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How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

A lot of people have decided to install their security cameras indoors, behind glass windows. However, putting a night vision camera behind a piece of glass can ruin the images that they capture. So, we’ve put together useful tips, so you’d know how to use night vision camera through glass.

How Do Night Cameras Work?

Light exists as a spectrum that is both visible and invisible to human eyes. During night time, there’s minimal visible light. Your night vision camera can utilize this little visible light and will also detect light that is invisible to our eyes, and record them in videos that show us what the camera can see.

Night vision cameras are sensitive even to small amounts of visible light and can also pick those that are not visible to human eyes, and transform them to media that we can see. Most commercially available night vision cameras pick up infrared light and have infrared lights to illuminate the area that the camera is pointed at.

Glass Windows Can Ruin Security Camera Images

Security cameras mounted outside your house or apartment are prone to many problems. The cameras get damaged by rain or snow, or the quality of the videos gets ruined by extreme weather. Troublemakers also find them easy to tamper with. Having them can also ruin the aesthetics of your house.

So, it’s only natural for people to find a way not to install them outside the house. That’s why the idea to put the cameras behind the glass window came about.

But doing that is not really an ideal solution. Sometimes, the picture that you get from your security camera when you have it behind glass windows when it records at night are plain white or appear overexposed. That’s because there’s extra light getting picked up aside from what you intend to get. This is the light that gets reflected on the glass window. This would come from various light sources within your home.

The light inside the house, your home’s ambient light, and the light coming off the infrared light on the camera can bounce off the surface of the glass. These are picked up by your camera and will interfere with the recording of the outside scene you intend to capture. This is by far the biggest challenge you might encounter with your security camera set-up.

How to Use Night Vision Camera Through Glass?

During the day, you might notice that the image from your security camera looks great, and then the quality diminishes on night recordings. This is because natural light outside overpowers the light that the glass reflects inside the house. Come night time, the strong natural light outside is no longer there, and then you have various light sources indoors bouncing off the glass window, overpowering the light coming from the outside.

You need to make sure that the light that is coming from outside your window is the dominant light all the time to make your camera work. Here are some of the ways on how to use night vision camera through glass.

  • Turn off the infrared light in the camera

Your camera might be equipped with an infrared light. It works by throwing off infrared light onto the area the camera is pointed at, and the camera picks up the light that bounces off that area. When your camera points outside, against a glass window, that infrared light would bounce off the glass instead of the objects outside. Turning that off leaves your camera to capture only what’s coming from the outside.

If you feel that this will lessen the quality of the video you’d be capturing, then you can try putting an infrared light outside. This can take over the role of the infrared light that was built-in into your camera.

  • Eliminate ambient light inside the house

This does not mean you have to turn off all the lights inside the house so that you’d get a clearer picture from your camera. It just means you block the light so that it doesn’t bounce off the glass window. Some suggest draping a black cloth around the glass window. Ambient light gets blocked by the cloth, and your camera is free to record only the image outside.

You do not have to limit yourself to using cloth. Any material that you can install that blocks off light that will not interfere with the shot that your camera has to take will work.

Ambient light can also come from your camera’s status light. Your camera can also pick that up. Turning it off can improve the quality of the videos on your camera.

  • Install the camera that the front-end sticks close to the glass surface

By putting the front end of the camera as close to the glass window as possible, you minimize the amount of light that reflects on the glass, that the camera can pick up, to a minimum. Minimal reflected light means that it cannot overpower the light coming from the outside.

If you choose to install the camera a few inches away from the surface of the glass, then you’d be letting a wider area of the glass to be within the camera angle–letting more reflected light to get into the shot.

  • Install light sources outside

When natural light decreases at night, you can use artificial light sources. You can use light bulbs, lamps, or an infrared light if you don’t want to attract too much attention to your home. These will provide you with light that is strong enough to overpower light coming from inside your home.

Summary

When you can’t have cameras that are installed outside the house, you can opt for cameras that are mounted behind glass windows. However, having a piece of glass in the line of sight of the camera can ruin the videos you’d be taking. Try to control how much light is coming off the glass to balance it off with the light coming from the outside.

