How to Improve Your Security System's View at Night

Ways night vision security cameras and sensors keep your home safe

By: Jason Stevens

MAY 20, 2022

Night Vision Video Analytics Desktop

You’ve no doubt seen grainy nighttime footage of a deer caught on a wildlife camera or a car thief trying to break into a driveway vehicle. The bottom line is not all night vision security cameras are created equal, and some of these devices don’t do a great job of providing footage in the dark.

Here are a few things to know about how night vision security cameras work, ways to keep your cameras running at peak performance, and how to improve night vision cameras to keep your home and property secure after dark.

How night vision cameras work

How do night vision cameras work exactly? Many night vision security cameras use infrared light to capture movement. Those little LED bulbs surrounding your outdoor camera actually put off light invisible to the naked eye to illuminate the object or person with infrared light and subsequently capture footage. Other night vision security cameras may use thermal imaging, which picks up the heat emitted by objects, people, and animals.

How to select night vision security cameras

Here are three main considerations when choosing the best cameras for your home or property:

  • Consider your environment. Are you trying to capture movement in a wooded backyard area, a driveway, or along your front walkway? Are you trying to capture nighttime footage through a glass? If, for instance, you’re securing your garage or vehicles, you’ll want to ensure you have a quality outdoor night vision security camera that offers the clearest footage of faces, license plates, and other identifying features. An indoor camera with a smaller field of vision works well to monitor the hallway outside your toddler’s bedroom door.

  • Determine your range. For closer-proximity clarity, a 1080p camera works well in a 20- to 40-foot range. If you need a camera to capture a wide swath of your yard, invest in a 4K Ultra security camera for higher definition and a range of about 150 feet.

  • Know the camera’s capabilities. Does the night vision camera offer two-way speaking capability, a spotlight, and adequate storage? Does it come equipped with a backup battery in the event of a power outage? Determine the features you need before you begin shopping for a security camera.

How to get the most out of your night vision camera

The night vision component of your security camera does have its limitations. There are, however, ways to get the most mileage out of your nighttime footage.

  • Enhance lighting. A night vision security camera works better if you better illuminate the vision field. Decorate your landscape with solar lights, add extra infrared lights, and motion-sensing floodlights, and keep porch lights illuminated throughout the nighttime hours.

  • Install motion sensors. A garage door sensor alerts you to any opening of a hatch or roll-up door. Wireless window and door sensors, along with glass break detectors, allow you to better monitor all entry points to your home, complementing your camera setup.

  • Add more cameras. To ensure you best capture a person’s face, you’ll want them to be within about 20 feet of even the most high-definition security camera. A night vision driveway camera may catch a figure walking toward your home, but a monitored doorbell camera with night vision can get better identifying details. Indoor cameras also can help alert you to any breach of entry.

  • Don’t skimp on quality. Brinks Home™ indoor and outdoor professionally monitored cameras provide high-resolution footage, adjustable sensitivity options, and weatherproof operation to ensure you get footage you can use day or night.

  • Clean your devices. Keep dirt, debris, moisture, and other elements off your camera lens by cleaning them regularly.

  • Mount night vision cameras in appropriate spots. Want to survey your entire backyard? Consider mounting that security camera under an eave or on a tree with a high enough angle so you can see more of your property and surroundings.

  • Watch for obstructions. Positioning a camera through a glass window may cause light reflections, and installing one near a tree or shrub may pick up more of the landscaping in the foreground and less of a person or animal in the background. Be sure to find a clear line of vision when mounting a camera.

If you're looking for indoor or outdoor cameras with nighttime vision for your home security system, contact Brinks Home and our Security Consultants will help you choose the right one for your system.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

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