Why You Need Infrared Illuminators
Both digital and analog security cameras rely on infrared LEDs to illuminate the image when there’s no sunlight or external light source – it’s completely dark outside. Many cameras have infrared light to illuminate in darkness, but often the output of the camera’s own light is still low.
The solution is to add an IR Illuminator downfield from the camera, to act as an additional source of infrared light. Since humans can’t see infrared light, there’s no visible effect to human eyes.
Not all IR cameras are equal. There is a huge variety of IR distances, ranging fom 30ft to 250ft. The difference between these cameras is the number of IR LEDs. 30ft may only require 8 IR LEDs, while 250ft requires 64 IR LEDs.
When the power of the internal infrared lights is not enough to illuminate the farthest point of the camera’s view, you can add an external infrared illuminator near the dark area, to provide additional invisible light that only the security camera can see. The model linked at the top is rated for 80ft of added illumination. Teledux also makes a slightly larger model capable of 120ft added infrared light.
These infrared illuminators are relatively inexpensive, and only require a power outlet to plug into. Point the illuminator in the direction of the cameras view that you wish to have more light visible when it’s dark outside.
Our house has 2 of the Tendelux 80ft IR Illuminators (Buy on Amazon) with great illumination results. These units are inexpensive (around $20 for 80ft range), outdoor rated, and very effective. Humans cannot see infrared light, therefore the light these external illuminators create is not visible to the human eye. A human will be able to see a slight red glow coming from the face of the infrared illuminator. This glow is minimal, and is inevitable as infrared LEDs do create tiny amounts of visible red light.