Your goal is to allow more light from the outside to get to the camera without too much interference. You can either minimize the light that bounces off the glass from inside the house with the techniques mentioned earlier or by increasing the amount of light coming from the outside.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

A lot of people have decided to install their security cameras indoors, behind glass windows. However, putting a night vision camera behind a piece of glass can ruin the images that they capture. So, we’ve put together useful tips, so you’d know how to use night vision camera through glass.

How Do Night Cameras Work?

Light exists as a spectrum that is both visible and invisible to human eyes. During night time, there’s minimal visible light. Your night vision camera can utilize this little visible light and will also detect light that is invisible to our eyes, and record them in videos that show us what the camera can see.

Night vision cameras are sensitive even to small amounts of visible light and can also pick those that are not visible to human eyes, and transform them to media that we can see. Most commercially available night vision cameras pick up infrared light and have infrared lights to illuminate the area that the camera is pointed at.

Glass Windows Can Ruin Security Camera Images

Security cameras mounted outside your house or apartment are prone to many problems. The cameras get damaged by rain or snow, or the quality of the videos gets ruined by extreme weather. Troublemakers also find them easy to tamper with. Having them can also ruin the aesthetics of your house.

So, it’s only natural for people to find a way not to install them outside the house. That’s why the idea to put the cameras behind the glass window came about.

But doing that is not really an ideal solution. Sometimes, the picture that you get from your security camera when you have it behind glass windows when it records at night are plain white or appear overexposed. That’s because there’s extra light getting picked up aside from what you intend to get. This is the light that gets reflected on the glass window. This would come from various light sources within your home.

The light inside the house, your home’s ambient light, and the light coming off the infrared light on the camera can bounce off the surface of the glass. These are picked up by your camera and will interfere with the recording of the outside scene you intend to capture. This is by far the biggest challenge you might encounter with your security camera set-up.

How to Use Night Vision Camera Through Glass?

During the day, you might notice that the image from your security camera looks great, and then the quality diminishes on night recordings. This is because natural light outside overpowers the light that the glass reflects inside the house. Come night time, the strong natural light outside is no longer there, and then you have various light sources indoors bouncing off the glass window, overpowering the light coming from the outside.

You need to make sure that the light that is coming from outside your window is the dominant light all the time to make your camera work. Here are some of the ways on how to use night vision camera through glass.

  • Turn off the infrared light in the camera

Your camera might be equipped with an infrared light. It works by throwing off infrared light onto the area the camera is pointed at, and the camera picks up the light that bounces off that area. When your camera points outside, against a glass window, that infrared light would bounce off the glass instead of the objects outside. Turning that off leaves your camera to capture only what’s coming from the outside.

If you feel that this will lessen the quality of the video you’d be capturing, then you can try putting an infrared light outside. This can take over the role of the infrared light that was built-in into your camera.

  • Eliminate ambient light inside the house

This does not mean you have to turn off all the lights inside the house so that you’d get a clearer picture from your camera. It just means you block the light so that it doesn’t bounce off the glass window. Some suggest draping a black cloth around the glass window. Ambient light gets blocked by the cloth, and your camera is free to record only the image outside.

You do not have to limit yourself to using cloth. Any material that you can install that blocks off light that will not interfere with the shot that your camera has to take will work.

Ambient light can also come from your camera’s status light. Your camera can also pick that up. Turning it off can improve the quality of the videos on your camera.

  • Install the camera that the front-end sticks close to the glass surface

By putting the front end of the camera as close to the glass window as possible, you minimize the amount of light that reflects on the glass, that the camera can pick up, to a minimum. Minimal reflected light means that it cannot overpower the light coming from the outside.

If you choose to install the camera a few inches away from the surface of the glass, then you’d be letting a wider area of the glass to be within the camera angle–letting more reflected light to get into the shot.

  • Install light sources outside

When natural light decreases at night, you can use artificial light sources. You can use light bulbs, lamps, or an infrared light if you don’t want to attract too much attention to your home. These will provide you with light that is strong enough to overpower light coming from inside your home.

