Understanding placement of your Blink Cameras

Considerations for outdoor use

When placing a Blink camera outdoors, keep in mind that random objects, like cars or blowing leaves, and even moving shadows can trigger a motion alert. To reduce unwanted alerts, use Activity Zones‍ to block off certain areas of the view. 

To preserve the privacy of others, you can use Privacy Zones‍ that stop the camera from sending anything within the two areas you set.

There are times when your camera has adjusted the white balance for darkness, then when the camera detects motion the scene has a bright area of light present, and the image is sent to you before the camera has adjusted itself. In this case, there may be a blue tint to the image. The next clip will have a corrected white balance, but you can adjust the camera view so that areas of high contrast (morning sun on a dark walkway for example) do not create this effect.

Considerations for indoor use

When placing your camera indoors, or in a garage, some surfaces can affect what you see. Flat surfaces reflect light and create glare. Glare can also be created by momentary reflections, or a strong source of light aimed at the camera lens.

The appearance of glare can be like fog, ghosting, or a bright area of the image. Glare can also make the background appear darker. This image is from a camera sitting directly on a shelf.

camera view showing glare from being placed on a flat surface without a camera stand

Moving the camera a short distance away from a reflective surface can make a big difference. Using a Blink Camera Mount or Blink Camera Stand is recommended to lift the camera off of surfaces like a shelf and improve image clarity. The image below is from the same camera on a mount.

camera view with infra red light source shown mounted on a camera stand to avoid glare

In some cases, switching the infra red (IR) light Setting to Off can help reduce glare. If the area is lit when motion occurs, as with some garage doors or our floodlight products, your camera will provide a picture using visible light instead of IR, as shown below.

camera view with the infra red light turned off to use visible light only

Considerations for motion detection

To detect motion, cameras other than the Mini are sensitive to the size of an object's heat as it appears in the view. The Blink Mini detects visual differences between one moment and the next. For both types of camera however, a small object close to the camera would trigger a detection equal to a larger object farther away because their appearance is similar in the camera view. The best range of detection is within 5 to 20 feet (about 1.5 to 6m) from the camera. By placing your camera higher off of the ground, you can avoid smaller animals causing motion alerts.

simulated image showing a small animal close to the camera and larger animals farther away

Because motion is detected by difference in the view, a person walking toward the camera is harder to detect than when they walk across the scene.
illustration of two camera placements, one at a door looking outwards and the resulting small motion difference, and the second placement on the side of a path showing motion across the view for better motion detection

If you want to see arriving visitors and package deliveries, it may be useful to mount the camera looking towards the doorway, so random pedestrians or stray animals do not appear in the background and cause motion alerts that you are not interested in.

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