Definitely. If you haven’t got any internet connection to the outside world, you can still use WiFi or wired cameras to record to a local hard drive. You only need internet if you’re recording to the cloud or using a smartphone to monitor what’s going on.
Can I install CCTV outside my house?
Yes, you can. Most homeowners use outside images to keep their property safe. However, if you happen to record images of your neighbour’s property or a public area, you must comply with the guidelines published by the UK Government and the ICO.
Can CCTV record audio?
Some home CCTV cameras record audio, but there are two things worth mentioning.
- There are so many other noises going on outside that often you only get garbled recordings.
- If you record people talking outside your property, you must comply with the ICO’s regulations.
Is it illegal to have CCTV without a sign?
Yes. The ISO states that the CCTV operator must inform people that they use CCTV to record images. The signs must be clearly visible and readable and must include details of the person taking the recordings.
Find Local CCTV Installers
You can install a system on your property without it costing a fortune. However, there are regulations and guidelines you must comply with to stay within the law. If you need to find someone to install your equipment, complete the form at the start of this page and you’ll receive 2-3 CCTV installation quotes from local tradespeople.