Can Wyze Cam See Through Glass? (Are There Any Workarounds If Not?)

Wyze provides a versatile variety of smart home security cameras. Depending on which ones you use, you can place them wherever they suit you best. For example, indoor cams, of course, need to be kept indoors as they’re not weatherproof. While outdoor varieties, which are designed to withstand the elements, can be placed anywhere outdoors – or even indoors in many cases.

But now, what if you don’t want to invest in an outdoor camera such as the Wyze Cam Outdoor or Floodlight Cam? You may prefer to monitor the outside of your home with an indoor cam that faces the outside from a window. But is this possible? Will your Wyze cam be able to see effectively through glass?

Key Points

  • Wyze Cams often use pixel-based detection during the day, and PIR detection at night.
  • PIR motion detection will struggle behind glass, unfortunately.
  • You might be able to get better night-time performance with some small tweaks though.
  • Changing the location of your camera (or exploring other smart devices to use alongside it) can also help.

About Wyze Cams

Wyze Cams are great, affordable smart home cameras. Their previously limited line has expanded recently. They now offer new and more innovative cameras to help you capture all the footage around the inside and outside of your home. These include a Floodlight Cam, as well as the Wyze Cam OG Telephoto, complete with a telephoto lens which captures everything clearly.

Wyze cameras are also among a class of cameras that offer local, as well as Cloud storage. If you don’t want to invest in a Cam Plus plan for Cloud storage, you can make use of local storage. You’ll simply need a microSD card (sold separately).

Wyze SD card slot with SD card partially inserted
Wyze SD card slot with SD card partially inserted

Wyze’s cameras work using the 2.4 GHz band of Wi-Fi. They need this internet connection to connect to the Wyze app, where you’ll adjust your cameras’ settings, such as motion and sound detection.

Wyze Event Recording Options
Wyze Event Recording Options

The variety of cameras that Wyze provides ranges from outdoor cameras, such as the Wyze Cam Outdoor and the Floodlight Cam. They also have a range of indoor cameras, such as the Wyze Cam v.2/v.3, and the Wyze Cam Pan. Then there’s the Wyze Cam OG, which can be used both indoors and outdoors. 

Some users have decided that instead of using outdoor cameras to monitor the outside, they want to use indoor cameras from the inside of their homes. They want to do this by placing them inside, facing a window to the outside. But this presents some challenges, especially when factoring in how Wyze cameras detect motion. If the Wyze camera can’t detect motion properly, all efforts at surveillance will fail.  

So how exactly do Wyze Cams detect motion?

How Do Wyze Cams Detect Motion?

Knowing how your Wyze cameras detect motion is key to determining if they’ll do well monitoring your home from the inside. There are typically two ways that smart cameras detect motion.

The first is PIR, or Passive Infrared light sensors. These work by tracking heat signatures, which lends to high accuracy in motion detection of people and vehicles – as long as the engine is warm. It also helps weed out inanimate objects like tree branches. This is also how IR, or Infrared lights work for Night Vision in most cameras.

Infrared Lights for Night Vision on Wyze Cam
Infrared Lights for Night Vision on Wyze Cam

The other type of sensor is a pixel-based sensor. These use a change in pixels in a frame to detect motion.

Most of Wyze’s cameras use pixel-based sensors for daytime monitoring. This means that when the pixels within your motion zones change from frame to frame, it causes the cameras to generate a motion alert. You then receive this notification on your smartphone, and, if you have either a microSD card installed or a Cam Plus Cloud subscription, you’ll get a recorded video of the motion event as well.  

The only Wyze camera that differs in this department, is the Wyze Cam Outdoor. This Outdoor camera uses a combination of PIR (passive infrared light sensors) and pixel-based sensors to detect motion. This leads to a high accuracy of motion detection and enhanced security for your home.

With this in mind, some Wyze users still may decide they want to keep their cameras indoors as they monitor the outside. Is this possible?

Can Wyze Cams See Through Glass?

Some users want to use their indoor Wyze cams to monitor the outside for different reasons. Perhaps it’s in an effort to keep their cameras safe from theft or vandalism. Or it could be because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of mounting a camera with a ladder and hardware. 

Now that we know how Wyze cameras detect motion, how does this affect placing them indoors? Can they see through the window glass?

Looking into the different Wyze cameras can help determine which ones this would, or wouldn’t, work with.

Wyze Cam V.2/V.3

These two cameras are pretty similar in terms of performance. The V.3 has a few performance enhancements, and, unlike its predecessor, it can be used outdoors as well.

Wyze Cam v3
Wyze Cam v.3

During the day, in front of glass, these cameras can get a nice view of the outside and can even track and record motion. It will be best, of course, if the glass is clean, and you don’t have a screen.

Wyze Cam in the daytime through glass
Wyze Cam in the daytime through glass

A screen on the outside of the glass can cause issues with a clear view of the outside. 

Wyze Cam in the daytime through a screen
Wyze Cam in the daytime through a screen

Now, when it comes to night vision, things get a bit dicey. At night, in order to see clearly, they use Infrared lights and sensors. These work by picking up on heat signatures. Unfortunately, being indoors, it’ll be pretty much impossible for them to pick up on heat signatures from behind glass. When viewing scenery through glass, especially at night, this can make it difficult for your camera to tell if there are any changes.

Street lights, passing cars, or even the glare from the IR lights themselves can also pose problems as they cause glares that make it difficult for your cameras to see what’s going on.

