Just like human eyes, security cameras work best when there’s plenty of light. However, a lot of burglars and vandals prefer to work in the dark since there’s less chance of someone spotting them. If you want a camera to spot this kind of activity, you’ll either need a lot of lights in the area or you’ll need a model that can work well even when it’s dark. Thankfully, modern technology has several options you can choose from to get the footage quality you need.
Digital cameras use sensor panels that pick up light waves and convert the information into video. Small sensors can only capture so much light, but they’re less expensive. Large sensors have more surface area to pick up light waves, and so with the right software and settings a surveillance camera can still pick out details in low-light conditions as well as a dilated human eye or even better. However, just like your eyes, these cameras don’t work in complete darkness.
Infrared cameras work by picking up infrared light waves instead of waves in the visible spectrum. Infrared light cameras usually create videos in black and white (or black and green), so you won’t get to see normal colors. You also won’t be able to see through solid objects like glass or clear plastic because of the way infrared light works. Still, IR cameras can see in complete darkness thanks to the heat that people and objects radiate, plus most of them have a set of infrared LEDs that “light up” the area in the IR spectrum.
Sometimes you want your cameras to be obvious because a visible camera can deter people from trying to break into your home or business. Other times it’s better to have a hidden camera that can watch what people do when they think no one’s around to see them. Depending on the design you can hide a wireless low-light camera inside or outside, and if it can capture the IR spectrum you won’t have to worry about whether or not the person you’re tracking turns on the lights or not.
A motion-detecting camera is one that starts recording once someone moves close by. This can save recording space, plus you can connect the same motion detector to a set of outdoor lights that turn on at the same time. This lets you save money on your electricity bill while keeping the area bright enough for your camera to record what’s going on. Your camera won’t have to use a big sensor or infrared to see what’s going on, but you should still make sure the motion detection works well when it’s dark.
Regular cameras have trouble capturing footage in low-light conditions or complete darkness, but the right models can record in incredible detail even when the sun has set or the room you’re recording is completely dark. However, there are a lot of options out there and not all of them are equally good. That’s why it helps to consult with a security company like Security Integration to understand which brands and which locations work best.