Have you ever considered using your security cameras to create time lapse videos or play pranks with your friends? Don't get surprised too early— that's just one minor part of the creative uses your surveillance camera has.

Read on to discover the 29 security camera tricks you may have never imagined about your camera systems. If you find more security camera tips and tricks, please kindly leave your comment to share with us.

Tips: If you have a high quality IP camera from the top CCCTV camera brands, you will certainly be surprised at the following cool things your cameras could do.

Security Cameras and Security Systems

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1. Create Time Lapse Videos

Some security cameras that are equipped with the time lapse feature can allow you to make videos to display the changes over time. And they are most ideal for applications including construction sites, weather, nature, wildlife and demolition.

Now watch the build site time lapse video shared by a user of Reolink RLC-511W security camera.

2. Record Interesting Animal Life

Do you own a barn, farm or ranch that is far away from your house? Barn security cameras can free you from travelling long distance to check on your animals. Just launch the camera app in the comfort of your home sofa, and you can even watch the whole exciting process of the pregnant livestock giving birth.

And a Reolink Argus 2 user has employed the camera to record the interesting process of the raccoon cheese challenge. Below is a video sample he has shared with us.

3. Play Pranks on Guests or Family Members

One funny usage of the security cameras is that you can play pranks on the unsuspecting guests, friends or family members with the alarms or two-way audio. Preferably you can also capture the moment that they are startled as a memento.

A naughty parent just played a prank on his boys with unexpected Christmas presents and recorded their funny reactions (captured by Reolink Argus 2).

4. Monitor Places Without WiFi Network & Power Source

No WiFi connection? No electric source? No problem at all!

Now the cellular 4G security cameras, have offered you a reliable security solution to monitor places with limited or no WiFi network and power, such as your barns, farms, boats, construction sites, vacation home, RVs, campsites, cabins, shed, etc.

5. Live Stream Social Experiments

Watching real people do normal stuff has become a national pastime and Reality TV is hotter than ever. If you are looking for the thrill of exhibitionism, you can put your 24/7 monitoring camera into use and live stream your life on social media.

A little bit extreme and crazy for you? You may shut the camera off except when you are hosting social activities in your home. Those who cannot make it can still tune in through the web to see what they are missing out there.

6. Know Weather Conditions Though Housebound

Want to know the weather conditions of your travel destination before setting out? Start the weather forecast application and you will see pictures of various places in the interface.

I bet you must have noticed the pictures for hundreds of times but not one time have you expected that they should be shot by the security cameras. Yes, that's just one secret trick of security cameras—to shoot photos of a certain place and enable people around the globe, like you, to know the weather conditions without actually being there.

Shoot Weather Photos

7. Record Memorable Family Moments

Your baby's first words, first awkward step and a rare family dinner are all memorable family moments that you may miss out when you are not at home. Luckily, the security cameras can help you out by recording and saving the footage of those valuable events. Even if you are not physically around, you can later play back the videos and savor the happiness.

8. Get Insurance Discount

As an ordinary consumer, you may have only looked at the high price of security camera systems, yet ignored the favorable aspects carried with security cameras.

Insurance is a mandatory part of becoming a homeowner in most circumstances. Generally speaking, the insurance agencies can offer you a 10%-20% discount with a security system installed in your home. The specific percentage varies with the features of systems, coverage, insurance companies, etc. (Click here to learn more.)

9. Document Your Life Details

You think you are eating less than yesterday and that your dietary plan has started to work? Well, your feelings are far less reliable than your home surveillance cameras — an invisible recorder of your life details.

From the camera video footage, you can see whether you are actually eating as less as you think. The recorded details of security cameras can also help you remove some bad habits that you are even unconscious of before, like improper computer postures and etc.
Document Life Details

10. Save Big for Small Home Based Business

Normally there is no tax deduction for installing a home security system, except in the following circumstance. According to the IRS, a taxpayer who uses his home for business purposes may deduct a portion of certain expenses including insurance, utilities, security system expenses, repairs and garbage disposal.

