How Does Full Color Night Vision Work on a Security Camera?

man trying to break into window with security film installed on it

How Does Full Color Night Vision Work on a Security Camera?

In the past, improving the clarity of video footage captured by a security camera ensuring low-light conditions has been a major challenge. Luckily with current advances in infrared light motion detection waves and starlight technology, you can now capture clearer, easier-to-decipher footage.

At TN Security, we’ve put together a guide on the full-color night vision security camera and how it differs from IR.

Facts About Full-Color Night Vision Security Cameras

It’s important to understand that conventional security cameras rely on visible white light to ensure they capture the real-life scene. This is why you may have noticed that security camera footage recorded outside during the day is clearer than those taken in dimly lit conditions.

To resolve these issues, security cameras have now been developed with night vision technology such as infrared and full-color night vision. Infrared security camera technology can only capture footage in black and white, whereas a full-color night vision security camera uses hypersensitive light sensors to reproduce colors and provide clearer footage in dimly lit scenarios, including nighttime.

While infrared technology is versatile due to its ability to capture video footage in pitch-dark conditions, the footage will lack contrast and color, leaving out important information. On the other hand, full-color night vision can provide you with the critical, full-color video footage you need with minimal amounts of ambient lighting.

Why is Lighting Important to My Security Camera System?

Daylight works well for outdoor cameras during the day, but artificial ambient light, such as floodlights or spotlights, is critical for low light conditions. If you choose not to go with full-color night vision security cameras, you can install artificial light fixtures separately or purchase security cameras with built-in lights.

Consider motion sensors if you plan to use a security camera with integrated lights rather than an external light source. There are options for security cameras that will begin recording and trigger the lights when they detect motion. They are more energy-conscious and can more effectively deter/surprise intruders.

One drawback with motion sensors is that they are not always accurate and do not typically detect larger surface areas.

If you are looking for something more reliable, you may opt for a security camera with always-on integrated floodlights or spotlights. With this option, you can schedule when the lights stay on. Keep in mind that with this type of camera, you will be limited to wired security cameras since the always-on spotlight requires a constant power supply.

When looking for a camera system like this, you need to find one that has lights with at least 2,000 to 3,000 Lumens. We also recommend choosing a system where you can choose the timing of the lights, the brightness, adjust motion control settings, and more! While they are more expensive, they allow you to completely customize your experience.

What If I Already Have External Lights Installed?

For clients who already have external lights installed, you aren’t required to purchase security cameras with the lights built-in. We can help you make sure that your external lighting is intense enough to help the security camera produce a clear image. You will also want to ensure you have a backup power source in an emergency.

Benefits of Starlight Full Color Night Vision Image Sensors

Starlight image sensors have been designed to reproduce color images and footage even in the most dimly lit environments. While this is a fairly new technology, it displays a variety of improvements on the older infrared night vision capture method.

Starlight image sensors produce security footage in full-color vision. You also don’t have to worry about range issues with the camera since it is not relying on ambient lighting like other camera types.

How Can I Get The Most Out of My Color Night Vision Security Cameras?

If you are looking for clear footage in dimly lit scenarios, you want to opt for a full-color night vision security camera. If you are looking at your security footage in color, you will have more details in your field of view than you would with infrared.

To get the most out of these cameras, some optimizations and maintenance are still required.

Install Ambient Light Sources

While the starlight sensors can illuminate the scene using the small amount of light given by your porchlight or streetlight far better than the infrared image method, you need to make sure you have an adequate ambient light where the camera is installed.

We recommend external light sources such as solar lights, wall lights, garden lights, as well as any other type of lighting that can augment the substantial capabilities of the starlight censors on your full-color night vision security camera.

Have Your Security Camera Hardwired

If you plan on using the built-in spotlights or flood lights on the camera rather than external sources, you will want to have your security cameras hardwired rather than relying on battery power. We recommend security cameras that can be hardwired and have a battery backup in case of a power outage. Solar panels with a trickle charge to the camera battery are another great option to keep your security system online.

Clean Your Security Camera’s Lens

We recommend you clean the lens on your security camera regularly to keep it free of cobwebs, water stains, and dust that can affect the camera’s performance.

You also need to check that the light sources are not too close to the camera and spot-check the footage regularly to ensure there is the right amount of ambient light for clear full-color footage.

While it would be nice to have an “enhance button” like in all the movies and tv shows, the best real-world scenario involves powerful equipment, maintained lenses, and adequate lighting to catch the culprit.

Looking for Security System Solutions? We Can Help!

TN Security offers a wide range of full-color night vision security camera options to help you protect your home or business. Contact us today to speak with our experts!

Ed Nuttall