How Do Infrared Security Cameras Work?
Safety and security is always it’s even more important in nighttime and low to no light conditions. Infrared security cameras allow you to do more than just see in the work regardless of the lighting conditions, giving you a sharp set of eyes even in absolutely zero light. But how do they work?
Infrared light is light that we cannot see with our eyes. Infrared light has a longer wavelength and lower frequency than regular visible light. The name literally means ‘below red’, red being the the color of the longest wavelengths of visible light. Infrared picks up how much heat an object or person has, since everything on earth puts out some form of infrared light depending on its temperature.
Infrared security cameras use infrared LED lighting positioned around the outside of the camera lens in order to capture in areas where there is absolutely no light. No matter what the environmental conditions are, infrared measures the heat coming from objects in the area, and this can be read by the light required. Infrared can also travel through fog, dust and smoke no matter how thick. It can even travel through some materials.
Although infrared security cameras are often referred to as night vision cameras, don’t confuse them with ‘day/night’ cameras. A day/night camera has a very sensitive imaging chip that lets the camera capture a viewable picture even in low light conditions. It does not, however, use infrared technology. A day/night camera is a good option for areas that have a constant source of light, such as a street light or security light, but they will not work if that light is switched off or broken (either accidentally or deliberately).
When light is available, infrared cameras will give you a color picture. As it gets darker, the camera automatically switches to infrared mode. In this mode, the camera records in black and white.
So how do you know how good an infrared security camera is? One way of measuring is the camera’s lux. Lux refers to the amount of light required to give a good picture. Obviously, the lower the lux, the lower the light the camera needs. A true infrared camera will have a 0.0 lux in infrared mode, which means they can see in complete, utter, total darkness with no light at all.
You can also compare infrared cameras according to how far they can see in complete darkness. This is measured according to how many infrared LED’s are built in to the camera. Some long range cameras can see up to 150 total blackness! Depending on how much property you want to protect, you can select short range or long range cameras that will keep you covered.
You can use these cameras inside or outside. If you use them outside, you’re better off getting one that is meant for outdoor use…a weatherproof bullet-style camera. Putting an indoor camera in an outdoor camera housing may result in glare from the glass of the housing.
Infrared security cameras are your best bet for matter what your environmental conditions are. If you want to be able to see in the dark, you can’t get better than infrared technology.