Night Vision for your Surveillance Camera: The Hidden World of Infrared

Your surveillance camera is an integral part of your home or office security system, allowing you to observe your premises and spot any potential threats. But even the best cameras are often limited in their night vision capability. There is no doubt that modern cameras have made advancements in sensor technology leaps and bounds ahead of older CCTV models. 1080p and even 4K technology are standard, with excellent contrast, color balance, and greater resolution of objects, faces, and license plates.

Nighttime: Tough for a Surveillance Camera

Unfortunately, all the camera tech in the world doesn’t help when night falls, and low light performance is unsatisfactory. Noisy, blurry images are typical. Therefore, it’s much harder to spot unwanted intruders around your property. Not to mention that faces and license plates are all but unrecognizable.

Infrared: The Surveillance Camera Supercharger

Infrared light is different from visible light in that it has a longer wavelength. It is invisible to the naked eye. However, it is visible to black and white and true color day/night cameras, making it the perfect option to enhance nighttime visibility. It offers the advantage of eliminating light pollution and has a much longer range than visible light.
Without light, there is no video. So more light, of higher quality, is desirable. It must also be distributed more evenly, over a larger distance, to be useful. Therefore, adding a dedicated illuminator will supercharge the capabilities of your existing surveillance camera system.

But My Surveillance Camera Already Has Infrared!

Some surveillance cameras offer infrared illuminators that automatically turn on in low-light conditions. But these can sometimes be more of an afterthought. Built-in illuminators have power constraints, and the light may not reach far enough for your camera’s field of view (FOV). It also may not be bright enough for usefulness in critical situations. The smaller emitters on these cameras also cause hot spots: areas of the image illuminated brighter than others. Anything outside this zone is dramatically less visible than inside it.
The best part is that the LEDs on dedicated illuminators, such as the Iluminar IR and IRC series, last much longer than built-in infrared lights on cameras. Because of their arrangement, they have wider angles and no hot spots in the illuminated region. They are more powerful, offering a much longer range without being irritating to the eyes.
An added perk is that insects attracted to the light don’t clutter your camera view – a significant problem with cameras with the lights close to the lens. This means that your view remains unobstructed, and critical moments are always seen.

Takeaway: Dedicated Illuminators Offer a Big Boost

Iluminar offers turnkey solutions for infrared illuminators for your surveillance camera. We use very high efficiency, high power surface mount (SMD) LED modules with integrated current control circuitry. From 15 watts to 104 watts of power for super long-range illumination, we have models to suit any need. In addition, you can choose from having semi-covert lights that emit the faintest glow or covert lights that are completely invisible for your high-security applications.
Give us a call at (281) 438-3500, and we’ll help you find the perfect solution to give your surveillance system a major upgrade.

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