Video quality at night can be very poor. Even cameras that rate their minimum illumination as .1 lux or less routinely display dark, noisy images at night. One of the most direct ways to rectify this problem is to add IR illuminators to provide artificial 'invisible' light.
In this report we examine add on IR illuminators to better understand the differences and trade-offs among the options available. We have concentrated our comparison and review on 3 commonly cited product offerings:
In the last year, a surge in IP camera manufacturers offering integrated IR illuminators - from Axis's dome IR accessory to Bosch's IR SMB series as well as Sony and Arecont's new megapixel series with integrated IR. Of course, these manufacturers are not alone. Many, if not most, Asian manufacturers have offered such products for years. The recent trend is primarily the rest of the world joining in.
In this report, we focus on the other side - the manufacturers who develop add on IR illuminators. We look at the distances achievable, power requirements, premium features, cost concerns and more.
This is part of our ongoing series of reports on low light surveillance. Here are other relevant reports and tests we have done in this area: