How Infrared Security Cameras Work

Without the technology of infrared security cameras, the problem with most regular outdoor security cameras is recording in low light conditions. Since the outdoor scenario makes it harder to control the lighting and installing additional lighting might not always be an option, infrared security cameras will work wonders to continue protecting your home or property even during the darkest hours of the night. Infrared technology is very effective in capturing images even in complete darkness by being able to detect the light wavelength part of the spectrum that is invisible to human eyes. Special image sensors capture both visible wavelengths of light in addition to the infrared part of the light spectrum.

The Light Spectrum

The different colors we see in the visible part of the light spectrum are the different wavelengths of light. The spectrum contains ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths at either end of the visible wavelengths. Infrared light waves are emitted by any amount of heat so infrared sensors can pick up images of any object that produce heat such as a human body.

This ability to pick up light waves beyond the visible range is vastly different from typical cameras whose image sensors are designed to pick up relatively selective wavelengths of light. For low light conditions, a black and white camera might be good enough depending on light levels and the camera. A colored security camera usually requires much more light to be effective so if infrared is outside your budget or a little overkill for whatever purpose you need the camera for, consider a black and white camera with a low LUX rating. The LUX rating is a measure of how much light the camera requires to capture usable images. A true night vision camera with infrared technology should have a LUX rating of 0 meaning it can detect images even in complete darkness.

Infrared Image Sensors

Most infrared security cameras available in the market today come with dual chip sets or a single dual function chip. This allows the camera to capture regular images during daylight conditions and can detect when light levels are low enough to switch over and start recording infrared images. This allows the outdoor security camera to be installed and is able to capture images both during the day and at night when light levels are very low.

The only problem might be that infrared illuminators give off a red glow if a person is to look straight into the camera. In scenarios where you don’t want to give away the presence of a security camera, filters are available that can be installed over the lens to hide the fact that anything in the area is under surveillance.

Since we know that criminal activity tends occur at night or under the cover of darkness where the offender feels safe, a camera that cannot capture useful video images during low light conditions has very limited use. An infrared security camera allows for surveillance recording both day and night.

Related posts:

  1. What is an Infrared Security Camera?
  2. Outdoor Security Camera W/ Night Vision
  3. When A Wireless Night Vision Camera Is A Good Idea
  4. Maximizing Effectiveness of Fake Security Cameras


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