If you have a home based business like a child care facility, even it is only part time, you can still write off a portion of home expenses. Check with your local/federal government tax rules to see if it applies to your home and business.

11. Prevent Baby/Elderly Abuse

A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds in the US and approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse.

Since you cannot accompany your child all day, you may be trapped in how to hire a safe nanny for your sweet baby. The nanny cam is the best way to check whether your baby is taken good care of by the babysitter. And the elderly security cameras can help you keep tabs on every move of the caregiver and ensure that your elderly parents don't become the victims of elder abuse.

12. Stop Trespassing and Vandalizing Behaviors from Neighbors

It is inevitable to have some naughty kids around in your neighborhood who runs across your property and gets into things, like vandalizing the plants in your garden and playing chicken with your cars when you try to leave. The surveillance cameras provide a quick solution to keep trespassing kids off your property.

Trespassing Behavior

Your monitoring cameras leave them no choice but to stop running and playing on the driveway and yard. Their parents also no long hold neighborhood meetings on your driveway. All of these are credited to your security cameras.

13. Solve Household Mysteries

You find the random items of clothing all over the house when you return home and you are unsure whether to blame the cat or the dog? Or your self-made cake is taken a bite while you leave the kitchen and want to know who did it? Go for your home camera footage that records all the ins and outs of the business and you can solve all household mysteries.

14. Scare off Critters and Locate Bugs

If you are a gardening lover, one thing that troubles you might be that the squirrels, raccoons, human thieves and other pests eat your tomatoes presumptuously while you are still wondering about the criminals. Using a camera with smart motion detection enables you to set off a sound alarm that would scare off those critters and provides you peace of mind.

Or you are troubled by the massive infestation of carpenter ants that come out at night in your living room? You can place your night vision security camera in a new location every night to track down the source of those bugs and clean them up once and for all.

Scare Off Squirrels

15. Wake Your Kids up for School

Waking your kids up for school every morning is perhaps one of the most challenging things as a parent. Now you can hand over this tough job to your security cameras, which can send an alarm to your kids at wake-up time. Or you can use the two-way talk feature to give a verbal wake-up call whenever the time is right.

16. Protect Against Liability Claims

When something undesirable happens at your business place and the customer puts all the blame on your company, a well-placed security camera can help you go into the route of the problem and resolve it. If your company is indeed not liable for the issue, the camera will offer powerful evidence and prove your innocence.

17. Maintain Internal Compliance

A surveillance camera plays a significant role in compliance monitoring on employees. For example, the security cameras on construction sites can ensure that the safety policies are strictly enforced by the workers. Video monitoring also helps managers see if employees are using proper sanitation techniques, especially for the food and hotel industry.

18. Increase Productivity and Profit

Many employees do not perform at their highest level unless they are constantly under some form of supervision. The installation of security cameras is conductive to increasing employees' productivity. Since employees don't know when the boss is monitoring their performance, they tend to be more devoted to their work and act on their best behavior.

Also, a surveillance camera can help market your products. The footage can be used to review shopping patterns, test market merchandise in key zones, evaluate signage and compile demographic data. The valuable feedback provided by your security cameras will in turn help improve customer service and increase your profit.

19. Maintain a Professional Appearance

First impression is usually impossible to reverse or undo, and it sets the tone for the following interactions. When consumers walk into your business place and notice the presence of security cameras, they would feel more secure and receive the message that you are committed to protecting their interest as well, not only yours.

20. Get Immediate Medical Assistance

For the seniors who live alone and have poor health, they may suffer from medical conditions all of a sudden without any companions at their side. Among all the tips to improve seniors' safety, a home surveillance system is definitely the top one.

The home security systems equipped with emergency pulls or medical alert pendants allows them to call for help simply by pressing a button or pulling a cord. The emergency assistance will be dispatched to their homes right away and they can get immediate medical assistance.

