I’d like to have a webcam pointed toward my house, so that I can check (via Safari on iPhone) if I left the garage door open, if there’s a package on my doorstep when I’m off on a business trip, etc.
My idea is to place a small webcam inside the electric gaslight in front of my house.
- WiFi: There’s already electricity at the light post, on a separate circuit from the bulb’s switch no less. While I love PoE, it’s just not worth the hassle of digging.
- Small: It should fit in the glass enclosure without having to remove the CFL bulb inside. Or perhaps discreetly on the pole itself (see "Single piece enclosure" below).
- Rugged: Should be able to survive the summer (and the modest heat of a CFL or LED bulb) and winter in terms of temperature, and is sealed (or can be enclosed) to protect against moisture.
- Still image: Video is awesome and everything, but Mobile Safari has neither Java nor Flash. Video can be an option, but still images are absolutely critical.
- Secure login: Eh…it’s the outside of my house. I’m not critically worried about security, but a password barrier to view could be a bonus. I guess.
- Single piece enclosure: There’s an outlet on the light post that points right back at my house, so something that looked like a ruggedized AirPort Express with a camera pointing straight back would be absolutely perfect.
- Price: (thanks hyperslug!) I think that $200 is a reasonable upper-bound.
- Maybe just WiFi but not necessarily rugged: Upon further consideration of the problem, I realize that I already have a tough, cheap, and crystal clear watertight box that was purchased from a big-box store for less than $9, IIRC. An "in-use" outlet cover is also an option, and as an added bonus would blend in a bit more nicely. If someone can recommend a regular (non-ruggedized) webcam that meets at least some of the above qualifications and happens to be smaller than "7.7in W x 3.5in H x 7.4in" in size (smaller for the "in-use" cover), I'm confident that a much cheaper DIY solution is possible.