How To Detect Hidden Cameras In A Hotel Room (and anywhere possible)

eyes and hidden camera

Hotels and vacation rentals like we all know are perfect places for relaxation and our privacy should be respected and protected. Unfortunately, it is now an emerging trend as people are reporting privacy violation through a concealed hidden cameras in the hotel rooms and bathrooms.

Whenever holiday is around the corner, tons of people like to travel with their family and loved ones to tourist destinations to spend a quality time and have a good experience. But after a long day of sharing memories, all they want to do is head back to their hotel and have a sleep.

Would you know if your hotel room had hidden cameras? This is why you need to be proactive in protecting your privacy from these predators spying on you.

Table of Contents

What Is Hidden Camera?

small camera that can be easily hidden anywhere
A hidden camera is a still or video device used to record people without their knowledge and consent. The hidden camera is also not visible to the subject being recorded and it is sometimes disguised as another object.

With technology getting more advanced by the day, a hidden camera has now become an integral part of video surveillance security. Unfortunately, curiosity has led many bad-minded people into using it illegitimately which indubitably resulted to privacy violation.

There are many instances where guests reported that hidden cameras were found in their hotel rooms and bathrooms. According to The Mirror (Online edition) “police investigated after Harmony Hachey found a hidden camera concealed behind the vent whilst she was using a shower at “Oxford Wheatley Travelodge hotel”.

In a similar vein, ABC Action News, said a report was made by Indiana couple renting Airbnb in Longboat Key, Florida after the couple suddenly found a smoke detector that had a black hole which later turned out to be a hidden camera.

Inside Edition also announced another family from Pennsylvania was horrified when they discovered a hidden camera recording them in their hotel room. The family found the camera pointed at the shower during their stay at The Knights Inn and Suites.

Are Hidden Cameras Legal?

There are laws relating to hidden cameras but they may vary from state to state. You will want to check your local laws to find out the specifics in your area. Most laws would not support installing hidden cameras in hotel rooms and bathrooms because it would simply violate personal privacy rules.

Items Used To Conceal Hidden Cameras

In order to protect your privacy from these predators, first – there is need for you to take the list of the devices in the hotel room and the bathroom.

I have decided to list few of the common and uncommon devices that usually conceal hidden cameras so that whenever you see one you will be able to easily recognise it. Items used to concealed hidden camera include but are not limited only to the followings:

Smoke Detector

Hidden cameras in smoke detectors
This device looks perfectly like a normal smoke detector but on the contrary, it’s a hidden camera that supports real time audio and video recording, with a remote controller. It actually does not have any smoke detection function inside of it, but only the spy camera.


This device operates on a continuous power with a backup battery and wireless network. It means that the predator does not need any physical access to it before the victim’s video footage can be retrieved.

Wall Clock

hidden camera in wall clock

It is impossible to tell from a distance that this wall clock could actually conceal a hidden camera. This device supports real time audio and video recording as well and is remotely controlled.

It supports wireless monitoring which makes it easier for the predator to control it from a cell phone or distant PC by Wi-Fi transmissions. It operates on battery but can also be connected to a continuous power with a USB cable.

Alarm Clock

hidden camera in alarm clock
The entire electronic clock design without any key beautiful appearance does not even come close to a device that could conceal a hidden camera. The camera actually looks like a clock that people won’t even notice it.

It has invisible lens, invisible infrared lights, and transparent protective film. It operates on a battery with usually a 4-hours of video recording capability. It can also be controlled by a cell phone or a PC through a Wi-Fi transmission.

Mosquito Zapper Lamp

hidden camera in mosquito zapper
The entire electronic clock design without any key beautiful appearance does not even come close to a device that could conceal a hidden camera. The camera actually looks like a clock that people won’t even notice it.

It has invisible lens, invisible infrared lights, and transparent protective film. It operates on a battery with usually a 4-hours of video recording capability. It can also be controlled by a cell phone or a PC through a Wi-Fi transmission.

Clothes Hook

hidden camera in clothes hook
Another concealed hidden camera device let you hang your clothes but on the other side, records at the same time each one of your moves without you noticing it. 

It operates on battery with a maximum of 120 minutes of video recording. Video footage is recorded on a micro SD card, this device can only be controlled by PC through physical access to it.

AC Outlet

hidden camera in AC outlet
This 3 AC outlet socket wall mount surge protector with dual USB charging port wall charger has a concealed hidden camera that stays on all the time to record victim’s private moment.

This device operates only on electricity; it is built on advanced technology that makes it totally different from other devices I have mentioned above. It is connected to Wi-Fi router and the predator can monitor the hidden camera from anywhere in the world through a secure and private connection over the Internet.

Picture Frame

hidden camera in picture frame
This picture frame highly concealed hidden camera lens to match the photo frame as a home decoration. You may never be able to find the camera lens even though you searched for it. It also has black infrared LEDs which are invisible that promise a night vision range up to 15 to 25 feet in total darkness.

This device operates on battery and can be charged with a USB cable. It is capable of recording manually for day time up to 30 hours and night visual recording time up to 10 hours. Video storage is accessed on micro a SD card.

USB Wall Charger

hidden camera in USB wall charger
This device looks like a regular USB charger but actually concealed a hidden camera that makes it look like a heat dissipation vent.

This is one of the most sophisticated model of its kind on the marketplace.

The device operates solely on electricity, video footage is saved to micro SD card. Night vision is not supported as it does not have infrared LEDs. Connection is made through Wi-Fi router and video can be monitored from anywhere on the internet.

Air Freshener

hidden camera in air freshener
The appearance does not look like this could conceal hidden camera but undoubtedly, it is a perfect fit for covert application, as no one would ever suspect a camera could be hidden in it.

