There’s something to be said about low-light security cameras. Because lighting conditions in different environments are not always ideal for surveillance, low-light security cameras enable us to capture respectable footage in these situations. And with new technology, the quality of low-light camera images has vastly improved.
But before you invest in low-light security cameras for your home or business, here are some important facts and tips to know to make the most of your security systems.
Here’s some important information in order to make the most of your security systems.
First and foremost, you should know the related terms you may come across:
All of these terms refer to the same classification of surveillance cameras. And while some of these terms are trademarked by manufacturers, the most commonly used terms for these cameras are “low-light” and “day/night.”
How It Works
Despite the sometimes confusing terminology, the basic components remain the same for all low-light cameras: a lens and sensor and some level of image processing. And to be clear, low-light cameras are different than thermal cameras (which track heat rather than motion or images) or cameras with IR illuminators.
A majority of low-light cameras use an IR cut filter, which is a mechanical filter that sits between the lens and the sensor (CMOS chip). The name is derived from its ability to “cut out” or filter out IR illumination during the day to improve color quality. At night, as available light diminishes, it slides out of the way to allow more light to get the sensor, thus improving low-light video quality. In order to help the video quality, it is also captured in black and white. In most cameras the filter is mechanically driven by an algorithm, however, some cameras allow manual control.
Because nearly all the cameras contain IR cut filters, it comes down to the lens and the processing to set these items apart from one another. The lens transmits light to the sensor and then the data on the sensor is processed by a processor. The variance among cameras is often in the optics. You want to be sure that both the lens and the sensor are of great quality, otherwise the potential for stellar images will be wasted.
Aside from the optics, processing is an important factor in determining the best low-light camera for you. Most manufacturers employ the same OEM processor yet make their own adjustments to them. The ability to control the tuning of an image is crucial as the tuning of an image during daylight will likely not hold up at night or in complete darkness.
Pay close attention to image toning, noise suppression, and the ability to maintain color and contrast in low light as these often differentiate one camera from another.
Typical IR cameras will capture images between 1 lux and 0.1 lux, however, the latest technologies can allow .01 lux to 0.00001 lux. This means that what would have been a completely black image a few years ago now looks like a near-daytime picture thanks to new low- and ultralow-light sensors.
While this achievement is impressive, in reality, there will rarely be any situations where there is complete darkness. Some ambient light will likely be present, whether it is from street lamps, the moon, or even the stars.
Spec Sheets Vs. Live Demo
As discussed, the impressive low-light sensitivity and lux will likely be included in the spec sheets, along with other important features. However, these spec sheets often represent technical specifications as opposed to actual performance.
Instead of simply relying on spec sheets, try to find a manufacturer or company that will provide you with a live demo and comparisons. This will give you a better idea of the low-light camera’s performance and whether or not it lives up to your requirements. In addition, third party reviews can give you more insight as well.
Just because a camera boasts a high megapixel count does not necessarily mean it will produce a better low-light image. With higher resolution and higher megapixels, each pixel becomes a smaller percentage of that sensor. For example, image the sensor has a fixed size, yet the resolution is doubled. The pixels are smaller, thus, the sensor for each pixel is also smaller, increasing the amount of sensitivity needed to maintain the same level of quality.
The speed of the lens is important and investing in a fast lens and better optics is crucial. The lens determines what information reaches the sensor, and, because of this, you get what you pay for when it comes to lenses and optics.
Positioning & Distance
Proper positioning of your security cameras is critical. Focus on what you want to capture and the level of detail you need when choosing the location of your cameras.
Position surveillance cameras so that the common range of motion is moving across the field of view rather than having common movement coming toward the camera. Also, avoid bright light pointing directly at the lens – this can cause flare or “fog” on the image.
Consider the field of view in terms of distance. The level of detail from the camera is highly dictated by how close the camera is and how much it’s zoomed in.
And when it comes to distance, you want the right combination of lens and camera that factors in the distance from the area you are trying to monitor. If you need to detect motion from long distances, your best bet would be to switch to thermal cameras. Activity will be detected, however, it will be harder to determine whether it is a person or an animal.
Share your own knowledge of low-light surveillance cameras with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. To shop our selection of quality CCTV surveillance systems and security cameras, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!
When it comes to securing the perimeter of your home or business, you want a surveillance system that can perform in various conditions. For 24-hour monitoring, night vision cameras have been the popular solution. However, the emergence of thermal cameras has provided a more advanced solution. Learn more about the different types of night vision cameras and how thermal cameras differ from them.
These are also known as day and night cameras and electronically and automatically adjust lighting capture settings based on the time of day to produce optimal video images. During the day, IR cut filters are used to “cut out” IR illumination, allowing for color images. At night, the filter is removed entirely to allow the maximum amount of visible and IR light to reach the sensor and produce a monochrome image. The downside to these cameras is that they are completely dependent on lighting conditions. That is, too much light or no light at all will result in unusable images. Thus, the amount of visible light available drastically affects the image.
IR cameras have a lens that is surrounded by LEDs which emit a beam of near-infrared energy to bounce off objects in its field of view. The image sensor is then able to create a picture; however, distance plays a crucial role in performance. Because the reflected IR light can only reach so far, these cameras are often limited to short-range applications.
