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How do I get power to outdoor video surveillance cameras?

I would like to install outdoor video surveillance cameras around my house.  All of the cameras I've look at (place like Foscam) use a standard power supply you plug into an outlet.  Should I have an electrician install power outlets in my attic in the places where I want to place cameras and run the power cables from the outlet outside to the cameras?  I see they now have POE (Power of Ethernet).  Is this a better solution?
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tsalamon
Asked:
tsalamon
2 Solutions
 
Andy MIT Systems ManagerCommented:
It depends on personal preference and practicality as both options are viable.

An outdoor socket will allow you to plug the plug directly into the mains electric. If done correctly you should also be able to lock these to prevent third parties switching them off. This does mean you will have two cables per camera to route but fitting a socket shouldn't cost you too much to do. The downside depends on where the cameras are and if the power lead will reach the socket.

Power Over Ethernet is also a possibility though you will either need a PoE capable network switch (which can be expensive) or a PoE injector which also requires a power socket (it's just a small device you plug 2 network cables in and plug into the power to supply PoE). This may be more expensive option than having a socket fitted (and depending on where the injectors are placed you may need to have sockets fitted anyway) but there's then less cables to route for the cameras.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Depends on how many cameras you are going to deploy, whether they are wired or wireless, and whether they are all the same voltage.

If they are all (a) wired and (b) take the same DC voltage, you can use one of the spare pairs in the cable to run DC power out to the cameras.  This eliminates having Power Over Ethernet and individual wall-wart supplies at each location.

Put in one DC power supply with enough current capacity to run all cameras at the hub, then use CCTV power connectors to break out the power from the network cable at the cameras.

This will also work with cameras using different voltages, but it means multiple supplies back at the hub and this is somewhat less convenient.
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