No matter what part of the world you live in, chances are you have experienced instances of insecurity like theft, burglary, unauthorized access, or even vandalism.
In fact, such cases have been on the rise and people are increasingly adopting a safety-first approach in an effort to secure their valuables and most importantly, themselves.
One of the most efficient ways to ensure a safe and secure environment is installing security cameras. There are plenty of makes and models of these devices with all kinds of features to suit an equally wide range of needs.
While they are believed to work well during the day, a major concern is their effectiveness at night. There’s no denying that most of the crimes occur at night; therefore, when looking for security cameras, it’s best to consider those that can provide a clear vision of your premises even in the dark.
These cameras are usually installed outdoors to watch areas that are deemed vulnerable like driveways, backyards, parking lots, decks, in the garage, and anywhere else you are concerned about.
Since different people need different levels of security, it’s important to access your specific needs when selecting the best night vision security camera. Night vision cameras are available as either individual components or complete packages. The latter usually include the cameras themselves, as well as the DVR and cables needed to have an optimal system.
Would you like to monitor your home remotely while you’re away on holiday or working nightshift? Or, do you own a business and are worried about the security of your property at night when the building is deserted?
Whatever your reasons, having a CCTV camera is no longer a luxury but a necessity. In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know about night vision security cameras, particularly the wireless ones.
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How Do Night Vision Security Cameras Work?
Keeping an eye on your home or business premises has never been easier thanks to the new wave of connected security cameras. Night vision security cameras utilize various techniques to capture and produce image and video evidence in near to total darkness. These technologies include:
There’s always some light present at night even if it doesn’t seem like much. The low-light night vision cameras have ultra-sensitive sensors that can intensify even the slightest amount of reflected light to produce an amplified image.
Regular security cameras usually turn to black and white mode at night due to low lighting, but since low light cameras are designed to work with limited light, they can produce excellent colored imaging in these settings. Of the different technologies employed for night vision cameras, this seems to be the most commonly used among homeowners as it’s quite affordable.
Since these security cameras need some light to function, they may not return the best results in very dark environments. Therefore, ensure the areas you attach these cameras to have some sort of lighting available.
Infrared security Camera
This night vision technology relies on infrared lights. Infrared security cameras have built-in small LED bulbs that automatically turn on at night and acts as a floodlight for the camera. The camera will flood an area with infrared light and then the sensor will record a visible image since this kind of light spectrum is invisible to the human eye. Keep in mind that the more the infrared lights, the better a night vision infrared security camera will be.
Majority of the infrared security cameras feature motion detection and the infrared lights are only activated when the camera senses movement and captures images. In such devices, infrared isn’t on continuously, thus saving power. Since these cameras don’t rely on light, users are assured of a consistent black and white image quality even in the darkest conditions.
Among the night vision technologies, this one is the most efficient and produces the clearest images. As if that wasn’t enough, they are some of the cheapest security cameras available in the market. With these and many other benefits, it’s easy to see why infrared security cameras are the most used for outdoor home surveillance.
Thermal imaging security camera
Some cameras use heat waves instead of light sources to produce images. Thermal imaging technology is based on the principle that all objects emit some level of infrared energy. Instead of utilizing reflected light on the target object(s), as with the above night vision technologies, the infrared energy is intensified with higher temperatures and creates thermal images.
The efficiency and effectiveness of thermal night vision security cameras will never be affected no matter what the light levels are. As if that wasn’t enough, these cameras can function even in the worst weather conditions and even detect objects at great distances, making them the best long range night vision security cameras.
The images are, however, not the typical pictures but rather a direct view of what the sensors are recording. Hot objects, as would be produced by a human or animal, produce white images while cold objects produce black images. Some thermal security cameras can produce colored images too.
Unlike other technologies used in night vision security cameras, those that use thermal imaging are usually resistant to dust, smoke, as well as anti-CCTV surveillance devices such as visor glasses and infrared laser glasses.
Thermal cameras are considered the most effective and reliable of the three technologies, which is why large corporations, government agencies, as well as security companies rely on them so much.
Wireless Security Cameras
With wireless technology being applied on just about everything, surveillance camera systems have not been left behind as many of today’s systems are made wireless. These security cameras aren’t completely wire-free since majority still needs at least one wire or cable for power.
There are, however, some battery powered security camera with night vision, making them truly wireless. But keep in mind that you’ll need to recharge them regularly and even replace them several times a year to keep them functioning constantly and optimally.
The wireless aspect refers to how they transmit audio/video. Unlike wired systems that rely on a network or wires installed through the walls, floors, and ceilings to transmit images and video signals to a viewing device, wireless security cameras communicate wirelessly with the control panel.
