More and more popular Infrared Night Vision CCTV Cameras.

In this article I would like to talk a little bit about use of infrared (IR) night vision cameras on Surveillance Systems. Let’s discuss some advantages and disadvantages of IR cameras. Today we see a lot of them almost everywhere. Infrared cameras became choice of store and restaurant owners, we see them in most of small and medium size retail locations and they are very popular in residential surveillance. Why? The answer is simple. Infrared cameras do not cost more than day and night cameras. Very often they are less expensive. So if for the same price you can get night vision on your CCTV cameras, why not? So my question is, why we don’t see infrared cameras at large retail stores, banks, manufacturing plants, casinos etc.? We rarely see night vision cameras in any high end installations. Here is why. Infrared cameras do produce black and white picture in 0 Lux conditions. Thanks to infrared illuminators on night vision cameras, they do not need any source of light to produce picture. But here is a catch. Infrared LEDs have limited life span. On average they will burn out after 3-4 years. Which means that camera needs to be replaced after that time. Other disadvantage is a picture quality. Entry level infrared cameras do not come with auto-change lens or IR filter. That means that camera uses same lens and same filter (or no filter) at day time and at night. Since infrared beam makes camera work at night time, infrared beam will also affect day time picture quality. We do not see it, but infrared light is present at day time too and it is not from IR illuminator on the camera. Pretty much any source of light including Sun produces infrared beam invisible to human eye. IR security camera without filter will be affected by it and that’s why day time picture on infrared cameras is often over exposed. Advantage of infrared night vision CCTV camera is ability to produce picture with absolutely no light. And it is a great feature. But picture is black and white and often lower quality than day time picture. So my advice is, use IR cameras when there is no other option, but if you are store owner etc. use day and night cameras instead, just leave some lights on at night. You may ask, what about electric bill? Remember IR cameras use on average 6-15 Watts of electricity. Much more than Day&Night CCTV Cameras. So instead of using IR camera just put 15W CFL light bulb and leave it on for the night. It will serve as a deterrent and in case of any incident your video evidence will have much better quality. What about outdoor? We strongly recommend using motion activated light if you can’t afford to leave lights on for all night. Motion activated light will act as a deterrent and with use of day and night cameras, your video recording will have better quality and what’s even more important, color picture.

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