How to Capture License Plates at Home


November 20, 2020

16 How to Capture License Plates at Home1

One of the core reasons people purchase security cameras in the first place is to better identify home invaders. Most of the time, your biggest risk is likely a porch pirate running up to your doorstep and taking your Amazon packages. Usually finding the culprits in this case is fairly straight forward, but what if you’re targeted by a premeditated burglary and the thieves are wearing face masks? A great way to defend against this threat is to capture the license plates of the evil doers.

This is where the art of capturing license plates comes into play. Chances are that the robbers will have driven by your house at some point. Whether it was to case your house in the first place or to park during the act, you usually have a chance to capture their license plates. There are, however, a lot of factors that can affect your footage.

Different factors to consider

You can’t control the conditions around an incident, but you can control the way you set up your security technology. With technology these days though, there’s pretty much an answer to any condition. Whether it happens at night, in the rain, or during a bright and sunny day, you should be able to capture the license plates. One of the key factors is going to be how you place and angle your cameras.

Camera features

You’ll want a high definition camera with a high field of view or “viewing angle”. Most wide-angle cameras these days should do fine. This gives you the highest chance to capture the license plate. Night vision is also important. Most of the time, you’ll be dealing with residential neighborhood traffic, so you don’t need a military-grade camera that can capture license plates of a car going 70MPH. You might also want to consider tweaking the IR illuminator and exposure settings.

Camera placement to capture license plates

To best capture a license plate, to place your cameras as parallel to the height of a car’s license plates as you can. If they are too high you may be at too sharp of an angle to read the plates. You should also try and capture the back plates from about a 45-degree angle. That way you can avoid the infrared sensor reflecting off the plate at a direct facing angle making the plate look completely white.

Software that captures license plates

If you’re serious about home security, then you might want to connect your camera to a special license plate reading software. You can set this software up to give you alerts when it detects a license plate. This can come in handy if have other security features letting you know that your house is getting broken into. If get an alert with the license plate, then you won’t have to sift through hours of video to get that plates and you can report it to the police right away. This heightens the chances of catching the bad guys by a huge margin.

Better home security

Things can escalate quickly in situations like a home invasion. That’s why having all of your security features work together seamlessly can really come in handy. Consider getting professional home security with Brinks Home™. You can get a quick quote for your home at no cost and learn more about 24/7 monitored home security systems.

Lauren Slade is a Dallas-based writer and editor.

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