Protecting my home is important to me, but professional security systems can be expensive. That's why I decided to take matters into my own hands and build my own DIY motion-activated security camera using a Raspberry Pi. This clever technique allows me to monitor my home remotely and receive motion alerts without paying monthly fees.

Why Use a Raspberry Pi for a Security Camera?

The Raspberry Pi is a small, affordable single-board computer that has become wildly popular with hobbyists and DIYers. Here's why it's perfect for building a security camera:

Shopping List of Components

Building the security camera on a Raspberry Pi is affordable because I already had some of the required supplies:

Additional supplies I needed to buy:

Step-by-Step Instructions

With all my components gathered, I followed these steps to construct the motion-activated security camera:

1. Install the Raspberry Pi OS

The first step was to install the Raspberry Pi OS on my microSD card. This Linux-based system boots directly on the Pi.

I used Raspberry Pi Imager software on my Windows PC to load the latest OS release onto the card.

2. Assemble the camera components

Next, I slotted the microSD card with the OS into the Raspberry Pi and connected the camera module using the ribbon cable.

The Pi Camera V2 module attaches directly to the Raspberry Pi. It's an 8 megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video.

3. Configure the motion sensor

A passive infrared (PIR) sensor detects motion using infrared radiation from objects in its field of view.

I connected the PIR sensor to the Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins using jumper wires. The sensor acts as input to trigger video recording when it detects movement.

4. Add software for motion detection

With the hardware assembled, I installed and configured MotionEyeOS - an excellent open-source software specifically designed for security cameras.

I enabled motion detection in the settings so it sends me an email alert and records a video clip whenever the PIR sensor is triggered.

5. Set up remote access

Finally, I configured port forwarding on my router so I can access the Raspberry Pi camera over the internet.

The MotionEyeOS web interface allows me to stream live video and watch recordings from my phone anywhere I have an internet connection.

Testing the DIY Security Camera

After getting everything set up, it was time to test my new motion-activated security cam.

The initial results were impressive! The camera accurately detected when I entered the room and began recording right away. I also received a smartphone alert within seconds informing me that motion was detected.

I spent some time tweaking the motion sensor sensitivity and camera angles to optimize performance. Overall, I'm thrilled with how well this cheap DIY camera works for monitoring my home security.


Building my own Raspberry Pi security camera required some hardware tinkering, but it was a fun electronics project that saved me a ton of money. This clever technique provides 24/7 monitoring capabilities without expensive subscription fees.

With the power of the Raspberry Pi and freely available open-source software like MotionEyeOS, anyone can construct an advanced motion-sensing security camera on a budget. This is a fantastic DIY solution for tech-savvy homeowners looking to enhance home security.