As any police officer or security guard knows, criminals prefer to operate at night under the cover of darkness. A night vision security camera is essential for showing what is happening when the light level is too low for a regular camera. Infrared lights inside the camera automatically turn on to illuminate the area in front of it. Since the human eye cannot detect infrared light, people near the camera are unaware that they are being watched. These unique cameras are available in either color or black and white, and there are also wireless models for locations where installing cables would be a problem.
A night vision security camera is primarily used for monitoring a small area during the day and night. This might be a front door, side gate, hallway, storeroom, or garage. Cameras are often mounted near intercoms so that the person speaking into them can be visually identified as well. The range is very good when there is visible light, but in darkness it is limited by the strength of the infrared lights. Security is not the only use for these versatile cameras. Hospitals use them to observe patients who have sleeping difficulties, and parents can also use them to keep a watch over a sleeping baby.
A typical night vision security camera has rings of infrared light emitting diodes (LEDs) surrounding the lens. A light sensor on the camera measures the ambient light level and turns on the LEDs when they are needed. This saves power during the day when they are not required, which is especially important for wireless models that rely on battery power. The majority of these cameras are small and can be placed almost anywhere. Outdoor models have a rugged housing that is water and corrosion resistant, while indoor models often have a stylish bullet housing that resembles a down light.
There are several different types of night vision security camera available on the market. Color cameras should be chosen over black and white cameras unless there is a good reason not to use them. Color is better for seeing details, like facial feature and clothing, and there is not that much difference in price. Wired cameras are less expensive than wireless ones but they are more difficult to install. Generally, a wireless camera should only be used when it is not practical to use cables. Indoor cameras are not suitable for outdoor use because they lack a protective housing and are prone to corrosion.
When choosing a night vision security camera, there are several important features to look for. It should have a high resolution and a wide angle coverage. The infrared lights should have a range that will cover the area in front of the camera. Buyers should be aware that the actual range is often less than what is stated on the box, especially in poor light and weather conditions. Outdoor models must have a housing and bracket that is both water and corrosion resistant. The bracket should also be fully adjustable, and there should also be enough cable to reach the monitoring station.
There are always some locations that are difficult to reach with a cable, or the presence of a cable spoils the surroundings. For these problem locations, a wireless night vision security camera is an acceptable solution. Each camera has a small aerial that transmits the video signal back to a receiver at the monitoring station. The typical range of a wireless camera is one hundred feet, which is usually enough for most households. The cameras still need a local source of electrical power. Depending on the camera, this will be provided by a battery or a power adapter plugged into a wall socket nearby. Batteries need to be changed regularly so the cameras need to be within easy reach.