By January 11, 2016 Read More →

Don’t be left in the dark

As the long dark nights of winter prevail, security continues to be foremost in mind for home and business owners whose focus is on keeping their properties protected. This presents new opportunities for wholesalers, as the requirement for maintaining or upgrading security systems increases and drives installers to find solutions for their customers. ESP’s managing director, Paul Dawson takes a look at some of the options available and the opportunities this area presents for installers.

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There are a number of solutions that come under external area protection (EAP) such as PIR triggered lights, CCTV and sound systems. So what should wholesalers be keeping in mind and stocking as winter takes hold?

For the majority of installations CCTV is the most obvious measure, and a good starting point for anyone installing external security systems would be to read the BSIA guide for installers.

It should be pointed out, however, that depending on the application being considered CCTV alone is not always going to give the best results for external security. There are other technologies able to provide valuable input to either improving the surveillance results or improving the proactive nature of the system. Some technologies are also a more economically viable choice.

A well planned, executed and managed CCTV security system is superb for showing what has happened after the event, but does it really provide a deterrent? The criminal can see the camera, but can the camera see the intruder? Highly overt cameras can be avoided and if not, it is very simple to just put on head and face coverings. It’s very often the case that IR technology is employed to provide illumination for the cameras but unfortunately this can simply leave the protected area in darkness to allow offences to be carried out without attracting the attention of passers-by. One of the greatest dislikes of intruders is light, particularly occasional triggered illumination that would catch the attention of neighbours. The ideal solution therefore is a combination of CCTV and security lighting.

Clearly for any camera system required to provide good quality images in the dark of night, lighting of one form or another is going to be essential. Of course, a light being activated in a dark area will not only provide a good environment for CCTV footage to be recorded, but can also attract the unwanted attention of security guards or anyone else in the vicinity.

White light

Adequate lighting is a key issue for cameras. As LED lighting continues to advance this is a technology that offers a very energy efficient option. The white light versions also help with achieving a true colour picture at night and the IR versions offer a solution where light pollution is an issue or a more covert system is required.

Triggered lighting is considered more effective than permanent low level illumination as it will attract attention to the activation of the system. The intruder knows this and will want to avoid it. Some of the latest PIR-driven technology on the market also provides an audible warning and image capture to offer the complete solution. What’s more it is a relatively low-cost package, so for the installer this is a simple system that can be added to a contract and be considered as ‘adding value’ for the customer.

How easy would it be to offer a couple of external PIR lighting/surveillance/sound units, which can be fitted in a matter of minutes, while on a site working on an alarm for example?

You only have to take a quick look around your neighbourhood to see that old, corroded and out of order security lights are widespread. Yet, a fully functioning, replacement solution, such ESP’s GuardCam LED external area protection system, can be installed in no more than 15 minutes and without the need for additional cabling.


GuardCam LED is a complete, all-in-one, energy-efficient PIR LED floodlight, camera, speaker and DVR system. The system is straightforward to install – you simply connect to the mains power, fix to the wall, set the time and date and it’s ready to go. Once switched on, GuardCam will detect an intruder, floodlight the area, initiate a high resolution video recording directly to an internal SD card and if selected, an audible warning can be delivered.

Designed as a comprehensive yet relatively low cost and easy to install solution to the protection of external spaces, GuardCam comes in a handy kit format that is currently unrivalled on the market and is ideal for the protection of external areas around homes, offices, or industrial and agricultural units.

Where maximum installation flexibility and speed is required, where there is no available mains power, or simply where a more covert external area protection (EAP) solution is required, a battery powered system should be considered. This solution provides high resolution capture of still or video camera recordings onto a removable SD card. Images can be continuous or automatically triggered by a built-in PIR with illumination provided by integral black infra-red LED’s. Combined with a robust and fully weatherproof outer casing and powered by integral batteries, this provides a fully portable, standalone and instant deployment recording solution for a wide variety of applications. These can include the protection of site cabins, vehicles, vacant caravans, as well as the prevention of anti-social behaviour, or fly tipping, to name just a few of the myriad possibilities for providing protection where no mains power is available and where a quick and simple installation is required.

EAP GuardCam PR

Since it added a new rapid deployment surveillance camera to its growing External Area Protection (EAP) portfolio in 2013, ESP has seen a huge increase in the number and range of applications for this product. The company’s CanCam is a battery operated, high resolution surveillance camera with integral PIR detector, SD card recording and black infra-red illumination. It is ideally suited for semi covert, instant deployment security operations and designed for external or internal use – designed to detect movement and instantly record high quality images with time and date stamping, in all conditions day and night.


Among the many user settings the image capture type and resolution is selectable – either video with audio up to HD720P or stills up to 8MP recording directly to the 4GB SD card supplied. When the card is full, there is an over write option. Alternatively it is possible to use higher capacity cards up to 32GB. Recordings are taken from the removable SD card using windows media player for simple playback and transfer. Recorded footage can also be viewed directly via a PC or TV.

The service life of the CanCam’s battery pack varies according to the resolution and image mode. However, an optional plug-in power supply is included for more permanent use. The camera has a high quality 6mm lens to match the detection angle of the PIR, is designed for pole or wall mounting and has an IP55 weatherproof rating.

This is the kind of easy-to-install, instant security solution that customers would really appreciate and offers a potential alternative to the CCTV install.

Customers who reject the cost of CCTV could still be protected with lower value security lighting combination units. There is also an opportunity to offer same day installation of these units to provide immediate cover prior to the main CCTV installation. If the customer already has some form of external lighting, the installation of a replacement floodlight camera recording unit can be carried out in minutes. It’s something that installers should seriously consider recommending to their customers and wholesalers can encourage by making sure these solutions are available.