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Some people’s existing doorbells are mounted horizontally which got me thinking whether a video doorbell can also be mounted this way. I did some research to find out.
Video doorbells can be mounted horizontally, but they were not designed to be mounted this way and the video will always be displayed vertically within the app. This means you will have to physically rotate your device to view it properly.
I looked at four popular video doorbells to see if there was any way around this and whether there were any settings within the app to change the orientation of the camera.
Why Would You Want to Mount a Video Doorbell Horizontally?
I did wonder why anyone would even want to mount their video doorbell horizontally given that most traditional doorbells use a vertical orientation and have been wired this way intentionally.
Whilst doing some research, I found that some people do in fact have their existing doorbells mounted horizontally with the wiring coming out in the center, so it is understandable that they would want their video doorbell to be the same.
Although it is physically possible to mount a video doorbell horizontally, it is not recommended as they have been designed specifically to be mounted vertically.
The four video doorbells I compared from Ring, Google Nest Hello, Arlo, and SimpliSafe, all don’t support the use of horizontal video. Regardless of how you choose to mount it, the video will always be displayed vertically within their respective app.
Even within the app settings, there is no option to rotate the video image; if your doorbell was mounted horizontally you would need to keep rotating either your device or your neck in order to view the video properly.
This leads us to asking the question: Are there really any benefits to mounting a video doorbell horizontally?
Are There Any Benefits to Mounting Them Horizontally?
Other than it possibly being an easier installation if your existing doorbell is mounted this way, I can’t really see any benefit to mounting one horizontally.
You could even go as far to argue that there is no need to even attempt to mount your video doorbell horizontally.
If your existing wiring doesn’t allow you to mount the video doorbell vertically as it was intended, I would suggest contacting an electrician to sort the wiring out for you and make it possible.
I feel it’s worth the investment in getting a professional to fix the wiring to allow you to mount your doorbell correctly rather than mount it horizontally and have a poor user experience when trying to use the app.
How Should a Video Doorbell Be Mounted?
As I previously mentioned, I would always recommend mounting your video doorbell vertically, even if it means a bit of extra investment in getting a professional to fix the existing doorbell’s wiring.
Personally, I would get frustrated having to keep rotating my device or my neck in order to view the camera feed properly within the app if it were mounted horizontally and paying that bit extra to sort out the wiring would be worthwhile in the long run.
A common mistake made when mounting a video doorbell is the height in which it is positioned. Some people think they should be mounted high in order to see people’s faces.
Given how a wide-angle lens is used with the video doorbell and how large of an area it can cover, this is not necessary. The recommended height for a video doorbell to be mounted is around 1.2m above the ground.
Placing the doorbell too high up could result in it detecting movement around the nearby cars on the street rather than the people approaching your home.
In addition to using a camera to detect movement, some video doorbells will also use passive infrared motion sensors.
These are heat sensors that can detect motion by monitoring heat.
Given how people are hotter than the area surrounding your home, it is easy for the doorbell to detect movement by measuring how the heat in the detection area changes.
The motion sensors have a much more focused field of view compared with the camera, which is even more reason to mount your video doorbell vertically and not attempt to position it horizontally.
Certainly in the Ring Video Doorbell, the motion sensors can detect motion up to 180 degrees horizontally and from 1m to 10m outward from the doorbell itself. It is also more sensitive to horizontal movement compared with vertical movement.
Mounting your video doorbell horizontally could well affect its ability to detect motion using the motion sensors.
Which Side of the Door Should the Doorbell Be On?
It doesn’t really matter which side of the door your video doorbell is mounted on.
As we mentioned earlier, a wide-angle camera is used which provides great coverage and the motion sensors are designed to detect motion up to 180 degrees horizontally.
The width of your average front door, which is between 30 inches and 36 inches, realistically isn’t going to have an impact.
Place your video doorbell on whichever side of the door is more convenient, which is likely to be where the wiring for your existing doorbell is already located.
Can You Mount a Video Doorbell on the Door Itself?
If your video doorbell can operate wirelessly using a built-in battery, you can certainly mount it on the door itself.
Should it require your home’s existing doorbell wiring to function, you will be more limited and must position it where the existing wiring is found.
My research into several different video doorbells found that the majority do indeed require an existing doorbell and are not battery operated, so keep this in mind if you are considering mounting yours on the door as it may not be possible, unfortunately.
Those do can be battery operated aren’t limited to just relying on batteries; they can be connected to the existing doorbell wiring if you would prefer.
You can choose whichever is more convenient to you and where you wish to position your video doorbell.
|Video Doorbell||Battery operated?||Requires existing doorbell wiring?|
|Google Nest Hello||No||Yes|
Can They Be Mounted on an Angle?
Some video doorbells, like Ring, will have wedges available for them that allow you to mount them at a slight angle.
The wedges are flexible in that they allow the doorbell to be angled up, down, left, or right. The Ring wedge kit comes with three stackable wedges that all you to angle the doorbell from just 5° up to 15°.
In addition to them being paintable to match your home, they can also provide a better viewing angle and improved motion detection depending on how your home is built.
So yes, video doorbells can be mounted on an angle with wedges or an adjustment, but they should still be mounted vertically and not horizontally.
Although it is physically possible to mount a video doorbell horizontally, they have been designed to be mounted vertically.
Going ahead and mounting one horizontally would just end up in a poor user experience and I suspect you soon get fed up having to view the video feed within the app at an awkward angle.
Perhaps in the future manufacturers will support this by allowing you to rotate the image sensor or at least making it possible to change the orientation within the software.
But for now, stick with mounting your video vertically as it was intended.