Setting up security cameras around your home is the easiest way to keep an eye on things and make you feel safer. These days you can access live footage from your home remotely on your smartphone no matter where you are! Indoor security cameras, in particular, are a very popular option to watch pets, cleaners, and/or contractors inside the home. However, I recently found another use for indoor security cameras—to catch a mouse.
I’m reviewing the Blink Mini IP camera. This review came out of necessity. I noticed a small hole in my bread loaf that sits on my kitchen counter. Something was eating my bread at night. Since it’s cold outside, I suspected a mouse. I needed proof and that’s where this camera comes into play.
Let’s start with a quick look at some notable specs:
Specs: Blink Mini indoor camera
- 1080p Full HD resolution and 30fps
- Built-in infrared
- Two-way audio—hear and speak to people and pets
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Customized motion detection zones
Design of the Blink Mini camera
They call it Mini for a reason, this camera is small. The dimension are approximately 2”x2”x1.5” (WHD) and it weighs only 50 grams. It sits and swivels on a stand that can be placed on flat surfaces, or it can be mounted to a wall. It uses a plug-in power source so it doesn’t need to be recharged but a power source needs to be close by.
Overall, the design is compact and easy to use. The camera swivels in all directions and holds its position securely. I really like the small size. This is the smallest security camera I’ve ever used. It could easily be placed discreetly in a room to monitor cleaners or contractors.
Setting up the Blink Mini
In a nutshell, the setup is a breeze. I downloaded the Blink app and added the Blink Mini as a new device. The app instructs you to scan the QR code located on the back of the camera. That syncs the camera to the app. From there, I could customize the camera settings in the mobile app. I could set schedules, adjust the motion sensitivity, determine the clip length (between 5 seconds to 30 seconds), and enable/disable the microphone.
Storage options on the Blink Mini
Clips are stored in the cloud with a free 30-day trial of the Blink Subscription Plan. This provides storage for an unlimited number of events for 60 days in the cloud. There are Basic and Plus plans available. The Basic plan activates video recording for one device and costs $5 a month or $50 a year. The Plus plan activates video recording for all Blink devices for $15 a month or $150 a year. After the 30-day trial, having no plan allows motion-activated notifications and live-view streaming for up to 5 minutes. That means without a subscription plan, there is no cloud video recording after the 30-day trial period.
Using the Blink Mini camera
Once the camera was set up, I placed it on my kitchen counter and pointed it directly at my loaf of bread. While it does have motion detection, I was unsure if it would detect a quick-moving mouse. Nevertheless, I armed the camera in the app and went to bed.
The next morning I woke up with notifications from the Blink app. I watched the footage and saw a tiny mouse nibbling on my bread. To be honest, I had mixed feelings about this revelation. On one side, I was happy that I was right. However, now I knew I had to find out how and where this mouse was getting in. After crawling on my hands and knees, I noticed a gap in the kickboard under my kitchen cabinets. This means the mouse was likely coming in from there. Thankfully, the Blink Mini has night vision.
Capturing infrared night vision footage
I removed the kickboard and placed the Blink Mini underneath my kitchen cabinets. It’s completely dark under there so it was a great opportunity to test out the infrared night vision. I situated the camera on an angle to detect any movement and went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up to more footage. This time, I could see the mouse running around. However, it quickly ran away as if it was startled. Turns out, the Blink Mini camera makes a faint clicking noise when motion is detected. That is what scared the mouse away. However, I noticed it was coming from under the dishwasher. The next night, I moved the camera to the other side, and again, the mouse was coming from the back of the dishwasher. I pulled out the dishwasher and found the issue. There was a hole in the wall for the electrical cord and that was how the mouse came in.
One thing I really like about the Blink app is the sharing features. It was very easy to share the clip on Twitter. I was able to edit the length of the clip and share the mouse footage to my followers. The video automatically plays on Twitter. I was also able to save the footage to my phone to use in the video review.
Who is the Blink Mini indoor camera for?
When people think of indoor cameras, they usually think of them as ways to monitor people or pets. As my experience has shown, it can also be used to detect unwanted pests like mice. This is where motion detection and infrared night vision come into play. It’s a great tool to detect rodents, watch them, and figure out where they are coming in from. Outside of that, it’s also great to monitor pets remotely. Green thumbs could also use this to monitor indoor gardens with live views to see if their plants need water. Whatever the case, it can be another set of eyes—day or night.
The one issue I have is no recorded videos without a subscription plan. It would be nice if they offered 24 hours of recorded videos for free. This makes it especially suitable for people who already have other Blink cameras or doorbells. If you’re going to pay for a subscription, it makes sense to have it for multiple cameras rather than just one.
That said, the Blink app is user-friendly, and the clips are easy to share. I would have no hesitation blanketing my entire house with a Blink camera system. If peace of mind or catching a rodent is what you’re looking for, I highly recommend you check out the Blink Mini indoor camera.
Shop a range of home security and access devices at bestbuy.ca.