The following are suggestions, they may not apply to every installation. Before you start installing, walk the areas where you plan to locate the cameras. If possible, stand at each camera's location. Pay attention to what you see. Can you see everything you want to at that location? Whatever you see, the camera will see. If the answer is no or if there is an obvious blind spot, look for a better location for the camera.
Indoor cameras can be installed just about anywhere. Wall or ceiling mounted is fine. Typically, cameras are installed in a corner of the room opposite from the entry point. This usually provides the best coverage and requires anyone who would want to tamper with the camera to be recorded before they have access to the camera. The best height for a camera is usually around the 10ft level or higher. This is high enough to keep people from accessing the camera unless they have a ladder. Also, understand if you aim a camera at large exterior windows or an exterior door, the view may be somewhat limited during bright or sunny days. All cameras are equipped with an auto iris and they work extremely well, but they still have their limits and will have to adjust to either the light level inside or the light level outside. Whichever one it adjusts to, the other will likely be less than optimal.
Note: Less than half of residential systems have indoor cameras. Properly placing cameras outside on the perimeter of your home can be just as effective as indoor cameras without giving up privacy.
Outdoor cameras follow the same basic guidelines as indoor cameras. While they are designed to handle weather, the elements and can operate in extreme conditions, it is still preferable to protect them if possible as they will certainly last longer. If you have the options of mounting the camera directly on the roof, where it will be taking the full brunt of the sun, rain and wind - or on the side of a building where it is somewhat sheltered, always choose the side of the building.
Don't ask one camera to do the work of two!
The most common mistake customers make when locating cameras is trying to get one camera to do the work of two. We all want to get the most out of each camera, but if you go too thin with coverage, you may be throwing your money away. We have all seen video of some crime being committed, but due to the lack of detail that the video provides, the cuprite cannot be identified. The lesson learned is “Be conservative with the coverage you expect each camera to provide”. As a general rule, each camera should not be expected to view more than 30-40 feet horizontally at the preferred viewing distance.
Typical Residential Camera Placement
Cameras located at the corners of the home in a trap surveillance pattern is common practice and is very effective. Trap surveillance is the most cost effective form of indoor surveillance. Cameras are strategically placed so a person cannot move from one area of the home to another without being seen and recorded. This design reduces the number of cameras needed to effectively protect the inside of a home, while keeping bedrooms and baths private.