The 7 Best Dummy Security Cameras

Updated February 03, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

7 Best Dummy Security Cameras
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One of the best ways to secure your home or business premises without the expense of a home monitoring or security system is by installing one of these dummy security cameras. Offering a convincing facsimile of the real thing, they should deter most would-be thieves. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dummy security camera on Amazon.

7. DragonPad Security Outdoor

This DragonPad Security Outdoor decoy mounts firmly to many different surfaces and is durable enough to last through many seasons of rough weather. Just make sure you actually use the rain shield, just like you would with a real video camera.
  • built using actual camera frame
  • large range of pivot
  • too large for many properties
Brand Dragonpad
Model UDC4silver-2Pack
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. IDAODAN "CCD Cameras"

On close inspection, these IDAODAN "CCD Cameras" really don't look all that real. But when viewed from several feet away, they achieve the look of a genuine security system, and their price is hard to beat. The body can be easily positioned.
  • good movie or play prop
  • security sticker included
  • won't last in harsh weather
Model JY-HM-001
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. VideoSecu C4Bs

With a four-pack of phony CCTV devices like the VideoSecu C4Bs, you can make employees think you're watching the whole office or customers think you've got tabs on an entire retail space. They are an affordable stopgap as you wait for a real system.
  • light enough for adhesive mounting
  • waterproof resistant compartment
  • lights flash too rapidly
Brand VideoSecu
Model C4B
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. UniquExceptional UDC6 Outdoor Dome

Rather than lurking in the background, the UniquExceptional UDC6 Outdoor Dome makes itself easy to spot, and that's intentional. When would-be criminals see this prominent "camera," they will promptly abandon their illegal activities and leave the area.
  • multiple mounting positions
  • great price point
  • logo tells savvy crook unit is fake
Brand UniquExceptional
Model UDC6
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Easy Security Products ESP-S1

The Easy Security Products ESP-S1 looks the part, indeed. Ironically, it only costs a few dollars less than some actual security cameras. But you'll still save plenty of cash, thanks to the fact that you don't need additional wiring, monitors, and a recording system.
  • battery and solar power
  • home security ebook included
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
Brand Easy Security Products
Model ESP-S-1
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Masione Indoor Outdoor CCTV

These Masione Indoor Outdoor CCTV lookalikes should fool even the experienced thief. Their flashing red LED light pulses once every five seconds, creating a verisimilitude of monitoring that will have a criminal second guessing his or her actions.
  • all mounting hardware included
  • batteries last approx 3 months
  • good reviews from users
Brand Masione
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. WALI Bullets

The WALI Bullets are top sellers in the home security category partially because they look so realistic but largely because they are quite affordable. A four pack of these units can instantly give your home the look of a fortress or can make your shop seem fully monitored.
  • easy to adjust lens direction
  • realistic corded feature
  • lights powered by two aa batteries
Brand WALI
Model WL-TC-S4
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

When To Use Dummy Security Cameras

A dummy security camera is a fake, non-functioning camera that’s designed to look like those security cameras that are part of closed-circuit television systems. Whereas real cameras monitor and record for security purposes, dummy cameras only provide an illusion. There are many reasons that people opt for a dummy security camera instead of the real thing, but the biggest is financial: Dummy cameras are much more affordable than their functioning counterparts. Although dummy cameras won’t provide you with any help in the event of a crime, if used properly, they may help deter criminals in certain situations.

For example, business owners often mix dummy cameras in with real cameras, especially in retail environments. They position the real cameras over the most crucial areas, such as the cash register and front door, then place the dummy security cameras in less vulnerable areas, like a break room. In this way they can make their security budget cover more ground, so to speak, as customers and workers assume that all of the cameras are capturing their activity.

In much the same fashion, homeowners sometimes place dummy security cameras in less-accessible areas while putting the real thing near places that are susceptible to break-ins, including the front and back doors. There are also homeowners who have residential alarms that rely on dummy cameras as a deterrent; they know that if someone does break in, the alarm will notify the authorities. And, of course, some homeowners may have neither CCTV system nor alarm and so may rely solely on dummy cameras to scare off would-be intruders.

Of course, you don’t have to own a house to get use from a dummy security camera. You might place one above your apartment door or even inside your living space. If you have people coming in and out of your home often, perhaps babysitters or repair persons, you might use a dummy model to prevent them from snooping around your bedroom or closet.

While these are all great uses for a dummy security camera, if you have a situation that truly requires heightened security, you might want to spring for a real security camera. For instance, if you have a stalker or you routinely keep large sums of money in your home (for any reason, we don’t judge), then the real thing will help ensure that you have evidence should anything unfortunate happen.

Tips For Choosing A Dummy Security Camera

When you think about it, a dummy security camera is a kind of a lie, so like a lie, it had better be convincing if anyone is going to believe it — especially since experienced criminals (and some casual observers) can spot fakes from a mile away. Fortunately, though, it’s easy to avoid this pitfall, since manufacturers today are sensitive to trends and realities in the world of security cameras.

One way dummy cameras mimic the real thing is by having visible wires, unless they’re of the dome type. A camera that’s missing this small detail looks obviously fake, so when you’re deciding which dummy camera to buy, make sure that it looks like it connects to something.

Another way dummy cameras seem authentic is through the use of LEDs. Be cautious, however, that the LED isn’t too bright and obvious, as most real security cameras don’t announce their presence in such a fashion. Instead, you want a low-profile monitoring light that is realistic without being over-the-top.

Additionally, dummy cameras that resemble actual models on the market, down to the lenses and materials, will be the most effective, since they’re harder to discern from the real thing. And if they have markings, they should be discrete. A big, fake brand name is often not effective, because the dedicated criminal can search the internet and see that the camera is a dummy.

Finally, some dummy security cameras are motion-activated; when someone walks by, the camera will begin to swivel. Most of these don’t actually track the movements of an individual, though, so a truly savvy criminal may be aware that the unit is fake. On the other hand, it’s likely that petty thieves and those who engage in crimes of opportunity will be scared off by such a feature.

The Behavior Of Being Watched

The verdict on whether visible surveillance cameras deter crime is still out; various studies have both supported and disproven the idea that people refrain from criminal activities if they feel they’re being watched. Some suggest that surveillance systems merely displace crimes, while others maintain that cameras and neighborhood watch programs have shown encouraging results. While both sides make convincing arguments, two principles of human behavior seem to suggest that surveillance does indeed have a useful behavior-modifying effect.

One of these is called the Hawthorne effect, which takes its name from a study conducted in the first half of the 20th century. Researchers set out to determine how working conditions affected productivity, but their results indicated that no matter how they changed the conditions, for better or for worse, productivity increased. Eventually, this data led to the idea that the subjects were ultimately reacting to the observers, not the conditions. In broad terms, then, the Hawthorne effect describes the way that the act of being observed causes people to modify their behaviors. It’s possible that a dummy security camera, which gives the illusion that someone is watching, may trigger this behavioral modification.

Another principle relates to gaze detection, a system in the brain that helps you determine when someone is looking at you, even if you aren’t looking at them. You’ve probably noticed this, in fact — have you ever just felt that someone was staring at you? That was the gaze detection system at work, which evolved to subconsciously pick up the focus and body positioning of those around you so that you can react to a threat, if need be. While this facility is for detecting human watchers, not cameras, there’s evidence to suggest that signs with pictures of eyes and staring faces subconsciously draw attention. In conjunction with dummy security cameras, these signs may have a strong ability to alter behavior for the better.

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Last updated on February 03, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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