Summary

When you can’t have cameras that are installed outside the house, you can opt for cameras that are mounted behind glass windows. However, having a piece of glass in the line of sight of the camera can ruin the videos you’d be taking. Try to control how much light is coming off the glass to balance it off with the light coming from the outside.

Your goal is to allow more light from the outside to get to the camera without too much interference. You can either minimize the light that bounces off the glass from inside the house with the techniques mentioned earlier or by increasing the amount of light coming from the outside.

Your HD WiFi camera Night Vision mode is set to automatically activate as a default. During low / no light conditions, the camera’s Infrared (IR) Cut Filter moves away from the lens to let in 100% of the infrared light for maximum night vision performance. This results in the camera image changing to black and white for better image quality.

You can use the Lorex Secure / FLIR Secure app on your smartphone or tablet to turn Off your camera’s Night Vision mode. You may want to do this when you are aiming your HD WiFi camera through a window. Disabling the night vision feature eliminates any halo effect reflections caused by the IR LEDs.

Prerequisites:

  • Install the Lorex Secure app, available for Android on the Google Play Store or iOS (Apple) on the App Store.
    OR
  • Install the FLIR Secure app, available for Android on the Google Play Store or iOS (Apple) on the App Store.
  • Ensure you have connected to your DVR / NVR system or HD WiFi camera using the Lorex Secure / FLIR Secure app.
    • Set up remote access to your DVR / NVR system
    • Set up remote access to your HD WiFi camera
  • The following instructions are shown using an Android smartphone. There may be some differences in the user interface when using an iOS (Apple) smartphone or iPad

To configure Night Vision mode using the Lorex Secure / FLIR Secure app:

Launch the Lorex Secure / FLIR Secure app on your smartphone or tablet.

On the Home screen, tap your camera to stream live video.

Tap the Gear icon () to open the Settings menu.

Tap the Video tab.

To set the night vision LEDs to automatically turn on in low light conditions, tap the Night Vision drop-down menu:

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

    Select Auto from the drop-down menu to set the camera to automatically activate night vision in low light conditions.

Select Off from the drop-down menu to disable night vision LEDs.

REMINDER: The camera makes a clicking noise when switching between day and night modes. This indicates that the IR filter is working properly. You should only turn night vision LEDs off if the camera environment has enough ambient light to produce an image at night.

Tap Night Vision again to save your changes.

Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read more.

@canterrain
Apr 5, 2021, 11:49 am EDT | 1 min read

The Wyze Cam v3 is a versatile security camera for inside and outside the home. But outdoor use requires running a power cable, which can difficult at best. You can put the camera in a window, but you’ll deal with glare. But we discovered an official $5 window mount that could solve that problem.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

Wyze hasn’t announced the window mount yet, so the details are scarce. But we can tell a lot just by looking at the one image the site has. When you put most cameras (including the Wyze Cam) in front of a window, you’ll deal with glare and lighting issues at night. You can get around that by pushing the camera as flush to the glass as possible and turning off the IR lights. But it’s not perfect.

The closer you can get to the glass, the better, and adding additional material around the camera sensor can help. That looks to be exactly what the Wyze Cam v3 Window Mount does. It gets the camera lens as close to the window as possible, and it adds a dark black frame around the lens. The only thing left to do is turn off the IR lights.

From what we can see, two sticky pads on the side keep the camera attached to your window, which should let you place it as high or as low as needed. You’ll just fold the base back to let it float. For $5, you’re getting a simple solution, but sometimes that’s all you need.

It appears you can buy the mount right now, but Wyze hasn’t announced the accessory, so it may not deliver right away. But if you want to record through a window and you have a Wyze Cam v3, this looks like the best solution yet.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

Window Mount For Wyze Cam V3

An easy to use window mount that should cut down on glare at night.

November 12, 2014 by Don Stephens .

