Ambient lighting is an important consideration when selecting security cameras for any home or business application. All cameras require light to enable them to capture images, though the amount of light required varies for each type of camera.
How Lighting Affects the Choice of Security Camera
Choosing surveillance cameras for indoor applications is usually an easy task for many consumers, owing to the constant lighting conditions. The outdoor environment on the other hand, experiences fluctuations in light levels and thus, poses serious challenges when selecting ideal surveillance cameras. For outdoor applications, the type and quantity of light is very important in determining the choice of camera.
What is Camera Sensitivity?
Light is an essential element for security cameras; it determines the quality of images that can be captured. Camera sensitivity refers to the amount of light that a camera requires to enable it to operate properly. High sensitivity cameras are ideal for environments with poor lighting because they require less lighting to operate.
Monochrome (Black and White) cameras are best suited for low lighting conditions because they use any type of light from the spectrum. For users to get sharp, clear images in poorly lit environments using monochrome cameras, they need to:
- Select high sensitivity black and white cameras
- Increase the amount of lighting within the area under surveillance
- Install infrared illuminators to provide additional lighting
Color CCTV cameras on the other hand, are more complex since they use only one wavelength in the light spectrum to operate, namely, "visible light". As such, these cameras are able to provide high quality color images if the environment is well lit. This makes color cameras ideal for indoor surveillance applications. These cameras cannot operate in the dark, even with the aid of infrared illuminators. The only way to get them to work at night is to illuminate the area under surveillance using powerful floodlights.
The Benefits of Day/Night Cameras
True Day/Night cameras are specially designed to operate in both well-lit and poorly lit environments. The cameras have an inbuilt IR cut filter, which blocks infrared rays during the day and allows only visible light to pass through to the image sensor.