IR Surveillance Guide

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Jul 31, 2017

Infrared (IR) has become an increasing core component to video surveillance systems.

In particular, the expansion of integrated IR cameras that build IR illuminators within the camera has become common. On the positive side, this means that cameras can 'work' now even in the dark, even when cameras are cheap. On the negative side, many differences exist with integrated IR, including range achieved, width of coverage, overexposure, underexposure, response time to moving objects, to name a few.

In this guide, we examine these elements in detail, including:

  • The State of IR in 2018
  • Infrared Basics
  • 850nm Most Common
  • 940nm Rare, But Increasing
  • True Day / Night Cameras Required
  • Integrated IR Usage Statistics
  • IR LED Comparisons
  • Warning: No Illumination Standards
  • Range Specs Increasingly Accurate
  • But Overstated Range Still An Issue
  • Beware Low PPF At Max IR Range
  • IR Coverage Patterns Often Poor
  • Smart Vs. Adaptive IR
  • Manufacturer Terminology
  • IR Power vs. Gain/Exposure Adjustment
  • Delays Returning to Full Exposure
  • IR Impact On Bandwidth Spikes
  • Integrated IR Cameras vs. External Illuminators Pros & Cons
  • White Light Illuminators

******** (**) *** ****** ** ********** **** ********* ** ***** surveillance *******.

** **********, *** ********* ** ********** ** ******* **** ***** IR ************ ****** *** ****** *** ****** ******. ** *** positive ****, **** ***** **** ******* *** '****' *** **** in *** ****, **** **** ******* *** *****. ** *** negative ****, **** *********** ***** **** ********** **, ********* ***** achieved, ***** ** ********, ************, *************, ******** **** ** ****** objects, ** **** * ***.

** **** *****, ** ******* ***** ******** ** ******, *********:

  • *** ***** ** ** ** ****
  • ******** ******
  • ***** **** ******
  • ***** ****, *** **********
  • **** *** / ***** ******* ********
  • ********** ** ***** **********
  • ** *** ***********
  • *******: ** ************ *********
  • ***** ***** ************ ********
  • *** ********** ***** ***** ** *****
  • ****** *** *** ** *** ** *****
  • ** ******** ******** ***** ****
  • ***** **. ******** **
  • ************ ***********
  • ** ***** **. ****/******** **********
  • ****** ********* ** **** ********
  • ** ****** ** ********* ******
  • ********** ** ******* **. ******** ************ **** & ****
  • ***** ***** ************

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

2018 ***** ** **

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

  • ********** ** **********:***** ********** ** **** ** ** * **** *******, ** is *** ********* ** *********** ***** ************ ****, ** *** end *** **** *** ******* *** ******** **** ******* (*** *****).
  • ****** ******:** *** ****, ************ ****** ** ~***/***' **** ********** "****." Now, ***/***'+ ** ********* ** **** ***** *******, *** ***', 700', *** ****** ****** ** ****.
  • ***** **:**** ********** ** ******* **** **** **** *** ************, ***** has ******* ***** *** ** ****/****/***** ***********. ***, **** ************* are ****** ****** ******** ****** *** ************, ***** **** ****** range, **** *,***' *** ********, ****** ** ****. (****: **** has *** *** ****** ***** ******, *** ***** ** ** so ** ****** *****)
  • ********* ** **********: ***** **** ******* ***** *** ***** ********** **, *** past **** *** **** ** ******** ** "*********" ***** **** used, **** ******** ******* **** ****** ***** ***** **** ********* **, ** **** ** ****************** **** ******.

** ****** ***** ****** ** ******** **** **** *** ******.

Infrared ******

** ** ***** **** ******* *** '***' *** ****** ******. Humans *** ** *** *** ** ***** ***** ********, ******** to ** '*******' *****. *******, ************ ******* *** ********* '***' visible ***** ** **** ** ***** **** ***** **** ** illuminators ********* ** ***** ** *****, *********** ** *** ***** below.

850nm **** ******

**** ******** ************ **** ** ************ *** *** ******* ***** wavelength. *** **** **** *** ***** ************ *** ****** ******* to *** ***** ***, ******** * *******/******* ****, **** ** on ***** ********. **** **** ****** ******** **** ** **** ***, ***** devices **** ** ******* ******* (*** **** ***** *******) *** it ****** ** ****/****** ***** ****.

