Comprehensive guide on Home Assistant and cameras that works with it

Best Camera for Home Assistant

  • Using cameras in Home Assistant has improved significantly over the last couple of months with adding of stream component
  • In addition to displaying camera feed, sending snapshots, using as motion detector and running automation routines you can also record video and use for object and face recognition
  • This articles looks at basics how to integrate the security cameras and the advice on the best cameras to use with the Home Assistant
  • Also, please have a look at our list of best hardware for Home Assistant

Our Pick

Best camera for Home Assitant

IP5M-T1179EW

Best camera for Home Assitant

Amcrest ticks a lot of boxes for Home Assistant. It is RTSP local stream-enabled, low-light 5MP and easy to install just few to mention.

$59.99 on Amazon

Another great option is REOLINK CX410 ($99.99). Reolink in general is a hit with home assistant community. There are issues with RTSP implementaiton, but it requires only a couple of lines to be added to your configuration files and outstanding camera on its own. If you want to go more fancy, Hikvision DS-2CD2387G2P-LSU/SL ($216.00) is the best high-end camera due to the amazing quality of video feed, build but high price. And REOLINK Argus 2E Solar Wireless Security Camera ($69.99) is the recommended option if you want to have battery operated cameras for Home Assistant (it still last over the year in one charge).

What can you do with cameras in Home Assistant ?

Home Assistant recently added a revamped stream component that add ability not only to view your feed via Home Assistant but also record it. This almost allows you to replace software NVRs with Home Assistant. There are still some work to do as stream component is limited to  .264 source streams to the HLS format and requires at least FFmpeg >= 3.2.

In terms of showing the feed in the UI, you can use the following lovelace entities – picture-entitypicture-glance or picture-elements,

  • Notifications: This is the most fundamental and useful feature of integrating cameras to smart hub. Motion and entrance detection is at the heart of any security system but it is a camera that shows you what triggered the alarm. It will help to avoid false alarms or show that you need to call the police immediately
  • Motion Detection: Instead of buying both a motion sensor and a camera, Home Assistant can combine those two functions within your camera. Cool, right? This can save you $30-50 (See our review of best smart sensors). Some cameras would also have a passive motion detection (like REOLINK Argus 2E Solar Wireless Security Camera) making motion detection with the camera even easier
  • Baby Monitors – you can make the camera an intelligent and smart baby monitor. Build-in motion detection can notify you when the baby is waking up. But even a more efficient way is to link the audio feed from the camera to the home assistant as a sensor. You can be notified or even hear what is happening in your kid’s room if the noise is louder than the threshold. (Audio can also be transmitted to your Chromecast or Google Home). See how to implement using this guide. The only requirement is to have a camera that supports separate audio feed locally (like Amcrest IP3M-943W)
  • Artificial Intelligence – there are a number of existing uses of the AI with the camera feed.  This cool guide is an example of how to set up a routine that can allow the alarm to go on if there is an intrusion in the certain area. Face Counting is another of the intelligent uses of the camera feeds. You can count the number of faces that the camera sees and link to the automation rules. For example, you can pause the movie if someone is leaving for a different room. This can be done by counting the number of faces and triggering an action if it reduced while the movie is on.
  • Face detection is anothercool feature but will need some technical knowledge to set up. This guide is using FaceBox Docker container to build it in.
  • Neural networks in Home Assistant can also extend your camera capabilities. You can use Coral or other hardware add-ons to better use the hardware. Have a look at this guide.

How to select a camera for Home Assistant?

We reviewed 10 main factors to consider when buying a security camera in our practical guide in buying a security camera. Below is a recap of three of them and one additional factors specific to Home Assistant

