Want to watch your property and record the activities of unexpected or unwanted visitors? You need security cameras. Want to monitor what people do when they’re supposed to be in your house or business?
For that, REGULAR security cameras are usually a waste of money. Here’s why. You may think you’re being clever when you set up a camera system to watch your employees, your customers or your child’s nanny. But your employees, customers or nanny may be just as smart as you are. It doesn’t matter whether you set up…
- Box cameras
- Dome cameras
- Bullet cameras
- PTZ cameras
…they all look like cameras!
Everyone will know they’re being watched, and they’ll be on their best behavior. Your entire security system will be useless.
What’s the alternative? You have to hide your security cameras. We’re not talking about spy movie clichés, like installing a camera in a flowerpot or behind someone’s eye in a painting.
What you need is a hidden camera already built into something very ordinary. Something small, unobtrusive and perfectly positioned to capture video. Something that everyone would expect to see in every room of your home or office building. Something no one would even suspect was really a camera. YOU NEED A SMOKE DETECTOR CAMERA.
Smoke Detector Camera Review Center 2018
|Image||Smoke Detector Cameras||Price||Rating|
|#1 - SCS Enterprises Spy Camera WF-402HAC||Check Price||99.50%|
|#2 - AES Secure Guard Battery Powered Spy Camera||Check Price||99%|
|#3 - Brickhouse Security Camscura Micro Hidden Camera||Check Price||97.50%|
|#4 - Votecom Wi-Fi Hidden Camera Detector||Check Price||97%|
|#5 - Icemoon Hidden Camera||Check Price||95.50%|
What’s a smoke detector camera?
It’s simply a spy camera installed in a smoke detector.
More accurately, it’s installed in what looks like a smoke detector.
If you were choosing the perfect container for a hidden camera, a smoke detector might be your first option.
It’s mounted on the ceiling to give you a terrific wide-angle view of a room.
It’s the right size to house a high-definition camera and its wiring.
And no one would guess that it isn’t a smoke detector.
If you want to set up a spy camera, a smoke detector is the perfect way to camouflage it.
Types of Smoke Detector Camera
Think this is a “specialty product” that’s hard to find?
You actually have a huge range of choices when buying a smoke detector/hidden camera.
(Just to be clear, none of them actually will detect smoke or fire.)
You can choose between models that run on wired AC power (110 or 220 volts) and those that are powered by batteries.
You can choose a smoke detector spy camera that will
- send a live feed to your smartphone via WiFi
- start transmitting when any motion is detected
- record feeds directly onto a micro SD card
The best smoke detector camera will do all three.
Want more options? You can choose cameras that
- operate in very low light
- adjust the video resolution to accommodate slower WiFi networks
- automatically notify you when motion is detected
Since a hidden camera/smoke detector makes so much sense…
you’re probably ready to buy one right now.
Don’t pull out the credit card just yet, though.
We’ve picked out the very best options for you to consider.
Top 5 Best Smoke Detector Cameras
1. SCS Enterprises Spy Camera WF-402HAC
Who wants to keep climbing up on a chair or ladder to change the battery in their smoke detector camera?
A big reason why the SCS WF-402HAC is our top choice is that it RUNS ON AC POWER.
Just take down an existing smoke detector and replace it with this unit, using the same wiring (110 or 220 volts) – and it sets up automatically when connected. Couldn’t be easier.
It’s not just easy. It’s also extremely high-quality.
- The optics are all glass, not plastic, so there’s almost no distortion.
- It delivers outstanding high-def video – even in low light, thanks to its large sensors.
- The WiFi signal is secured by WPA encryption.
- It works with iPhones, iPads, Android devices and PCs.
- It even comes with SCS central monitoring software that can handle up to 32 cameras at once, but can also work with other software like Blue Iris.
It’s perfect for homes, but can also monitor activity in an entire office or store.
There is one drawback…the onboard SD memory card is only 8GB.
Some models have 16, 32, 64 or even 128GB cards.
But 8GB still gives you 36 hours of video recording time…more than enough for most people.
The price of this SCS spy camera smoke detector is on the high end.
But it’s worth it.
It’s the best smoke detector camera (WiFi model) you can buy.
(You can also get exactly the same features, for the same price, with the SCS WF400SM.
The WF402 just has a thinner profile than the WF400.)
