If you’re looking to get wall-to-wall (or fence-to-fence) video coverage of your home or garden without drilling holes in everything, we’re here to help.
Why avoid drilling?
Although drilling a secure mount for your smart security cameras is the gold standard for security and stability, we can certainly understand why you may not want to drill holes and sink anchors into your home.
The most obvious reason is that you are renting, and it is against your rental agreement (or at least putting your deposit at risk) to drill into anything inside or outside your home.
Patching up a bit of drywall is one thing, but most homeowners would frown on you drilling a bunch of holes in the siding, which is one of the reasons these no-drill video door phone mounts are so popular.
But even if you own it, you might not want to drill through things to mount them for the same reason: If your old aluminum siding is still going strong, why ruin a good thing by drilling into it? The same goes for pretty brick or old ornamental woodwork. Or maybe he doesn’t want to commit to a particular location for his camera. Many of the mounting tips highlighted below are not only straightforward, but also extremely easy to move to a new location.
So whether your wallet aches for fear of losing a deposit or you take pride in keeping the exterior of your home in pristine condition, you can skip the drilling and use these alternative methods to mount your smart security cameras.
You can record almost anything
All things considered, smart security cameras are really light. As with smart home video doorbells, you can use quality mounting tape to secure them.
If you’re mounting the camera indoors, you can get away with using a less aggressive tape since it won’t have to withstand the elements. Indoors, large strips of 3M Command tape may be enough to hold the camera mount in place, though we’d certainly recommend trying this first with something soft for the camera to fall on in case the tape fails (a basket of dirty clothes with a pillow inside). should do the trick).
Outdoors, while you can try outdoor-rated 3M Command Tape strips, the gold standard for a heavy-duty outdoor tape-based mount is 3M Very High Bond (VHB) Tape. If it’s good enough for RVers to secure solar panels to the roof of their RV, then it’s definitely good enough to put a camera that weighs a few ounces on your house.
Mounting a smart camera with tape is much easier if the existing mounting base has a relatively flat and smooth surface. If the base that came with your camera is designed to be screwed to a wall, it may have a lot of empty space and a hollow rib-style cavity that offers little surface area for the tape to grab onto.
You may need to look for a third party database. In some cases, you can even find mounts that are intended to be taped or, like this magnetic mount for Arlo cameras, that already come with a 3M VHB tape drive in the kit.
The downside of tape, of course, is that you have to remove the tape without damaging the surface. And even if it doesn’t damage the surface, you’ll need to loosen the adhesive and clean it off somehow, which is why the specialty mounts in the next section are so attractive.
Use special brackets for gutters, doors and more
A significant number of smart home cameras on the market, including those from Arlo, Blink, Eufy, Ring, and Wyze, use a standard screw mounting hole.
That screw mounting hole will be familiar to any photographer, as it uses the 1/4-20 mounting screw found on tripods – it’s 1/4 inch in diameter and has 20 turns of thread per inch of length.
This makes shopping for mounting hardware really easy. You can still look up specific brand names if you prefer, but as soon as you identify whether or not your particular brand of camera uses the standard “photo” mount, you’re in business and can buy any mount, out of the hundreds upon hundreds that support it, in the market. You could even attach the smart home camera directly to an actual tripod, for that matter.
Let’s take a look at a variety of smart camera mounts that take advantage of this compatibility.
Gutters are a pretty convenient place to mount a smart camera. They are sturdy, stick out from the house, and the lip makes it very easy to attach a mounting bracket.
This very affordable gutter mount bracket kit includes a 1/4-20 screw mount and an included flat plate that attaches to the screw mount. So you can either screw the camera directly onto the pole or use VHB tape to attach it to the plate if there is no mounting point on your camera.
It is also very useful for mounting camera accessories such as a solar panel charging kit, such as the Ring Solar Panel, Arlo Solar Panel Charger, or one of the many third-party solar panels, if you want to place the camera in one place and the solar panel in a sunny spot nearby.
However, if you plan to place the camera and solar panel in the same place, you may be more interested in this 2-in-1 mount that includes two mounting points on one mount.
Sometimes you’re really limited as to where you can put a mount without drilling. If you’re in an apartment with no gutters to hand and you want to avoid sticking a piece of VHB tape on the community wall outside your apartment, you may need a door mount.
They work just like wreath hangers and other over-the-door things like shoe racks for cabinet doors. Slide the metal bracket over the top of the door and tighten the tension screw, then mount the camera to the screw post.
You can use the same type of brackets that you would for a gutter or gate on a railing, as most brackets on the market that are sold for both purposes have fairly wide clearances.
The same brackets we recommend for gutters will also work for railings (although if the top of the railing is particularly wide, you may need to mount the bracket to the balisters and not the top rail).
Most liners have an interlocking design where the top and bottom of each liner strip fit together. You can take advantage of that design by purchasing liner mounts with a matching piece that perfectly matches the interlocking portion of your liner.
You’ll find very small and lightweight options aimed at small smart cameras like the ones offered by Blink.
There are also more robust options that support larger cameras, like the Ring and Nest smart cameras.
When in doubt, it’s not a bad idea to go with the larger mounts because they include an integrated 1/4-20 post (the really small liner clips usually require you to screw the original camera mount to the clip and are a bit less stable due to its size).