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01/23/17 LED Lighting and Security Cameras Around the House

Article - January 23, 2016 By LarsonElectronics.com

Infrared LED Light w/ Trunnion U-Bracket

LED Lighting and Security Cameras Around the House

Security cameras require light in order to produce clear images during surveillance. This can be a serious problem for crimes that occur at night. In most cases, background lighting from the street or adjacent room is not enough to support such systems; and the absence of sunlight greatly reduces the camera’s efficiency under low light conditions. To ensure clarity during monitoring, most security cameras rely on LEDs- but not in a way that photographers use lights during photoshoots.


Infrared LEDs and Surveillance

Cameras that are designed to monitor nighttime activities use infrared (IR) LED lights to boost the quality of images taken with the device. This is a more discreet solution, compared to installing large lamps around the location, which can easily be dismantled or damaged by intruders. During application, IR security cameras flood the area with light waves ranging between 700 nm to 1100 nm. This acts as the source of light for the unit. The light emitted from the device is invisible, and cannot be detected by the human eye (individuals can only detect light ranging between 380 nm and 700 nm).

When monitoring a room, the light bounces off the objects and walls, resulting in a clear black and white image of the area. If white LED light was used during surveillance, the camera would be able to monitor the location with color. Spotting an IR camera is relatively easy. Devices with IR LEDs emit a dim, red glow at night. Furthermore, the diodes appear inactive, since humans can’t see IR radiating from the camera. It is important to consider that ultraviolet light within the range of 100 nm to 400 nm is not used for security surveillance because it is harmful to humans (causes tanning and burning).

IR fixtures include LEDs and filtered incandescent lamps. The latter are high powered lights that are covered with an IR filter. During usage, the filter allows IR wavelengths to pass through, while blocking visible light waves. Compared to night vision devices, IR illuminators can sift through fog, rain and snowfall. Such units can also capture high-speed video. This makes them advantageous for perimeter surveillance systems around houses and residential areas that experience extreme weather. Out of the two lighting options, LEDs are the superior choice; and are up to 80 percent more efficient, promote a longer lifespan (up to 50,000+ hours), and offer huge savings in operational, maintenance and replacement costs. LEDs can also be toggled instantly without flickering or prematurely failing (under optimal conditions).


Colored Security Cameras and LEDs

Some individuals prefer to have light shining throughout the night around their home during surveillance. This may deter trespassers from entering the home, and provide guidance for residents after sunset. For such applications, it is recommended to match the color of daylight as closely as possible, in order to support the camera’s features. White light LEDs with a color temperature setting between 5,000-6,000K is ideal for colored security cameras.

Below are the top three issues with LED lighting and security monitoring devices:

• Light is too wide: light is wasted with limited visibility for subjects in far distances

• Light is too narrow: hot spots occur

• Not enough power: poor contrast, images may appear blurry

Under low light conditions, how your fixture is setup may determine the efficiency of the camera. Lights should be positioned adjacent to the device, and the beam of light should match the camera’s peripheral view. LEDs are ideal for such systems because they can be positioned to emit light to the target area specifically, compared to traditional luminaries with 360-degree coverage that spill or waste light. As a result, the image created by the camera is robustly illuminated without dark or bright spots. The image may also appear more detailed, increasing the possibility of facial recognition.





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