Night Vision Cameras
Night vision goggles (NVG) and cameras capture visible light photons. As the photons penetrate a photocathode tube (which acts as an image intensifier), they are converted to amplified electrons that pass through a phosphorous screen and converts them back to visible light to create a picture (often in a greenish hue). Because these devices need just the right amount of visible light to function, they are virtually useless when there is ample light outside (ex. twilight) or in conditions where light is blocked (ex. smoke) or no light is available.
Rather than performing based on light availability, these cameras produce video surveillance images based on the measurement of the electromagnetic heat radiation emitted by all objects and individuals. Their performance is unaffected by bright lights, complete darkness, foliage, and light fog. No matter how small, differences in heat are picked up and produce images with high contrast, which are essential to the success of video analytics and intrusion detection. These cameras may be better suited for properties which require strict perimeter security (ex. oil and gas industries, data centers, mines, power stations), and are often combined with other layers of protection (ex. fence sensors, microwaves, PTZ cameras).
Thermal cameras also boast long-range detection capabilities, thus, reducing the number of cameras needed. They can also be a good substitute for fences where fence installation is not possible. For example, ports and oil refineries have acres of water and land to secure and monitor. Thermal imaging and video analytics can create “virtual fence” and can be a more feasible and affordable solution than installing a physical barrier.
If you need help deciding which night vision or other security cameras will best suit your surveillance needs, please feel free to contact us at 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com today!
Thanks to our ever advancing technologies, night vision has become a standard feature for most security cameras. Night vision security cameras allow us to keep a close watch on our homes or businesses around the clock. But how can these security cameras is near to total darkness? There are three different methods: low-light, thermal imaging, and infrared illumination.
Low-light security cameras use image intensifiers which make the most of a faint light source. Because they are attuned to work with limited light sources, the pictures they produce in these settings are excellent. Some low-light cameras can even identify persons. Of the different methods employed, this seems to be the most affordable and is commonly used among homeowners.
Thermal imaging technology uses temperature instead of light sources to produce images. This is based on the principle that objects radiate infrared due to temperature. This infrared energy, which is intensified with higher temperatures, creates the thermal image. When objects are cold, the image produced is black, whereas hot objects produce white images. Some thermal cameras can produce color images, and can even detect objects from far distances. Unfortunately, thermal imaging has yet to gain mainstream popularity, but is rather useful in other settings.
Home security cameras utilize infrared illumination and motion detection for effective night surveillance. When the security camera detects motion, the infrared illumination lights up and captures images. Because the infrared is only triggered by motion, this saves power. LED lights enhance performance to produce excellent black and white videos and images. Infrared security cameras are often used for outdoor home surveillance.
Choosing the appropriate security camera will depend on your individual needs. If you need help choosing a night vision security camera, please feel free to contact us at 1-888-203-6294. You may also visit us online to browse our stock, or connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Transit stations receive lots of foot traffic, with people taking advantage of its low cost and convenience. Unfortunately, these public transportation systems are also highly targeted for graffiti, thefts, assaults, and terrorist attacks. In an effort to fight back, an influx of advanced security cameras and high quality equipment have arrived.
Upgrading security camera systems to the latest technology produces better response times, heightened image quality, and, consequently, better suspect identification. With these sophisticated features, rider and driver safety is better preserved, deterring crimes and catching suspects faster.
An upgrade to IP systems from analog systems provides better, high resolution pictures and a way to wirelessly archive footage. Reviewing footage is simplified, allowing easy tagging of potential evidence. Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology is helpful in the sense that separate power cables are unnecessary, consolidating functions and cutting costs.
Security cameras installed closest to the driver booth enable audio function with built-in microphones. With this, direct communication to and from command centers is permitted and more efficient responses to problematic events can be delivered. Vandal proof security cameras help to maintain function if physical tampering occurs.
Wide angle camera lenses help increase the viewing field while decreasing the number of security cameras needed. With wide angle camera lenses and proper placement, blind spots can be minimized. Overall cost of the security camera system will go down because of the reduction in security camera needs.
Infrared/night vision and thermal imaging proves extremely beneficial transit systems, subways especially. These features help to see in darkness and detect warmth. Used in search and rescue efforts, an unconscious person can be found via thermal cameras. In cases of shootings, the heat from a recently fired gun will help locate the weapon, if discarded at the scene.
An excellent monitoring system is vital to the overall security camera system, providing remote viewing of the live feed and giving local authorities to access footage as necessary.
Overall, the security camera systems for public transit stations will help clear any liability issues or potential attacks or abuse. This will help protect both workers and civilians alike, helping to catch suspects faster and possibly prevent crimes before they happen. As our technology continues to improve, crime rates should continue to drop.
To employ your own security camera systems within your home or business, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. Give us a call at 1-888-203-6294 to speak with a representative; we will gladly assist you.
Using night vision security cameras within your security system can greatly benefit your safety. Night vision security cameras utilize infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to produce infrared light not visible to the naked eye. These IR LEDs illuminate low light or no light environments allowing cameras to capture footage under less than ideal circumstances. These cameras allow you to keep an eye on your property at all hours.