They transmit audio/video signal over the internet to a receiver that connects to your recording and/or viewing device. The data can be stored on a memory card slot or in the cloud. Wireless security cameras also come with apps that allow you to connect to your smartphone, thus allowing you to monitor activity in real-time while you’re away.
Can wireless cameras work without internet? A simple answer is yes. You can make a wireless security camera work without internet by simply connecting to its power supply and the receiving device using a network cable. Just note that you won’t be able to access the camera feed remotely.
That being said, there are a few limitations that come with wireless security systems. For starters, internet connections are subject to downtime and interference, and this could limit the system’s functionality. Secondly, as with many internet-connected devices, there’s a major concern that your security system could be hacked. For this reason, be sure to use a strong and unique password when setting up the security system and ensure your data is saved to secure areas online.
If the above issues are a major concern for you, you can still install wireless night vision security cameras and get them to work without internet access as outlined earlier.
Tips for Best Wireless Night Vision Security Cameras
Even after finding the best wireless Night Vision security cameras, there are a few things you can do when installing and using your cameras that can greatly impact the quality of the image/video feed that they will record. Here are a few tips to ensure the best results:
Keep the field of view clear
Majority of night vision security cameras utilize reflected light on the target objects. For this reason, you should ensure no objects are sticking into the field of view near the cameras. Night vision security cameras usually adjust light exposure to give the best image; therefore, if there’s a blocking object like a tree jutting into the frame of the camera, it will be brightly lit. The camera will try and make the image darker to compensate. The negative effect of this is that the rest of the images being captured will become far too dark to see any detail.
The camera needs something to reflect off of
The light from night vision security cameras won’t be visible unless it’s reflected off of something. Therefore, if you point the camera into an empty field, you will see nothing but darkness in the image. This doesn’t mean that your cameras aren’t working and something will still be visible if it moves into range.
Take note of the mounting height
How powerful your night vision is will also depend on the height you cameras are mounted at. For instance, if you mount a camera on your house, 3m from the ground, and pack your car 4m away from the house, the actual distance from the camera to the car is 5m. Some night vision security cameras don’t function well in far distances, making this an important thing to consider when mounting cameras, especially above ground floor height.
What to Consider When Selecting the Best Wireless Night Vision Security Cameras
If you are finally ready to cash in on all the benefits of these kinds of security cameras, the next logical step is to make a purchase. There are so many choices available in the market to suit the needs of any buyer, but this can make the selection process a bit difficult. We’ve highlighted some of the most important things to consider below so you can make an informed choice.
The security coverage you need
How much area you want to monitor is going to determine the number of things, starting with the number of cameras you get. CCTV surveillance systems are available in kits that include one, two, or more cameras. A single-camera kit will suffice if you are looking to cover small areas like the front door. However, if you want to monitor every corner of your property, you’ll have to purchase multiple camera kits.
In addition to the number of cameras a system has, each camera’s viewing angle is also important as it determines how much space they can cover. Majority of the security cameras have a limited field of view of 90 degrees but you can still find some that allow for a larger view of 140 degrees and beyond.
The larger the viewing angle, the more a camera will be able to capture and the better the chances of capturing miscreants. The details are, however, not always as clear with a wide field of view since such cameras focus on providing an overview of a wider area rather than a small and detailed perspective of an image as would a smaller field of view.
Lastly, keep in mind that different cameras have a different range of coverage. Long range wireless surveillance cameras outdoor will capture clear images even at far distances. Black and white mode security cameras generally offer long range security cameras compared to their colored counterparts.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of wide and long range wireless cameras, but how the camera lens moves is also important. Being able to change your security camera’s viewing angle by tilting vertically, panning horizontally, as well as zooming in/out allows for greater flexibility in terms of positioning the camera. A camera with pan/tilt/zoom capabilities can cover and record more area than a static one.
Clear images in security cameras are vital for identifying what the camera captures like faces. And, the resolution is what determines the clarity of the images captured by your security cameras. HD cameras are the norm with wireless night vision security cameras supporting at least 720p resolution to a full-HD 1080p resolution.
While the former is usually clear enough to make out faces, a higher resolution means higher-quality footage with images that are more detail, clearer, and easier to see. Keep in mind that a high-resolution night vision security camera will use a lot of bandwidth and take up a lot of storage space.
Source of power
Most night vision security cameras, including wireless ones, are powered by a plug-in adapter that usually comes with it during purchase. A security system that’s plugged into outlets will have a constant power source. However, since the outlet has to be nearby or run an extension cord, their power cords can be unsightly.
The good news is these cameras can be wired directly into your existing power line, allowing you to place them anywhere while limiting the mess of power cords. You’ll need an electrician for this though.
