What are the benefits of night vision on outdoor security cameras?

What are the benefits of night vision on outdoor security cameras?

You have most likely heard of night vision through films and shows that feature elite teams of special force soldiers, but did you know that it is now possible to easily fit outdoor home security cameras with night vision to your house? Not only is this possible, but it’s also a cheap and effective way to improve the security of your home.

What are night vision cameras?

The term night vision tells you much of what you need to know. These cameras are capable of seeing in the dark, therefore giving you images at night. This is achieved through the capture of infrared light, also known as thermal radiation. All living things emit infrared, making it possible to capture their image on camera.

These cameras do not use flash to capture an image. Instead many infrared cameras will have a series of small red LEDs in a circle around the camera lens, which emit infrared light across the field of view of the camera and then records the light that bounces back.

The images captures are recorded in black and white. It is not possible to capture true-colour images, as colour varies depending on the wavelength of light an object is exposed to.

Should I get outdoor security cameras with night vision?

In the UK outdoor security camera usage is increasing. In part, this is due to the 34 burglaries that occur in Britain every hour on average. The ability to capture detailed images is an integral part of crime prevention and property recovery. As such, it is essential to be able to record images around the clock.

There are two options for recording video footage at night:

Option 1: Combine motion detectors with floodlighting. When movement is detected, the lights will turn on, providing sufficient light for your Outdoor CCTV camera to record the intruder, catching them in the act. This option is particularly great for commercial sites where the light won’t upset neighbours and will alert unexpected visitors that they are under scrutiny and in a protected area.

Option 2: Use Infrared/Night vision enabled cameras. The cameras will have their motion detection system built-in and will begin recording whenever they spot movement. They can record clear black and white images without any additional lighting other than their built-in LEDs. The benefit of this system is that it is cheap to install, easy to use and it does not upset neighbours if it is going off every time a car or cat crosses into view.

Will an infrared night vision camera be enough security?

Infrared security cameras produce high-resolution thermal security images, but on their own, this feature is unlikely to prove to be an effective deterrent against all intruders.

We recommend that the addition of outdoor CCTV cameras is done as part of a general health check of your home’s security setup. Connecting your cameras into a wider home security network of security alarms, door and window sensors and motion detectors is a good start. Tying your home devices together with home automation takes this idea further and makes for a better-connected security system.

For example, connect your night vision camera to your automation could allow you to turn on all ground floor lights when motion is detected, giving the impression that someone is downstairs and alert to their presence.

The colour images captured during the day, or the black-and-white infrared images captured at night will greatly aid any investigation into vandalism or burglary on your property. The footage may be requested by both the police and your home insurance company to aid with their handling of the incident.

Using a high-resolution camera will offer a level of image detail that will help gather clear evidence of any intruders or incidents in the field of view of your camera.

In terms of field of view, be sure to cover all entry points with a camera, to ensure that no one can avoid the gaze of your night vision cameras. We also recommend having additional cameras covering areas that might pose security risks, such as near objects, like bins, that can be used to climb up onto roofs.

Infrared security cameras call a little attention to themselves due to the array of red dots around the lens, but this is no bad thing. Burglars that notice they are being monitored effectively, despite the darkness, will be more inclined to flee the property than to continue to try to break in.

Should I get Infrared cameras indoors?

It’s not just outdoor security cameras that come with night vision. Plenty of indoor models are equipped with infrared recording. Not only are these great for security indoors, but they are great for monitoring pets or sick children and vulnerable older relatives.

What features do I need for a night vision security camera?

When it comes to night-vision or Infrared cameras, it is important to get a quality device to avoid any future problems. One of the biggest complaints with cheaper models is that they display faded colours during their daytime recording.

This may seem counter-intuitive, as daytime camera recordings have more light to work with during the day, but this is due to the way the night vision part of the camera operates. Night vision cameras rely on infrared light surveillance technology to capture detailed images at night. During daylight hours, quality cameras will deploy an infrared cut-off filter, which filters out mid-infrared wavelengths to prevent them from degrading the daytime image recordings. With some camera models, you can hear a click when this filter moves into place.

Without this filter, the images recorded during the day would suffer from distortion, showing in pink-greyish hues with little depth and potentially a significant loss of focus too, making them useless for security.

Check that your camera comes with Infrared illuminators. As we mentioned at the start of the article, all living beings give off infrared light, but if you want a clear image, you will need to have those little red LEDs, which emit infrared and enhance the image, allowing a clear capture of intruders.

The Pros and Cons of Night Vision Cameras

Here are the best features of infrared night vision cameras:

• Night-time capture of activity in or around your property.
• Boosts security at your home.
• A visual deterrent to intruders.
• Not overly expensive.

Here are the few problems that come with night vision cameras:

• The cheapest cameras may not have IR cut-off filters.
• Multiple cameras are needed for full coverage.

Remember that GDPR applies to night vision images too

It is important that you understand and comply with the GDPR law, made part of the UK Data Protection Act 2018. Individuals and companies alike must comply with the rules, and this applies to night vision recordings too. If you are unsure, check out our guide to outdoor security cameras and data protection.

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