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Tips for camera placement

General placement tips

When you’re selecting a location for your Google Nest camera or doorbell, consider what you want to keep an eye on, things that can block or affect the view, and the Wi-Fi range.

If you plan to talk to people, make sure the microphone and speaker aren’t blocked.

More tips below.

Use the app to check your camera’s video

It’s best to check live and recorded video to make sure that it meets your expectations, and adjust your installation as needed.  Use the app to check that your camera has a clear view of what you want.

Give your camera a clear view

Your camera has a wide-angle lens which gives you a lot of options for camera placement. You won’t get alerts if motion happens in areas obstructed from view, so check the app to make sure your camera can view the whole scene clearly.

Lighting

Make sure your camera is set up to avoid backlighting. Backlighting occurs when a light source shines towards your camera. This makes people and other objects appear dark or blacked out, and video quality will be affected.

For instance, to record your front porch make sure that the porch lights don’t shine into your camera.

Night Vision can be affected by nearby objects and those surfaces could reflect infrared light and hamper your camera’s ability to view things in the distance.

If you’re getting a lot of glare, try placing your camera a little higher and angle it downward.

Range or field of view

Generally, closer is better so your camera can capture more detail. For example, an adult of average height should be no more than 20 ft away from your camera.

Night Vision relies on infrared LEDs to light the subjects in view. If you’re interested in  keeping track of things at night, place your camera close to the area of interest.

Note: If your camera runs on battery power, focusing your camera on a smaller area can help save battery power. Learn more about how to save battery power for Nest cameras and doorbells in our Help Center.

Zoom

If you need to place your camera far from the spot you want to watch, use your camera’s zoom feature to get a closer look. Change the video zoom setting in the app to keep your camera zoomed in all the time.

Choose the proper height for your camera

Your camera gets a better view of people when it’s placed at head level or a little higher. Adjust the angle so your camera’s looking slightly downward and it can easily view people’s faces, even if they’re wearing a hat.

  • Nest Cam (battery) should be placed between 6 and 6.5ft (1.8 and 2 m) high for optimal detection. If you plan to mount your camera higher than 6.5 ft (2 m) above the ground, you may want to purchase a Made for Google mount accessory.
  • Your doorbell’s camera has a tall field of view, so installing it 4 ft (1.2 m) high can help it view people and packages.

Please review the Safety guidelines. When using your camera to watch your kids, make sure the camera and its power cable stay out of reach. Take precautions and securely mount your camera if you plan to install it more than 6.5 ft (2 m) above the ground.

Prevent your camera from overheating

Your camera needs good air circulation. Never install it in any kind of small box or enclosure as this can cause overheating.

Keep your camera out of direct sunlight to prevent overheating.

Use your camera as a deterrent

A highly visible security camera can help deter potential intruders.

If you want your camera to help discourage intruders, Install your camera in a place where it can easily be seen and make sure its status light is on.

If you prefer your camera to blend in, think of ways it can visually tie into things that are already there, like similarly colored items on a shelf.

Secure your camera to prevent tampering and theft

Get tips on how to protect your camera from tampering and theft  in our Help Center.

Keep the TV out of your camera’s view

To avoid getting false familiar face alerts from people in TV shows and movies, point your camera away from the TV.

When you can’t face the camera away from the TV and still keep your desired viewing angle, you can create an activity zone that excludes the TV or change your camera’s notification settings so it doesn’t send alerts for familiar or unfamiliar faces when you’re home.

More placement tips for specific cameras

Battery-powered cameras

Nest Cam (battery) should be placed between 6 and 6.5ft (1.8 and 2 m) high for optimal detection. If you plan to mount your camera higher than 6.5 ft (2 m) above the ground, you may want to purchase a Made for Google mount accessory.

To prevent your camera from falling if it gets knocked off the mount, install Nest Cam (battery) with the secure loop accessory.

Indoor cameras

Important: Indoor cameras are designed for inside use only.. Use them inside only and keep them out of direct sunlight.

Some common indoor camera placements are on a bookcase, on top of the refrigerator, or even at the top of a staircase looking down. 

Make the most of an indoor camera that looks outside

Placing your camera so that it looks out a window can negatively affect its performance. For instance, the window glass may create reflections in your camera’s view. In addition, the window size and location can limit your camera’s view.

This can impact your camera’s video quality or Night Vision. If you have a battery-powered camera, its sensor may not turn on its camera.

If your goal is to record an outdoor space, install one of our outdoor cameras to get the best quality video. They are designed to work outside and withstand the elements. 

If you prefer to use an indoor camera, here are some tips for pointing it out a window:

  •  Mount the camera so that the lens is flush against the glass to reduce reflections and glare.
  • Avoid windows that have a mesh screen as they can affect motion detection.

Outdoor cameras

Mount your outdoor camera in a shaded spot such as under an eave, or install a small shade above the camera. This can keep the sun from shining directly into the lens, and helps prevent overheating in extreme temperatures.

Check that your camera’s video isn’t getting glare from the sun in the day or from a floodlight at night. If it does, point the camera downward until you get a clear image.

Doorbells

Your doorbell’s camera has a tall field of view, so installing it 4 ft (1.2 m) high can help it view people and packages.

If there’s a wall blocking one side of the view, consider using the included wedge to angle your doorbell.

Respect local laws and others' privacy

Remember, you are responsible for making sure that the way you use your camera complies with the law, including any applicable privacy or data protection laws.  Please also check out our Tips for respecting the privacy of others when using Nest products.

If your camera supports familiar face detection, use this feature in compliance with the law. Depending on where you live, you might need to get consent to have your camera help identify people visiting your home.

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