I am frequently contacted by project managers seeking advice on selecting the best construction site security cameras (construction cameras). In this article, I will discuss some of the common requirements, challenges, and solutions for using a video surveillance system in an active construction job site. Most of the camera systems that my company supplies to construction companies are custom. Some customers prefer to schedule a free phone consultation with me instead of researching equipment on their own. If this sounds like you, please email me to requesting a free email or phone consultation.
I also recently wrote this article: What is the best security camera system?
In my experience, the three most common uses for a construction security camera system are as follows.
- Keep Building Materials and Construction Equipment Secure
- Project Management / Remote Site Monitoring
- Prevent Theft and Vandalism
- Detect when a person or vehicle is trespassing
- Live Video Streaming or Time-Lapse for Marketing / Promotion
Selecting the Best Camera
Here are some things to consider when selecting the best security camera to monitor a construction area. In most cases, you want to be notified after hours and / or create an alarm when there is someone intruding on your construction site. Our AI cameras are best suited for this.
AI Security Cameras
CCTV Camera Pros highest recommendation for construction site security cameras are our Viewtron AI security cameras. Our AI cameras have the ability to detect human and vehicle objects with 99% accuracy! You can get a push notification on your iPhone or Android mobile app. You can also sound an external alarm. This security camera with alarm sound and flashing light is a great choice for construction site surveillance.
Our Viewtron IP camera NVR is fully integrated with the AI cameras. It is also our top pick.
You can watch a bunch if our AI camera video demos here.
License Plate Recognition
License plate recognition cameras are also extremely popular for the entrances of construction sites. These can be used in conjunction with other Viewtron AI cameras and connect to the same DVR.
You can watch all of our LPR camera video demos here.
Weatherproof / Rugged Camera Housing
It is obvious that a weatherproof housing is a must for a construction site, but not all housings are created equal. IP Ratings (Ingress Protection) is established by the International Electro Technical Commission. This is the standard that determines just how weatherproof a camera’s housing is. It is noted with a two digit code. You can refer to this page for a complete IP ratings table and description. I recommend a weatherproof rating of at least IP66 for a construction site camera. If you need a high quality IP camera, all of our Viewtron IP cameras are IP67 rated. Our Viewtron BNC security cameras are IP67 rated as well. These Viewtron cameras are extremely durable.
This infrared 4K dome security camera is an excellent choice for a construction site. The dome enclosure of the camera is IP67 rated. These domes are also known as vandal proof domes because the base is metal and the plastic dome is a hard polycarbonate plastic. They will be resistant to tampering and flying construction debris.
Infrared Night Vision
Many construction sites do not have a lot of night time lighting which makes infrared security cameras a great choice. They allow the camera to operate in normal, low light, and zero light. Just as not all camera housings are created equal, not all infrared capability is either.
The best infrared CCTV cameras have built-in “Smart IR”. Smart IR automatically adjusts the illumination intensity that the cameras infrared LEDs provide based on the proximity of objects (such as people) approaching the camera. The best infrared cameras have an evenly balanced illumination throughout the entire image that they are capturing. Notice in the above screenshot how the entire image is illuminated, not just a circle in the middle of the image (as many cheap cameras will only provide). This image was captured using this high definition infrared security camera. You can learn more about Smart IR for security cameras here.
Auto-tracking PTZ Cameras
Watch the above video to see a demo to see this Viewtron auto-tracking PTZ camera detect a person then track them automatically. This pan tilt zoom camera can also be manually remote controlled from iPhone and Android mobile apps. The camera can also be controlled locally using the Viewtron NVR or remotely using the Mac or Windows software that is included with all Viewtron recorders.
You can watch addition auto-tracking PTZ camera videos here.
A PTZ camera can zoom in close on specific areas of construction. Project managers can remotely access cameras to check in on progress of the project.
Selecting the Best DVR
Besides being able to record high quality video, here are some features that construction managers should consider when shopping for the best video surveillance DVR.
- Easy to Use. No one wants to fumble around with new devices to try to figure out how they work. Watch this video to see a surveillance DVR that is extremely simple to use.
- Excellent Remote Viewing Software and Mobile Apps. If you intend on remotely monitoring your construction site, be sure to select a system that includes desktop software and mobile apps on the platforms that you use. Also consider if you need only a live security camera view or also want to be able to playback recorded video remotely. These apps are all outstanding for remote construction site CCTV monitoring.
- Alarm Sensor Integration. If you want your surveillance system to trigger alarms using burglar alarm sensors, be sure to confirm that the DVR has digital inputs that work with the types of sensors that you want to use. For example, you may want to use an outdoor PIR motion detector to trigger a push notification to your mobile phone to let you know that someone on-site or in a certain area. You can learn about setting up alarm sensors on a security camera DVR here.
Wired vs Wireless Systems
Running cable can be a challenge on a construction site. I only recommend wireless camera systems as a last resort when video cable absolutely can not be run. Hard wired systems are far more reliable and easier to setup. Please keep in mind that wireless security cameras still require a power source that is almost always hard wired. If you are unable to run cables for your system, I recommend that you contact me for a consultation.
Live Streaming Systems
The team at CCTV Camera Pros can help construction companies setup camera systems to live stream video on Facebook and YouTube.
If you want to use a live video feed to promote your project on Facebook or YouTube, we can help. Please check out this article on how to use IP cameras to live stream video on Facebook and YouTube. The cameras in these systems can be used for both security and promotional live video streaming.
Long term construction projects are fun subjects to use a time lapse camera. I documented how-to use an IP camera for time lapse video here. There are outdoor IP cameras available that have this snapshot functionality needed setup time lapse. Many of them are weatherproof and rugged, making them good choices for a construction time lapse project.
Additional Help / Questions
Hopefully you found this article helpful in researching a construction site camera system. If you have any questions, please email me here.