Night vision technology is all about the methods and various techniques that offers to human beings the possibility to see images and objects in poor light conditions or darkness. Thanks to night vision technology, you’re going to be able to see someone standing at 200ft away from you.
The applications of night vision technology
When it comes to video surveillance at night, there are many challenges attached to it. The best choice for your needs depends a lot on the specific application. You need to think about the area your system has to cover or whether you need daytime monitoring or not. It matters a lot if you need to be able to identify subjects through the CCTV system. No matter your final choice, the night vision CCTV camera is going to ensure the best surveillance during night or in poor lighting, keeping intruders at bay.
Night vision technology helps law enforcement to detect and prevent the disruption of an enemy at night or in darkness. It gives law enforcement the ability to better prepare and to anticipate any security issues in areas of low light.
Thanks to the night vision technology, we’re able to detect and recognize objects that are difficult to see because of the low light or darkness. This kind of technology helps the forensics department to search and find proofs under low light conditions and darkness, in order to solve various criminal cases.
The wildlife observers are using a lot this kind of technology as many animals are more active at twilight or at night. Night-vision binoculars allow them to continuously observe the animals even after the sun has set.
What’s with the LEDs around the camera?
The LEDs around the camera lens are known as Infrared light-emitting diodes, aka IR LEDs in the security camera industry. They’re the reason for which the camera is actually able to see in the dark. When you’re taking a look at the camera in the dark, you’re going to be able to notice a subtle red glow emitting.
Not every time the LEDs are placed around the lens in a circular array. You can also find cameras with the LEDs placed beside the lens. In this case, the camera only uses a single bright infrared LED.
Many of the CCTV cameras come with a mechanical IR cut filter, sliding in front of the lens, giving it the possibility to see the IR flood. The light sensor, which is a small green circle placed inside the LEDs, activates the mechanical lens. You’re going to notice a subtle clicking sound when you’re covering the green sensor or if you place the camera in a dark area. That’s the sound of the lens engaging the filter.
Risks for the night vision CCTV cameras
The performance of the night vision CCTV cameras depends a lot on the installation, but there are also some other facts that need to be considered:
Close objects/ barriers
The night images may get foggy because of barriers or various nearby objects. In order to avoid this kind of problem, you should follow these tips:
- Don’t install the cameras in tight corners
- You need to offset the cameras from close surfaces and walls so you should use wall mount brackets for that
- You need to remove any plants/vegetation that may interfere with the field of view
- It’s important that you rotate as much as you can the camera away from background surfaces
- Remember that plant leaves are highly reflective so make sure that there aren’t any near your night vision cameras
Wet and moisture on your camera cover
Dirt is quite a common cause for poor night vision image. If you’re installing dome cameras, try to avoid as much as you can to touch them during the installation. Better yet, maintain a protective film on the dome unit until you’re completely done with the installation. Touching the camera during the installation process may lead to grease spots/stains, which are causing the blur. Even if these stains don’t ruin the image quality during daytime, they may compromise the clarity of the IR images at night.
Therefore, it’s important to clean the CCTV camera with a soft cloth right after installation. Remember that many dome cameras get covered by raindrop stains, dust, dirt and even cobwebs in time. This is why the images start losing their clarity after a while. Cleaning the cameras on a regular basis is going to mean so much for the clarity of the video at night.
Don’t forget to fasten the screws tightly so that you know for sure that the camera is completely sealed. If you’re living in a moisture climate, you need to use desiccant packets for absorbing water inside the camera. Replace these packets once a year as they lose their efficiency in time.
The foam gasket
Not firmly pressing the foam gasket ring against a camera dome may be enough of a reason for a case of IR reflection. The “halo” effect is quite often and you should take it under consideration.
In order to keep the risk for IR light reflection into the lens under control, you need to double check to see if the dome bubble is snug against the foam ring. If the foam gasket ring has good contact with the dome cover, it may look a bit squashed.
Here’s a comparison of several security cameras available on the market from LifeHackster: