It’s not hard to find a CCTV camera that works well in the daylight, but what about at night? Afterall, burglars aren’t scared of the dark. If you really want to monitor your property 24 hours a day, you need CCTV cameras that are suited for night-time use. Here are some of the options you should consider when searching for the perfect night-time CCTV solution.
If you really want to see at night, there’s no substitute for infrared (IR) detection. IR CCTV cameras can illuminate and detect infrared light to see in even the darkest conditions.
These cameras have a ring of special LED lights around the camera that emit infrared light to “light up” an area for a clear picture. The best part is that infrared light is invisible to humans. So even if your camera is emitting enough IR light to illuminate your entire back yard or parking lot, it won’t disturb the neighbors.
Try to find a camera with an IR distance of at least 10 metres for outdoor spaces. A camera with a lower IR distance could work for indoor areas or narrow outdoor corridors, but generally, the more the merrier.
IR Cut Filter
The downside of IR illumination is that it can oversaturate video during the day, causing it to be washed out or distorted. If you’re looking for a camera that can record as well during the day as it can at night, you need an IR cut filter.
IR cut filters are like sunglasses for your CCTV cameras. If the camera sensors detect daylight, the IR cut filter will automatically cover the lens, blocking a portion of infrared light from entering and overexposing the image for perfect, high-quality, 24-hour coverage of your property regardless of lighting condition.
Low-light imaging cameras work like normal CCTV cameras—as in they don’t use infrared—but are designed to work better in low-light conditions. Since they don’t have fancy infrared sensors or IR cut filters, they’re generally more affordable.
Low-light imaging CCTV cameras still need some light to function; they won’t work in extreme darkness like an IR-enabled camera would. They’re a cost-effective option for areas that always have minor amounts of ambient light like an office lobby with emergency lighting or a front porch near a streetlamp.
Since they’re essentially normal cameras, they still function well under daylight conditions without needing additional equipment or filters.
Resolution is Required
Digital cameras—like CCTV cameras— record images using a sensor covered in pixels. Because they’re electronic, each pixel emits tiny amounts of light which can show up in images as digital noise. Usually, the natural light is much brighter than the noise created by the sensor, so it’s not apparent. But in low light conditions, noise becomes much more obvious and can cause your image to appear grainy and distorted.
This is a major issue for security cameras, especially at night. If you can’t clearly see an intruder’s face, how are you going to catch him/her? Having a high-resolution camera can help offset some of the noise caused by low light conditions. If you want a good night-time camera, it’s suggested that you look for one with at least 1080p resolution or higher to produce high-quality images night and day.
While standard CCTV cameras use visible light and IR detection cameras use infrared, thermal imaging cameras use heat to create a picture. However, thermal images don’t look like regular pictures; they’re made of colored spots. And while you might not be able to tell exactly who is in the video, you’ll be able to see them from far away, even in total darkness.
Thermal imaging cameras can detect heat signatures over vast distances, making them a solid night-time option for perimeter security. Use them in tandem with infrared cameras for monitoring close-up areas and you’ll have a well-rounded night-time CCTV security system.
CCTV Cameras from Four Walls Security
Choosing the right night-time CCTV cameras can be tricky. If you’re looking for an all-around camera to use day and night, an infrared camera with IR cut filter might be the best choice. If you live in a place with plenty of streetlamps and ambient light, a low-light imaging camera might suffice. It all depends on your property and unique security needs.
If you have any questions about which CCTV cameras are right for you, ask the experts at Four Walls Security. We have years of experience working with Brisbane area families and businesses, helping them feel safe and secure. Contact us for a free, no obligation quote on a customised security solution today.