Choosing the Best Night Vision Camera Option for Your Needs
Making smart choices about home security starts with being informed about what’s available. While it may be tempting to simply purchase the most popular item on the shelf for your home surveillance, there are many factors to consider when making this personal choice for your home or business. One often overlooked concern is the lighting in the area where the camera will be placed. If you will be attempting to use surveillance in an outdoor area that isn’t always well-lit, it’s important to understand your night vision options.
Consider Your Security Needs
One major question that few people initially consider is what kind of night-time visibility will best suit their needs. Whether you want the most affordable set-up, clearest image capture and quality, or a system with a long distance range, understanding the various technologies on the market is your best first step to selecting the right surveillance option for you. For security cameras, it’s especially important to understand how they will function at night when very little light is present. Finding a night vision camera that will suit your needs is an important element in securing the right safety measures for your home or business.
For outdoor security systems in which you are monitoring the outside or perimeter of your home of business, you may want to consider hidden cameras that are unobtrusive and difficult to spot and you definitely want to make sure the system has great night vision capabilities. You’ll also want to consider whether an entire night vision security camera system is necessary or if you feel comfortable simply adding a camera capable of recording at night into an existing surveillance setup.
Understanding Night Vision Capabilities
There are several different technologies that make nighttime visual imaging possible. The most commonly used in security devices are infrared light, but there are other technologies that allow photo capture with very low light levels.
Infrared Night Vision
Infrared night vision is the most commonly used night vision technology applied in security imaging. With this set-up, small, infrared LED bulbs are integrated into the camera and turn on when light levels fall below a specified point, acting as a flood light for the camera. Many infrared cameras are built with motion detection technology and the infrared lights are only activated if the device senses movement. Infrared cameras don’t rely on ambient light and therefore produce a consistent black and white image quality no matter how dark conditions are. Among technologies available on the market now, these cameras produce the clearest images.
Even at night—in natural outdoor conditions—there is always some light present, even if it doesn’t seem like it! Unlike infrared cameras, low-light imaging technology uses existing ambient light and intensifies it to produce an amplified image. While these cameras can produce excellent imaging and are typically very affordable, they do need some light to function properly and may not always return the best results, especially on very dark nights and in controlled (indoor) environments. If you have a situation where you control the lighting conditions during dark hours, these cameras may be suitable, and work great in dawn and dusk conditions.
Thermal imaging is a very effective technology that uses infrared energy generated from heat. This type of camera requires very little light to capture an image and works over a long distance. However, the images are not pictures in the traditional sense, but rather hot (white) spots where warmer temperatures are detected, as would be produced by a human or animal. These cameras can be effectively used in concert with infrared technologies to set up a security system that works at a great distance, like the edge of a property (with thermal imaging) and then closer to the home (with infrared imaging).
Ultimately, every security situation is a unique one and finding the right camera for you is a matter of assessing your needs and building a system you feel comfortable with. At BrickHouse Security, we know how crucial these questions are and always provide our clients with diversity in choice of high quality security setups. If you have more questions about improving or getting started with security, we are here to help.