As a law enforcement professional, you may have felt frustration at the inability of license plate capture systems to capture information under challenging conditions. Correct identification of a license plate can mean the difference between catching a perpetrator and not having anything at all. Fortunately, you can significantly improve your results by adding high-quality illumination to your LPR system.
In this post, we’ll explore how license plate capture (LPC) systems work and how challenging conditions can thwart their capabilities. Next, we’ll look at some of the solutions available on the market today to enhance your system.
License Plate Capture: How It Works
License Plate Capture systems require dedicated cameras. A regular security camera will not cut it. So, manufacturers build and design solutions that offer the characteristics suitable for the application. These characteristics include proper mounting hardware for the intended location. In addition, a lens capable of focusing swiftly and a sensor capable of resolving fine detail are critical.
However, we emphasize the importance of the requirements above if you don’t have an automated license plate recognition (ALPR) system in deployment. This is because manual recording systems may not automatically zoom into a target. So, only opportunistically capturing a good image considerably lowers the effectiveness of the system. Thus, a clear, sharp lens and a fast sensor with plenty of detail become even more critical.
Even with an automated system, the processing algorithm struggles with conditions where visibility is an issue. This includes rainy, snowy, or dusty conditions where particulate matter can obstruct recognition. On top of all of this, the low light at night can make things much worse.
The Importance of Proper Illumination
Any camera system is only as capable as its ability to resolve detail in low light conditions. Manufacturers may state that their cameras include infrared or visible light illuminators, but these quickly show their limitations out in the field. But this is where dedicated illuminators come into play.
Nighttime conditions are no match for the power offered by a custom illumination system. Cutting through the darkness, a high-power, high-efficiency infrared or white light can make a dramatic difference to even a modestly-equipped license plate capture camera. Fine detail becomes much more visible. And best of all, even blurry or obstructed views in a manual system can provide much more information to automated or human-operated systems.
A good quality custom illuminator is designed from the ground up for outdoor use, with a vandal-proof chassis and an IP rating for water and dust resistance. Plus, it will include a venting system and high-quality materials to survive rapid expansion and cooling due to temperature variations.
Use a Dedicated Illumination System for Dramatic Improvement in Results
Iluminar specializes in the manufacture of superior, professional-quality LED lighting solutions for license plate capture systems, as well as video surveillance. To top it off, we offer unmatched customer service for all of our clients.
Our invisible and visible series of products all come in various form factors, with many angle choices, wavelengths, range, and power ratings available to choose from. All of our illuminators come with covert and semi-covert options capable of running off AC or DC power. Best of all, we offer weatherproof systems with exceptional build quality to survive even the most brutal deployment application.
Our product experts will personally guide you towards choosing the right product for your application. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at (281) 438-3500 today!