940nm **** *** ********** (**** ******** ** ****)

***** ************ *** **** **** ******* ** ******, **** **** a **** ***** **** ******* **** ***** ** *** ******, making **** **** ****** **** ****** ************ ** ********. *******, 940nm ** **** ******, ********* **** ***** **** *** ******** of ***** ***** ***** *** **** *****, *** **** ********* to ***********.

******* ** ***** *******, ***** ** **** *** **** **** 850nm. *******, **** ************* **** ***** ** *** ***** ************ on ******** ******. *** ********, ***:********* ** ****** ****** (*******),**** ****** ***** ****** ********,** * *********** ****** ****, ******* *** ** ******.

**** **** **** ****** ********** ************ (****** *** *****) *** available, ***** *** ********** ********* ** *** ***** ***. *******, these *********** *** ***** *** ******** **** ******* *** '***', and ***** *** **** ****** **** *****, ****** **** **** rarely **** ** **********.

True *** ***** ********

**** ***/***** ************* **** **** ******** ************, ** ***** **** ****** (****** rare ** ****) ******* * ***** ** *** ******, ******** all ******** *****. *** ******** ** ************ ******* *** ** cut ******* ***** ***** * ****** ** ***** ** *** camera's ****** ****** *** ***, *** ******* ** ** ***** (see ****** / ***** ****** ********).

ir cut

*** *** ****** ** ********* ****** *** *** ** ****** IR *****, ** ** *** ********** *****/***** ******* ******, **** ** *** ******* **** ***** *** ************ **** in *** ***** *****:

** *****, *** ****** ** ******* ** ***** ** ************ or ******* ** ***** ** ***** *** ******, ********* ******** images.

Integrated ** **** ****** **** ********

**** ***** **, *** *********** ******* *** ********* - ******* with ** **** ********** **** ***** ******** *** ********** ** illuminators **** *** ******* **** ** **** ** *******. ** the ****, **** *** ** ******* ******* ********** ** **** so **** **** ****** ** *** ** ************ ** **** wanted **. ***, **** ******* ***** ********** ***.

** ***** ** *****,**** ********** **** ****** */**** ** ******* ***** ******* ********** IR:

** ********,**** ********** **** **** *** ******* *** ******** **:

******* ** ****, **** ***** ****** ******* ** ********** ** cameras. ** ****** **** *** **** ** ***** ******* ***** in **** *****.

IR *** ***********

**** ****** ************* **** *** ****** ** ** **** ** an ********* ** ***** ***********, **** ** '** ****** *** 24 **** *** ** ********** **** *** *, ***.', *** in *******, ******* ** **** *** ******** ** **** *** little ****** ** **** ***** ***********, ** ***** *** **** different *****/****** ** ** ***.

***** *** *** ***** ********** ** ** **** ** ************, simply ***** *** *****:

  • *******, ***** *****:**** ********** ** ******* *** **** *** **** ********** ** illuminators *** * ****** ******** ** ******* **** ** *** up ** ******* *****. ***** **** *** ******* (*** *** always) **** *********, ***** ** *** **** *** ********* ******** in *** **** ******.
  • ******, ****** *****:**** ***** ** ******* *** **** ** ************ *** * smaller ******** ** ******, **** ******** ****.

**** **** ****** **** ** *** **** **** ********* ********** higher *******, *** ******** **** **** ******** *** ****** *****. However, *** ***** **** ***** **** **** ** *** ****** the ****, **** **** *** ********** ** ******* ***** ***** LEDs, *** **** ***** ****** ****. ****** ***** ******* ** the **** ******** *** ** ********* ** ************ *******.

Illumination ******

*****, ** ****** *** ****** ********* ********** ** ****** ********* and ***********, *********:

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

No ************ *********

***** ***** *** ** ******** ************** *** *** ** ** tested, ************* *** ****** ***** *** ***** ** ********** ************ ******* *** ******, ******* **********. **** ***** **** *** ****** ** ***** ** *** specified ******* ***** *** ** **** ****** ** *** **** a ***** ******* ** * ******, ** ****. ***** *** can **************** *** ****** ** ** ************, **** ************* ********* ** *** ******* ******** ****** ****** widely.

Range ***** ************ ********

* *** ***** ***, **** ********** ** ****** **** *** less ******, ************* ********** ********** ***** ******'* ** ***** ************, often ** ** **** ** **-**%. *******, ** ** *** become ***********, **** ****** ***** ************ ******** ******** ****** ** low **** *** **** *** *****, ***** **** ****** **** accurate.

