I've heard that in some places (such as small hotels, guest houses, or rental rooms) some people are installing spy cameras (e.g. in form of fake smoke alarms). This problem affect people who're travelling a lot to foreign places and are worried about their privacy.

Here is one reference (Holiday cottage voyeur is jailed):

A man has been jailed for more than two years for setting up secret cameras to spy on people renting his cottage.

There are many variety of these, not only fake smoke alarms.

Are there any methods of finding these?

spy cameras spy cameras

  • 4
    Detecting spy cameras isn't an everyday or common problem, and so therefore this question is outside of our scope.
    – Wipqozn
    Mar 20, 2015 at 12:37
  • @Wipqozn If you're travelling a lot to foreign places, hotels abroad, it's actually a common problem, especially in poor countries. Many small hotels or guest houses are installing spy cameras in guest rooms, bathrooms and then uploading sex tapes onto X sites to get some extra money.
    – kenorb
    Mar 20, 2015 at 12:50
  • 4
    @kenorb [Citation needed]
    – user196
    Mar 20, 2015 at 19:31
  • 2
    @kenorb i'm not sure how common of a problem that is, maybe it should be asked on skeptics.se? Mar 20, 2015 at 19:33
  • 3
    I'm not sure someone getting jailed for setting them up really counts as proof; obviously, this is something outside the normal behaviour. One instance does not make it a common problem. And it was five years ago.
    – fbueckert
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


According to Instructables it's easy. You should use the same method as for locating field spiders! Huh?

  1. Get a tube.

    Find a tube that's good for looking through. A cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper or paper towels is best.

  2. Get a flashlight.

    All you need is a flashlight or something that you can use to focus a beam of light in a dark room. Attaching a couple of directional LEDs to the outside of the cardboard tube can work also if you don't have a flashlight.

  3. Look through it.

    With one hand, hold up the toilet paper tube to your eye. With your other hand, hold up the flashlight at about eye level and point it away from you. With one eye, look through the tube and scan the room. If there are any small points of light bouncing back, inspect it further. It might be a camera.

  • 1
    This sounds like it could work for certain types of cameras (esp. standalone). The majority of the images in the OP show devices where a camera is embedded in something that already has a reflective surface (watches/clocks/etc). I assume this wouldn't work for those?
    – TIO Begs
    Jan 23, 2015 at 18:54
  • So far I couldn't find any better method, so it needs to be tested. I've one camera to try, so I'll test this method when possible.
    – kenorb
    Jan 23, 2015 at 18:58
  • 1
    The main character in Cory Doctorow's Little Brother did this, FWIW. (IIRC he used directional LEDs)
    – Shokhet
    Jan 26, 2015 at 19:39
  • Sounds like a very tedious operation with no high probability of success. A professional spy in a different book with a different plot would not allow the camera to be so easily discovered. Feb 21, 2015 at 17:54
  • 3
    "I don't have a flashlight! Good thing I just happened to have these directional LEDs laying around!"
    – Sterno
    Mar 20, 2015 at 14:04

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