IR Video Surveillance Tutorial

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 21, 2016

Almost all surveillance cameras perform worse in low light than they do in the day time. One of the most common techniques to overcome this is to add infrared (IR) illumination. However, adding IR has its own tradeoffs, with several options available. This tutorial explains them including:

  • 2017 State of IR
  • IR Basics
  • Visible vs. Invisible IR
  • IR vs. White Light Illuminators
  • Cut Filter Impact
  • IR LED Comparison
  • IR Specifications
  • Angle of Illumination / Beamwidth Issues
  • Illumination Range Issues
  • Spotlighting / Overexposure Issues
  • Advanced IR Illuminator Features
  • IR and Bandwidth Reduction
  • Integrated IR vs Add on IR illuminators

****** *** ************ ******* ******* ***** ** *** ***** **** they ** ** *** *** ****. *** ** *** **** common ********** ** ******** **** ** ** *** ******** (**) illumination. *******, ****** ** *** *** *** *********, **** ******* options *********. **** ******** ******** **** *********:

  • **** ***** ** **
  • ** ******
  • ******* **. ********* **
  • ** **. ***** ***** ************
  • *** ****** ******
  • ** *** **********
  • ** **************
  • ***** ** ************ / ********* ******
  • ************ ***** ******
  • ************ / ************ ******
  • ******** ** *********** ********
  • ** *** ********* *********
  • ********** ** ** *** ** ** ************

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

2017 ***** ** **

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

  • ********** ** **********:***** ********** ** **** ** ** * **** *******, ** is *** ********* ** *********** ***** ************ ****, ** *** end *** **** *** ******* *** ******** **** ******* (*** *****).
  • ****** ******:** *** ****, ************ ****** ** ~***/***' **** ********** "****." Now, **** ****** *** **** ** ********** ***', ***', ***', and ****** ***** ****.
  • ***** **:**** ********** ** ******* **** **** **** *** ************, ***** has ******* ***** *** ** ****/****/***** ***********. ***, **** ************* are ****** ****** ******** ****** *** ************, ***** **** ****** range, **** *,***' *** ********.

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

Infrared ******

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

ir

Visible **. ********* ** (*** **. *****)

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

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

*******, **** ****** ********** ************ (****** *** *****) *** *********, which *** ********** ********* ** *** ***** ***. *******, ***** wavelengths *** ***** *** ******** **** ******* *** '***', *** costs *** **** ****** **** *****, ****** **** **** ****** used ** **********.

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

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

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

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

Cut ****** ******

*** ******** ** ************ ******* *** ** *** *******. **** small ********* ***** * ****** ** ***** ** *** ******'* imager ****** *** ***, *** ******* ** ** ***** (*** our*** / ***** ****** ********).

ir cut

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

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

**** ***/***** ************* **** **** ******** ************, ** ***** **** ****** (****** rare ** ****) ******* * ***** ** *** ******, ******** all ******** *****.

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

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

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

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

**** **** ****** **** ** *** **** **** ********* ********** higher *******, *** ******** **** **** ******** *** ****** *****. However, ** *** ***** ** **** ***** **** **** ** not ****** *** ****, **** **** *** ********** ** ******* using ***** ****, *** **** ***** ****** ****. ****** ***** testing ** *** **** ******** *** ** ********* ** ************ quality.

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

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

  • ***** ** ************:*** ***** ** **** ** ******* **** *** ** *********** is ********* ** *****, *.*., **°, **°, **°, ***..
  • ************ *****:*** ******** ***** ** ** *********** *** '***** **', ********* specified ** ******/****, ** * ***** *********, **** ** ****/**°.

*******, ******* ** ***** ************** *** ** ******* **********, ** these ************** *** ********** **** ** ** *************, ***** ** discuss *****.

Angle ** ************/******** *******

** *** *****, ***** ** ************ ***** *** ** *******, as ** ** * ****** *************** ******. *** *** ***** here ** ******** ** *** ********* ** *** ****** ** the ********* ** *** ** ***********. ** *** ** *********** is *** ****, ******** ** ****** *** ******* ******** ********** suffers. *******, ** ** ** *** ******, *** ***** ** the ***** *** **** *** * ******* ** ******* ** the ******. *** ***** ***** ***** ****:

***** **** ************* ** **** ***** ******** ** ************ ** illuminators (******, ********,*****, ***.), ******* **** ******** ***** **** ****** *** ***** ** ************ ************** **** erroneous.

**** **** ********* ** ********* ********* **** ** ** ************, not ********** ** *******, ** ** ** ******* * ***** camera's *********** **** ********** *** ****** ***** ** ****. *******, this ** ***** *****, ** ****, **** ****** ******** / dark ***** ****** ** ********** ** *******.

*************, **** ***** **** **** ***** *** **** ************ ** integrated ** *******, ***** **** ****** **** **** ***** ******** devices ** *** *****.

Illumination *****

************ ***** ************** *** **** **** *********** **** *****, ** manufacturers ********* ********* ***** ******'* ************. ***** *** *** *** factors ********* ********:

******* ** ********

***** ***** ****** ******* *** ***** ******** ** ******* ** illumination *** ******** ********* **********. *******, ** **** ******** ** parking ****, ******, ***. **** ******* ******** ** ******* *** everything **** ***** *****, **** ******* * **** ****** ***** at *** **** ******** ** *******.