2. AES Secure Guard Battery Powered Spy Camera
If you don’t already have existing wiring for a smoke detector…
and periodically recharging a smoke detector camera isn’t a big deal to you…
the AES Secure Guard is a great choice.
A battery charge lasts you about 36 hours…
but you can set the system to work only when motion is detected.
That saves tons of battery time.
The AES operates via WiFi and won’t show up as a hotspot on any network searches.
That lets you watch and/or record the feeds on any mobile device with an easy-to-use app.
Or you can just rely on the included 16GB memory card (which can be upgraded to 32GB).
The video quality is great: 1280×720 HD…just right for watching employees or for use as a smoke detector nanny camera.
The one big negative: it won’t work in low light like the SCS models. It will work in a multi-camera setup though.
What’s truly amazing: you won’t find better customer service anywhere.
How amazing is it?
You even get the company owner’s cell phone number along with your instructions.
The AES is the most expensive of our recommended products.
In the right situation, though, it’s invaluable.
3. Brickhouse Security Camscura Micro Hidden Camera
Yes, you can get a rechargeable, battery-powered hidden camera smoke detector for a lot less.
In fact, the Brickhouse Security Camscura comes in at about 50% of what you’d pay for the AES.
And you still get high-def 720p video in normal light (the nighttime mode is good, not great).
So…why is it so much cheaper?
Mostly because the Brickhouse doesn’t connect to a WiFi network.
It’s simply a very good, self-contained smoke detector spy camera.
The only option for viewing the video is after it’s been recorded on the internal 32GB SD card. You can substitute your own 64GB card if desired.
Other nice features:
- Adjustable orientation (to a degree).
- Videos are all date- and time-stamped.
- You can manually adjust resolution and frame rates to match your recording conditions.
- You can set auto-activation by sound, motion, vibration or for a specific time.
The Brickhouse isn’t as easy to use as the other smoke detector cameras on this list.
Some of the controls aren’t labeled, and customer service isn’t great.
Plus, you’ll only get 10-15 hours of recording time.
But for the much lower price, it’s a good buy.
4. Votecom Wi-Fi Hidden Camera Detector
Votecom makes a reasonably-priced smoke detector/spy camera – but with some serious limitations.
Most important to know: it’s battery-powered and the battery only works for a little over an hour before needing a four-hour recharge. Not great, we know.
Some people leave it plugged in permanently – not the easiest thing to do if you’re trying to keep things on the down-low, but if you can figure out a way to swing it you’ll get non-stop recording.
You can also limit battery usage by setting auto-detect activation.
Despite the negatives, the Votecom is a quality 2.4G WiFi smoke detector hidden camera, with live IP internet streaming that can be received on your smartphone with the company’s downloadable app – the app works better with Android than iOS.
The Votecom app is one of the best, though. Timing intervals, push notifications, adjustable resolution and picture brightness and contrast, one-touch recording and snapshots, motion-activation sensitivity levels, record scheduling – it’s all there.
It also records to an onboard card (not supplied) up to 64GB.
And it’s one of the only hidden camera smoke detectors that records audio.
This baby isn’t for everyone, but the price is definitely right if it’s the right cam for you.
5. Icemoon Hidden Camera
The Icemoon is around the same price as the last two smoke detector cameras on the list.
But here’s the big issue – there’s no battery and you can’t permanently wire it.
You have to plug it in to AC power through an included adapter.
We’re not sure how you make a smoke detector camera with WiFi unobtrusive when you have to plug it in manually.
If you find a way, though, you’ll find the Icemoon has most of the features you’d want:
- Motion-activation and motion alerts through your smartphone.
- Wide recording field for 1080p high-def video.
- 128GB micro SD card capacity (card not included).
- Easy-to-use Icemoon app.
The best? Nope.
But one of the best if you can figure out the power situation.
You May To Buy Need a Micro SD Card Separately
And if you do, our choice is the SanDisk Ultra Micro SD Card.
It comes in 32, 64 and 128GB versions, so you can match the card to the capacity of your smoke detector camera.
It’s rated class 10 for full HD recording, it’s everything-proof, supports high transfer rates and comes with a ten-year warranty.
Ask around and just about everyone will tell you SanDisk is the best you can buy.
We’ll tell you the same thing.
These cards aren’t overly expensive, but don’t scrimp to save a few bucks.
Go with SanDisk.