It operates on battery and can be recharge through a USB cable. With the ability to view live, playback, or record directly on a mobile phone, tablet or PC thanks to a Wi-Fi transmission, it makes this device one of the favourites of voyeurs. It can be controlled anywhere over the Internet.

Table Top Fan

hidden camera in table top fan
Another fully functional table top fan with concealed hidden camera makes spying process on hotel guests a lot easier. This is the least device you could suspect having a spy camera.

This device operates with the fan power source. It is unimaginable to know that this device is ONVIF compliant and can also be setup with cloud account or integrate with another CCTV surveillance system over Wi-Fi transmission.

With all that being said, let us get into the effective techniques you can use to detect hidden cameras in a hotel room.

What Are The Effective Techniques To Detect Hidden Cameras In A Hotel Room?

1. Turn Off The Light Bulbs In The Room And Inspect For Flashing Or Solid Led Light.

This is an effective technique to sweep your hotel room for any kind of spy device that may be in place to violate your privacy. You need to stop any suspicious items before it could get worse.

To begin inspection, turn off all the light bulbs in your room and bathroom. When you find a blinking or solid LED light, this may be a sign of hidden camera.

2. Sweep Your Room With Anti-Spy Rf Detector

anti-spy RF detector

When sweeping your hotel room and bathroom, you should first have physical access to any suspected device you are testing against hidden camera by looking for a small black pinhole which is usually found on the common hidden camera devices.

When you see one, turn off all the light bulbs in the room and point the anti-spy RF detector to it leaving the laser LED light on as you have read from the guide or manual. Please remember to turn off all your mobile devices because this could give you a false alert due to the frequency transmission coming from your mobile devices.

During this test, if there is a presence of a hidden camera concealed in the object, the flashing red LED lights will bounce a red tiny dot reflection from the hidden camera lens back to the anti-spy detector view finder which then becomes visible for the human eye to see.

3. Sweep Your Room With Advance Digital Rf Detector

Advance digital RF detector

There are times when some hidden cameras would be undetectable due to their transmission protocol such as Wi-Fi, and also due to the low transmitted power of the common RF detectors.

Advance Digital RF Detector can be used to sweep any suspected object to conceal a hidden camera. You don’t need to turn off the light bulbs this time as Advance Digital RF Detector does not use LED light to scan but uses advance technology.

Also, do not forget to turn off your mobile devices and any wireless equipment such as wireless router or Wi-Fi dongle as this could results to fault alert.

Advance Digital RF Detector is a perfect tool to search digital and analogue transmitters which makes it suitable to sweep your hotel room or bathroom for any audio listening device and Wireless transmitting hidden camera that are not visible to the human eyes.

Whenever Advance Digital RF Detector intercept a wireless signal, it will return a beep and this beeps intensify as you get closer to the spot where the hidden camera or audio bug is installed.

4. Use a Mobile App To Detect Hidden Camera

hidden camera detector app by futureapps

Hidden camera detector app from FutureApps developer is a top rated android app, it is free to download and install. You can discover hidden camera easily with the help of this app.

The app uses radiation meter to scan hidden camera devices. It works by trying to find magnetic activity near the suspected object. If your smartphone does not have a magnetic sensor, then the app is practically useless.

The app will display a red glow when your smartphone approaches a hidden camera and also note that it will glow when other types of hardware using radio frequency are in the range. Keep your eyes on the middle of the screen, as the number will exceed 100 when a camera is detected.

To get more accurate result using radiation meter option, you need to find the exact position of magnetic sensor on your smartphone, this is the only way the app can work efficiently.

5. Check For Two-Way Mirrors

Two-way mirros

It is a very difficult task to positively identify the surface of the mirror by looking at it. Using fingernail technique to determine if the mirror is a first or second surface mirror is not always accurate so I won’t recommend it.

Try to observe how the mirror is installed to the wall, check to see if the mirror appears to be hanging on the wall or it is part of the wall. If it appears to be hanging, then you need to look behind it and see a wall.

If the mirror appears to be part of the wall, there is a possibility it is a two-way mirror. It must have been deliberately set into the wall to be able to record the activity of the guest from the other side. People standing on the other side of the wall can observe every move of the guest.

To deepen the search, turn off the light bulbs in the room or bathroom and shine a flashlight on the mirror, then hold the flashlight to the mirror firmly, if it is two-way mirror, the room on the other side will be illuminated and you will be able to clearly see it.

What Do You Do When You Find A Hidden Camera In Your Hotel Room?

what do i do
  1. Make sure to wear rubber glove before you touch any device to avoid getting your fingerprint on it.
  2. Take a photo of the device or preferably, record a short video with yourself appearing in it, this will serve as evidence and will also validate your claim.
  3. Seal any black pinholes you see on any devices attached to the ceiling with a black electrical tape.
  4. Try turning any movable devices having black pinhole against the wall after sealing it with a black electrical tape.
  5. Coffee maker are also known to conceal hidden cameras, try putting it under the bed.
  6. Call to inform the police.

Final Thought

Now that you have learnt the 5 effective techniques to protect yourself from hidden cameras, never assume you can’t be a target.

I would recommend to pay particularly attention to the hotel you want to book for your holiday. Is it looking good and well decorated? Does it have a lot of positive reviews on the Internet? How well is it maintained? Those are normal questions you should ask yourself whenever you book an hotel.

Pay attention to the staff and service quality. Usually, when a hotel concealed hidden cameras in its guest’s rooms, you can clearly see and feel that the hotel is badly managed.

Otherwise, if you have any doubts, you can always refer to this article in order to protect yourself from predators who are out there to violate your privacy.