  • Type of camera to buy: Outdoor/Indoor – outdoor cameras are usually a bit more expensive but have better weather and waterproof protection. Form factor – you can choose a bullet / dome / turret / PTZ/ freestanding. Bullet camera would be by default cheaper cost in the same functionality as a simpler device with no moving parts. PTZ is on the other spectrum and can cover big areas, but significantly more expensive
  • Resolution: 1080p (2k) is the current standard for the indoor camera. It is enough to cover the medium size area, but if you need to cover large rooms or outdoor spaces, consider going to 4k or even 6k resolution. Another consideration is the storage. Higher resolution would require more storage. Network Video Recorder Storage Calculator helps to determine how many terabytes you will likely need. As a crude example, for a single 2-megapixel (1080p) camera at 3 frames per second (analog cameras use 1 FPS) and at the highest video quality you will need 16GB of storage for 24 hours of continuous recording. You can learn more about NVRs in our guide on the best NVRs for your security cameras
  • Wireless or wired: Wireless cameras are easier to install as only require power, but generally considered less reliable. Wired cameras do not depend on the strength of wifi signal and use Ethernet cable to connect to your router. This is more secure option, but wifi cameras significantly improved the reliability. It is also important to make sure you have a good quality powerful router for your smart home. We recommend looking into replacing the stock ISP router with more powerful option like NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700. For wired cameras, we strongly recommend using PoE to power cameras. Please have a look at our guide on What is PoE and Best PoE injectors
  • Integration with Home Assistant: Integration to the camera to Home Assistant is another important factor to consider. It will determine how easy to use the camera in your automations rules and also what camera functionality will be available in Home Assistant.o There are three ways to integrate a camera into Home Assistant:
    • Generic camera means that HA will use http or rstp protocols to connect with cameras. This might require some IT skills, but in principles, you can integrate with almost any generic ONVIF camera and even any other cameras open to local streaming.
    • Native integration. Home Assistant has 40 native camera components. Around 20 of those components are integrations with specific brand cameras like Foscam, Axis, Blink and many others.  This means that connecting the camera to Home Assistant would take a couple of lines in your configuration file. However, not all camera components are equal. Internet dependent cameras like Arlo or Netamo would have limited functionality and only work via the internet connection. The others like Axis or Amcrest can be used as sensors and also function perfectly during the internet outage (which we consider a must for security cameras)
    • NVR – Home Assistant also allows to integrate with cameras through Network Video Recorders and NAS. This means that you will need to set up cameras in your NVR and then integrate NVR into Home Assistant. At the moment, you can do that with ZoneMinder (quite dated software NVR) and Synology NAS.
  • Frigate – an open-source video surveillance software, can enhance your home automation and security when integrated with Home Assistant. It manages IP cameras, performs real-time object detection for people, vehicles, and more, and sends alerts to Home Assistant for automated responses like turning on lights or sounding alarms. Frigate records video clips of significant events, integrates with home automation routines, enables access control, and provides customization options. This integration offers a comprehensive solution for managing and enhancing home security while seamlessly integrating with your smart home devices and automation workflows.

Different types of security cameras for Home Assistant

We reviewed more than 20 cameras and outlined the best product across four categories. All the cameras below can be used locally i.e. even if you will have an internet outage (or somebody tampers with your internet connection) the cameras will still work. The only exception is Blink camera which is a battery-operated camera.

  • Best affordable camera for Home Assistant – the cameras under $40 which sometimes require some additional workarounds (or flashing firmware). They usually also have less functionality comparing to other options
  • Best mid-range camera – cameras that can be integrated to Home Assistant and offer wide range of functions for automations rules (motion sensors, noise sensors etc)
  • Best battery cameras for Home Assistant – wired cameras for extra resilience for your security system
Also, please have a look at the reviews of the cameras depending on the type of camera you need:

Frigate and Home Assistant

Home Assistant, or hass.is has two main NVRs that you can use out of the box. Well, you can install it as the addon to the Hassio which is almost the same. While MotionEye is basic (which is the beauty of it), Frigate is the one option you should look at if you want to up your game and get out the most from Home assistant and your cameras. In brief it can do the following:

  1. Camera Control: Frigate can manage and control IP cameras, allowing you to monitor and record video feeds from multiple cameras around your home.
  2. Object Detection: It employs advanced machine learning algorithms for real-time object detection. You can configure it to recognize people, vehicles, animals, or custom objects of interest.
  3. Alerts and Notifications: Frigate can send alerts and notifications to your Home Assistant instance when it detects specific objects or events. This enables you to trigger automated responses, like turning on lights or sounding an alarm when an intruder is detected.
  4. Recording and Playback: Frigate can record video clips when significant events occur, such as motion detection or object recognition. These clips can be stored and easily accessed through Home Assistant for later viewing.
  5. Integration with Home Automation: You can seamlessly integrate Frigate’s events and data with Home Assistant’s automation routines. This allows you to create custom automation scenarios based on detected events, like sending notifications, adjusting smart thermostats, or controlling smart locks.
  6. Access Control: With Frigate and Home Assistant, you can implement access control mechanisms, such as facial recognition-based door unlocking or access alerts when certain people are detected.
  7. Customization: Frigate is highly configurable, allowing you to fine-tune object detection settings, define monitoring zones, and adjust sensitivity levels to suit your specific needs.
  8. Dashboard and Visualization: You can create a custom dashboard in Home Assistant to visualize camera feeds and recorded clips, providing a unified interface for managing your home security system.

