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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Outdoor Security Cameras In Low Light Conditions

By Steve Goldman

One of the most challenging obstacles to outdoor surveillance is the lighting levels required to effectively record with your outdoor security camera. There are three basic ways we can overcome this aspect of the outdoor environment. We can try to control the lighting conditions ourselves, or we can use specialized tools to effectively record conditions ranging from low light to complete darkness.

While it is not always an option, installing additional lighting to the area is one way we can make sure the outdoor security camera captures usable video footage. A simple system like a light that is controlled by a person is not always viable when there may not be a person to do the job. There are also motion activated lights as well as motion activated cameras that begins recording only when there is some movement detected. The important part is that the light is sufficient in illuminating the security camera's entire field of view.

When additional lighting is not an option or not the ideal solution and it is low light conditions a black and white camera may suffice. This is only effective up to a point and some amount of lighting is still required for the camera to produce quality images. Black and white cameras work because they have lower light requirements than colored cameras.

For lower light levels where black and white cameras are useless, night vision cameras are the next option. They use infrared technology to detect lights at wave lengths outside the visible range in the spectrum. The minimum light level a camera requires is measured in LUX ratings and a rating of 0 means the camera can record in complete darkness.

The sole purpose of an outdoor security camera is to record activity in an area for increased security and darkness is more reason to increase the level of security. Psychologically people feel more secure committing crimes under the cover darkness and that is why we have a need to protect our things, our families, and ourselves with security surveillance cameras.

The most effective way to protect your camera is by installing it properly in the first place. Install the camera inside a housing unit if necessary and it usually will be necessary, and mount the camera flush to the wall or ceiling if possible. Minimize the exposure of the cables to avoid tampering. Take as many threats into consideration when installing the camera to minimize the chances of an attack, and minimize the effect of the attack when it does happen.

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