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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
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NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
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Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
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Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
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Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting

01/04/11 Infrared LED Emitters: Improving Vehicle Mounted IR Surveillance Systems

Vehicle mounted cameras are becoming a staple in most professional security and law enforcement industries due to their ability to record every visual detail of events and incidents that these professionals might otherwise have difficulty making full note of. These cameras are making use of some very interesting technology that allows them to perform all sorts of video recording feats under a wide variety of conditions that would otherwise render video almost useless. One of the more interesting and useful ways security and law enforcement professionals overcome the shortcomings of standard video cameras is through the use of active infrared technology. Put simply, this is a way to provide illumination that although invisible to the human eye, is easily recorded by video cameras sensitive to the infrared end light spectrum.

 Most modern video cameras use CCDs also known as Charged Coupling Devices to sense and sort the light coming through the cameras lens. These CCDs are generally sensitive to more than just the visible end of the light spectrum and can sense IR light as well. Manufactures compensate for this in some instances with filters that block out IR light in order to improve the cameras color resolution, but many still leave out such filters due to added costs. This means that many simple video cameras, whether they are the general home camera or professional grade equipment used by law enforcement and security professionals is capable of picking up images using IR illumination. Many manufacturers simply add a set of IR LEDs to their cameras or add a special filter and in effect create a camera that is then touted as low light or night imaging capable. There are, however, drawbacks to this.

Infrared light behaves the same as normal visible light. It is reflected off of objects, passes through transparent objects such as glass, and because of this can be used as a covert light source for devices capable of sensing it. IR light also has the same limitations as normal visible light; it can blocked by opaque objects and its reach is limited by its intensity and focus. Most camera manufacturers when offering IR capable systems include a small set of LEDs that are incorporated directly into the cameras design. When ambient light levels drop below a certain level or the operator manually triggers the low light option, these LEDs then emit IR light which the camera uses to create images in low or no light conditions. The problems encountered with this arrangement often center around the low power of the LEDs used. Because of their low power, the range and intensity of these built in LEDs limits the effective range of the camera in low light conditions as well. In addition, this low intensity IR light reduces the overall resolution of the images the camera creates, reducing the effectiveness with which the images can be used for positive identifications and record keeping.

The most obvious answer then is to increase the amount of available infrared illumination. Increasing the amount of infrared illumination has the same effect as adding additional visible light as far as the electronics within a camera sensitive to IR light is concerned. More available light means better resolution and greater visibility. Adding additional IR can be as simple as adding an auxiliary IR light source that is activated whenever the camera’s low light capabilities are switched on either automatically or manually. Depending upon the amount of light needed and the application, augmenting the cameras IR capabilities can be as simple as mounting an infrared LED emitter like a Larson Electronicss’ Infrared LED Light Emitter - 850nm or 940nm. Infrared emitters such as this can greatly improve the range and resolution of IR cameras many fold over the integral emitters they are equipped with.

With many security and law enforcement personnel tasked with monitoring oftentimes very large areas and requiring an ability to reduce the obtrusiveness of their presence, increasing the effective range of their surveillance equipment offers them this stealth and reach. Whereas the built in IR LEDs of a camera may have an effective range of only thirty to fifty feet, and auxiliary IR LED can extend that range into the hundreds of feet. And they can do this without any modifications or changes to the cameras already in use. As mentioned earlier, increasing the amount of IR light is the same to a camera as increasing the amount of visible light is to the human eye. More light means more visibility. Oftentimes these LEDs can be mounted directly to the camera itself, maintaining the systems portability and compactness if so desired.

Another consideration, however, is where within the IR light spectrum the LEDs produce their illumination. The most common range used in low or no light applications is 850nm. While this is adequate in most cases, these lights still produce a faintly noticeable red glow at the emitter. LEDs producing IR in the 940nm range, however, produce no visible light at all and represent the best option for applications that require the maximum amount of stealth possible. It is important to note before installation what the best recommended IR range is for the camera systems in question is to get the best results. What’s really great about adding an auxiliary IR source though is that any IR sensitive camera will be able to benefit. Whether it is a building mounted dedicated surveillance system or a vehicle mounted mobile system, adding an LED IR emitter will enhance and improve its capabilities.

 One other issue here is control. Many low light capable camera manufacturers built an optional ability to connect auxiliary lighting systems right into their devices. With these systems, once the cameras IR capability is activated so is the auxiliary IR. Other systems can benefit by adding a dedicated switch or sensor that will allow manual or automatic activation whenever added IR light is required. Such modifications are generally straightforward and simple to perform although if an individual is unsure how to do this they are best left consulting with a professional. The benefits however outweigh what it would cost to change or upgrade an entire camera system, which makes adding a simple IR LED attractive not only practically, but financially as well.


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