Infrared Security Cameras: All You Need to Know

Infrared security cameras provide clear and detailed video footage even in complete darkness. Whether you’re searching for the ideal infrared security cameras for your home or already have an infrared security camera system but would like to conceal the infrared glow, you’ll find the answers you need here.

We’ve previously covered the top issues related to night vision security cameras in a prior post.

Infrared Security Cameras: Meaning

Infrared security cameras, also known as IR CCTV cameras, are capable of providing clear and identifiable video footage in low-light or no-light environments.

IR security cameras typically feature several built-in red lights around the outer edges of the camera lens.

You may be wondering why infrared surveillance cameras have red lights.

In reality, the red lights (IR LEDs) that you see on the cameras are what enable outdoor infrared security cameras to “see at night.” They provide lighting so that the cameras can detect objects and movement even in dim lighting conditions or complete darkness.

Although security cameras with infrared lights are sometimes referred to as “night vision” security cameras due to their exceptional abilities in dim lighting conditions, they differ from day and night security cameras.

Day & night security cameras do not feature infrared technology and, therefore, cannot operate in complete darkness.

You can use a day and night security camera in low light conditions. However, for areas with no ambient light, a wireless infrared security camera is a better option.

There are three primary types of night vision security cameras available on the market: infrared security cameras, colour night vision cameras, and starlight cameras. For more information on these different types of night vision security cameras, check out our comprehensive guide by clicking on this link here.

How Do Infrared Security Cameras Work

Infrared security cameras utilize infrared LED lights to capture information in low-light or no-light conditions, working by detecting infrared radiation or photons emanating from heat-emitting objects.

The infrared security camera system then converts the photons into electrons, which are subsequently processed into images that can be viewed on phones or monitors.

In well-lit environments, infrared night vision security cameras can produce color images. However, as darkness falls, the camera’s infrared LEDs are automatically triggered, and the IR cut filter engaged over the image sensor. This results in the capture of black and white images.

Thanks to their working principle, infrared security cameras are capable of functioning effectively in foggy or rainy weather conditions, which can reduce visibility and result in blurry images for non-infrared security cameras.

Best Infrared Security Cameras

If you’re in the market for an infrared security camera or system, here are some of our top picks:

#1. Best Infrared Security Camera for Home – ZOSI 1NC-296

If you’re searching for a wire-free version of infrared security cameras with motion detection, ZOSI 1NC-296 is a must-have for your home.

This wireless outdoor infrared security camera comes with built-in LEDs and a starlight image sensor that allows it to see clearly, even in total darkness up to 33ft. It also features PIR smart motion detection and can send you intelligent alerts when motion detection is triggered.

C296 - Pan Tilt IP Security Cameras

  • 4K Ultra HD/5MP Super HD
  • Starlight Color Night Vision
  • Pan & Tilt
  • PoE/WiFi Connection
  • Light & Siren Alarm
  • Upgraded AI-Powered Detection
  • 2-Way Audio

Below are some daytime captures shared by a real user of this outdoor infrared security camera.

daytime captures a car parked outside the garage

Furthermore, check out this sample of 1NC-296’s night vision captures:

night vision captures a car parked outside the garage

#2. Best PTZ Infrared Security Camera – ZOSI 1NC-298

If you’re seeking high-resolution infrared security cameras, the ZOSI 1NC-298 is undoubtedly one of the best options available.

ZOSI 1NC-298 with dual lens: bullet lens plus dome lens. By capturing different areas, these two lenses can best meet the requirements for monitoring large outdoor areas such as gardens, farms, etc.

This infrared bullet security camera boasts a 0 Lux rating in infrared mode, and its infrared range can extend up to 100ft in darkness. Additionally, it features dual-band WiFi for less interference and 8X optical zoom.