*** *******, ** *** **** ** *** **** *****, ** found **** *** ****** ********* ** ***** *** **-***, ********* its *** ****.

**** ***** ****, ********** ****** *** ***** *** ******** ** 2018. *** *******, *** ****** ***** *** * ********* ** range ** ***/~***', *** ** ****** ***** ****** ** ~***', with *** ******* ***** **** ***** ***********.

Beware *** *** ** *** *****

**** ** * ****** ******* *** ******* ********* *****, ***** should ****** ** *** ****** ** **** ********. ** *** tests, ***** ****** ***** ******* **-** *** ** **** ** max *****. **** *** **** ***, ********* ** ********* *** to *** ******** **** ** ********, ********* ******* *****, ********* contrast, ***.

**** ***** ** ********** ** ** ****** **** ********* ** increase, ** **** ***** ** **** *****, ********** ** ***** cost ***** **** ****** ***** *** ********** **** **** lenses. ***** ****** ****** ** **** ***** *** ******** ***** (narrower) **** ******* ***** ********.

** ** *******, *** ***** ****** ***** *** * ******* specified ** ***** ** ***, ** ***** ***', *** ** angle ** **** ** ***°. ** **** ********, *** ** only ~*, ****** *** ******* ********* ** ****.

*** *** ** ****** ******* **** ***** *** ******, *** perform ******* ***** ** *** *****, ****** ****** ******. *** example, **** ** ***** ******** ~** *** ** *** *****, but ********* ** **** **** ********* ** *** ***** ** dimmer *** *******.

IR ******** ******** ***** ****

******** ***** ***** **** ********, ** ******** ******** **** *** in **** *****, **** **** ******* *** ******** ***** **** field ** ****, ************ ******** ** *** ******, ** ****. Coverage ******* ** *** ****** *** ***** **** ** ********** IR ****** ***** ******** ******* **** ** ********** ** ****** *****.

*** *******, *** ****** ***** ***** * ****** ******* ** the ******, ********* ******* *******. ** ********, *** **** ** the *** ** **** ***, **** ********* ******* *****, ****** it ********** ** ******* ******* ****** ********.

Smart **. ******** **

**** ********** ** ****** ****** **** ********** "********" ** "*****" features ******** ** ****** *** *** ***** ***/** ****** ************. For *** ******** ** ******* ** **** ***** *** *** reporting, ** ****** ***** ******** ** *******:

  • ***** **:************* ******* ** ***** ********* ** ******* ** *** *****, dimming ** ******* ************ ** **** ******* *** ********* ** full ***** *** ***** ******* ****. *** ***** ***** ***** the ******* ** **** ** *****, **** *** ***** ******* to ********** *** *** ******* ** *** **** *****.

  • ******** **:*** ****** ******* ** *** ***** ***/** **** ******** **** of **** ** ***** ** ****** ************ ***** ** *** its ***** ** **** *** **** ****** ***** *** **** scene. **** ** ****** ** **** ***** ******* *** ****, shown *****:

Manufacturer ***********

**** ***** ** *****, ***** ** ** ******** ** ** what ***** ***** **** *** ***** *** ** ******** ** varying ************ ***********. *** *******, ******** **** ** ***** "******** IR":

**** ****** ******** ** **********, **** ****** ******** **** **** and ****** ************, ******** ********** ************ ** ******** ******** ** enhance ***** ******* ********** ** ***** **********.

***** **** ***** *** ** ************ ******** ** ***** **** end ****** "***********":

**** *** ***** ** **** ** ******** ** *** ************ of ** **** ****** **** ****** **** *** **********, *** angle ** ************ ************* ****** ** *** **** *****. *** illumination ***** ******* *** ******’* **** ********* ** ****** ******* the ******* ****** ** ***** ** *** *****.

******* ********** ********* ** ****’ *********** ********** ** ******* **** the ******* ** *** **** **** *** ****** *** *** whole **** ** ***********. **** *** ******* ** *********** *** camera, *** ******** ** ********. **** *** ******* ** ** the ******, ** ** *********** *** *** ***********.

*******, **** *************, **** ** *****, *********, *** ********* ****** call ***** ********** ** ******** "*****." *************, ***** ** ** way ** **** **** **** ************ ***** ** ***** ***** without ** ***** ******** **** ****** ***/** *******.

