In order to provide a visual display between the different types of peepholes and door viewers available in the market, we have prepared this basic comparison summary among the four most commonly used viewers for your consideration.
1- The Standard Peephole found in most hardware stores is a first generation design. This model is generally a 12mm (1/2”) diameter peephole composed of two lenses that provides a limited view range of 160 degrees. This peephole found in most apartments, motels, and even high-end hotel rooms is popular due to its easy installation, inexpensive price, and wide availability. Visibility can be very poor and the image may be too small for people with visual difficulty to identify clearly who or what is outside the door. The price range is between $5.00 – $10.00 depending on the material used and the type of lenses. Low quality models made with plastic lenses eventually become opaque and scratched. Poor security on a budget.
2- The Wide Angle (Projection) Viewer is a second-generation viewer designed to provide an enlarged view of the subject better than the standard peephole. The view lens ranges from 36mm to 60mm ( 1 ½” – 2 3/8”) for easier identification of the subject outside the door. It uses the optical principle of a double prism projecting the image onto the rear of a large opaque lens. The resulting image is a 132 degree “projected” image similar to a rear projection TV. However, the image appears reversed much like a mirror where the left side is on the right and vice-versa. This type of viewer is suitable for installations in homes where the front door faces the open outdoors since it requires a good light source to project the image. It is not recommended for installations indoor such as in apartments with poorly lit halls. One feature of this type of viewer is that the person inside can be as far as seven feet away from the door and “see” who is outside. Because of the large opening required for installation, it may need professional installation if the homeowner does not have the proper drill size tools. The price ranges from $20.00 to $60.00 depending on the material used, the quality of the lenses, and the degree of resolution. An example of this type of viewer is the UltraVision line of door viewers
3- The Far & Near Viewer is a new third generation patented design that provides a good compromise between size, resolution and price. This type of viewer adopts a three-lens design over the two lens standard peephole. It can provide a larger, more precise, and sharper 200-degree view with minimum distortion. The direct thru-the-lens view is 26mm ( 1.0”) in diameter that allows observation as close as a few inches or as far as several feet way from the door, similar to the projection viewer, but with a much reduced opening needed for installation. It also offers clear and sharper images under all lighting conditions day or night. An additional feature of this type of viewer is the inclusion of a matching built-in privacy cover that provides total privacy and protection against “reverse peephole” devices. A good example of this type of viewer is the EZView line of door viewers. The price ranges from $12 to $35 for most viewers in this category, depending on the material used, the type of lenses, and the degree of privacy required.
4- The Specialty Peepholes are great for specific applications that require a shorter or longer peephole length than usual for installation on thin door panels, extra thick security doors, and even walls. This type of peephole is generally made of solid brass with high quality optical glass lenses that provide a clear thru-the-lens sharp view angle of 200 degrees. The popular 14mm (9/16”) diameter allows better and easier viewing than the 12mm standard peephole, but it is as simple and easy to install. Most units include a matching detachable privacy cover plate for added security. The price range is between $20 to $70 for applications requiring less than 19mm (3/4”) in width and up to 205mm ( 8.0”). An excellent and popular example of this type of viewer is the MiniScope door viewer.
© 2009 Peephole Security