Using a WyzeCam Through a Window

WyzeCam through a windowWe recently took some time to test out the new WyzeCam.  We had some favorable things to say, especially for the price of this entry level home security camera.  The WyzeCam isn’t intended for outdoor use but we quickly realized that the size and shape might make this a good candidate for use pointing out a window.  Today, we look at how to use a WyzeCam through a window

Be sure to read our very detailed WyzeCam review.

Many might purchase this camera with the intent of pointing their WyzeCam through a window only to quickly find it isn’t work well unless you make some changes.  Like most home security cameras, the default options will detrimentally affect picture quality through a window.  That’s especially true at night.  We’re going to show you how to most effectively use your WyzeCam through a window.

There isn’t much advice available on how to point a WyzeCam through a window and we learned this by experimenting.  So here’s an article detailing our experience on how to use a WyzeCam through a window.

The Issue

Glare is a major problem when using any home security camera pointed out a window.  Unless some changes are made to the factory settings and placement, it isn’t going to work well.  It will especially be the case when the sun is facing the front of the camera or at night.  The night scene is especially horrible as you will see a reflection of the IR LEDs.  We’re going to cover how to control these issues in the remainder of this article.

Camera Placement

We found the shape and especially the stand on the WyzeCam to be especially unusual.  However, it’s the best stand we have scene for aiding us in getting a clear shot through a window.  Most home security cameras present a challenge in getting the lens right up against the window but not the WyzeCam.  Position the camera using the stand adjustment so the lens is directly against the window pane.  This will eliminate almost any change of glare or shadow from images behind the camera (like drapes, blinds or people).

At night, be sure the lights in your home or office are off.  Lights will result in a halo effect around the camera.  You can potentially minimize the effects of room light by closing any curtains or shades when the light is on.

Thanks to their innovative camera stand, the WyzeCam can be placed on the window ledge then maneuvered directly against the window pane.  However, you might want the camera to be placed higher on the window for the best view.  Use the ElHook Stick-On Nest Cam Security Video Wall Mount to raise the position of the WyzeCam.  It will work with this camera quite well. In fact, it looks like it fits even better than the Nest Cam that it’s marketed for. This mount is useful in that you can mount it to a window without using permanent adhesive.

Status Light

We usually tell our readers to turn off the camera’s status light.  In the case of the WyzeCam, it won’t matter too much since it’s located at the back of the camera and is minimal.  However, it won’t hurt to disable it and this can be done through the settings within the app.  The darker the better so might as well turn it off.

Night Vision

The WyzeCam has two bright infrared (IR) LEDs that activate at night.  These IR lights will reflect badly when pointing your WyzeCam through a window.  Turn them off through the app.  The night vision settings can be found in the upper right portion above the video.  There are three settings – On, Off and Auto.  We want it set to off.  Night vision IR LEDs do no good when using the Wyze Cam through a window but do help immensely when used to see within your home so when you want to use it for a look indoors, turn it back on to auto.

You will see an improvement.  No more glare and the image that you will see should be much more clear.  Frankly, we aren’t as impressed with the image quality as we have been with some other cameras used through a window, but the image is greatly improved, especially with outdoor lights illuminating the area.

Hopefully the area that you want to see is well lit at night.  If not, external infrared lights that can be purchased and activated only when needed.  You want to locate these external IR lights outdoors.  You can even add a timed outlet to turn these on at certain times.

Consider the Univivi IR Illuminator 90 Degree Wide Angle 8-Leds IR Infrared Light as a good external source for use through a window or placed outside the home.  This one comes with an AC cable which for whatever reason isn’t always included.  If your outdoor scene is very dimly lit, this might be a good addition.  Be sure to place this preferably outdoors or, if indoors, through a different window or as far away as possible from the WyzeCam.

The Proof is in the Photo

The photo that accompanies this article is using a WyzeCam through a window.  No external IR lights.  This was taken on a chilly night in December using the HD setting.

It looks somewhat better versus when we started with the factory defaults using the IR LEDs and the camera not being optimally placed.

All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way.  I have owned and tested dozens of cameras.  Manufacturer support varies.  There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions.  There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).