8MP PTZ Wifi Outdoor Camera With Dual Lens - 1NC-298

  • 4MP+4MP Dual Lens
  • Dual Lens Achieves Ultra-wide Field Of View
  • AI Person Detection and Auto Tracking
  • Starlight Color Night Vision
  • Smart Motion Alerts Push
  • Two-way Audio & Customize Voice Alerts
  • SD Card Storage & Cloud Storage

#3. Best Outdoor IR Security Camera – ZOSI IPC-186

When it comes to wired outdoor IR security cameras, the ZOSI IPC-186 is an exceptional cost-effective option priced below USD $100.

AuroraLux IPC-186 – 5MP true color night vsion camera, it allows to reveal the finest details even in complete darkness, all without relying on external spotlights.

With its 0 Lux rating in infrared mode, this camera can see up to 100ft in total darkness, thanks to 36pcs of IR LED lights and advanced IR technology.

Additionally, this outdoor infrared security camera can connect to phones for remote viewing, ensuring that you never miss a precious moment even when you’re not at home.

5MP AuroraLux Security Camera - C186

  • 3K/5MP Super HD
  • AuroraLux True Color Night Vision
  • 3000K Neighbor-Friendly Warm Light
  • Smart Person/Vehicle Detection
  • Light & Siren Deterrence
  • Two-Way Audio Talk
  • 128GB SD & PoE NVR
  • IP66 Waterproof Design

For a preview of the image quality produced by this outdoor infrared security camera, check out the accompanying night vision video.

#4. Best Infrared Security Camera System – ZOSI 16SK-182

ZOSI 16SK-182 IR security camera system comprises of 4 outdoor infrared security cameras and an NVR for 24/7 continuous recording. It is super easy to set up and can also record motion events even without an internet connection, making it extremely versatile.

C182 - 4K POE Surveillance Cameras Security Monitor Systems

  • 4K Ultra HD
  • Smart Person/Vehicle Detection
  • Customize Detection Zone
  • Starlight Night Vision
  • 24/7 Video & Audio Recording
  • Access Remotely & Flexibly
  • Two Way Audio

Infrared Security Cameras: Factors to Consider

When searching for the best infrared home security cameras, many factors should be taken into account.

Below are some essential features and factors that should be evaluated among the various infrared security cameras available for sale.

1. Wavelength of Infrared Surveillance Cameras

Infrared security cameras typically come with either 850nm or 940nm wavelengths, which impact the camera’s performance.

850nm infrared lighting presents clear and detailed images over long distances. However, this comes with a conspicuous red glow that some may not desire.

On the other hand, 940nm infrared lighting is invisible but less powerful, providing less output.

2. Night Vision Distance of Infrared Security Camera Systems

The distance an infrared security camera can see in complete darkness often depends on the type and number of built-in LED lights. For example, ZOSI PTZ infrared security camera with 6pcs infrared lights can see up to 190ft in low light conditions, which many other infrared video cameras fail to do.

While some security cameras can see up to 190ft in low light conditions, the distance varies, so choose accordingly based on the area you want to monitor.

3. Lux of Wireless Infrared Security Cameras

The Lux rating of an infrared security camera represents how much light is required for usable images. A 0.0 Lux rating indicates that the camera can function in total darkness or without ambient light.

4. Motion Detection of IR Security Cameras

Motion detection is an essential feature for infrared security cameras, alerting you of abnormal movements in real-time. Proper placement of the camera and motion detection sensitivity adjustments are crucial in avoiding false alarms (read this to learn the ideal locations to place home security cameras).

Additionally, features such as price/performance ratio, security camera warranties, resolution, storage space, security camera lens, and others should also be considered when looking for the ideal infrared CCTV security camera.

More Insider Tips to Get the Best Infrared Security Cameras

In addition to examining the product pages of infrared security cameras, consider these practical insider tips to select the best infrared home security cameras.

  • Watch footage samples of both daytime and night vision captured by IR security cameras.
  • Read reviews from real users of wired and wireless infrared security cameras to see if they recommend the camera.
  • Search for professional infrared security camera reviews from top-tier media outlets that provide pros and cons of various infrared security camera systems in detail.
  • Narrow down your options to reliable brands with sound after-sales service, such as 30-day money-back guarantees and 1-to-1 instant technical support.

