4 Biggest Low Light Problems

By: Brian Karas, Published on Oct 10, 2016

100 integrators told IPVM what their biggest problems were with low light images.

The most commonly cited themes were:

  • Limited IR Range
  • Uneven Coverage
  • Image Noise
  • Cost vs Customer Expectations

In this report, we share dozens of integrator comments and analyze these most common problems.

*****

******* **** ************ ** a ******** *** * common ******* *********** ********:

  • "***** ** **."
  • "**** ** ***** **** the *****-** ** *******."
  • "***** / ******* ** the ** *** *** well ***** *** ****** is ** **** ** those **********."
  • "*** ** *** **** objects ** * ******** all **** ***** ** grey **** ****** ****** detection ******** ** ******** with **********."
  • "******** *** ** ***** is **** ** ********** and ***** ** ******* surfaces."
  • "******** ** ******* *** IR *********'* ******** ****."
  • "*** ***** ***** ****** distance ******* ** ********* is *** ******* ********* for **. ******* *** take *** ***** ** some **********. ***** ******* image ******* ** *********, we **** *********** ******* for **** ***** ** is *******."
  • "******** & ****"
  • "*** ***** *** ******** at ***** *** ****** is ********* ******* *** the ******* ******** *** images. ** *** *****, the ***** ** * concern ** ****."

**** ** ********** **** data **** ********* ******, ***** ********* **** ******* **** built-in **,**% ** ***** **** a ***** ** *** or ****

Uneven ********

******* ** ***** **** even ******** ** * problem, **** **** *** trying ** ***** * long ********. *** ***** or **** ***** **** common ******:

  • "*** ***** - *** even ********. ***** ******* are ********** *** ***** by ********* *** - pointing *** ** **** out, **** **** *** center ** *** ***** are ** ******* **** even ********. **** ***** any ****** **'** **** with *** ** ******** around *** **** *** the *******. **** *** customer ******** **** **** coverage, ** ***** ******** emitters ** ******* *** the *****."
  • "****-**** ** ** ******** across *** *** - near ******* ***** ***, farther ******* *** *********** enough, ** ** ***."
  • "**** ********* ***** ** light."
  • "***** ***** ************. ***** in ****** *** ******* but ***** **** ***. Some ******* ***** **** reflected ** ************."
  • "******** ****** *** ****** of *** ** *** to ****, ** ******. Anything ** ***** ** washed ***."
  • "**** ***** ** ** hotspots *** *** **** quality *** ***** ** deal ****."
  • "******* *** *****-** ** to ***** *** **** of *** ***** ** view, **** ***** ***** are **** *****."

Image *****

***** ******, ***** **** drives ** ********* *** storage *****, ** * common ********** **** ******** ** poor:

  • "***** *** *****, ****** lowlight ***** ******* **** preferred ******** ******* ** infrared ************."
  • "******* ***** *** ***** noise. ********** **** *** a ******* ******* ***** cause **** ****** *** ghosting ** *** *****."
  • "*****, **** ********* **** trying ** ***** *** for *** *****."
  • "**** ***** *** *** storage *** *********. ****, whiteout / ******* ** image - ****** *** faint *** **** *** washout ** *****."
  • "** *** *****, *** noise ** * ******* as ****."
  • "***** *****, **** ****** explodes/quality ********, ** ** gain ****** ***."
  • "***** ** *** *****."

Cost *** ******** ************

**********, **** ***-***** ****** could ** ****** ** installing ****** ****-***** ******** IR ************, ******* ***** lights, ******* *** ******, or ******* ********. *** problem ** *** ** cost, ***** ********** *** add ********* ** ******* to *** ******, *** customers *** ** ******* to ******** **** *****. Similarly, ********* *** ****** more *********** **** ** realistic, *** ** ******* to ******** **** ***** to ******* *** *****. 

  • "**** ********* ***'* **** to *** *** ******** IR. **** *** ******* to ***** * **** for *****-** ** *** then ****** **** *** problem *** **** ******. As * ******, ** can't *** **** *** unless *** ******* ** close ****** ** *** the *** ***** ** the ******. ********** *** light ***** - ******** that *** ***** *** camera ** *********** ****** to *** "***" ***** source - **** ******* challenges."
  • "************* *** ***** ** view ** *******, *** managing *** *********** ** front ** **** * must. *** ******* ******* is **** * ******** doesn't **** **** ** to ** * ***** of ******* ** *****, then *** ************ ******* it's *** ** **** as ****'* ***** ******* pushing ** ** *** the **** ********* ****** in ** ******** ***********. When *** ******* *** customer ** *****, ***** are ** ********* *** they'll ****** ** ***** with *** ******* ** be ******* ** *** more ** ** ****'* needed."
  • "********* ***** ****** ****** range *** ** *** built-in ** **** ** available. ** ** ********* fine ** ** ***** 70 ** *** ***** off **** ***** ****. Some *******, **** *** Arecont *****-******* (****+) **** high ********* ***** ** lower ***** *** ****** frame ****. ** * larger ****** **** *** bog **** ******* **********."
  • "*** ***** **** ** cost. **** ** *** customer ******* ** *** for *** ****** ** equipment *** ************ ****** to *** **** ******** 'everywhere'."
  • "**** - ********* ***** a **** *** ***** picture *** *** ******* to *** *** ****** IR/White ***** ** ** it. ** **** ***** long ***** ** ** pretty ********* *** ******** additional ***** *** ******. Also *** **** ************* pleasing ** **** * double/tripple ** ***** ** a ***** ** * building ** * **** pole."  

