Factoring in Temperatures and Humidity for Camera Installations
As we head into the dog days of summer, the need to factor in the outdoor temperature during a camera installation may not be your first priority.
When it comes to a camera’s ability to function, it is important to keep the operating and storage temperatures in mind.
Operating temperature is the range where you can safely operate the device. For example, Avigilon’s PTZ Pendant cameras with external power have an operating temperature of -45 °C to +50 °C (-50 °F to 122 °F) while Avigilon’s H.264 Dome cameras have an operating temperature of -10 °C to +50 °C (-14 °F to 122 °F).
Storage temperature is the range where you can safely store the device for any given period of time when powered off. For example, Avigilon’s PTZ Pendant and H.264 Dome outdoor cameras have a storage temperature of -10 °C to +70 °C (-14 °F to 158 °F).
In both instances, if the temperature reaches either extremes, then the camera could lose its durability and fail.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind in terms of temperature when installing cameras in outdoor environments:
While it is important to keep temperature in mind, it is actually relative humidity that can play a bigger factor in equipment failure.
For example, if you were to install a dome camera during the summer months in an environment with high relative humidity, it could potentially build up condensation on the dome during the cooler winter months and block the camera’s view. This is especially true in locations in which the temperature changes very fast.
To help compensate for this issue, camera manufacturers put in a fan in the device so air will continuously circulate. This prevents a stagnant environment so water will not condensate on the dome.
If you discover moisture in your camera one of the first troubleshooting steps is to determine if there is water building up in the camera or is it just a condensation on the dome. If there is only a small amount of moisture in the dome then the camera was most likely installed during a time of High Humidity. If there is a larger build of up water than there could be a leak.
To help remove moisture try removing the dome cover to allow it to adjust to the current relative humidity level. The amount of time you leave the dome or housing off depends on multiple factors, but 10-20 minutes should provide adequate time.
If installing cameras during the winter months and the camera were to come from a vehicle or building, remember to also let the camera acclimate to the exterior climate before closing up the camera. This will also help prevent moisture from being trapped inside the camera.
During outdoor installations, people need to consider the surface where the camera will be installed. If there is a temperature transfer from inside the wall (hot) to the camera pendant bracket (cold), air flow inside the bracket needs to be stopped with an appropriate product such as spray-foam or a manufacturer-provided grommet.
If the camera is installed on a porous material like concrete, brick, wood, or stucco, it is important to use silicon between the surface and the mounting bracket to prevent moisture from coming inside.
Keep these tips in mind to help keep your cameras running in blazing heat and freezing cold.
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