21. Find Your Lost Pet

When you come back home from work and call the name of your pet, you receive no response. Well, don't panic. The security cameras can offer you the clues you need to find your lost pet.

You can know whether your pet is hiding somewhere in the house or it runs outside. In the latter case, the security cameras can record the specific direction your pet heads to, allowing you to trace it down without unnecessary efforts.

Find Your Lost Pet

22. Stop Bullying in Schools

It is reported that 90% of students in grades 4-8 have been bullied or harassed in school. Over 160,000 kids refuse to go to school each day for fear of being bullied. Installing security cameras is a useful way to prevent school bullies. Knowing that their every act and move will be recorded by the cameras will force the bulling kids to stop bullies and behave themselves.

23. Ensure the Safety of Latchkey Kids

A home security system that includes the option to alert you whenever someone, like your latchkey kids or other family members, enters your home can provide you peace of mind. When your kids come back home from school, you simply have to disarm the alarm with the security code. A text then will be sent to you telling that your kids have got inside safely.

24. Improve Electricity Management and Lower Energy Costs

It may have happened to some of you that you forgot to turn off the lights when you leave home in haste. Now most home security systems are equipped with services that allow you to control lighting, temperature, and some small appliances within your home. You can remotely control the switches of your appliances based on your needs. That way, your energy cost will be greatly reduced in the long run.

25. Protect Your House and Family from Fire and Gas Leaks

Statistics show that the average number of residential home fires reaches 374,000 each year. Some security systems equipped with heat detectors can check whether a fire is building in the area of your home and provide advanced notice of even smallest change in heat, which prevents further damage caused by fire.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas released from heating systems, stoves, burning wood, and among other things. Those home security systems with carbon monoxide detectors can alert you to high levels of carbon monoxide in time so that you can immediately get out of your home before you get poisoned.

26. Guard Against Freezing Pipes and Flooding

In the cold winters when the temperature can plummet below zero, you pipes may be frozen in case of the malfunction of heating systems. The low temperature sensors added on some security systems can prevent such incident by notifying you in advance when the temperature drops below a preset point, like 40° below zero.

The water sensor of some security systems is also capable of guarding against potential flooding issues from plumbing problems to leaking roofs or flooding basements. You can receive real-time alerts and take actions before things get out of control.

27. Control Your Doors Remotely

With a security system in your home, you may don't need to give spare keys to your dog walker or roommate any more. Now some security systems have offered you the choice to control your doors remotely. For example, when a plumber comes to repair your leaky water pipe, you can remotely unlock the door for them and lock the door up when they leave.

28. Stay Visual Contact with Your Family While Away

Whether you are away on a holiday trip or you don't live with your parents, the security cameras with two-way audio enable you to chat with your family and stay visual contact with them, saving the trouble of using other communication tools especially for your technically challenged parents. Even though you are not physically there, your family would feel your genuine concern and deep love.

29. Increase Resale Value of Your House

Having a home alarm system installed is actually a long-term investment. You will get the payback when selling your house since the surveillance system can increase the resale value. As an added bonus, it also keeps your home protected throughout the selling process where a number of strangers will be inside your home.


This is by no means an exhaustive list and I'm sure there are still many home security camera system tips undiscovered. Explore more cool things of your camera system and use it to its full potential.


    Awesome, very important tips you have posted. Thanks.