Ultra *** ***** *******

** *********** ** ****** to *** **** ***** to * ****** *** scene ** ** *** cameras ************ ********* *** these **********. **** *********** ********* this ********:

  • "*** **** **** ******* Hikvision **** ******* ****** in *** *****."
  • "******** **, ****** ***-***** technologies (************, ***.), ****** sensors, *** ****** *** have **** **** ******, but *** ****** ***** entire ******* ** ** capture *** ****** *****, more ** ****** ******."
  • "**** *****, ** *** better ******* **** *** Light *******, **** ** Axis *********** ** ***** BackIluminated ****, ****** **** adding *** ***** ** scene."

 

Comments (12)

Any time a problem exists where we need coverage in Low Light situation we have turned to the Hikvision "Dark fighter" and problem is solved. Have used these in LPC situation also with great success.

Do you use HIKVISION DARKFIGHTERs with integrated IR or not, usually?

Ultimately, many low-light issues could be solved by installing either high-power external IR illuminators, visible flood lights, parking lot lights, or similar products. The problem is one of cost, these approaches can add thousands of dollars to the budget...

With the cost being so prohibitive, you might as well buy a couple of extra Hikua adaptive IR cameras just to use as external illuminators. 50M ~ $100

It's too bad nobody makes a camera with built-in IR that takes full advantage of the 15.4 watts available over PoE (or the 30 watts on PoE+). Most of the cameras I see use approx 5 watts in day or 7 watts at night with IR on. So I take this to mean that IR consumes 2 watts. What about taking the 7-8 extra watts available on PoE and adding more IR or more powerful IR? Has any manufacturer taken this approach that you know of?

In some cases it may be that cameras have a heater/defroster/fan that uses the remaining power.

Not at all.

HIK Darkfighter xx4526xx domes are 17watts max and use PoE+ (30watts). What about the leftover 13 watts?

El cheapo HIK xx2112xx domes are 7 watts max and use PoE (15.4 watts). No heater, no fan. What about the leftover 8 watts?

I agree, some cameras do not have other power consumption and may be criticized for not exceeding expectations. I was merely stating not all cameras are able to use the leftover wattage for IR illumination due to required power from enclosure/heater/fan.

It's too bad nobody makes a camera with built-in IR that takes full advantage of the 15.4 watts available over PoE (or the 30 watts on PoE+).

1. You're using the wrong numbers, POE af power available at the camera is only 12.95W. POE+ is only 25.5W.

2. More power can't be 'taken full advantage of' without additional LEDS or more expensive ones, increasing costs.

3. Higher power draw increases cost/size of components related to DC step-down, like capacitors.

4. More IR output increases internal heat, possibly requiring design modification.

5. Saftey margin, to prevent reboot during DC inrush when LEDS come on.

Yes, you are correct, PoE actual max is 12.95 and PoE+ is 25.5. So the question remains, are there cameras that take full advantage of the 12.95 or 25.5 watts - I haven't seen any.

Anyone ever using an IR camera outdoors is guaranteed going to be disappointed. So the problem exists and therefore a market exists. I'm just wondering why a company out there hasn't addressed your points above (#2, #3 #4 and #5) and engineered a camera taking full advantage of the PoE or PoE+ power available.

For example, take the HIK xxx2112xxx which only uses 7 watts -we could still add 18.5 watts worth of IR LEDs and make it a PoE+ camera. Just wondering why you don't see that out there. Maybe it's coming soon?

For example, take the HIK xxx2112xxx which only uses 7 watts -we could still add 18.5 watts worth of IR LEDs and make it a PoE+ camera. Just wondering why you don't see that out there. Maybe it's coming soon?

Maybe. One other thing is density. If you look at a typical external illuminator panel, it has a much bigger surface area for the LEDS than is typically available with a traditional dome/bullet camera.

IR laser and superleds are both higher density, and were seeing more of those, so maybe soon.

There is a manufacturer that use it and has very good products: www.gensecurity.co.kr

With IR both dahua and hik have long range ir models of 150-200ft in stanard cam and up to 2400ft in ptz. I think that is enough for most requirements.

With low light i believe dahua starlight is superior to hik darkfighter. I do work for dahua though. :)

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,535 reports, 880 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Biggest Low Light Problems 2019 on Nov 08, 2019
Over 150 integrators responded to our survey question: "What are the biggest...
The Problem With Fever Detecting Thermal Sunglasses on Apr 15, 2020
While the media has promoted using thermal sunglasses to detect fevers, this...
Directory of 206 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Aug 04, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Face Detection Shootout - Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jul 30, 2020
Face detection analytics are available from a number of manufactures...
Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception...
FLIR Markets Windows Temperature Screening, Violates IEC And Causes Performance Problems on Jul 17, 2020
FLIR, one of the largest thermal screening manufacturers, is marketing...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative....
K7 Wall Mounted IR Temp Gun Tested on Jun 26, 2020
The original K3 model was missing a number of important features but the...
Bias In Facial Recognition Varies By Country, NIST Report Shows on Jul 15, 2020
While many argue that face recognition is inherently racist, results from one...
IR Surveillance Camera Guide on Feb 06, 2020
Integrated infrared (IR) cameras are everywhere in 2020, but not all IR is...
Temperature Screening Is Ineffective, Says US, UK, Canada, Israel, And Ireland Health Leaders on Aug 25, 2020
Health leaders around the world are increasingly speaking out about the...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop,...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Beware Rigged China Fever Cameras on Sep 08, 2020
Many China fever camera manufacturers have rigged algorithms dynamically...
Optris "Fever Screening Systems" Examined on Jun 01, 2020
German manufacturer Optris has been building temperature measuring...

Recent Reports

OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
Verkada Disruptive Embedded Live Help on Sep 24, 2020
Call up your integrator? Have someone come by the next day? Verkada is...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
Norway Council of Ethics Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing" on Sep 23, 2020
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...