If you’re not familiar with Infrared, it’s what grants CCTV security cameras the ability to see in the dark. Unlike true “night vision”, Infrared LEDs emit their own source of light instead of using existing sources; these LEDs essentially become a spotlight for your camera. While this is a magnificent feature to have in a camera, we live in an imperfect world and like everything else, it’s not always what we’d like it to be. This short list of common problems people encounter with Infrared should provide you with some finer details to consider while installing your security cameras and potentially troubleshooting at a later date. As always, if you have any questions, just leave them in the comments section and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Missing Foam Ring

Not every camera will have one, but most of them do. Glass will reflect Infrared light just like it will reflect any other kind of light. When this happens in a camera, the IR light will reflect off the glass and back into the lens; this produces a negative effect that will all but render your camera useless during these low light situations. The foam ring, while a simple concept, does a perfect job to eliminate this effect. If you find that you’re missing this component, you’ll first want to check to make sure that your camera should in fact have one before moving on to dismantling the camera. Your solution to this should be obvious.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

Improper Placement of Foam Ring

Having a foam ring be completely missing from a camera is very uncommon, but having a foam ring that isn’t seated properly is much more likely. When the foam ring is not seated flush with the IR board, or base of the lens, it will produce a similar effect on your low light image feed. You’ll simply need to open the camera and ensure that this ring is in the position that it should be.

Plastic Film on Glass

Most cameras will have a thin plastic protective film over the glass on the camera. This film is on the glass for a reason, but it should not be left on the glass after the camera is finished being installed. Once, you’re satisfied with the camera placement and viewing angle, remove the plastic cover and discard it.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

Obstruction on Glass

One of the big reasons that plastic film is on the glass is to keep everything else off of it. Things such as dirt, dust, and fingerprints on your glass can cause the effect known as Infrared glare. Similar to other issues you can encounter, this is caused by the IR light reflecting off of these obstructions and bouncing back into the lens. Once again, you’ll notice that your low light viewing needs will not be met in a case like this. Thoroughly clean the glass and remove any of these obstructions and consider the problem solved.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

Infrared Glare

We just touched on it but we’d like to make it a little broader now. While IR glare can certainly be caused by debris on your cameras glass, it’s much more common for it to be caused in other ways. For outdoor cameras, your biggest enemy is going to be reflective surfaces; bodies of water and larger lightly colored surfaces are the most common culprits. Indoor cameras are usually affected by the items or furniture surrounding them. While these objects may not even be within the cameras field of view, the objects can be close enough to reflect the IR LEDs and cause IR glare. More common than anything else, IR glare is caused by improper installation. How you mount the camera, whether it be wall or ceiling mounted, needs to be done carefully and tested both in daytime and low light conditions before calling the job complete.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

In the video below we demonstrate the IR glare phenomenon and discuss steps to ensure that it does not happen when you are mounting security cameras. Before assuming that your night vision security camera is malfunctioning, it is important to preposition the camera or bench test the camera with a known good power supply and short cable to ensure that the camera is functioning properly.

How to Prevent Infrared (IR) Glare on your Security Cameras

Infrared Reflection

The problem you are having could be due to IR reflection, which occurs due to a number of reasons listed below. Please, go through the list diligently to find the reason that pertains to your situation.
1) Your camera is indoors looking through a window. If you have the camera looking through a window, the IR will bounce of the window. IR cameras cannot be mounted behind any other glass.
2) For cameras with a glass dome cover, you need to make sure the LED lights on the IR board are not being obstructed by the camera body. All the IR LEDs must be looking through the glass dome. If the camera inside is set incorrectly, Infrared Light will bounce inside the camera and hit the image sensor.
3) Make sure you have removed the plastic cover on the outside of the glass dome.
4) Make sure the glass dome is clean. Clean it with a damp microfiber cloth or windshield cleaner only. Do not use any other chemicals on the glass.
5) You have mounted the camera to close to a wall, ceiling, or in between two walls. In this case the camera’s IR leds will be obstructed and cause IR reflection.