"Smart **" *** *** ****** ** ***** ** ***

********** *********, **** *************' "*****" ** ******** ** *** ******** adjust ** *****. *******, *** ****** ******* **** ***/** ******** to ********** *** *******(*) ** *** *****. **** ** ***** on ********'* ** ***** *****. *** ******'* **** ** *** dim, *** *** *** ********* ***** **** ****** ** *** subject ****** *** *****.

** *** *****, ** **** *** **** ***** ********** ** those ******* ***** ****** ** ***** **** ***** ***** ** not, **** ****/******** ********** ***** ** ********* ** ** ***** adjustment. ** ** *******, *** ***** ***** **** *** ******, with ***** ** ****** ** ** *** **** *** *** on *** *****. ******* ******** ** **** ******* ** ****, with **** ******* ********** **** ********* ** *****.

(**** **** **** ***** ** **, *** ******'* ***** ***** longer ** ******** ** **** **********, ***** ** ******* **** below)

*********** ******* ***** ******(*) * ***** ****** **** ** *********, and ********* ******** ********* ** *****, ** **** ************* ** not ******** *** ***** ***** ** *****.

**** **** **** ***** ******** ********* **** ** ** ***** into *** ****** *** *** *** ********** **** ******** ** illuminators, ** *** ********** ******** ** ****** ** ****** *** adjust ** ********* ** ********* **********.

Beware ******** ******

****** *** ******, **** ******* **** ****** **** ****** *** the ***** ** ****** ** **** ********** ***** ********* ** power ***/** ****/********. **** *** ****** ** ******** ***** ****** if **** ****** **** ****** * ****** ****** ****** ******* the **********.

*** *******, *** ****** ***** ***** **-** ******* *** *** image ** ****** ** **** **********. ****** **** ******, *** image ** **** ****, **** **** *** **** ********** ******* and *** ********** ****** ******* ********.

***** *** ** ****** ********** ******* **** ***** *** ** power ********** ** **** *******. ** *** ******** ** ******** models ** *** *****, **** **** ***** ** *** *******.

IR ******* ********* ******

** *******, ********** ** ******* ****** ** ***** ********* *********/******* bandwidth ****** ******** ** ******* ***-** ******, ***** *** ***** IR ******* *** ***** ******* ** ********* **** (*** ********* *** (******* ***** *********) *****). *******, *** ************ ** ***** ****** *** **** ** difficult ** **** ***** ******** *** ***** **********, ** **** smart ***** ***-** ******* *** ****** ******** *** ***** ****** than ***-***** ********** ** ******.

******* ***** ****** ****** *********** *** *-***** ******** ***** ** what ** ** *** *****, **** ***** *** ** ****** compressed, ******** *********, *** *-***** ******** ********* **** ** ****** is ********* ** *** *****. ************, ** **** *****, ********** IR ****** **** **** ********************* ** *** ***** **** **** *****, ** ******* **** as ******* *** **** ******* *** ****** ** ********.

**** **** **** *** *** ******* ****** **'* ****** ** bandwidth:

  • *** ** ************ ***** ** ***** *** ***** *****. ** certain ***** *** ***** ****, *** ****** ** ****** ** turn ** *** **** ******* ** ******** ***** *****, ***** requiring **** ********* ***********.
  • ** ****** ****** ********* *********** ** *** *****, **** ***/*** *** ** *** ****. *** ***** *** ***** **** **** ******* ****** ** visual ******* ** *** ***** ** ********* ** ****** ***** adds ** ********** *******.

Pros *** ****

***** *** ******* ********** ** ********** ** ****** ******** ** external **, ***** **** ****** ***** ********:

  • ***** ****:****/**** ** *** ****** ****** ******* ******* ********** **, ****** them * **** **** ********* ****** **** * ***-** ****** with ***** ***********.
  • ******* ************:******* *** ** ** ***** **, ***** ** ** ********** equipment ** *******.
  • ******* ********:********** ** ******* *** ********* ******* ** ******** ***.*** ***** over ********, ** ** **** ********* ***.***. ******** ************ ********* require ******** *** *******, ***, ** **** ***** *****.
  • ******** ********:****** *** ******* ***** ***** / ******** ** *** ********* beamwidth **********, ********* *** ******** **** ***-** ** ************.