Blue Iris and Home Assistant

Blue Iris is one of the most popular windows based software NVR systems. You can easily integrate your cameras via Blue Iris which has its own benefits. Primarily, this is to do with the fact that Blue Iris has much longer list of cameras you can integrate with.

Below is the primary way you can integrate Blue Iris with Home Assistant:

- platform: generic
  still_image_url: "http://192.168.1.x/image/cameraname"
  stream_source: "http://192.168.1.x/h264/cameraname/temp.m3u8"

For more detailed guidance, please have a look at the detailed instruction on secure and well run integration between the two

One of the weaknesses of Blue Iris is that it does not have an easy to use method of detecting faces. There is a great community guide which uses TensorFlow and Node Red for having that functionality added.

Another good addition is to be able to send Blue Iris camera feeds to the Google Cast. See another great guide how you can do that.

Coral, Frigate and Home Assistant

Coral is a family of AI acceleration hardware developed by Google, designed to bring the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to edge devices. Integrating Coral into your Home Assistant and Frigate setup enhances their capabilities significantly. Coral accelerators, such as the Coral USB Accelerator or the Coral Dev Board, can significantly boost object detection and AI-related tasks in Frigate, making your home security system more efficient and responsive.

This not only improves the accuracy of object detection but also allows for faster and more reliable automation in Home Assistant. By incorporating Coral into your setup, you can achieve more advanced and real-time AI-driven automation while keeping your data local and private, making it a compelling choice for users looking to enhance their home automation and security systems.

What Coral devices should you buy? We strongly suggest to buy Google Coral USB Edge TPU ML $77.94 if you using Raspberry Pi for your home assistant instance.

Best camera for Home Assistant: Amcrest 5MP Turret POE Camera

Amazon Reviews:
  • UltraHD Outdoor IP Camera POE with Mic/Audio
  • 5-Megapixel
  • 98ft NightVision
  • 103° FOV,
  • MicroSD (256GB)

Expert Review

Customers who have purchased the camera are generally happy with it. They say that the image quality is good and that the camera is easy to install. The camera has a 5MP resolution and can be used indoors or outdoors. It has night vision and can be connected to a network. However, some customers have had problems with the mobile app. Overall, the Amcrest 5-Megapixel NightVision Weatherproof IP5M-T1179EW-28MM security camera is a good choice for those looking for a high-quality camera that is easy to install and use.

The Amcrest 5-Megapixel NightVision Weatherproof IP5M-T1179EW-28MM security camera is a great option for an outdoor security camera. It has a high resolution of 5MP and can record in 1080p at 25fps. It also has night vision and can be connected to a network.

The Amcrest 5-Megapixel NightVision Weatherproof IP5M-T1179EW-28MM security camera is also very affordable, priced at just under $100. This makes it a great value for the money, especially if you are looking for a high-quality outdoor security camera.

The Amcrest 5-Megapixel NightVision Weatherproof IP5M-T1179EW-28MM security camera integrates well with Home Assistant, giving you access to the camera’s audio and video feed, as well as motion tracker and luminance sensors. This allows you to use the camera in a variety of ways, such as creating automations that turn on the lights when the camera detects motion.

Overall, the Amcrest 5-Megapixel NightVision Weatherproof IP5M-T1179EW-28MM security camera is a great option for an affordable and feature-rich outdoor security camera.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Good quality 5MP video
  • Impressive night vision
  • Surprisingly simple and easy to use app
  • Great at working with Home Assistant – good implementaiton of RSTP

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • The build quality is not great and the camera is easily removable.
  • The setup process can be frustrating.

