How Long Do Surveillance Cameras Last

Surveillance Cameras are an important investment, it’s imperative to know how long your these cameras will serve you. It can help you avoid embarrassing break down of components.

Knowing how long your cameras will last gives you confidence in the knowledge that your system will run efficiently and reliably for a certain period.

But you might come across different figures from different sources when searching for the lifespan of surveillance cameras.

The lifespan of a surveillance camera system is determined by several factors, including the known and the unknown. As such, no one can guarantee that your cameras will last for a certain period.

However, to help you make educated guesses, we’ve put together this guide. Assessing and possibly maxing out the lifespan of surveillance cameras.

But before we delve into the heart of the issue, let’s first try to understand why there’s so much confusion on the surface.

Why The Conundrum Over The Lifespan of Surveillance Cameras?

Lack of adequate time for observations coupled with the dazzling pace of technological changes means the life expectancy of modern surveillance cameras is shrouded in uncertainties. In contrast, there’s far much more certainty when it comes to analog cameras. which have been in circulation for several decades long enough to produce data for rigorous research.

There’s no doubt that analog cameras, give or take, can last about a decade. With relatively fewer moving parts and no need for major upgrades, analog cameras can deliver the goods unwaveringly for years on end.

However, with an ever increasing range of moving parts, the dynamics play out differently in modern cameras. It’s usually a trade off between exotic features and increased risks of breakdown and greater maintenance needs.

Coupled with the dearth of research owing to the nascence of the technologies. it can be quite tricky to put a finger on the life expectancy of an IP camera.

What Are The Educated Guesses?

With the rapid pace of technological changes, IP cameras are often replaced or upgraded well before they fail. Denying researchers key inputs to assess the average life expectancy of IP cameras.

However, a rule of thumb is to calculate based on the number of times that components of the camera system usually the NVR are replaced. Ideally, you shouldn’t use the same cameras after two NVR cycles.

On average, NVR systems can run for 3 to 5 years. That means you can use an IP camera for 6 to 10 years. Some IP cameras are designed to last longer, but it’s usually not advisable to use them for that long. Your system should be up to speed with emerging technological changes.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the average lifespan of different types of modern cameras

– CCD Sensor Cameras: Popular security cameras that come with CCD (charged coupled device) sensors can last up from 5 years up to 25 years.

-Infrared Cameras: Most infrared cameras still use CCD sensors, so they have the same average lifespan of 5 – 25 years.

– LED Infused IR cameras: The LED components in these types of cameras have an average lifespan of 20,000 (or 2 years of 24/7 use), but the camera will still work well beyond that.

Note, however, that there are no guarantees to these figures. It’s always best to manage your cameras with routine maintenance, identifying and resolving issues even before they occur.

Tell Tale Signs Your Cameras Need a Replacement

You don’t have to wait until there are serious issues with your security camera system before intervening. Here are some signs of damage in your surveillance cameras you should always be on the lookout for:

Visible Signs of Wear and Tear

Your cameras could be battered by anything from pests and rodents to the elements and even intruders. Always keep an eye out for any wear or tear on your camera systems, from exposed wiring to cracked glasses, or damaged casings.

Issues With The Footage

Never overlook issues with your footage, whether it’s blurry images or abrupt interruptions in the footage. It could be because of many different reasons.

Broken Features

If you can’t assess some of the cameras’ features, it might indicate a need for maintenance. The remote monitoring feature might break down, or the pan tilt zoom feature becomes dysfunctional, or the motion sensor stops working. You need to address these issues promptly before they develop into more serious complications.

The Footage isn’t Saved

Signs of urgent maintenance can also show up as issues with the footage storage. There might be broken wiring, connectivity problems, or problems with different components that require urgent attention.

 A Recent Extreme Weather Event

If your area was recently battered by high-speed winds or thunderstorms, you should be planning maintenance rounds for your cameras sooner rather than later.

A Recent Invasion or Crime on Your Site

Security cameras are often the first target for criminals or invaders on site. They’ll want to destroy any evidence that might lead to their capture. If you’ve been hit by criminals, one of the first things you should check for is the integrity of your camera system

Tips to Preserve the Lifespan of Your Surveillance Cameras

security cameras

-Create a maintenance schedule and stick to it. The best interval is monthly.

-Spray your cameras regularly with insect repellants and pest control.

-Hide your outdoor cameras in camouflage frames to disguise them.

-Mount cameras high up beyond the reach of people and animals.

-Protect them in rain cover, housing, junction boxes, or enclosures.


There’s no universal formula for calculating the life expectancy of a surveillance camera. But we’ve provided enough clues to help you make sufficient guesses.  If all goes well, your IP cameras might last up to a decade. But it’s usually not advisable to use them longer than that, as technological changes can quickly put them out of fashion.

If you’re still in doubt about how long your investment in security cameras will last, you can always reach out to our consultants.

At Aclarity, our surveillance camera experts are always happy to fill you in on whatever you need to make the best choices when shopping for security cameras.


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