Installing Security Cameras on Light Poles – The Ultimate Guide

Parking facilities are one of the most frequent places that violent crimes occur in the United States. Both parking lots and parking garages present target rich environments for criminals seeking to commit robbery, theft, and even assault. This is one of the primary reasons that many companies with adjacent parking services (when was the last time that you went somewhere that DIDN’T have a parking lot?) opt to have surveillance equipment installed in their parking areas, among other safety measures. If you’re one of the thousands of security integrators who these companies turn to for that installation, that should be great news! Light Poles in privately owned parking lots are one of the easiest places to integrate security cameras and wireless equipment!

 

Switched Power & Photocell Controlled Light Poles

(Have 24/7 power at your light pole? Skip ahead to the next section)

 

Vorp Energy is perhaps most well-known for its Solar Powered Surveillance Kits. This is not particularly surprising, as completely autonomous power for IP cameras is, for lack of a better description, just cool. Not to mention, skipping expensive trenching operations or legal tap dancing with city owned power sources is always attractive. (Learn more here!) These facts hold true for many installations, but are not always the most cost-effective way to get power to wireless monitoring equipment! In fact, one of the most common misconceptions that we see while working with security integrators is that they need a Remote Solar Power System, when a UPS Kit will be every bit as reliable, at half the cost!

 

If the power only comes on at night, you don’t need a Solar Power Kit!

 

“I’ve passed up several jobs over the years because constant power wasn’t available in the parking lot” is something that we’ve heard dozens of times while explaining our light pole mounted Outdoor UPS Battery Backup system. Many of these integrators have immediate opportunities to deploy a Vorp Energy UPS backup on jobs they were previously considering passing up. (Have your own project you could use this with? Click here to get in touch with our sales team!)

 

How does it work?

The Vorp Energy Outdoor Battery Backup system comes in different sizes and shapes, to fit different applications, but the general operation is the same across all of them. A ruggedized, industrial charger takes a 110 or 220VAC input directly from the light pole and when power is available, charges a battery bank. This battery bank provides power full time to hardened PoE injectors or switches, which in-turn power the surveillance and wireless equipment. Because power is always available through the batteries, there is never an interruption to mission-critical power when grid power switches on or off. The whole system is housed inside of a weatherproof aluminum enclosure with an attractive white powder coat finish.

 

Just add cameras!

OK, so it isn’t quite as easy as Aunt Jemima’s buttermilk pancake mix, but installation of a Vorp Energy Battery Backup Power System is a breeze. The kit mounts to nearly any pole using a custom universal mounting bracket, and can be installed by a single person in just a few minutes. Once mounted to the pole, the only things left to do are connect the batteries and plug equipment into the pre-configured PoE ports and power the system on.

 

Light Poles with 24/7 Power

The only parking lot security installation that is easier than a UPS system is skipping the batteries all-together. Although rugged, weatherproof, and sleek, with a low profile design, the VTAP series is the most affordable power conversion system for street lights available. It couldn’t be any simpler than this: 100-264VAC goes in, and PoE comes out. Weighing less than 5 lbs, with a foot print of 10x8x6” (HWD) we really can’t make it any easier to power IP cameras with a parking lot light pole.

 

But wait, there’s more!

Any time that work is being done with high voltage power it’s a requirement to get a professional electrician involved in the process. If you’ve worked with an electrician on a surveillance installation in the past you’re probably aware that their services can get pricey. Here’s the good news though:

 

You may not need an electrician to install a VTAP kit on a light pole!

 

Next time you are driving around, look for a little cylinder on the tops of the street lights in your town (they’re usually either blue or white). They look like this:

Those little things are standard twist lock photocells. Once you start looking for them, you’ll see them everywhere! If your light pole has one of these your installation just got a lot easier. Using Vorp Energy’s LTAP add-on, you can tie a VTAP directly into the light pole’s AC power, no electrician required (*some states or cities will still require an electrician despite this). The LTAP has a standard 3-prong twist lock, as well as pass-through connections for whatever sensor was there before. Using a Vorp Energy VTAP, with the LTAP add-on makes for the easiest possible outdoor surveillance installation!

 

What to do if the Light Pole Voltage is not 110 or 220VAC (i.e. 277 or 480VAC)

 

Neither the Vorp Energy VTAP Light Pole Power Tap nor the UPS Battery Backup Kit will accept a voltage above 264VAC. It is not uncommon for street lights to have a voltage of 277 or 480VAC. Fortunately, any electrician should easily be able to step this voltage down (with an aptly named “step-down transformer”) to a voltage level that can be connected to a Vorp Energy system with relative ease. You’ll need to consult with a qualified professional to ensure the proper voltage is attained safely.

 

Where can I Purchase Vorp Energy Equipment

 

Ready to use Vorp Energy equipment to simplify your next installation? Click here to go to our purchasing page and request a quote. Interested, but still looking for some more information? Get in touch with our expert sales team! With thousands of projects under our belt, we’re well equipped to help with nearly any outdoor surveillance or communications project!

 

Are you a security integrator? Get in touch to ask us about becoming a Vorp Energy Integration Partner! Approved Integration Partners get special pricing on all Vorp Energy Equipment.

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