Installation and Use

To integrate the Amcrest 5-Megapixel NightVision Weatherproof IP5M-T1179EW-28MM security camera with Home Assistant via Frigate, you will need to:

  1. Install Frigate on your Home Assistant server.
  2. Add the camera to Frigate.
  3. Configure Frigate to record video and detect objects.
  4. Configure Home Assistant to use the Frigate integration.
name: Amcrest IP5M-T1179EW-28MM
stream_url: rtsp://192.168.1.100:554/stream

Compared to Competition

  • If you need a camera with a smaller body, you might look into the other camera from Wyze – Wyze Cam $49.98. It is slightly cheaper and the only thing missing is pan and tilt functionality.
  • For dome cameras, you might look into Hikvision DS-2CD2387G2P-LSU/SL $216.00. The cost is really justified and you will see no issues in your config or logs
  • We have not identified a cheap outdoor camera for Home Assistant that we are happy to recommend and that is why we suggest looking into Amcrest IP3M-943W $39.99 as a good balance of functionality, weather resistance, and price
  • There are a number of similar cameras like No products found., but we have not seen a compelling reason to prefer it over Wyze

Best DIY Camera: Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2-8 Megapixel,1080p + MotionEye

Amazon Reviews:
  • 1080P60, 720P180, 8MP Still
  • 3280 (H) x 2464 (V) Active Pixel Count
  • Maximum of 1080P30 and 8MP Stills

The only additional option we will highlight is Pi Camera with Motioneye OS. If you have raspberry pi lying around (if you like me you probably got a couple of iterations of the Pis) you can invest extra $24 and buy the camera addon. The whole setup up with enclosure, a power supply will not be significantly cheaper but works well if you have unused parts.

MotionEye is a custom build OS, which can be installed under 10 min and have very good UI that enables you to configure fine features of the camera feed. But the best part that it is easy to integrate into Home Assistant using the guide from John in one of the community pages. This turns MotionEye and Raspberry Pi into a reliable, and cheap MQTT camera that is extremely easy to use with any automation rules both in YAML or Node-RED in Home Assistant.

Easy to setup Home Assistant camera: Amcrest ASH22-W

The cameras above good quality cameras, but require fiddling with custom firmware or webhooks settings to integrate with Home Assistant. There are three main reasons you would want to upgrade to the more expensive camera:

  1. You need higher resolution cameras. 1080p might not be enough if the camera covers bigger areas inside or outside space. In this case 1080p resolution might not allow seeing the details required (faces of potential intruders)
  2. You need an outdoor or high performing PTZ camera
  3. You want out of box integration and do not want to flash custom firmware
Amazon Reviews:
  • 3-Megapixel / 1296P Video at 20fps (2MP/1080p at 30fps)
  • Wide 100º Viewing Angle and waterproof
  • 4 Hours of Free Cloud Storage

Amcrest cameras are one of our favourite brands of cameras (see the review of PoE cameras where Amcrest is our top pick for a couple of categories). Home Assistant offers to a wide range of Amcrest cameras. See more details in the integration guide

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Easy to integrate with Home Assistant
  • Good quality of the picture
  • Great value
  • Mobile applications work really well
  • Access through browser
  • Long power cord

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Concerns with wifi signal strength
  • Poor documentation
  • Cloud storage is expensive

Integration with Home Assistant

Connecting your Amcrest camera to Home Assistant is easy as Home Assistant has an Amcrest component.

Home Assistant can use built-in motion sensor and control PTZ settings.  You can learn more about the integration in the component page or Python Amcrest project. 

amcrest:
– host: IP_ADDRESS_CAMERA_1
  username: YOUR_USERNAME
  password: YOUR_PASSWORD
  sensors:
    – motion_detector
    – sdcard
  switches:
    – motion_detection
    – motion_recording
– host: IP_ADDRESS_CAMERA_2
  username: YOUR_USERNAME
  password: YOUR_PASSWORD
  resolution: low
  stream_source: snapshot
  sensors:
  – ptz_preset

For non-standard port, you can use the following configuration

- platform: generic
  still_image_url: "http://user:[email protected]/cgi-bin/snapshot.cgi"
  stream_source: "rtsp://user:[email protected]:(port)/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=1"

Alternative Pick CCTV camera for Home Assistant:  Hikvision DS-2CD2387G2P-LSU/SL

The majority of the Focsam camreas are easy to integrate into Home Assistant. We highlighting two cameras that worked well for the community

Amazon Reviews:
  • Freestanding camera
  • 1080P resolution 1920*1080 at 25FPS
  • Easy to setup
  • Wide angle view

Community guide to connect Foscam C2 to Home Assistant

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Good lens and video quality
  • Mobile applications
  • Works well with other applications (Blue Iris)
  • Good connection
  • IR motion detection

