FAQ's graphicYou need a replacement dome and you’ve got questions. You’ve come to the right place. Forming substrate plastic into high-quality optical domes that are designed to protect cameras is a precision science that many people may not fully understand. Here are answers to the most common questions customers ask about replacement domes.

Can You Ship Internationally?

Yes. Free shipping exists for some domestic orders, and there is a “contact us” button for any international requests. This will put customers in touch with Customer Service, who will be able to guide you through the process.

What are the Most Unusual Applications for Domes?

Most domes are used to protect and hide cameras. But we’re able to make domes for light fixtures, for research and development applications, etc. We’ve even created a dome for an astronaut Halloween costume. Here are a few of the more colorful ways customers have used our domes:

  • Merchandise protection: The customer used our domes to protect items at a tradeshow from passers-by. The domes were positioned over the merchandise and secured to a surface below, creating a protective bubble.
  • Christmas decorations: Two domes fastened together created a large spherical globe; a contractor used them as Christmas decorations, suspended from the ceilings of retail stores across the country.
  • Stage props: A theatre production used hundreds of scrap domes to create the illusion of ocean bubbles in an underwater scene.
  • Halloween Costumes: One customer used our domes to create a Halloween scene; our dome was used to create the illusion of a UFO and Alien landing on Earth. Another customer used 2 of our domes glued together to create an M&M costume for their child’s school production.

What is the Best Way to Care for the Domes and Where Can I Purchase Cleaners?

Click on our post Where Can I Purchase Non-Scratching Cloths and Cleaning Materials for more information on what we recommend for use on our domes. These products won’t scratch, dull, or otherwise damage acrylic and polycarbonate when used as directed.

How are Domes Made?

The process starts with a thorough inspection of the substrate materials for any defects or contamination. A computer-controlled machine then cuts the details, holes and flanges to the exact depths and lengths. The plastic is then thermoformed in a vacuum chamber, and the dome is created by applying the right amount of pressure to one side of the heated material until the bubble achieves the right dimensions.

What if I Want a Dome that is Shallower than a Hemisphere?

This is a common question because shallower domes are thicker and more durable. If it isn’t listed on our website, we can quote virtually any specification.

What if I Want a Dome that is Deeper than a Hemisphere?

This is a common question as a lot of cameras are taller than they are wide. This can also be known as overblown, where the depth of the dome is more than the width. Our capabilities limit us in this area due to our process and we are unable to produce any domes that are overblown at this time. Our limits in this area are to produce a full hemisphere where the depth is exactly half the width.

What is the Difference Between Polycarbonate and Acrylic?

Acrylic is by far the most common material for domes. Acrylic is harder, far more resistant to scratching and less likely to become dull or discolored in outdoor applications. Polycarbonate is softer, easier to scratch and loses clarity rapidly. Since it is softer, however, it is less brittle, and therefore much harder to break with mechanical impact. Polycarbonate is a good choice for domes that might be susceptible to vandalism.

What is a Flange?

We get this question a lot because it is one of the filtering options on our dome configuration wizard. A flange is a lip on the outside of the dome that allows the dome to sit flat against a surface, and can be used for mounting purposes.

When is Tinting Appropriate?

Gray or bronze tinting is appropriate for some well-lit indoor applications, either to mask the direction of the camera inside or simply for aesthetics. Tinting doesn’t work for most outdoor uses because at night in low light, the tint would obscure the image.

There’s a lot to know about domes – and we love to share it. Don’t see your question answered above? Feel free to get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to get you the information you need.