The infrared (IR) feature on a surveillance camera is essential and can be the highest factor in many security and surveillance scenarios since many crimes occur at night. The importance of infrared on a surveillance camera is significant:
Night Vision: The primary purpose of infrared LEDs or illuminators on surveillance cameras is to provide night vision capability. Infrared light is not visible to the human eye, but it is detectable by the camera’s sensor. When ambient light levels drop (such as at night), the IR LEDs activate, illuminating the area with infrared light. This allows the camera to capture clear images and video in complete darkness or low-light conditions, even some cameras display very clear, but black-and-white images. But today, the newest models display color with minimal lighting conditions. I would favor clarity over color any day of the week.
24/7 Surveillance: With infrared capabilities, surveillance cameras can operate around the clock, ensuring continuous monitoring of your property regardless of lighting conditions. This is especially crucial for outdoor cameras where external lighting may not always be available.
Crime Deterrence: The presence of infrared-equipped cameras can act as a deterrent to potential intruders or criminals, as they may be aware that the surveillance system can capture their activities even in the dark.
Evidence Collection: Infrared-enabled cameras provide valuable evidence in the event of an incident, such as a break-in, vandalism, or trespassing, during nighttime hours. The recorded footage can be used by law enforcement or for insurance claims.
Reduced False Alarms: Infrared technology helps cameras distinguish between genuine motion events and false alarms triggered by changes in lighting conditions, such as moving shadows or fluctuations in natural light.
Enhanced Clarity: The quality of infrared technology has improved over the years, resulting in better image clarity and detail in low-light situations. High-quality IR cameras can capture recognizable faces, license plates, and other crucial details.
Flexibility: Infrared cameras are versatile and suitable for various applications, including home security, business surveillance, parking lots, warehouses, and more.
While the infrared feature is highly beneficial, it’s essential to consider the range and quality of IR illumination when choosing a surveillance camera. Different cameras may have varying IR distances and coverage areas. The effective range of the IR illumination should match the size and requirements of the area you want to monitor at night. However, in my experience, if the manufactured states 99 feet of effective IR, I would consider (one-third), meaning 33 feet of effective visual content. Please consider this factor.
In summary, the infrared feature is critical for surveillance cameras, especially if you need 24/7 monitoring and reliable night vision capability. It ensures that your security system can capture crucial footage and provide a robust deterrent to potential threats, even in low-light or pitch-dark environments.