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Installation process can be
    overcomplicated for some models
  • Not Mac friendly
  • Documentation can be improved

Integration with Home Assistant

Foscam cameras work well with Home Assistant and for the majority of the cameras, it just requires a couple of lines of code in your YAML file. There are also a number of phyton scripts that you can integrate Example 1 and Example 2

- platform: foscam
  ip: 192.168.x.xxx
  port: 88
  username: username (no quotes)
  password: password (no quotes)
  name: Living Room

Best battery powered camera for Home Assistant: REOLINK Argus 2E Solar Wireless Security Camera

  • Affordable: The Reolink Argus 2E is a relatively affordable camera, making it a good value for the money.
  • Easy to set up: The Reolink Argus 2E is easy to set up and configure.
  • Reliable: The Reolink Argus 2E is a reliable camera that produces high-quality video footage.
  • Well-supported: The Reolink Argus 2E is well-supported by the Home Assistant community, meaning that there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up and configure
  • Reliable
  • Well-supported by the Home Assistant community
  • Battery-powered, so no need to run wires
  • Weatherproof
  • Has night vision

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Requires a microSD card for recording (not included)
  • Only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (not 5GHz)
  • Field of view is not as wide as some other cameras
  • Motion detection can be unreliable sometimes

Camera use

Blink cameras are very easy to use. Battery lasts at least a year. When armed the camera will send the images and 90 second video clips. In disarmed mode it will be reporting temperature

Dohua Cameras in Home Assistant

Dohua cameras work well with Home Assistant and they are one of the reliable and easy to configure model. As with other models, you can connect the either via ONVIF or Generic camera component.

Advice, quite often Dahua cameras support IVS events you can use a python script to send notifications via MQTT to Home Assistant. No products found. is one of the best dohua cameras you can pick to work with Home Assistant.

Connecting Dohua cameras

See the example of how you can connect to the Home Assistant.

  - platform: generic
    still_image_url: http://x.x.x.x:65004/ISAPI/Streaming/channels/1/picture  
    name: NAME
    username: admin
    password: !secret_dohua
    authentication: digest

Final thoughts

As you see above, there are many great video cameras that you can use with your Home Assistant. You can go DIY way tinkering Wyze Cam and get the most affordable camera for Home Assistant. Amcrest is for ease of integration.

One thing to remember is that despite integrating into Home Assistant you still should make sure the recording of your clips is sorted and also you can quickly watch.

There are a number of NVR options exists.

Frequenly Asked Questions

Can I use cameras with two streams in Home Assistant?

Yes you can. The best way is to identify the right Rtsp profiles and use those in configuration.yaml. See the example for one of the cameras we have:

rtsp://user:[email protected]:10554/Streaming/channels/101 – get the main stream of the 1st channel

rtsp://user:pw@ x.x.x.x:10554/Streaming/channels/102 – get the sub stream of the 1st channel

Can you use iPhone as camera in Home Assistant?

Yes, you can it is similar to using Android phones. The best way is to install an IP webcam app and pull the mjpeg stream into HA with the generic MJPEG component. See the article for more details.

Can I stream camera feed to Chromecast in Home Assistant?

The new cast component allows you to live stream your video feed to Chromecasts and Google Smart Displays. See the link to this guide for more details.

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Last update on 2024-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Glenn Chapman
Glenn Chapman
4 years ago

Great article.

I have used the stream config and have obtained good results. The only thing I have failed to get working is sound. I note that under the baby monitoring you state that you can get this to work where camera “supports separate audio feed locally”. I live in the UK and the Amcrest IP3M-943W is not easy to get hold of. Are you able to advise what I look for in a camera to ensure it has this capability and how you set sound to work in Hassio?

Thanks

Glenn

Jack
Jack
4 years ago

Can I integrate the WyzeCam with home assistant without installing the custom firmware?

What is my RSTP username and password if so?

Electrical Contractors Auckland
Electrical Contractors Auckland
3 years ago

All the best things on how you can assist a camera for home. I loved reading this article. Such articles are not only knowledge enhancers but also very interesting to read and to learn to compare from. If possible visit this website stsolutions.nz/ to gain more idea or tips on the same.

Philip
Philip
1 year ago

Doesn’t appear that the ASH22-W listed here actually supports Amcrest’s API. Was that known when writing this article? Are there any workarounds that you know of?

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