Infrared Obstruction

When you have an object too close to a security camera with infrared, it will cause that object to be over exposed because of the IR light shining off of it. To compensate, the camera will automatically compensate for the over exposure by dimming the picture. This will reduce the IR intensity of the camera, hence obstructing the IR of the camera. Below is an example of the water-shield on top of the bullet camera creating an obstruction that is getting lit up by the camera’s IR LED’s and the camera is adjusting exposure automatically to deal with it and in the process causing the objects farther away to appear darker. A situation such as this require the obstruction to be removed from the camera’s field of view.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

Further reading

For further reading to improve your knowledge base of security cameras a good starting point is our security camera buying guide. For troubleshooting performance of your security cameras, we suggest our security camera help knowledge base.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

    Apr 30, 2019
  • |
  • Category: Surveillance Camera and Access Control

Security cameras are a powerful crime deterrent, with the mere presence of security cameras resulting in up to 50% reductions in crime

However, what about after the crime occurs? Are security cameras really that helpful in providing evidence that allows law enforcement to solve crimes?

The answer is yes. Security cameras are known to be one of the best tools that police have available to them when they’re seeking to investigate cases. Law enforcement has used security cameras to help solve crimes ranging from drunk driving to kidnapping and murder. In this article, we’ll take a look at three of the ways that you having a quality business security camera system can help law enforcement solve crimes.

  1. Security Cameras Provide Hard Evidence

One of the trickiest parts of investigating crimes for law enforcement officers can be finding hard evidence that is objective and doesn’t run the risk of being tainted by personal opinion or error (like with eyewitness testimony). Security cameras are one of the prime ways that police might be able to obtain evidence that is reliable and provides multiple types of useful information.

For example, by reviewing security camera footage, law enforcement might be able to verify whether a suspect was in a given area at a particular time and what direction they were heading. That information can help direct the next steps in an investigation and give officers something concrete to work off of. With security cameras, law enforcement doesn’t have to operate solely on guesswork; they can use security camera footage to confirm that the investigation is headed in the right direction.

  1. Security Cameras Help Corroborate Other Types of Evidence

Security cameras are invaluable to law enforcement when they are trying to determine the accuracy of other types of evidence. If they have a statement from a witness in the area of the crime that includes a suspect description, investigators can cross-reference the security cameras to verify whether someone matching that description was in the vicinity of the crime at the appropriate time.

Security cameras can also help law enforcement officers confirm that they have the correct fact pattern based on the physical evidence at the scene of the crime. One example of this would be if somebody broke into a business. At the crime scene, officers might note that one of the windows is broken and there is glass on the floor of the business, indicating that the window was likely broken from the outside. From that, investigators might surmise that the suspect gained access to the business by breaking the window and entering that way. When security cameras are available, law enforcement can use the surveillance footage to corroborate their theory and ensure that they haven’t misinterpreted any of the other evidence. Having both security camera footage and other types of evidence builds a much stronger case, which means higher conviction rates and greater consequences for people who commit crimes.

  1. Security Cameras Provide Consistent, 24/7 Surveillance

One of the challenges for law enforcement, when they investigate crimes, is that there are not always reliable eyewitnesses who can provide statements about what happened. With security cameras, that problem is pretty much eradicated. The majority of security cameras operate 24/7, which means that there will be a record of any activity in the camera’s view no matter what time of day or night it is. Depending on the type of cameras that are in use, there may also be high-quality night vision footage available, or even footage that is high definition and can capture minute details like license plates. One study found that surveillance camera footage was used in 86 of the 90 murder cases that occurred in the jurisdiction over the course of a year.

Having a known, reliable source for visual evidence can be a huge help to law enforcement when they are investigating crimes in the area! The benefit of this type of access to possible evidence is substantial enough that many police departments are working on increasing the number of public and private surveillance cameras in their jurisdiction, with some cities installing as many as 30,000 cameras.

Conclusion

Investing in security cameras for your business can do more than just protect your company. Your security camera footage might benefit law enforcement professionals who are working on solving crimes—including crimes that directly impacted your business and crimes that occurred in the broader community. High-quality security camera systems can help provide law enforcement with hard evidence for their investigation, a way of corroborating other types of evidence, and a reliable source for objective information about what happened in a particular area at any given time. If you’re interested in taking the benefit to law enforcement into account when selecting and installing your business security camera system, be sure to chat with a professional commercial security camera installer so that they can help advise you on what cameras and system features will give you the most bang for your buck and support law enforcement officers in doing their jobs.

