4 Biggest Low Light Problems

Author: 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.

*** *********** **** **** **** ***** ******* ******** **** **** low ***** ******.

*** **** ******** ***** ****** ****:

  • ******* ** *****
  • ****** ********
  • ***** *****
  • **** ** ******** ************

** **** ******, ** ***** ****** ** ********** ******** *** analyze ***** **** ****** ********.

[***************]

*****

******* **** ************ ** * ******** *** * ****** ******* integrators ********:

  • "***** ** **."
  • "**** ** ***** **** *** *****-** ** *******."
  • "***** / ******* ** *** ** *** *** **** ***** the ****** ** ** **** ** ***** **********."
  • "*** ** *** **** ******* ** * ******** *** **** tones ** **** **** ****** ****** ********* ******** ** ******** with **********."
  • "******** *** ** ***** ** **** ** ********** *** ***** on ******* ********."
  • "******** ** ******* *** ** *********'* ******** ****."
  • "*** ***** ***** ****** ******** ******* ** ********* ** *** greater ********* *** **. ******* *** **** *** ***** ** some **********. ***** ******* ***** ******* ** *********, ** **** directional ******* *** **** ***** ** ** *******."
  • "******** & ****"
  • "*** ***** *** ******** ** ***** *** ****** ** ********* usually *** *** ******* ******** *** ******. ** *** *****, the ***** ** * ******* ** ****."

**** ** ********** **** **** **** ********* ******, ***** ********* **** ******* **** *****-** **,**% ** ***** **** * ***** ** *** ** ****.

Uneven ********

******* ** ***** **** **** ******** ** * *******, **** when *** ****** ** ***** * **** ********. *** ***** or **** ***** **** ****** ******:

  • "*** ***** - *** **** ********. ***** ******* *** ********** the ***** ** ********* *** - ******** *** ** **** out, **** **** *** ****** ** *** ***** *** ** provide **** **** ********. **** ***** *** ****** **'** **** with *** ** ******** ****** *** **** *** *** *******. When *** ******** ******** **** **** ********, ** ***** ******** emitters ** ******* *** *** *****."
  • "****-**** ** ** ******** ****** *** *** - **** ******* blown ***, ******* ******* *** *********** ******, ** ** ***."
  • "**** ********* ***** ** *****."
  • "***** ***** ************. ***** ** ****** *** ******* *** ***** drop ***. **** ******* ***** **** ********* ** ************."
  • "******** ****** *** ****** ** *** ** *** ** ****, of ******. ******** ** ***** ** ****** ***."
  • "**** ***** ** ** ******** *** *** **** ******* *** tough ** **** ****."
  • "******* *** *****-** ** ** ***** *** **** ** *** field ** ****, **** ***** ***** *** **** *****."

Image *****

***** ******, ***** **** ****** ** ********* *** ******* *****, is * ****** ********** **** ******** ** ****:

  • "***** *** *****, ****** ******** ***** ******* **** ********* ******** opposed ** ******** ************."
  • "******* ***** *** ***** *****. ********** **** *** * ******* shutter ***** ***** **** ****** *** ******** ** *** *****."
  • "*****, **** ********* **** ****** ** ***** *** *** *** light."
  • "**** ***** *** *** ******* *** *********. ****, ******** / washout ** ***** - ****** *** ***** *** **** *** washout ** *****."
  • "** *** *****, *** ***** ** * ******* ** ****."
  • "***** *****, **** ****** ********/******* ********, ** ** **** ****** set."
  • "***** ** *** *****."

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

**********, **** ***-***** ****** ***** ** ****** ** ********** ****** high-power ******** ** ************, ******* ***** ******, ******* *** ******, or ******* ********. *** ******* ** *** ** ****, ***** approaches *** *** ********* ** ******* ** *** ******, *** customers *** ** ******* ** ******** **** *****. *********, ********* may ****** **** *********** **** ** *********, *** ** ******* to ******** **** ***** ** ******* *** *****.

  • "**** ********* ***'* **** ** *** *** ******** **. **** get ******* ** ***** * **** *** *****-** ** *** then ****** **** *** ******* *** **** ******. ** * result, ** ***'* *** **** *** ****** *** ******* ** close ****** ** *** *** *** ***** ** *** ******. Headlights *** ***** ***** - ******** **** *** ***** *** camera ** *********** ****** ** *** "***" ***** ****** - also ******* **********."
  • "************* *** ***** ** **** ** *******, *** ******** *** expectation ** ***** ** **** * ****. *** ******* ******* is **** * ******** *****'* **** **** ** ** ** a ***** ** ******* ** *****, **** *** ************ ******* it's *** ** **** ** ****'* ***** ******* ******* ** to *** *** **** ********* ****** ** ** ******** ***********. When *** ******* *** ******** ** *****, ***** *** ** surprises *** ****'** ****** ** ***** **** *** ******* ** be ******* ** *** **** ** ** ****'* ******."
  • "********* ***** ****** ****** ***** *** ** *** *****-** ** than ** *********. ** ** ********* **** ** ** ***** 70 ** *** ***** *** **** ***** ****. **** *******, like *** ******* *****-******* (****+) **** **** ********* ***** ** lower ***** *** ****** ***** ****. ** * ****** ****** this *** *** **** ******* **********."
  • "*** ***** **** ** ****. **** ** *** ******** ******* to *** *** *** ****** ** ********* *** ************ ****** to *** **** ******** '**********'."
  • "**** - ********* ***** * **** *** ***** ******* *** not ******* ** *** *** ****** **/***** ***** ** ** it. ** **** ***** **** ***** ** ** ****** ********* and ******** ********** ***** *** ******. **** *** **** ************* pleasing ** **** * ******/******* ** ***** ** * ***** of * ******** ** * **** ****."

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

** *********** ** ****** ** *** **** ***** ** * poorly *** ***** ** ** *** ******* ************ ********* *** these **********. **** *********** ********* **** ********:

  • "*** **** **** ******* ********* **** ******* ****** ** *** light."
  • "******** **, ****** ***-***** ************ (************, ***.), ****** *******, *** better *** **** **** **** ******, *** *** ****** ***** entire ******* ** ** ******* *** ****** *****, **** ** always ******."
  • "**** *****, ** *** ****** ******* **** *** ***** *******, such ** **** *********** ** ***** ************** ****, ****** **** adding *** ***** ** *****."

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. :)

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