Usually, when we think of high-quality surveillance systems, we picture cameras that can track people. However, a perfect surveillance system may be able to track more than human movement. Many properties and business owners need to keep track of the cars that exit and enter their premises. A security camera that can record and capture license plate numbers is perfect for this.
What is an LPR?
They are a specialized type of surveillance video camera made to capture letters and numbers on license plates on still or moving vehicles. If all you are looking for it, a camera that takes pictures and videos any time a license plate moves throughout the frame, then a license plate capture camera (LPC) is right for you. However, it has a limited set of tools, and it might not cut it. LPRs are time-saving and can recognize and automatically pull license plates from a database that is easy to use.
LPR cameras are made with built-in hardware and software that compensates for the weather, speed, and headlight glare. Regular security surveillance cameras cannot compensate for these variables to take usable video that captures license plate numbers. Most license plate recognition cameras are set to capture ultra-high contrast video in black and white. This is excellent for capturing the license plates but not for capturing the overall vehicle. LPR cameras typically focus on a small area so that the plate is in focus, but you can’t see the whole video well. You should pair your LPR camera with an overview camera. With the overview camera, you can see the color of the vehicle and also the license plate. You should use a DVR that is capable of recording at least 30 FPS (frames per second) in the resolution of your LPR camera.
Installing your LPR
In order for your camera to work properly, you have to install it correctly. In order for your system to work, it has to be able to get good pictures. If you want the highest efficiency possible out of your camera, the proper location, optimal dimensions, and adjusting the settings on the interface is important. When setting up your camera, you have to keep in mind that you are capturing license plates. It is best to set up your camera facing a choke point; this is a small area where cars move out and in at a consistent position and pace. Some ideal spots to install your LPR camera is parking lots, streets/alleyways, bridges, gates, and drive-throughs.
Once you have decided where to mount your LPR camera, you have to figure out the optimal distance and height from your choke point. For optimal results, your cameras should be 6-18 feet or 2-6 meters from the ground. The exact height depends on how far away your chokepoint is. Ideally, the angles between the license plate and the ground should be 30°. Because of this, the optimal height will change depending on how far away the license plate you are trying to capture is. Always consider your cameras zoom when doing this. The lens can typically zoom from 8mm to 32mm, so you should not have an issue finding the ideal length. When you position the camera, make sure the field of views as tight as possible around your choke point.
Once your camera is set up outside, it is time to adjust the settings once you have pulled up the interface of the camera. There are a few settings you’re want to change to make sure your camera is ready. Change your image settings from normal to road. Now your camera should be able to capture license plates in most conditions accurately. If you plan on taking advantage of the camera’s 100foot IR range and can record license plates during the night, you might need to switch the day/night mode to manual and adjust the high beam light distance settings.
Storing and Reviewing
You can store your footage in two different ways. You can set your camera up to an NVR to store the footage on a hard drive. Or you can insert a micro SD card that holds up to 128GB to use as standalone or backup. It is recommended to use an NVR instead of the Micro SD card. A recorder can store pictures and also video clips of the plate capture. With an NVR, you are able to store more information on your internal hard drive than you can on a Micro SD card.
If you are looking to install or upgrade a security camera system, give us a call at (877)-926-2288 today or log on! In addition, we have trained professionals who are ready to help. We can walk you through the process start to finish and help you select the best home security cameras for you. We can survey your property to decide on the most optimal locations.