When to use an Infrared Security Camera in your Security System Setup

Infrared security cameras excel at allowing security personnel to see in the dark. There are advantages and disadvantages to using this type of lens in your security camera cctv system.

Many new security personnel are aware of the large obvious drawback of using a infrared camera: it captures in black and white. However, there are many reasons why you would want an infrared security camera (or several) in your security setup.

Simply put, black and white video is better than no video and there are many situations where traditional cameras cannot capture anything.

A good security consultant will understand that there are often variables that will be outside of your control. Configuring a CCTV setup, has to plan for the unexpected such as a key light burning out, getting shattered, or having their power cut. Installing a infrared security camera functions as a tremendous failsafe for these conditions. Also, many times it is more economical, considerate, discrete, or otherwise preferred to use infrared security cameras outdoors rather than flood lighting.

How do Infrared security cameras work? Infrared Sensors (or IR) detect infrared radiation, which is essentially the byproduct of heat. Specifically, electromagnetic radiation has a wavelength longer than visible light but shorter than a microwave, which means that people cannot see it or be damaged by it. Infrared (or thermal) imaging is used in many devises such as smart missiles, night vision goggles, and television remotes. Other scientific uses involve using infrared light to predict the weather or study the formation of stars. Obviously, visible light is not necessary to produce heat, which is why infrared cameras work so well at night.

Infrared cameras come with many different numbers of infrared lights built into the lens. Some have as many as 64 or as few as 6 bulbs, but the number of bulbs is not the only thing to consider. The size of the infrared bulb is important as well. Generally the more infrared light, in both size and number, that a infrared security camera has the farther that you will be able to see with the camera.

When it comes infrared cameras if the cameras has 12 or more bulbs, it was not meant to be used indoors. This is because many flat glossy surfaces can reflect the light back and overwhelm the sensors. A few examples of these types of surfaces include windows, doors, coffee tables, even walls painted with “glossy” paint finishes can wash out an infrared sensor if it has too much light. It is better to know where you will install the camera rather than just assuming that more lights equal a better picture.

In general, an infrared security camera has a specific application in a security camera setup: to see in total darkness and thus be a failsafe to your other devices. For more information and models please see www.security-camera-warehouse.com