  • Aaron Alexis

    Thanks for sharing these top secrets about security cameras. I was oblivious about some of the points discussed here. After reading so many benefits of these cameras at home, I have decided to install a in my Toledo home. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • Andrew Thomas Johnson

    Jenny Hu
    You wanted some more ways security cameras systems can be used
    Share documentation with your professional 3rd party help, AKA ( Your doctor for your body, is interested in what you put into it, what types of daily tasks you do, howmuch energy you burn, all the variables that they currently have to used a ”weighted average”, where they could be using much more accurate data.
    Your head doctor would like to review, so they can find the pieces that you aren't remembering so if you have early Alzheimer or other conditions this can be used as a backup memory storage. Useful if for accountability for drug addicts and as a way to STOP coming to the wrong conclusion based off guess work, as the passive version of the patient is likely to be observed, and true treatment options can be figured out. ( I.e take the idea of construction workflow, and use it on patient health flow, so provide an area of feedback. )

    Useful for efficiency expects to analysis someone movements and provide them some tips for improving there performance.

    #16 & 8

    Class action lawsuit claims are much easier to prove if there is evidence.
    Class action lawsuits are much easier to prevent if the designers don't mess up in the first place, more data better design.

    Run your footage through a computer program that sorts out each item in the house and allows you to identify it and inventory it. Link to health database for medical information, and assistance to the virtual character that represents you ” aka treat yourself as a pet, and then do what you need to make you happy, if possible)
    (So use an algorithm well a combination of many, and run your feeds through the program and allow for the program to keep real time graphing data available to you, and for sale to the larger market.

    Seismic sensors and Wind sensors
    Have a program around to tell you the distance between the camera and a fixed point.
    The changes in the distance are related to the error in the program, and the fact that the camera is fixed to a building that is subjected to environmental effects, so while the building is loaded under a wind load it will deflect, slightly and a camera can be used to message that slightness, and provided an estimated stiffness in the building, this can be done on control buildings, and than back step into all existing building to allow for an asset estimate of performance of those buildings. (aka the governments can use this to refine the safety factors by allowing for another assumption on performance of it's building infrastructure), this is important in Canada, as the design seismic loads are set to increase in the 2020 National Building Code, and they are attempting to make the changes more retroactive than in the past. So this should be something that both the insurance industry, and the construction industry would like as it provides another way to provide accountability in performance based design, this becomes really useful when running an estimated finite element model of the building, allows for the verification of the model, and could allow for realtime 4D modelling of building health to reduce maintenance burden.

    To create a Living memory recording for the demography of people that have good ideas and they are short lived, they can now say their idea out-loud and it can be recorded, and 1 time a month they could go back and review those idea's and say hmm that's worth spending more time on.

    Providing yourself with an alibis in case someone is trying to frame you, or there are mistakes in the legal system,, Not perfect but it's another think for the police to prove that you ” tampered with it”

    #34.... upgrade desired... a way to provide voters with a way of secured voting....

    • Jenny Hu

      Hello, Andrew, thanks for sharing your excellent insights. We also believe that security cameras can be used in more ways in our daily life and can't wait for more creative uses! 🙂

  • Jenny Hu

    Hello Veking, currently the time-lapse feature is not available on Reolink cameras and this video is done by downloading all the video footage recorded within one day, combining them all together and speeding up the playback speed with the help of video editing software.
    However, we have released the time-lapse feature for you to play back the cloud-based videos with different speeds via the latest Reolink app version. Also, this feature will be released soon for you to view the local storage videos via Reolink Client and app. Please stay tuned!

  • Raman Rajan

    trying to set up a construction surveillance as well as a timelapse. Is timelapse option capable with Reolink Go camera? Does the camera have an option to record every 5 minutes? What kind of cloud storage will you need to do this for a 2 year duration? Any feedback would be appreciated.

    • Jenny Hu

      Hello Raman, you will enjoy the timelapse option with Reolink Go and fast forward the cloud-based footage with different speed options via Reolink app.
      This camera does not have an option to record every 5 minutes and you are allowed to set up a PIR recording schedule only. Here is a detailed guide for your reference, https://support.reolink.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012344054-Set-up-PIR-Schedule-via-Reolink-App.
      We don't offer a Cloud plan for a 2-year duration as of now and you may click here, https://cloud.reolink.com/, to learn more about Reolink Cloud service and four different plans . Please let us know if you have any additional questions.



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