Infrared / Night Vision Security Cameras
Providing security at night can be tricky. Many of the basic security cameras are not equipped with sensitive light chips that can capture clear images during the night time, making them less useful once the lights have turned off. Day/Night cameras are an obvious exception – these cameras (which come in all forms, including bullet, C-mount, and dome) turn on a light sensitive chip that needs only a little bit of light in order to receive complete images.
However, Day/Night cameras have one flaw – they need at least minimal lighting in order to capture a decent image. If it is too dark outside or inside, the camera will be unable to pick up an image. In these cases it is safer to use an infrared camera.
How Does an Infrared Camera Work?
Infrared cameras are designed specifically to be able to capture images during the nighttime with the clarity of daytime. Though they are only able to capture images in black and white (color is only possible with sufficient lighting), they are able to get very distinct images that can appear as though they were taken in a brighter setting.
These cameras work using special infrared LED lights located in the front of the camera, surrounding the lens. Because these lights are infrared, the human eye is unable to see them, but the camera is able to use them to generate light in order to pick up an image – even when there is no other light inside of the building.
In addition, less light is needed to capture a color, bright image that resembles the type of image you would get with a regular camera during daytime.
Benefits of This Type of Camera
Infrared cameras have several benefits:
· They allow you to capture intruders even with no light around.
· They do not create light, nor do they notify an intruder they are being taped.
· They can capture high quality images in low lighting better than some night cameras.
· These cameras come in almost every security camera style.
With regards to safety in a completely dark room, these cameras ensure that you are still able to catch people on camera when necessary, even if they move about with zero lighting. In addition, many infrared cameras today are also equipped to handle daytime viewing, so that you are able to use this camera to guard your home or office 24 hours a day.
These cameras do not do as well outdoors as day/night cameras, so if you are placing your security cameras outside you may want to choose a different camera option.
Guarding in Darkness
Not every home or office is going to have light in every room. That is why when you would like to make sure that your home is guarded, it is best to choose a camera that works best for the location you are watching. Should you need to keep an eye on a room that is pitch black either day or night, an infrared camera is well equipped to create its own lighting and keep your valuables secure.
Problems With Infrared Nightvision Cameras
Since infrared cameras first came on the market, they represented a huge upgrade from other security cameras already available. Fully equipped with their own infrared LED lighting, infrared cameras had the ability to see perfect images even when there is no light in the room – images of high enough quality that a criminal trespasser could be easily identified in a room that barely had as much as a flicker of light.
Despite this incredible security upgrade over standard cameras that are unable to provide that kind of detail, infrared cameras do have their own problems that occur with their use – problems that should be expected with any purchased infrared system.
1. Attracting Bugs
Perhaps the most unique problem with infrared cameras is that the LED lights that allow the camera to see in the dark are magnets for bugs. It is not uncommon for the view in front of the camera to be blurred as a result of spiders and spider webs clogging up the screen, or a large number of flies, moths and mosquitoes fluttering in front of it. This is simply the nature of this type of LED lighting – the infrared rays may easily attract a variety of insects, and this can occasionally create a problem with video capture.
2. Low Light Blurriness
The quality of video picked up by infrared cameras is often based on the quality of the LED lights it uses to power the system. Some cameras have a low number of LED lights, or lights that do not shine the infrared to brightly. The result will always be less than detailed imagery, which may be too blurry to make out specific and important features on video. The best way to find out how well the infrared works is to review a large number of reviews on each infrared camera before you buy it, to make sure that the device uses brighter/more LED lights for its nightvision needs.
3. Black and White Monitoring
Though it is inherent in every system, one must be aware that infrared cameras can only capture images in black and white. Though they are well known to capture a great deal of detail as though it were the middle of the day, infrared lights are unable to capture color, and thus may pose some security issues for those that require full color displays. The only way around this is to keep the lights on inside the area being secured at all times, in which case any nightvision camera immediately becomes unnecessary.
These three issues are common concerns with people that purchase night vision cameras, and should be expected regardless of which infrared camera you choose. While checking reviews will help you find an infrared camera with powerful LED lights for better night vision, black and white colors and insect attacks are going to be a common problem with every LED/infrared system, so be aware of these limitations before you decide to purchase an infrared camera.