The purpose of a home or business security system is to offer protection against intrusions; premeditated crimes such as burglary and vandalism; as well as accidental fires, smoke and carbon dioxide poisoning. For this reason, the security system should be capable of operating in all manner of conditions and environments. Burglar and fire alarms can easily be configured to offer protection round the clock. However, the case might be different for security camera installations, especially when it comes to operating in poorly lit environments.
The Importance of Night-vision Capability
The standard CCTV cameras are designed to capture images in environments with sufficient lighting. However, there are several applications that require the surveillance system to operate at night, or in poor lighting conditions. Many people wonder if it is possible for their security cameras to see in the dark. For those in doubt, the answer is yes!
The ability of security cameras to capture video images in the dark might not be a top priority for most residential surveillance applications, owing to the fact that many homes are occupied at night. The same cannot be said for business surveillance applications since most businesses remain closed throughout the night. As such, business owners need to record any activities that might take place after the close of business.
The Different Types of Night Vision Cameras
- True Day/Night Cameras (IR Cut Cameras)
These cameras have built-in mechanical IR cut filters that enable them to operate during the day and at night. During the day, the IR cut filter intercepts infrared waves and allows only the "visible" light to pass through. At night or when lighting becomes poor, the IR cut filter is removed and camera recording switches to black and white mode.
2. Infrared Cameras
IR cameras are normal dome, bullet, box or PTZ security cameras that come fitted with Infrared illuminators surrounding the camera lens. The IR LEDs are activated at night, or anytime the camera senses low lighting. The infrared waves provide invisible lighting that enables the cameras to operate in the dark. These security camera installations are ideal in environments with extremely poor lighting.