About the Author

As datanet IT, our experts specialize in working with clients to design tailored security solutions. If you want more information on the business security camera systems that we offer, feel free to reach out to us today and we’re happy to work with you to ensure your company is protected! If you wish to be contacted about a security camera install, please fill out this form.

Method 1Using LEDs

  1. Shine a powerful LED (light-emitting diode) directly into the camera lens. The brighter the flashlight, the better.
  2. Block your face with the light. Figure out exactly where the camera is, and shine the light directly into the lens.
  3. Hold steady.
  4. Attach infrared LEDs to your clothing.

Also, where can I hide my spy camera? Whatever the reason you want to insert a WiFi nanny cam/spy camera, bedrooms are easy places to hide them away.

Placing a Camera in a Living Room

  • Inside stuffed animals.
  • Mirrors.
  • Lamps.
  • Inside light switches.
  • Inside a fake plant.

Also asked, how can I hide my security cameras in my window?

There are many ways to conceal security camera wires and cables but the best way is to hide them within baseboards.

Other ways to hide security cameras indoors include:

  1. Paint the wires of the security cameras in the color that matches the wall.
  2. Use cord covers.
  3. Run wires through walls or ceilings.

How do you blind a neighbor’s security camera?

  1. Step 1: Talk to the Neighbor.
  2. Step 2: Check If the Camera Is Fake.
  3. Step 3: Consult the Local Mediators.
  4. Step 4: Contact the Law Enforcement or Consult Your Lawyer.
  5. Step 5: Obstruct the Camera With Physical Obstacles.
  6. Step 6: Install Security Cameras in Your Own Yard.

Table of Contents

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How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

The flare from the lights looks to me as if it is caused by dirt or misting either on a window or a dome. Is the camera image OK during the day?

Disable Night Mode | INSTAR Wiki 2.0 | INSTAR DEUTSCHLAND

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Most security cameras comes with night vision, which allow them to still see things even if it’s pitch black outside. But how does it work for CCTV Night Vision?

Many security cameras also include that same night vision technology, allowing them to capture footage even when it’s dark out.

Infrared Light

The most common type that’s used on most security cameras is infrared (IR) night vision, which relies on infrared light. If you’ve ever looked at the front of a security camera, you’ve probably noticed that it’s covered in a handful of small LED bulbs. This is the IR light, and when it gets dark out, these lights turn on and act as a flood light of sorts, dousing the camera’s field of view with infrared light.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

The thing is, infrared light is completely invisible to the naked eye. So it doesn’t look like a bright light is flooding the area from the outside, but it actually is—your eyes just can’t see it.

Furthermore, night vision footage from security cameras always looks black and white because human eyes can differentiate between black and white better than they can with other shades of colors, like red or blue. Because of that, most night vision cameras switch to a monochrome filter to make it easier for us to see the image.

Avoid Installing on Windows

If you’re using your camera behind a window, you’ll only see a blurry reflection at night. Ever tried to point your Wi-Fi cameras out a window, you’ve probably found that it works perfectly during the day. But, at night, it’s a blurry mess of video, showing mostly just the reflection of your camera and smears of light.

How to use a security camera’s night vision through a window

This completely defeats the point of even having a security camera. If your camera did see someone outside, you’d never know what they looked like or what they were doing.

If you want your camera’s night vision to work through glass, you’ll want to provide exterior lighting. You can use either traditional outdoor lighting or IR lighting. You must also either turn off or cover the camera’s built-in IR lighting. Finally, you will either have to move the camera as close as possible to the window or angle it slightly instead of using a direct-on angle.

The best thing to do, of course, is to use an outdoor camera. An outdoor camera will bypass issues with glass and still benefit from most of these suggestions. But, if you can’t use an outdoor camera for any reason, consider these options to improve the video you do get from your indoor camera.

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With Infrared Light, It won’t. You can see it with colors even during dark timings.