i want to thank everyone for their replies to my question about wiring. I need to get some security cameras installed but i am worried about raising my electric bill a lot. I have two questions, first for the people here who have cameras did it raise your electric bill a lot. And second do i have to make holes in my house to get the cord for the camera to my outlets? Sorry if this is dumb question but i have never installed cameras before. Thanks

2 Answers 2


Monthly Costs

You can evaluate the electricity cost for a security camera setup yourself. Take a look at the cameras that you are interested in and note how much power each camera consumes. This may be a direct rating of Watts or it could specify operating voltage and current. You can compute the Watts from the voltage times the current. So say that the cameras are rated at 12VDC and the current for each camera is 0.25A (equivalent to 250mA). So 12V x 0.25A = 3Watts per camera.

Next you have to consider a power supply unit that would provide the 12VDC for the cameras from mains power. These units are not 100% efficient and consume some power as well. Typical efficiency may be say 75%. So if you happened to deploy 10 cameras at 3W each that would be a total of 30W load on this power supply. The 75% efficiency would mean that the supply will require 30W / 0.75 = 40W from the mains power line.

Electricity is typically sold in units of KWatt-Hours (i.e. 1000W usage for 1 hour). Electricity cost will vary a lot from region to region so for sake of discussion lets make an estimate of 0.25USD per each KWatt-Hour used. (This will be high for some many regions in the USA but for sake of discussion let us guess high).

Let us base cost of operating cameras on a 30day month. At 24 hours per day that totals out to 24 x 30 = 720 hours per month. The 40W that we computed for the AC line power is same as 0.040KWatt. The total cost of operating cameras day and night for the month will be 0.04 x 720 x 0.25 = 7.20USD per month.

You can follow this process to come to a more realistic calculation based upon your actual electricity cost, the number of cameras you deploy, number of hours of operation per day and the actual Watts of power used by each camera. The numbers I chose above are just seat of the pants values chosen to illustrate the calculation. Your actual monthly cost may be quite a bit lower or could be higher if you chose to use many many power hungry cameras.


There are many schemes used to install security cameras. Whether any particular scheme requires you to make holes in your house will depend entirely of things that only you can determine such as:

  1. Type of cameras that you choose to purchase
  2. Method of powering the cameras (battery, DC power wiring or Powered through signalling cable)
  3. How signals get from camera to monitoring system (Ethernet, WiFi, coax video)
  4. Your concerns for camera and wiring hiding versus visibility
  5. Your capabilities and tool resources to try to do a DIY install
  • I'm not sure if this is a lot of power but the cameras say Power Supply Input: DC12V-1000mA, Output:100-240V Power Supply Input: DC12V-2000mA, Output: 100-240V 12V-1000mA) for Cameras (12V-2000mA) for NVR
    – C. Davis
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 2:59

I have 8 security cameras at my house, I started with the zosi security camera bundle that was the best security camera system I have ever seen for such a affordable price for middle class individuals, it's weird because the high dollar ones i switched to aren't any better than the super cheap zosi ones, well they are but it's minimal, and at night zosi wins. That's bad to say considering the price.

Didn't raise my bill at all, or I didn't notice, because the dryer, fridge, furnace and water heater raise electric bills...

As for wiring, I have CCTV so they are corded cameras not IP wireless cameras, I don't trust over air waves. I can still access them anywhere because the DVR is hooked up to the ethernet directly,

But I just ran the 50-100ft CCTV wire under the house in conduit and zip tied it with fasteners so it wasn't down on the ground, then I bought some clips for the upper parts that attached to the 1/4 metal tubing for around the upper part of the house to keep it safe from vandals, the only parts that's drilled is right where they come up into the dvr, they all meet there where the power cord has a splitter for all 8 power cords to run on 12volts plus the 12v dvr

I used piping straight into the cameras outside, and I have a few that are dome cameras that have been drilled into the side of the house and then fished down to go under the house

Dome cameras have to be wired throughout the walls or else it would look kind of funny and someone looking to take the cameras out has a easy vantage point

Tools you'll need:

Ethernet cat5e cord, Router, Cctv cameras, 1/8 drill bit, Drill, Fishing wire, Dvr with hard drive, 8 channel 12v power splitter, 2 12v power adapters, Metal piping, Conduit, Fasteners, Screws,

But if you're going away from the house make sure your bury the wire in conduit at least a foot

I also chose wired instead of wireless because, wireless still needs that 12v of power so you mise as well go with a CCTV camera system

If you do choose IP cameras, you can connect the power directly to your 12v power and to each outlet, but that's 12v power supply x 8 if you choose 8

  • Thank you so much for all the information, so is it possible to plug say 5 cameras into one outside outlet? i don't want to blow a fuse or anything like that. If i can't get them all in one outlet outside and they each need a outlet i was thinking and this might sound strange but i was thinking i could run the cord threw my windows, i will make a small slit in the window screen and plug them in that way.
    – C. Davis
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 1:23
  • 1
    You could only do 4 or 8 with the splitter at a time, but you shouldn't blow the breaker back because the outside outlet should be a weatherized GFCI, here's the splitter amazon.com/…
    – user70085
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 1:39
  • 1
    Personally you could plug 8 in outside, the same way I use 8 inside but that plug would have to be at least 4 Meters up to be safe from vandals
    – user70085
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 1:42
  • yeah i am worried about vandals because the outlet is low may be a little over a foot from the ground, its the kind with the cover you have to flip up. But maybe if they know the cameras are recording them they won't mess with it. I getting cameras because of a evil neighbor, i hope they do mess with it so i can call the cops.
    – C. Davis
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 3:07

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