Night vision security cameras have become an integral part of security systems worldwide. They are used in almost every system that is used in businesses or even in personal properties. However, finding a good night vision CCTV camera can be pretty tricky. There is a lot of information out there regarding night vision cameras and not all of them agree on which types of cameras are good and which types are bad. Hopefully, this article breaks down everything you need to know in such a way that it is very easy to understand and you can buy your night vision camera without any kind of issue whatsoever.
The first thing you need to know about night vision cameras is that there are different kinds of night vision cameras. There is color night vision and then there is black and white night vision. You might be wondering which one you should choose and what is the difference between them. Another thing to consider is if you need outdoor cameras or indoor cameras. We will be breaking all that down below:
The very first thing that you should consider is if your cameras are compatible with night vision. You might be wondering if IP cameras are capable of doing this. Well, they definitely are. However, there are a lot of wireless cameras that are not compatible with night-vision cameras. So, definitely check that your cameras have good night vision before you make a long term commitment. There are a few methods to ensure that you buy a night vision camera that is actually good:
- Check to make sure that night vision is mentioned in the product description list or the IR distance information is given on the product
- If possible, try to ask the manufacturer to provide video samples of the night vision camera
- If you find footage that is shared by another user of the camera, definitely check that out because that might give you a better insight
- Read any reviews you find from reputable sources
- See as many customer reviews as you can before making your final decision
A high-quality security camera from good brands will usually offer a long-range IR distance. Typically, the range is from 100 feet to 190 feet. These allow you to monitor a very big area regardless of the time of the day.
The basics of outdoor security cameras with night vision
The type of night vision that is used most frequently in cameras is infrared night vision. As the name suggests, this kind of night vision relies on infrared lights. These kinds of cameras usually have small LED bulbs built into them and they come with an IR cut filter which is then used to detect daylight so that the light can fall on the image sensor during the day. What that does is keep the recording during the daytime accurate. You might think that having an LED light will be detrimental to your security as people will be able to identify your camera with ease. But, you might be surprised to know that infrared lights are not visible to the naked eye. When night falls, the LEDs start functioning and start to work in a similar manner to floodlights. That is why the security cameras are able to see clearly at night and capture high-resolution video and images.
Is there a color night vision?
Most night vision cameras are able to capture black and white videos. But, most people usually do not realize that they can also produce color videos. The reason most outdoor night vision cameras capture footage in black and white because we, as humans, are able to differentiate between different objects better in black and white as opposed to different shades of colors. If the night vision happens to be a high resolution, the comparison between the black and white version and the color version is much more drastic as you will realize that the black and white version will be absolutely clear.
There are a lot of qualified outdoor CCTV cameras that are capable of offering color night vision. Most cameras offer black and white night vision by default. But that setting can be changed easily enough. For example, if you use any of our security cameras. First, head to “basic settings”, then “image” and choose “color” in the “Day/Night” column. It is worth noting that when color night vision is mentioned when it comes to night vision cameras, it is starlight night vision that is being referred to.
How to choose between color and black and white night vision cameras
Since you now know that there are different kinds of night vision cameras, you might be wondering which one would be better for you to use. The correct answer is it really depends on what you plan on using your camera for. As a result, there really is no “right” or “wrong” answer to this question. There are cases where the black and white version would be a lot better than color night vision and vice versa. There are some important things you have to consider when it comes to this:
- Image quality: Most high-quality night vision cameras capture black and white videos as well as color footage. But bear in mind that the black and white variety will be a lot better than full-color versions. Things would be different if the camera had a starlight image sensor.
- Storage space: If you decide to go down the route of color night vision, then you must know that they have more elements than black and white footages and therefore, they will occupy more space. If you want the videos to occupy as little space as possible, black, and white might be a good idea for you.
- Long-range night vision: An important fact to consider is that black and white night vision will cover ranges that are much longer than color night vision. An example would be that at a distance of 100 feet, the black and white mode would be able to capture much clearer images as opposed to the color mode.
- Price: You must understand the fact that if you want more features, you will probably have to pay a premium as well. The price of starlight image sensors is usually higher than regular sensors. So, cameras that are capable of using starlight night vision might cost more than regular night vision cameras.
- Installation scenarios: There are some scenarios where you might need color night vision and that might be a more convenient and smarter option to use than starlight night vision. These scenarios are large scale enterprises, hotels, resorts, driveways, and front and backyards.
What are the best outdoor wireless security cameras?
There is a wide variety of options you could select from and there are many factors that you should consider. A few of the factors to consider are as follows:
- The resolution: You have to make sure that the resolution of the camera has to be high enough that the images or the video captured are of high quality. So, the resolution must at least be 1080p so that you do not miss out on crucial details in your surveillance footage.
- Weatherproof: Because the conditions of the outdoor environments can be harsh, it is important to make sure that the outdoor camera you have can survive those environments. Ideally, an outdoor camera should be at least IP 65 weatherproof. But top tier cameras usually come with IP 66 weatherproofing.
- IR range: The IR range is something that you might not be that familiar with. What this indicates is how far the camera allows you to see at night. The IR range should be at least 30 feet as anything below is simply unacceptable. But there are cameras that go as far as 190 feet.
- 3D DNR: This is another obscure feature that a lot of people may not be familiar with. What the 3D DNR does is that it helps remove the image noise during both daytime and nighttime videos. But, it is really useful in the nighttime when image noise can distort images greatly. It is a basic tech but it is extremely crucial. So, you should always check to make sure your camera has this feature.
- Wide field of view: It is important to make sure that your camera has a wide field of view. The reason being, the wider the field of view, the bigger the area that the camera can capture.
Can your security cameras capture images through glass windows?
As already mentioned in the article, all night vision cameras come with infrared sensors built in the cameras. Almost all of them come with LEDs that are infrared so that the camera sensor can have good lighting while it captures images. It is possible that if you point the camera in a direction that has a glass window might result in the image quality is poor. The reason being that the window might cause glaring and that might distort the lighting inside or outside the house. That is why it is recommended that you do not use the camera to point it towards a window.
Troubleshooting your night vision security camera
It is possible that your night vision security camera might break down or might not be working as it is supposed to. Perhaps the infrared LEDs are not showing in “night vision”. Here are a few troubleshooting options that might help you out if any of these issues are plaguing you at this point:
- Make sure that all the cables are connected properly
- Try swapping the port you are connecting your camera to
- Make sure the camera is receiving power and that it is turned on
- Ensure that the infrared sensor in the camera is working
- Contact the manufacturer to ask for advice if you can not figure out what is wrong
Keeping spiders and bugs away from your night vision camera
If you ever see that your high-resolution night vision camera is suddenly capturing images and video that is blurry it is possible that there are insects that are covering the sensor and as a result, the camera can not capture images properly. The infrared LEDs that are built into the camera are often a place that bugs and spiders are attracted to. You can follow the steps mentioned here to make sure this does not happen to you:
- Use insecticide or spider spray to keep bugs away from your security camera,
- Plant citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, or lavender near your cameras as they repel bugs naturally.
- Make sure that you clean your lens with a microfiber cloth from time to time to keep the bugs and spiders away.
Hopefully, this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.