How to Disable or Get Rid of the Infrared Security Camera Red Light/Glow

As mentioned earlier, the majority of infrared security cameras for sale utilize 850nm wavelengths, which can produce a glowing red illumination at night. This glow can be noticeable to burglars and attract bugs or spiders, leading to frequent false alarms and unwanted recordings.

However, blocking the LED bulbs with black electrical tape is not a feasible solution since the LED lights are essential for infrared security cameras.

An alternative is to disable the IR lights and install an external IR illuminator. Some infrared security cameras allow you to turn off the IR lights in your camera settings on your phone or PC.

It’s important to avoid tampering with your infrared security camera systems, which can void your warranty. Therefore, if you’re unclear about the process of hiding or disabling infrared security camera systems’ red glow, ensure that you contact a professional for assistance.

Can You Place IR Security Cameras Behind Glass/Windows

When infrared security cameras are placed behind glass, it can cause infrared reflection, resulting in inferior picture quality.

The best practice is to NEVER place your infrared security camera systems behind any glass. Instead, opt for outdoor IR surveillance cameras that are designed to withstand the outdoor elements.

Moreover, avoid mounting wireless infrared security cameras too close to a wall, ceiling, or in between two walls, as it can obstruct the camera’s IR LEDs and cause infrared reflection issues.

For more tips on using wireless infrared surveillance cameras behind a glass window, refer to our previously published guide on the subject.

IR Security Camera Troubleshooting Tips

Are your outdoor/indoor infrared security cameras or IR on security cameras not functioning correctly?

Try these IR security camera troubleshooting tips to solve the issue:

Tip 1: Ensure that your power supply or the power supply distribution box is providing sufficient amperage to assist the LED lights in burning.

Tip 2: Clean the glass dome of the infrared CCTV security cameras with a damp microfiber cloth or windshield cleaner. Avoid using any other chemical cleaners on the glass of the IR security cameras.

Tip 3: Check the cables if the IR LEDs of the infrared video security camera systems are not operational in the dark at night.

Tip 4: Confirm that your wireless infrared security cameras are not positioned outside the maximum WiFi range.

If your infrared security cameras are still not functioning adequately, you can explore additional solutions outlined in our guide to fix infrared security camera issues.

IR Security Camera FAQs

We receive numerous frequently asked questions regarding infrared security cameras. Here are a few of them:

1. How do you disable or eliminate the red glow of Infrared security cameras?

Most infrared security cameras for sale now utilize the 850nm wavelength, resulting in a red glow at night that can draw attention to burglars and attract insects to the IR lights, causing false alarms.

Placing black electrical tape over the LED bulbs is not recommended as it blocks the LED lights and eliminates the security camera’s ability to capture clear images at night.

Disabling the IR lights and installing an external IR illuminator is a preferable alternative. Some infrared security cameras allow you to turn off the IR lights in the camera settings on your phone or PC.

However, tampering with your infrared security camera system may void your warranty, so seek professional assistance if necessary.

2. Can you place IR security cameras behind glass/windows?

Placing infrared security cameras behind glass can result in infrared reflection and inferior picture quality.

As a result, it’s strongly recommended to never place your infrared security camera systems behind glass. Instead, choose outdoor IR surveillance cameras designed for optimal outdoor performance.

Moreover, avoid mounting wireless infrared security cameras too close to walls, ceilings, or between two walls, as this can result in IR LED obstruction and infrared reflection issues.

Buy Infrared Security Cameras

With the buying guide above, you can now purchase an infrared security camera system with ease and confidence in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Europe, and other countries, and enjoy free shipping from a security camera online store.

At Zosi, all of our products are genuine infrared CCTV security cameras and systems, guaranteeing remarkably clear images captured in complete darkness. Get ready to be impressed!

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