How to Improve Security Camera Night Vision I Ways to Improve Night Vision in CCTV Cameras I How to get a good Night Vision in CCTV System I How to Enhance Night Vision of Security Cameras I How to get good Footage at night by CCTV Cameras I Does installing external IR Illuminates helps to get good Night Vision in CCTV I How to get clear footage at Night in our CCTV I Why I am getting Glare in CCTV footage at Night I Why I am not getting Clear Videos from my CCTV at Night I External IR Illumination I Blurred CCTV Footage at Night I Should I Switch on Normal Light at night for CCTV Cameras I
We got an urgent call from one of the resident ( and now our client ) to do the survey and install cctv cameras or make some arrangement with the existing system so that the camera can take worthy footages at night. They already have 5MP branded IR cameras installed at all the strategic places and when asked about this urgent requirement , they told that they got their sport bike stolen from in front of their house atnight and the footage does not show anything more than a person coming and taking away the bike , you can barely guess the age of the person and the only reason to guess the sex is the dress and hair , which is not really the right thing . Hence , even after installing a high resolution cctv system , they were not able to get footage barely 25 Ft from the camera .
In most of the cases where people fix the cameras themselves ( DIY ) or go for an inexperienced installer , who install the cameras just following the IR distance for good night vision , you are almost sure to be disappointed when you need it the most . The night vision of the camera depends on various factors and most of the time fixing cameras having some IR distance is not enough to get the right footage at night time . The good news is we can enhance the night vision capability of the CCTV Cameras by implementing following measures and also for the new installations , we can plan accordingly .
1-Add more visible lighting
This is very basic thing to mention and everyone should be knowing it , but there are some people who are overconfident and who think that they have IR cameras and there is no need of putting normal lights . Please note that adding a good source of light is like turning your night into day from the view of cctv cameras . You can even get color pictures from a camera at night also if the area is illuminated by a good light source .
One example would be a driveway or parking area with several vehicles parked there. A small porch light on the side of a nearby building might light the area a little bit, but the lighting would be uneven and full of shadows.
When putting lights and illuminating the area please illuminate the area evenly with equal intensity of light at all the places . You may have to put several lights at places to achieve the even distribution of light with no shadow , or a good source of bright light on a pole in the centre of the property if it is an open field .
You might be able to improve things by adding several more similar lights if the area layout allows it, but I think the best solution is a powerful light designed to illuminate large outdoor areas like that. Something like a mercury vapor light up high on a building or on a pole will evenly and brightly light a large area, and the mounting height will greatly reduce the number and size of shadows around objects like vehicles.
2. Add additional infrared light sources
As per the first point , turning a place like day by using normal visible lights is a good idea but most of the time , not practically feasible due to complaint from the neighbors if it is residential community . Even you and family members may feel difficulty in sleeping with full lights on outside. There may be other reasons also where a person wants to keep watch by security cameras but do not want area to be lit with visible light.
For this situation we can use some extra Infrared Light Source to illuminate the area evenly by infrared lights . Nowadays almost all the cameras comes with IR LEDs but that is not enough and they are not capable of illuminating the area evenly and help camera giving a good quality image. There are many cameras with high end specifications which comes without IR LEDs and that implies the importance of the external IR lights.
Like in the case of visible lights , the IR lights should also be placed at locations ( one or more ) to evenly illuminate the area . It is better to check the intensity of the IR lights for its even distribution. If we have placed the IR lights in proper manner , we can get as good images in completed darkness for human eyes as in day time , but in B&W format .
These external IR lights comes into different types and budgets . For a normal use of illumination of small residential areas in front of the house , to be used in large industrial complexes , these are pretty much affordable and worth their cost buying them .
3.Turn off your camera’s built-in IR
What ? What You Are Saying Man ? I bought cameras with IR LED s so that it will work equally in day as well as night time where there is no visible light . If I have to switch off the IR LED s , I would have bought cameras with no IR LED s and that saved some money.
Rightly Said , but if you are not getting a good quality pic at night and you have fixed the external IR Illuminator , it is better to switch off the camera IR LED s as every camera design is not good enough to totally avoid the IR lights falling into the camera lens directly from LED s and the result is obvious as mentioned in the above points.
Now , all the manufacturers are manufacturing cameras with the IR LED s fixed around the camera lens . This is quiet cheap to manufacture and adds a very attractive saleable feature to the product and customers also feel happy that they are getting everything in the camera itself with no need to fix external IR Illuminators. Please note that most of the high end and professional cameras comes without IR LED s as it degrades their performance or at least an option to switch off that but entry level model may not come with switching off feature . So , next time when you are buying a CCTV camera , please make sure it should have an option of switching the IR LED s off. In case the IR LED s of camera is not giving the required result , you can switch it off and use external IR Illuminator.
4. Frequently Clean the Camera Glass / Lens and External IR Illuminator:
Sometime these basics things needs to be done ,which does not comes to the mind after investing huge money of the the higher spec security system . Apart from the dust and moisture , spider webs and bugs junk also may blind the cameras and you may not get satisfactory footage specially at night .
Insects and birds have extra love for IR lights and hence you have to clean the camera glass as well as external IR illuminators frequently to get better picture.
5. Don’t put Cameras behind the Glass Window:
Isn’t it a quiet good idea to keep CCTV cameras behind our window glass or behind a safety glass ? Aren’t there good reasons behind this , i.e. safety of the camera , not protruded outside , safety from dirt & rain etc.
A direct NO,in case your camera are IR Day and Night cameras . If you do like this , you will get quiet satisfactorily image in day time , but you watch the camera footage for night and you will not be able to see anything leaving a bright glare of the IR light reflected from the window glass.