How to Mount Your Smart Cameras Without Drilling
If you’re looking to get wall-to-wall (or fence-to-fence) video coverage of your home or yard without drilling holes in everything, we’re here to help.
Why Avoid Drilling?
Although drilling a secure mount for your smart security cameras is the gold standard for security and stability, we can certainly understand why you might not want to drill holes and sink anchors into your home.
The most obvious reason is that you’re renting, and it’s against your rental contract (or at least puts your deposit at risk) to drill into anything inside or outside your home.
Patching a little drywall is one thing, but most landlords would frown on you putting a bunch of holes in the siding—which is one of the reasons these no-drill video doorbell mounts are so popular.
But even if you own, maybe you don’t want to drill-mount things for the same reason: if your old aluminum siding is still going strong, why ruin a good thing by punching holes in it? The same goes for nice brickwork or old ornamental woodwork. Or maybe you don’t want to commit to a particular location for your camera. Many of the mount suggestions we highlight below aren’t just no-drill, they’re also extremely easy to move to a new location.
So whether it pains your wallet in fear of a deposit lost or your pride in terms of keeping your home’s exterior in mint condition, you can skip the drilling and use these alternative methods to mount your smart security cameras.
You Can Tape Just About Anything
All things considered, smart security cameras are really light. Just like with smart home video doorbells, you can use quality mounting tape to secure them.
If you’re mounting the camera indoors, you can get away with using a less aggressive tape, as it won’t need to withstand the elements. Indoors you might find large 3M Command tape strips to be sufficient to hold the camera mount in place, though we would certainly recommend testing it out first with something soft for the camera to fall onto should the tape fail (a laundry basket with a pillow in it should do the trick).
Outdoors, while you could try outdoor-rated 3M command tape strips, the gold standard for seriously sturdy outdoor tape-based mounting is 3M’s Very High Bond (VHB) tape. If it’s good enough for RVers to secure solar panels to the roof of their RV, then it’s definitely good enough to stick a camera weighing a few ounces to your house.
Mounting a smart camera with tape is much easier if the existing mounting base has a relatively flat and smooth surface. If the base that came with your camera is intended to be screwed to the wall, it may have a lot of empty space and a rib-style hollow cavity that offers little surface area for the tape to find purchase.
You may find you need to seek out a third-party base. In some cases, you can even find bases intended to be taped or, like this magnetic mount for Arlo cameras, that already come with a disc of 3M VHB tape in the kit.
The downside of taping, of course, is that you have to get the tape off without damaging the surface. And even if you don’t damage the surface, you’ll need to loosen the adhesive and clean it off somehow—which is exactly why the specialty mounts in the next section are so appealing.
Use Specialty Mounts for Gutters, Doors, and More
A significant number of the smart home cameras on the market, including those from Arlo, Blink, Eufy, Ring, and Wyze, use a standard screw mount hole.
That screw mount hole will be familiar to any photographer as it uses the 1/4-20 mount screw found on tripods—it’s 1/4th inch in diameter and has 20 thread turns per inch of length.
This makes shopping for mounting accessories really easy. You can still search for specific brand names if you prefer, but as soon as you identify whether or not your particular camera brand uses the standard “photography” mount, you’re in business, and you can buy any mount—of the hundreds and hundreds that support it—on the market. You could even put the smart home camera right on an actual tripod, for that matter.
Let’s take a look at a variety of smart camera mounts that take advantage of this compatibility.
Gutters are a pretty convenient place to mount a smart camera. They’re sturdy, project out from the house, and the lip makes it super easy to attach a mounting bracket.
This gutter mount bracket kit is a great value and includes both a 1/4-20 screw mount as well as an included flat-plate that attaches to the screw mount. So you can either screw the camera directly into the post or use VHB tape to attach it to the plate if there is no mount point on your camera.
It’s also quite useful for mounting camera accessories like a solar panel charging kit, like the Ring Solar Panel, the Arlo Solar Panel Charger, or one of the many third-party solar panels, if you want to position the camera in one place and the solar panel in a sunnier place nearby.
If you plan on putting the camera and solar panel in the same location, however, you might be more interested in this 2-in-1 mount that includes two mounting points on one bracket.
Sometimes you’re really limited with where you can attach a no-drill mount. If you’re in an apartment with no gutters handy and you want to avoid sticking a patch of VHB tape to the communal wall outside your apartment, a door mount might be in order.
They work just like wreath-hangers and other over-the-door things like closet-door shoe racks. You slip the metal bracket over the top of the door and snug down the tension screw, and then mount your camera to the screw post.
You can use the same type of mounts you would use for a gutter or door on a railing, as the majority of the brackets on the market sold for both purposes have fairly wide clearances.
The same brackets we recommended for the gutters will also work for railings (though if the top of the railing is particularly wide, you may have to mount the bracket to the ballisters and not the top rail).
Most siding has an interlocking design where the top and bottom of each strip of siding fit into each other. You can take advantage of that design by purchasing siding mounts with a matching piece that mates cleanly with the interlocking part of your siding.
You’ll find very tiny, lightweight options intended for petite smart cameras like those offered by Blink.
There are also beefier options that support larger cameras like the Ring and Nest smart cameras.
When in doubt, it’s not a bad idea to go with the larger mounts because they include an integrated 1/4-20 post (the really petite siding clips usually require you to screw the original camera mount to the clip and are a bit less stable on account of their size).