If you’ve decided to use infrared illuminators to record the outside of your home or office at night, then you’ve made an excellent step toward better security. You should keep in mind, though, that not all uses of infrared are equal. To maintain proper outdoor and nighttime surveillance, you need to know how to use an infrared illuminator most effectively.
It is occasionally possible for infrared illuminators to be visible to the naked eye. This requires very specific conditions and does not happen often, but if it does happen, a burglar may be able to use that information to their advantage. To avoid this, always use an infrared illuminator with a frequency of 940 nanometers or less.
Infrared illuminators have variable range. Increasing the range allows them to cover a larger area, but they use a lot more power to do this. One solution to this issue is to place the illuminator near critical areas, such as at the wall, fence, or potential entrance point on your property, while you place the camera at a distance, so it can continue to record the entire area. This can maximize your visibility without having to use expensive illuminators and a lot of extra power.
An infrared illuminator’s optics determine exactly how much light it is able to bring in. This is noted by its “F” rating. The higher the F rating is, the more light the illuminator will bring in, so always try to get an infrared illuminator with the highest F rating you can find.
Infrared illuminators work best when they are paired with a camera that records in black and white. Since there is no color in the footage, having color in the recording can only distort the image. You can purchase an illuminator and camera in a packaged, integrated kit or separately. It often costs more to purchase them separately, but they tend to be more versatile and of much higher quality when you do so.