During the day, when ample light is available, the infrared security cameras record in full color. Once evening falls and light sources are diminished, the IR LEDs begin to work and the cameras record in black and white. Switching to black and white recording helps to preserve image quality, providing excellent footage around the clock.
Night vision and infrared LEDs are available with most security cameras styles. Choose the camera style based on where you’ll be placing your security cameras. For indoor settings, dome cameras or small bullet cameras may be best, so that they can blend into the décor. For outdoor settings, you’ll want to be sure that your security cameras are weatherproof and vandal proof, or purchase proper housing to protect your cameras. Long range bullet cameras or PTZ cameras may be a better choice for outdoor locations, depending on the area you would like to monitor. Whether installed indoors or outdoors, night vision is a helpful feature for your security cameras.
Not only are you enabling your security system to work 24/7, you are potentially helping to stop or solve crimes faster. Security cameras act as deterrents, but many may think the cameras don’t work in darkness. With night vision security cameras, you now have footage of an overnight crime that could potentially help identify and catch the criminal.
Rest a little easier at night by adding infrared or night vision security cameras to your overall security system. You can find a great selection at SecurityCamExpert.com. If you would like to speak to someone directly, please call us at 1-888-203-6294. We are more than willing to answer your questions and help you choose the right system and equipment for you.
The best home security cameras cover all your needs for a reasonable price. These home security cameras don’t necessarily need all the fancy features, but can if that’s what you prefer. Convenience, suitability and affordability are key factors.
When planning home security, depending on your intention, you may want to conceal your security cameras. In these cases, hidden cameras or nanny cams would be a better choice because they are often disguised as everyday household products. These can diminish your suspicions about a new nanny or be sure that your kids are behaving while you’re away. On the other hand, blatantly placing camera inside and outside your home may scare criminals away.
Night vision is another key factor in determining which security camera is best for your home security system. For indoor surveillance, controlled lighting makes it easier for a security camera to capture decent footage. For night vision capabilities, the IR distance does not need to be that far as the cameras will most likely be monitoring one room or an entrance. For outdoor cameras, a farther IR distance would work better since you’ll be monitoring a much wider area.
Aside from those factors, choosing between different styles of cameras may rely on what works best with your home. The bullet or dome styles of security cameras are the most common. For home security, these types work just fine and tend to be cost-effective. When deciding between wired or wireless camera systems, it’s wise to keep in mind that once the burglar finds the wires, your entire system can be easily compromised. Wireless systems are usually favored for that reason, as well as not having to bother with cables and the added costs.
Another factor can be whether or not you can control your system or access your live feed via Smart Phone. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t own a smart phone and isn’t attached at the hip, so the ability to link it to your phone proves beneficial.
Wireless home alarm systems can be a great way to support your security camera system. Motion sensors and door alarms can give you a better sense of security. You can also be alerted immediately if anything is triggered while you’re away.
Find the security cameras and wireless home alarm systems online at SecurityCamExpert.com or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294. We’re happy to help you choose the right system for your needs.
Shopping on a budget for a security camera system? It doesn’t have to be that hard. Let SecurityCamExpert.com help you find smart solutions without breaking the bank.
Our selection of security cameras includes a variety of different styles with varying specifications. We carry security cameras starting as low as $20-$60 and reaching up to $250-$400 depending on specifications. You can pay for better quality and features, or you can get good quality for a decent price. It all depends on how much you can or are willing to spend.
For the most basic security system solutions, you can opt for dummy cameras. Our dummy cameras don’t exceed $30 so you can build a pseudo security system for cheap. Check out this SecurityMan Dummy Indoor Camera, it has a convincing look for a reasonable price.
If you want a functioning security system, dome security cameras and bullet security cameras are common types and low in price. Ours range from $40-$175, all dependent upon picture resolution, special features like night vision or audio components. Still, a great camera can be found for a cost-effective price. Our box cameras hover around the same range, but also require a separate purchase of camera lenses, which can add to overall cost.
As we move up the price ladder, our specialty security cameras like HD-SDI, high resolution, network IP and PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) start around $100 and go up from there. It should be understood that you are paying more for performance and abilities. These cameras offer much better picture and allow you to better manipulate your viewing range. License plate capture cameras have magnificent zoom abilities along with solid resolution, so they can start north of $200.
While SecurityCamExpert.com offers individual security cameras, we also offer great packaged deals which can significantly assist those on a tight budget. Our camera packages include the basics: DVR (with & without hard drives), cameras, cables and power supplies. Our 4 camera packages range from $249 up to $549, while our 8 camera packages range from $329 up to $567. Our 16 camera packages range from $836-915, but we also offer wireless camera bundles that start as low as $139 and up. Our 4 camera IP/hybrid camera package starts at $399 and you can add more cameras or accessories from there. You can explore our packages options here.
Shop our inventory online and you’ll find security cameras or systems that fit within your budget. Would you rather get a quote based on your needs? Fill out our Free CCTV System Quote and work with our staff to create a security system within your means. Feel free to call us at 1-888-203-6294 with any questions you may have.