Installing Security Cameras on Light Poles – The Ultimate Guide
If you haven’t done it before then installing security cameras in parking lots and on light poles may seem daunting.
Parking lots and parking garages present target rich environments for criminals seeking to commit robbery, theft, and even assault. It’s one of the most frequent places that violent crimes occur in the United States year after year.
The good news is parking lots have street light poles all over the place which are perfect for video camera surveillance and wireless equipment networks.
Poles are tall, secure and gives you a perfect vantage point for mounting cameras. Plus you can often times tap into the running power at that electrical pole and use that to power your surveillance equipment.
So what options do you have if you can’t access grid power or tap into power at the light pole?
You need to get power from somewhere else.
Which is what this guide is all about, we give you the inside information you will need to make any solar surveillance installation work right away.
What should I know before installing security cameras to light poles?
1. You SHOULD skip expensive trenching operations and forget about incredibly slow legal tap dancing with city owned power sources.
2. Light poles in privately owned parking lots are one of the easiest places to integrate security camera’s and wireless equipment.
3. You should have an idea of what Solar IP Camera’s and wireless equipment you want to use on this project.
If you’re a security integrator for business owners who’s companies recently turned to outdoor security camera installation on light poles,
then now’s your chance to open up a new lucrative line of business with a Vorp Energy Partnership. Become a partner.
Here are the 3 most popular power options you should know about BEFORE installing surveillance cameras on light poles, utility poles, in parking lots or anywhere else.
Option #1. Install Solar Panel Kits to Power Video Surveillance Cameras Outside.
Easily Power IP Security Cameras on Street Light Poles and Parking Lot Utility Poles
Why use a Solar Power Kit for Surveillance on Light poles?
If the light pole doesn’t currently have power running to it, then a Vorp Energy solar kit is an excellent solution for you.
Here’s how our solar power kits work:
Solar panels capture the sun’s energy and recharge the batteries which then power the PoE cameras or a cellular gateway. Solar panels are to be angled south so they capture the maximum heat possible to power your cameras and communication equipment.
“Solar Power Surveillance Kits is an excellent way to get sustainable power to wireless monitoring equipment!”
Click Here to learn more about Vorp Energy’s Plug and Play Solar Power Kits.
Option #2. Outdoor UPS Battery Backup Power Supply
UPS Battery Backups are the #1 recommended solution when a light pole is on a timer
“I’ve passed up several jobs over the years because constant power wasn’t available in the parking lot,”
That is something we’ve heard dozens of times, while explaining our light pole mounted Outdoor UPS Battery Backup system. Many of our customers have immediate opportunities to deploy a Vorp Energy UPS backup on jobs they were previously considering passing up.
Why use a UPS backup?
Is the lightpole on an automatic nighttime timer? Or is the power supply unreliable? Then our outdoor UPS battery backup power supply is an awesome solution for you.
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. We manufacturer this high quality enclosure and stand by it’s lasting performance.
How easy is it to add surveillance cameras to utility poles street lights with our UPS Kit?
The Vorp Energy Outdoor UPS Battery Backup system comes in different sizes and shapes, to fit different applications, but the general operation is the same across all of them.
OK, so it isn’t quite as easy as Aunt Jemima’s buttermilk pancake mix, but installation of a Vorp Energy UPS Battery Backup Power System is a breeze.
The UPS 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 RJ45 into the pre-configured PoE ports and power the system on.
Have a project you could use this with? Get in touch with our sales team!
Option #3. The VTAP – Light Pole Power Tap Kit
The Most Cost Effective Way to Power Security Camera’s on Parking Lot Utility Poles
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.
Warning: 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 camera installations!
What to do if the Street 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 240VAC. 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 electrical professional to ensure the proper voltage is attained safely.
And with the RJ45 connector in our Kits, plugging your surveillance equipment is as easy as it gets!
Weatherproof Enclosures for Utility Light Poles
The other thing you want to be mindful of is the box that you use to house your power equipment. Make sure the enclosure is weatherproof, as you need it to work all day and all night all the time in wind, rain, sleet, snow.
Vorp Energy uses a powder coated aluminum NEMA 4x enclosures to house all their critical power supply equipment. The wrong enclosure can be fatal to your application, so make sure you use an enclosure that can withstand the all powerful mother nature.
Pole Mount Solar Panels and Enclosures
Make sure you have permission or own the poles. Most often time you will need to get permission from the city to use one of their light poles. So make sure the owner of the pole has given you the ok before installing your equipment.
Similar to the enclosures used, the mounting equipment you use for the solar panels is also critical. It needs to be installed correctly and securely otherwise it will end up on the ground in a heap of damaged parts. Remember the solar panels and enclosure must be able to withstand mother natures worst of wind, rain, sleet and snow.
A typical pole install will require two people and a scissor lift to get safely high enough in the air to mount the solar panels, enclosure and cameras.
How Do I Purchase Vorp Energy Power Production Equipment?
Ready to use Vorp Energy’s preconfigured power equipment to simplify your next video surveillance installation? Click here to go to our purchasing page and request a quote.
Interested, but still looking for more information? Get in touch with our expert sales team!
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Simply fill out the form below and a Vorp Energy team member will be in contact with you within the next business day.
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With thousands of solar surveillance projects under our belt, we’re well equipped to help with nearly any outdoor surveillance or communications project!
Learn more about Vorp Energy power production products:
Solar Powered Surveillance Kits
Uninterruptible Power Supply – UPS