IR Illuminators 101

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Many business owners lean on video surveillance systems for protecting their property, assets, employees, and customers 24/7. To this end, true day/night security cameras offer a competitive advantage over daytime-only cameras since they are able to capture footage at night. To provide the clearest picture in low light conditions, however, experts recommend adding an infrared (IR) illuminator to cameras not already equipped; this device provides a wash of infrared light undetectable to the human eye which helps to materially enhance picture quality. In this article, we discuss the basics of IR illuminators to help you decide whether this useful device is right for your surveillance needs.

What Is an IR Illuminator?

An IR illuminator is a specialized light that can be added to any video surveillance environment. This device emits a beam of infrared light invisible to the naked eye, which enables a typical day/night camera to capture high-definition footage in low light conditions. Some day/night cameras offer built-in LED IR illuminators, but third party illuminators can be purchased and placed strategically near any camera that lacks this important feature. When placed in a series of tactical locations, IR illuminators can be vital for obtaining critical footage, even in complete darkness. IR illuminators are also especially helpful for capturing better footage of vehicles and license plates. Absent IR enhancement, even the best day/night cameras generally struggle to contrast bright lights like headlights and taillights at night.

What Are the Benefits of IR Illuminators?

IR illuminators are perfect for all types of day/night cameras in low light conditions. Any business owner who is contemplating installing these useful devices should consider the following benefits:

Easy Integration

IR illuminators can be easily incorporated into most security systems that are already using day/night cameras. Regardless of the white lights a system may use, IR illuminators can be placed wherever necessary to help security cameras capture crisp footage in the dark. IR illuminators should be mounted near security cameras to avoid creating shadows and the bleaching of images.

Full Coverage

Using an IR illuminator allows your day/night IP security camera or CCTV camera to film a much broader area. Experts recommend strategically placing LED IR illuminators throughout covered premises to illuminate even the darkest areas. Placing the correct IR illuminators at ideal distances will allow cameras to obtain clear images and run necessary analytics.

High-Quality Images

When an IR illuminator is properly balanced with a camera’s settings, it can improve the quality of footage captured at night. In this situation, analytics like facial recognition or license plate readability become more powerful with an IR illuminator than they typically would be in low light conditions.

Inconspicuous Presence

IR illuminators emit infrared light above 700nm, which cannot be detected by the human eye. If a criminal, vandal, or otherwise unauthorized user enters a covered location in the dark, IR illuminators allow business owners to catch perpetrators in the act. It is worth noting, however, that IR illuminators on the lower end of the infrared spectrum may emit a red glow. Business owners who need a completely covert surveillance operation should invest in an IR illuminator that emits light at a wavelength of 940nm – this will make the area seem completely dark.

Conclusion

IR illuminators are a critical tool for capturing crisp, clear footage in low light conditions. If you would like to learn more about IR illuminators, IP security cameras, or video surveillance systems in general, our team of experts at Qnectus is here to help. Contact us today.

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