Lights and cameras

An important part of keeping the neighborhood safe is having all areas which would otherwise attract illicit activity well lit all night and observed by cameras. If those measures are in place, people will see them and not do illicit things there.

Please send Dave your recommendations and non-recommendations for this page.


Should be bright and on all night.

Dave's electrician picked out this light and it's doing the job. Dave recommends his electrician, Cheri Cochran (415-298-6484).

A neighbor recommends this dual-sensor light or, for really serious light, this light.

A neighbor recommends this light.

A neighbor recommends this remote-control spotlight: It would need a 12V transformer to be connected to residential power.

Relatedly, leave lights on inside, and leave your curtains open to make it appear to people outside that you might see them. There are also Fake TVs, for example this one, which create the impression that you're home and awake.


Should be visible. Should allow easy sharing of video to Google Photos. Should be sufficiently high resolution to allow faces on video to be identified.

A brand that has worked well for some neighbors is AvertX. It has a good UI and makes it easy to share video. That brand is at Costco. We haven't seen a package that has less than four cameras, however. Perhaps neighbors could share a package.

A neighbor has Amcrest cameras, which were not too expensive and have good resolution, but he doesn't recommend them since they require a separate network video recorder. He recommends a Nest Outdoor IQ (does this have better resolution than others' Nest cameras?) or Ring camera for ease of use, but see below for other opinions.

A neighbor recommends these cameras, and Peter Mitev at Northwest Security (415-861-0200) for installing them.

Please consider more powerful systems before considering a Nest or Ring camera, as those don't have the resolution to consistently identify individuals. That said, they're not as expensive and easy to set up, and it's better to do something than nothing. Nest Outdoor is better than other Nest models or Ring.

Brands we don't recommend

    • Q-See. They're not easy to share video from.

    • Lorex. The one a neighbor bought died quickly.