X
Get all access to the world's best video surveillance information.
Logo
680-70-2015-free-banner

Training: Using a Lux Meter

by John Honovich, IPVM posted on Jun 06, 2009 About John Contact John

Getting good images at night is one of the most challenging problems in video surveillance. Making this worse is that generally you cannot trust the illumination ratings provided by manufacturers.

The best tool to solve this problem is a lux meter. Lux meters provide a quantified measurement of the amount of light available. Without a lux meter, you are simply guessing. With a lux meter, you can clearly see and compare the impacts of various lighting conditions. Here is a video overview of the benefits and use of a lux meter:

Choosing a Lux Meter

There are an enormous number of options for lux meters on the market ranging from under $50 to over $500. For video surveillance, the key consideration is that a lux meter can accurately measure under 1 lux (critical for low-light and night-time testing). The cheaper consumer models usually do not do this. Based on Carl's recommendation, I selected the Extech LT300 (for $140 USD) and I am happy with it.

Benefits of Using a Lux Meter

Using a lux meter lets you determine exactly how much light you need for video that is usable for you. This is almost always far higher than what a manufacturer states as their minimum illumination.

With this knowledge, it makes it much easier to plan new camera deployments. Take a lux meter to the proposed camera site and check the light reading. You will know in advance how well it will work or if you need to use a different camera or infrared illuminators.

For more in-depth analysis and demonstrations of low light performance, see our premium report on "How Well Do IP Cameras Work in Low Light?"






Most Recent Industry Reports

Winners Losers Spring 2015 on May 18, 2015
The industry is in the midst of major changes. Consolidation, driven by commoditization and declining financials, is real. New products are moderately better than last year, but still not enough t...

Free Top IPVM Resources on May 16, 2015
Here are 12 of the top IPVM resources, available for free. Members, if you want to share / introduce IPVM to a friend, this directory is a great start so they can see the outstanding informati...

Testing Dahua HDCVI Encoder With VMSes on May 14, 2015
HD Analog cameras have incredibly low prices for true HD video. But HD analog recorders are pretty simplistic and underwhelming. Moreover, many want to use HD analog cameras with their establishe...

The $100 MP Era is Here on May 13, 2015
The video surveillance industry has entered a new era. This era is disrupting the biggest players in the industry and changing long-held industry dynamics. The Old Era - 2009 to 2013 ...

Samsung Wisenet Lite Cameras Tested on May 11, 2015
Far lower-cost MP cameras are a major trend now. So far, the 'Chinese' have been leading the way here. Samsung's Wisenet III series hit the market offering performance similar to more expensive h...

Testing IP Camera Test Monitor (Tatung) on May 06, 2015
Integrators frequently cited insufficient installation tools as one of the key problems of IP camera installation. While many use a laptop, the size and necessary accessory devices to do this make ...

WDR Camera Shootout 2015 on May 04, 2015
This is the most comprehensive Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) IP camera shootout ever. We tested 10 of the latest generation multiple-exposure true WDR cameras, including: Arecont Vision AV3116DNv1 ...

Uniview Chinese Camera Tested on Apr 28, 2015
The company claims $263 million in 2013 revenue and to be the third largest Chinese surveillance manufacturer (after Hikvision and Dahua). Despite being owned by American investment firm Bain Capi...

Google Maps Camera Calculator Released on Apr 27, 2015
The new IPVM Google Maps Camera Calculator empowers surveillance professionals to plan and design systems like never before. Whatever project you are working on, enter the address and start mappin...

Gain / AGC for Video Surveillance Guide on Apr 23, 2015
Gain control is a critical, though often overlooked, factor in low light surveillance video. It is generally only noticed when the negative side effective of aggressive gain levels are seen, namely...