How To Tell If A Security Camera Is On

To determine if a security camera is active, look for red or green lights and position changes. However, some advanced cameras might be more discreet and you might need to check if these are active via the camera software. 

Things to Know

  • To check if a security camera is on, look for red or green lights, or position shifts.
  • You can also use a smartphone camera to check if the infrared lights are powered on.
  • Modern tech allows some cameras to operate discreetly without obvious signs. In that case, you must check its status using the camera’s software. 
  • Flashing LEDs, faint sounds, and steady red light are also telltale signs.
  • Before you check any cameras, respect the laws and privacy rights of others. Don’t tamper with cameras that are not yours.  

How to Spot an Active Security Camera

Let’s dive into some telltale signs that indicate a security camera is up and running. These can help you figure out if that lens is keeping an eye on things or just sitting idle.

1. Flashing LEDs

A flashing LED light, especially if it’s red or green, is a clear hint. Many indoor cameras use these lights to signal they’re recording.

2. Infrared Lights

Cameras use infrared lights for night vision. These lights aren’t usually visible to our eyes, but a quick trick is to use your cellphone camera. If you spot a glow when pointing your phone at the camera, that’s the infrared at work.

3. Sounds from the Camera

Listen closely. Some cameras give away their status with faint sounds. A beep or a hum might indicate the camera is on and possibly recording.

4. Steady Red Light

Not all active signs flash. Some older cameras might just have a steady red light to show they’re working.

Keep in mind that some modern cameras are sneaky. They’re designed to monitor without obvious signs, so they might not show any of the above signals. 

4 Guidelines to Distinguish Real Security Cameras from Fake Ones 

Ever wondered if that security camera you’re looking at is real or just a decoy? Let’s break down some straightforward ways to tell the difference.

1. Check the Wires

Real cameras need power and a way to send out their footage. If you see wires connected to the camera, especially for power or video, that’s a good sign it’s legit.

2. Feel the Weight and Look at the Quality

Hold the camera if you can. Real ones usually feel solid because they’re made of good-quality materials. Fake ones? They might feel lighter and look a bit cheap.

3. Look for Brand Names

Many real cameras will have the manufacturer’s logo or name on them. No recognizable brand might mean it’s a fake, but it’s not always guaranteed. 

4. Night Vision Lights

Real cameras often have infrared lights so they can see in the dark. If a camera says it has night vision but you don’t see these lights, be suspicious.

You can check if the camera has infrared lights using your smartphone camera. 

Remember, some fake cameras are really convincing. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple signs before you decide. 

Troubleshooting Common Security Camera Issues

Security cameras can sometimes act up. If yours isn’t working right, here’s a step-by-step guide to get it back on track.

  • Check the Power: Ensure the camera is plugged in and the power source is active. Try turning it off and on again.
  • Review Network Connection: Make sure it’s connected to Wi-Fi or a wired network. Check Wi-Fi signal strength or cable connections.
  • Update Software and Firmware: Look for any available updates for your camera. They might fix the problem.
  • Clean the Camera Lens: A smudgy lens can affect the image. Clean it with a soft cloth and mild cleaner.
  • Factory Reset: As a last resort, reset the camera to its original settings. Remember, this erases your custom settings.
  • Ask for Help: If you’re still stuck, reach out to the camera’s support team. or search for solutions online.

Final Thoughts

Knowing whether a security camera is active provides peace of mind and clarity in various situations. You can check if a security camera is turned on using visible indicators like LED lights. You can also use other methods such as checking the camera’s software and the infrared lights. 

Leave a Comment