*******, ***** *** *** *** *********:

  • ******* ***** (****** ********): ****** ********** ** ******* **** ****** ****** **** ****** more ******, **** **** ******** ***' ** ****, *** ***** long ***** ************ (****'+), ********** ************ *** ***** ***** ********.
  • ***/****** ******:********** ** ******* *** ******* ******* ** *******, ***** ****/***** close ** ** **** *** **** ** *** ******, ********* the ***** ** ****. ** **** ** * *******, * standalone *********** **** ** ****.

******* ** *** ********** ** *******'* ***** ****** *** ******** features, ** ** ************ **** ********* ** ******* ***-** ** illuminators. *** ******** ****** *** ********** ************ *** ***** **** distance *** ********* **, ******** ***** *** ******** ** ********** IR *******, ****** ** ****** **** **** ******** ** *******.

What ***** *****/******* ***** ************?

***** ****** ******* ***** ** *** ***** **** ******* *** light ******, ********* ** *** **** *******, *** ******** *******:

  • **** **********:***** ***** ***** ******* * ********** ****** ****** *** **** it ******, ** ** ****** *********** (*****) ** *** *********** at *** (*****) ** *** ***** ***. **** ***** **** camera ********* *** **** **** ******* ** *****, ****** **** more ********* *** ********* ** ****** *** ******.
  • **** ***** *********:************, ******** **** *** ********** ** ***** ********* ****** ** white *****.**** ************** *********** ******** ******** ****** *** **, *** **** **** ** aimed/shielded, ***.
  • ****** **********:*******, ********** *** ******** ********* *** ****** **** ** ** used, ** **** *** ****** **** ** ******* *** ******** design ** * ********.

******* ** ***** *******, ***** ***** ** ****** **** ****** in ********* ************.

IR ** *** **** ****** **********

******* ****** *************** ******'* ** ***** ** *** ** * *** **** a *** ****, ** *** *** *** *** *** *** IR ** ********* ** *****, ************ *****:

**********, ** *** ****** ** **** ****** **** *** ******'* maximum ** *****, ** ****** ****** ** ************ ***** ** carefully ***** ********/***** ** ********.*** **** ******** ** *** ********** ****.

[****: **** ******** *** ********** ******* ** **** *** ************* revised ** ****** ****, ********* ** ******* *** ******* ************ in ********** **.]

Comments (5)

***** ***** **, *** * **** * ********. ***** ***, when *** **** ** *****, ***., ******* ***** ******* *** far *** ** **** ****** ** *** *********** ** *** imager. **** ******* **** **** * **** ***** ******** ******** to ***. *** *******, ** *** ***** *****, ** *****, you *** * **% ** *** ********, *** ** ***** it *** **** ********* **%. **** ** **** *** *** need ** **** **** **** **** ***** ******** ** **** it ** ******* ** **** *** ****** ** ********* ***.

**** *** ********* "*****" *** "*****" ** *********** ** ****, I ******* *** *** ********* ** *** **** ** ***. The ***** ***** **** ** ****** "******* ****" *** **** a ****** ******* **** ** **** **** *********** *** *** cause *********** *** ** ****** *****. *** ***** **** ** IR ****, ***** * ****** ********* *** **** *** ** them ** ****** ******* ***** ** *** (******* ***** ******). The *** *** ****** ***** ***********, ****** *******, *** * flat ******* ** ******** ***********. **** **** **** * ***** and **** **** ***** ****** **** **** ** * ******* in *** ******.

**.

* ******* ***** ** *** **** ** ************ ******* **** time. ** ******* * ***** *** ** **** *** ** illuminators *** ** **** **** **** ****** ** ** ********.

*** ***** *** *** ** **** ******. ** *** ********** results *** **** ** ****** ******** *** ******* *** ******** lazer ***** ********* ** **** ***** *** *****. * *** 3 ****** (* * **=**) ** ***** ** **** ****.

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

*. ******* ** **** **** ** **** **** ******** **** measurements **** **** +/- *%

*. ******* ** *** ***** ** **** **** ****** ********* in ******* **** **** +/- **%

*. ********* *** ***** **** *+ ***** *** ****** ********* of ****** ** **%

******, ******, ****'* *********** *** **'* **** ** **** **** it ****. ** ***** *** ********* **** **** ** *** field *** **** **** ** ***********, ** ***** ** * major *****.

**** *** ***** *******, **** ** *** ****** ***** ** ******* ** ***************** *** ********** ** ***** ****** ********. *** **** ******** video ** **** *** *********:

***** ******* ** *** ** ***** **** ****!

****** ********** *** ****** *** ************.

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