Wyze cam at night with IR lights
Wyze cam at night with IR lights

This is unfortunate as nighttime is when you’ll most likely need the most monitoring!

To at least help remedy this, you’ll need to turn off night vision. The cameras will then revert to pixel-based sensors to detect motion. However, this works best if the area is well-lit by another light source outside.

Wyze cam at night with no IR lights
Wyze cam at night with no IR lights

If the area is poorly lit, this unfortunately won’t work well. You might end up having to place some floodlights or spotlights outside to help with the lighting situation so that your cameras can work.

Wyze Cam Pan v.2/v.3

Much like the Wyze Cam v.3, the Wyze Cam Pan cameras also use pixel-based sensors and will therefore run into similar issues as the Wyze Cam. 

Peering through a window during the day when the sun is up providing light? No problem. But at night, the glare from cars and street lights can be a big issue. Even the reflecting back of the Infrared lights used for night vision will be a problem.

Motion tracking will also be less likely to work, depending on how far the object is from the camera. Because of this, using the Wyze Cam Pan may not be the best option for monitoring the outside, from the inside.

Being close to a window, depending on how close it is, can also impede the panning function of the camera.

Wyze Cam OG/OG Telephoto

Marketing image of the Wyze Cam OG Telephoto
Marketing image of the Wyze Cam OG Telephoto

These two cameras are newer members of the Wyze family. In addition to the great features that many have come to know and love about Wyze Cams, these cameras feature starlight sensors, which give you even better night vision than their predecessors.

These cameras can also be used outdoors, but Wyze makes it unclear if they have PIR sensors, aside from the IR sensors for night vision, or if they’re using pixel-based sensors only. It’s most likely, however, that they also rely mainly on pixel-based sensors and starlight sensors.

With a clear window, this camera might do well through glass. Again, however, nighttime may still present some challenges with glare. These cameras are advertised to have amazing views at night – providing they’re placed outside.

Now if you’re in an area where cars passing is rare, and the street lights are positioned enough to provide great lighting, but without blinding the cameras, you’re in luck! It’s at this point that choosing the window you want to place your cameras in is key.

Alternative Ways To Use Wyze Cam

Using Wyze Cams indoors to monitor the outside may not always be the best idea. But what if the hassle of mounting a camera up high outside, or paying someone to mount it, is just not what you’re looking for? There may be some other solutions.

Suction Mounts

This is an option if you want to be able to attach your Wyze Cam to a window on the outside, without having to go through complicated mounting with hardware or a ladder. Suction mounts come in varying sizes and most can hold the weight of these small cameras:

Suction mounts that are compatible with certain Wyze Cam models
Suction mounts that are compatible with certain Wyze Cam models

You can use these mounts to place your cameras outside of your window so that they stick there and can get a great view of the outside.

Note: it’s important, however, that you don’t place an indoor cam, outside. They’re not designed to be weatherproof, and can therefore suffer significant damage.

Before you use a suction mount, make sure to clean the glass thoroughly, finishing off with alcohol to make sure that no dirt or oils remain. This will ensure a solid grip so that your camera doesn’t fall.

Window Ledges

If you want to mount your outdoor camera outside, but without climbing up a ladder, you can consider window ledges, if your particular window has one. A ledge right outside the window can provide an ideal place to mount a camera without doing a bunch of climbing.

Outside Window ledge to mount camera
Outside Window ledge to mount camera

Mounts can be easily screwed into place and a camera, such as the Wyze Cam OG or OG Telephoto, can catch all the footage you need – with no glass to impede vision.

This is a good option for placing cameras as well because second-floor windows especially are high up, and can give you a great vantage point.

Motion Sensors

Another option you can try is using motion sensors that you place outside of your home. You’ll need to use a smart hub like Alexa or Google Assistant. This will enable you to create routines or automations that allow your Wyze cams and outdoor motion sensors to work together. 

After connecting both to your smart home hub, you can create automations where when the motion sensor detects motion, one of your Wyze cams begins recording.

Now, Wyze sells sensors, but these are designed for indoor use only. This of course defeats the purpose if you’re trying to keep an eye on motion going on outside!

Using An Outdoor Cam

At the end of the day, your best bet for keeping an eye on things outside, is by using an outside camera. One such is the Wyze Cam Outdoor. This camera detects motion a little differently than most of Wyze’s other cameras. It uses PIR in addition to pixel-based sensors in order to pick up on motion around your home. 

The Wyze Floodlight Cam, as well as the Wyze Cam OG and OG Telephoto, when placed outside, make excellent choices for keeping your home’s perimeter safe.

If you don’t want to go through a lot of hassle with mounting, you can use the above-mentioned methods such as suction cups and window ledges for hassle-free outdoor mounting.

Seeing Clearly

Using Wyze Cams behind glass to keep an eye on things outside isn’t impossible – but it can be difficult. Daytime monitoring may present far fewer challenges than nighttime when the glare from lights can be a problem.

Fortunately, other options such as mounting cameras with suction cups or on window ledges can make things easier.

About Yvette Griffith

Yvette is a freelance writer who also happens to be a smart home enthusiast! She owns several smart home gadgets like strip lights, smart bulbs, cameras, and more! With a knack for troubleshooting device issues, she’s been the go-to for family and friends for all kinds of tech-related issues - dating back to VCR’s!

Here on Smart Home Point, she shares her knowledge with the world in hopes it’ll help you create and maintain your smart home.

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