One of the core reasons most people get security cameras in the first place is so they can identify home invaders. Most of the time your biggest risk is going to be someone running up to your porch and taking your Amazon packages and running off. Usually finding the culprits in this case is fairly straight forward, but what if you’re targeted by a premeditated burglary and the culprits are wearing face masks? A great way to defend against this threat is to capture the license plates of the evil doers.


This is where the art of capturing license plates comes into play. Chances are the bad guys will have driven by your house at some point. Whether it was to case your house in the first place or to park during the act, you usually have a chance to capture their license plates. There are however, a lot of factors that can affect your footage.

Different Factors to Consider

You can’t control the conditions around an incident, but you can control the way you set up your security technology. With technology these days though, there’s pretty much an answer to any condition. Whether it happens at night, in the rain, or during a really sunny day, you should be able to capture the license plates. One of the key factors is going to be how you place and angel your cameras.

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    Capture License Plates

    Camera Features

    You’ll want a high definition camera with a high field of view or “viewing angle”. Most wide angel cameras these days should do fine. This gives you the highest chance to capture the license plate. Night vision is also important. Most of the time, you’ll be dealing with residential neighborhood traffic, so you don’t need a super expensive camera that can capture license plates of a car going 70MPH. You might also want to consider tweaking the IR illuminator and exposure settings.

    Camera Placement to Capture License Plates

    You’re going to want to place your cameras as parallel to the height of a car’s license plates as you can. If they are too high you may be at too sharp of an angle to read the plates. You should also try and capture the back plates from about a 45 degree angle. That way you can avoid the infrared sensor reflecting off the plate at a direct facing angle making the plate look completely white.

    Software that Captures License Plates

    If you’re serious about home security then you might want to connect your camera to a special license plate reading software. You can set this software up to give you alerts when it detects a license plate. This can come in handy if have other security features and you know that your house is getting broken into. If get an alert with the license plate, then you won’t have to sift through a bunch of video to get that plates and you can report it to the police right away. This would higher the chances of catching the bad guys by a huge margin. There’s an open source project called open alpr that’s made for this. The best part is, it’s completely free.

    The Right Camera to Capture License Plates

    If you really want to make sure you’re protected, you will want a pretty decent dedicated camera for the job. We recommend the Reolink PTZ RLC-423 for this task. This camera can hook up to ALPR software no sweat and has a super long night vision recording distance. You can also set up scheduled and flexible motion detection. With 6 different IR LED’s, there’s no way you’re not going to catch the plates with one of these mounted to your front porch.

    Better Home Security

    Things can get pretty hairy real quick in situation like a home invasion. That’s why having all of your security features work together seamlessly can really come in handy. Consider getting professional home security with Protect America. You can get a quick quote for your home at no cost and make sure to ask about the current deals!