*************, **** ** *********** / ****** ************ **** ***** ******* indoors ** * *** **** **** * ***** ****. **** is *** ******** **** **** ********.

************ *********

***** ***** *** ** ******** ************** *** *** ** ** tested, ************* *** ****** ***** *** ***** ** ********** ************ ******* *** ******, ******* **********. **** ***** **** *** ****** ** ***** ** *** specified ******* ***** *** ** **** ****** ** *** **** a ***** ******* ** * ******, ** ****. ***** *** can **************** *** ****** ** ** ************ (****'* ***), **** ************* ********* ** *** ******* ******** ****** ****** widely.

******* ** ***** ******, ** *** ****, ** ************ ********** only *********-**% ** ***** ********* *****. *******, ** *** ***** ** *** **** *-* *****, IR ***** ************** **** **** **** ****** ** ****** ***********, with **** ******* ******* ********* ***** *****. ******, ******, ** there ** ** ********* **** ** **** ** *** *******/************.

Spotlighting / ************ ******

***** *** ****** ** *** **** ** ************, **** **** you *** ** ******* ****** *** *** ** *** **** sunlight. ******, **** ** * **** ****** ********* ******* **** IR ************.

** ************, ** ************ *** ********* ***** **** **********, **** a ****** ************ ********** ***** ***** ******, **** ** ******** space *** **** ************. *** ******** ** **** ** **** a ******* **** *** ***** ** *** ** ***********, ** becomes *********** ** *** ****** *****. **** ******* *******, **** facial ********, ********, ****, *** **** ********, **** ** **** example:

******* ** ****, ** ************, ********* **** **** '***** ** field'. ** * ******* ** *** ***** ** *** ******, they **** ** ***********. ** **** *** *** ***, ***** will *** ** ****** ** ** ********** *** ******. **** is ************* **** *********** **** **** ******** ** ******* ********** light ** ***** ********* ** **** **** **** **** ******* IR.

*** **** ********* ***** ***** **** ******* ** *** ****** far ******* ***** ** **** *******. ** ** *********** ***** *** *** ****** ***** ** a **** *** ********* ** ***** ** ** ****** *** but ** *** ******* ** ** ****** ****, ** *** power ******* *** ****, *** ******* **** ** *** *********** and ****** ***.

Advanced ** *********** ********

** ***** ** ***** ************ ***** *********** ************ ********, ************* have ********* "***** **" ******** ** ********** ** *******.

***** **

**** ********** ** ****** ****** **** ********** "********" ** "*****" IR ***** ******* ***** ** ******* ** *** ***** ** reduce ************. ****'* ** ******* ** **** ** **** / looks ****:

***** ** ********* ******** ** *** ** *** **********, ** a *********** ** ****:

  • ********* ** *****:**** ******* ****** ** *********** ***** ** ********** *** ******** in *** *****, ****** ******** ******** **** *** ******. *******, by ******** *** *****, *** ******** **** *** ******* **** in *** ***** **** ** *****-*******, **** ******* ****** ****.
  • ****** ****-********:**** *************' "***** **" ** *********** * ****** ****-******** (**) than ***** ** ****** ******** ** ********** *** ***** ***** in *** *****. ******* ********* ****** ** **** ****** ** avoid ******* ******* ** ******** ***** ***** *********** **** **** flashing ** *******. *** **** ***** **** ******** ** ************, this ********** ** *********.

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

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

********* ***** **********

************* **** **** ***** ********* ***** *********** ** ********** ** cameras. **** ***** **** ******* ****** ** ** **** ******* match *** ******'* ***** ** ****, ****** ***** ******** **** of ****, ********* *****, ** ***** * ********* **** ** change ************ *****.

**** *** ** **** ** **** ***** *** *** ********** IR ******, **** ** *** ****** ***** ** **** **** video:

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

** *******, ********** ** ******* ****** ** ***** ********* *********/******* bandwidth ****** ******** ** ******* ***-** ******, ***** *** ***** IR ******* *** ***** ******* ** ********* **** (*** ********* *** (******* ***** *********) *****).

*** *******, ** ************ ** *** ***** ****, ********** ** ****** ********* ********* ** ** ******* ** ~176% ** *****, ******** ** ****** ***% ** ***/***** ******.

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

  • *** ** ************ ***** ** ***** *** ***** *****. ** certain ***** *** ***** ****, *** ****** ** ****** ** turn ** *** **** ******* ** ******** ***** *****, ***** requiring **** ********* ***********.
  • ** ****** ****** ********* *********** ** *** *****, **** ***/*** *** ** *** ****. *** ***** *** ***** **** *** ****** ****** ******* as *** ***** ** ********* ** ****** ***** **** ** meaningful *******.

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

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

**** *** ********** ** *******

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

**** *** ********** ** *******

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Test **** *********

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

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

Comments (2)

Great article. We commonly use external IR for LPR applications. Doing a project right now adding some external IR illumiators so we can adjust the IP cams setting to help get plates. Is there a max distance the illuminator can be away from the camera or whats the best placement practices for adding external IR?

Since the ir bounces back at the same point it was generated i suggest to mount the ir at max 10 cm from the camera alligned to the same angle/direction

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