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How to find a hidden spy camera

How to find a hidden spy camera

Learn how to find a spy camera using a thermal camera

Thermal cameras, also called infrared cameras, reveal temperature, as color, in your surroundings and help you see people, objects, and animals up to 1,000 yards away. Thermal cameras work by detecting infrared radiation and are great for locating animals, or humans, hidden in foliage, revealing water leaks in houses, finding overheating electrical components, or even locating spy cameras, hidden in hotels or short-term rentals. Continue reading to learn how to find a hidden spy camera in your home with a thermal camera.

What is a spy camera?

Spy cameras have been talked about for a long time, but only recently has this issue become a regular problem because technology has allowed digital camera sensors to be manufactured in such small sizes that they can easily be hidden and purchased for relatively low prices. Many people have reported that they discovered spy cameras in their hotel rooms or their short-term rental housing. One reason spy cameras are used by landlords is to prevent property damage - which can be a problem, especially for private property owners. Their use isn’t always nefarious, but of course, there’s always a concern that voyeurs could be using them for the wrong reasons. Spy cameras these days are almost always digital, but some are freestanding with no network connection. Some spy cameras are wireless and send their video feed to a WiFi network, while others are hardwired to a mainframe where the video is stored. Regardless of how they work, there is one way to consistently find the cameras - using a thermal camera.

What is a thermal camera?

While traditional visible-light cameras capture images of objects radiating light visible to the naked eye, a thermal camera captures infrared light, which the human eye cannot see. All objects radiate some form of heat energy, but some wavelengths within the electromagnetic spectrum are invisible, including infrared - thermal cameras detect this. Sensors in a thermal camera capture a particular range of invisible energy emission (700-1000 nm) and then express each heat value (or wavelength) through a set of corresponding colors. The resulting image is called a thermograph and is usually viewable on a thermal imaging viewer, or LCD screen, which displays the thermograph.

How can you use a thermal camera to find a spy camera?

If you want to know how to find a spy camera in your house, thermal cameras are one of the best ways. Thermal cameras detect differences in temperature, in fact, they are very sensitive to any temperature variance on a surface. Phone repair professionals use thermal cameras to locate tiny capacitors and other electronic components that are overheating on IC boards, for instance. One characteristic of digital cameras is that the sensor will always have an elevated temperature compared to ambient temperatures. So if you want to find a spy camera in a room you just scan the room with a thermal camera, looking for small spots of elevated temperature. You will probably find things like wall plugs, computers, or televisions that are elevated - this is normal. If you find something odd, usually with a small glass lens that you don’t think should be receiving an electrical signal and is showing an elevated temperature - it might be a spy camera! This would be especially concerning if it was an invasion of privacy, like in a bedroom or even a bathroom, it could even be illegal.

What are some other ways to detect spy cameras?

If you want to know how to find a spy camera in your home there are a couple of strategies you can use. One is to find the actual camera and the other is to find evidence of the existence of a camera. One method that looks for signs of a camera is to scan the WiFi network and see if you can see other devices connected to it. If the spy camera is using the WiFi then you should see it. However, this won’t detect spy cameras that are hard-wired or free standing and it won’t tell you where the camera is hidden.  Another method relies on the fact that many wireless spy cameras emit radio frequencies that can interfere with mobile phones. So if you’re getting phone interference in a room it might be because of a spy camera. You can also download apps to your phone that can detect these radio emissions, but it won’t locate the actual spy camera.


Staying in a hotel or short-term rental can be really fun, but nobody wants their privacy invaded. There are several ways to check if the space you are staying in has any hidden security or spy cameras in it. One of the best ways to find a spy camera is to use a thermal camera to look for the tell tale thermal fingerprint of the camera's sensor. Teslong makes feature packed and affordable thermal cameras that work great at finding spy cameras as well as looking for animals or humans in the dark, performing search and rescue operations, security detail at night, performing house inspections, and many other uses. Shop Teslong thermal cameras today!

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