For one of my security cameras, I don't want it to be outside, exposed to the elements, bugs, birds, and mainly, people who could tamper with it, break it, or steal it.

I currently have it behind a window, facing out. The picture looks great, without any reflection interference.

However, after testing it for a month, it simply cannot detect any movement whatsoever through the glass.

Two solutions occurred to me:

  1. Is there a special kind of motion detection technology that can see through glass? I have another camera that doesn't have a sensor at all, infrared or otherwise. Its detection is based on detecting changes in the image itself. However, this only works because it's in an always-on state, which isn't ideal for this situation. I want this camera to only take pics/video when motion is detected.

  2. I could have a traditional motion sensor that I'd be comfortable placing outside, that wirelessly alerts the camera inside. I would imagine something like this already exists on the market, but I came up short when searching Google and Amazon.

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    It's a matter of power output for the infrared beam. You'd have to find a product that claims to do so. That's somewhat of a shopping question and off topic here.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 19:54
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    the infrared gets absorbed by glass especially if you have dual pane windows. The visible spectrum (camera) does not get absorbed.
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 20:16
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    Can you clarify point #1? Why do you care if a camera keeps taking pictures, analyzing them and immediately forgetting them and only starts recording when motion is detected? That's how many such cameras work.
    – TooTea
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 21:13
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    As @TooTea says, this can all be dealt with in software. You don't even need a "security" camera if it's indoors, any old webcam will do. The software determines motion, based on frame content changes not a PIR sensor & starts capture accordingly. This can actually be far 'smarter' than PIR.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 10:22

3 Answers 3


The best way to protect a camera from people is with a dummy camera.

Put the dummy camera exactly where everyone expects to see a camera.

Put the real camera in concealment. Unfortunately most camera manufacturers don't care about concealment, they care about pleasing the Pointy Haired Boss, who won't pay for the cameras unless the cameras are very obvious, so camera manufacturers go to extremes to make their cameras look like old-school vacuum-tube cameras. They are mostly air, and the actual critical bits are much smaller. So feel free to disassemble the camera and re-package it appropriate for concealment.

For bonus points, make sure the fake camera is in view, and position it so wrongdoers are highly tempted to smash it. Play that for the jury, and you've won.

Remember to wire the fake camera to fool people, not birds. It should look like it works (LED light is good), and it should dangle by wires with electronicy bits coming out of it when smashed. A real (obsolete and worthless) camera is a good option there.

  • nice, so where do you get a cheep dummy camera
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 0:11
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    @knowitall cheep? Is that a camera that scares birds?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 5:30
  • @SolarMike It was Harpers idea, not mine, ask him
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 5:36
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    @knowitall cheap vs cheep…
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 5:37
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    @SolarMike OMG, you found a spelling error, well forgive my german, keep it up, you are helping
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 5:46

Motion detection does not work through windows reliably. It detects changes in heat. Most glass used in homes today is insulated, limiting the movement of heat through the glass.

The only work around is to mount your outdoor camera high enough, so one needs ladder to reach it, to protect it from vandalism.


What about replacing the window with a perspex one. Kindly Ben.

  • 1
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    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 10:09

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