If you want a completely wire-free system, consider a battery operated outdoor security camera. These are easy to set-up and are more flexible in terms of placement in and around your property. You’ll, however, need to recharge then frequently and even replace them to keep them functioning optimally.
Most battery-operated outdoor security cameras need to be recharged weekly or monthly but there are a few high-end models that will require recharge once every few months to once or twice yearly. Security cameras consume a lot of energy, so go for those with energy-saving features.
For instance, it’s better to choose a battery operated outdoor security camera with a memory card that records only when motion is detected. It will send notifications when suspicious activity is detected and store those captured images on the memory card. Such a system doesn’t monitor the surroundings continuously, thus saving energy.
There are two major ways that wireless night vision security cameras store image and video feed. Some offer local storage with a microSD card while others offer cloud-based storage. With the first option, users have greater control over their in-home security cameras footage.
It does, however, come with limitations such as limited storage space. Colored footage has more elements to it than black and white footage, thus occupies more storage space. So, consider cameras with a higher recording capacity for colored footage.
Cloud-based storage options allow you to store recordings in a secure area online. You can access the footage remotely over the web from any device. This means that you will still have footage even if your camera is stolen and you don’t have to worry about the microSD card being damaged, lost, or stolen.
While it’s possible to find free cloud-based storage, many companies charge a monthly fee for them. This allows you to review or even download the data, days or even months after it has been recorded. Be sure to find a plan that offers backup services for the greatest security.
Do you plan on installing your wireless night vision security cameras outdoors? Well, they must be able to withstand exposure to elements like extreme heat, sun, snow, and/or rain without deterioration. A waterproof camera means that it won’t get damaged if immersed in water.
Whether or not your security cameras are weather-resistant, it’s best to keep them away from the elements as much as possible. Another benefit of hidden outdoor security cameras with night vision is they are secure from vandalism and also keeps the aesthetic appeal of your property. How can I hide the wires from my outdoor camera?
Run them through walls or ceilings
Feed the wires through walls in a plastic tube
Use plastic casing to conceal the wires
Consider burying them in your garden or porch
Buy wires with similar color as your wall or simply paint the wires
Install battery powered outdoor security camera with SD card as it’s completely wire-free
Your budget is one of the biggest determinants of what security system you can go for. Always remember that you get what you pay for. Several things will determine the cost of a particular wireless night vision security camera. For starters, expect to spend anywhere from $100-400 for a good-quality outdoor camera and $50-$150 for a quality indoor camera.
There are different types of wireless night vision security cameras and are all available at varying prices. The cost of starlight image sensors, for instance, is usually higher than the normal ones. The features you get with a particular security camera will also determine its price.
There are plenty of affordable options with good-quality, basic features, but if you want a unit with all the features imaginable like both local and cloud storage options, multi-cameras, motion tracking, cellular connectivity, facial recognition, and so on, you’ll have to dig dipper into your pocket. With such fancier models, you’ll be looking at thousands of dollars.
Aside from the upfront cost of the camera itself, several other costs come with owning such technology. For example, if you want to monitor your entire property, you may have to go for a more sophisticated unit with multiple cameras and features. You’ll likely require professional installation, which will set you back from $40-200 or more.
In addition to this, some systems require an activation fee. If you want 24/7 professional monitoring for your security system, you might be required to purchase a premium plan, which usually ranges between $40/month and $60/month. Last, but not least, if you choose to store data in the cloud, you’ll need to set aside a monthly fee for this service.
Size and weight
The size of the unit is a key factor to consider as it determines where you can place the camera(s).A mini wireless camera with a slim platform and a long neck is the most ideal since it can be installed anywhere (over a door, under the eaves, or even to a tree outside) and pointed to any direction.
Mini WI-FI cameras are easy to hide, thus protecting your investment from vandalism and even harsh weather conditions. On the other hand, cameras with a larger size and no neck are more durable but their structure limits where they can be installed or pointed.
Compatibility with other smart products
Many of us are smart-home enthusiasts in this digital age. In that case, it’s best to look for in-home security cameras that integrate with other smart home devices. As more home devices become internet-connected, a smart home hub offers a centralized way to control all of them. This allows you to turn on/off or operate multiple gadgets with a swipe or even using voice command via a mobile app.
This brings us to the next point, whether or not the camera can be accessed from a smartphone. This is a popular feature that allows users to access video feed remotely and even perform other actions like deactivating triggered systems, sound alarms, flashlights, and more.
Keep in mind that not all cameras integrate with all kinds of phones. There are even some that are Bluetooth cameras, which allow your security system to communicate with your other Bluetooth devices like smartphones.
In addition to the main features we have discussed above, certain add-ons add to the functionality of your wireless night vision security cameras. Some relatively common bonus features include alarm systems, audio recording/two-way audio, user-friendly app, and so on.
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