Dahua Lorex White Light Camera Tested

By Rob Kilpatrick, Published Dec 20, 2018, 09:41am EST

IP cameras with integrated white light LEDs are a growing trend, led by most notably Hikvision ColorVu. While the Hikvision models are not available in North America, Dahua's Lorex division white light integrated camera is.

We bought and tested the Lorex LNWCX-C and its integrated white light LEDs that the company markets as an 'active deterent'.

Inside this report, we share our findings from the test including its main strengths and weaknesses.

White ***** *** *********** ******

** *** *****, *** Lorex ******'* ***** ***** LED *** **********, **** multiple *** ****** ** were ****** ** ******, even ***** ******** ** Lorex **** *******:

  • ************ *****:**** *************, ** *** testing *** ******'* ********* range ****** ******, **** range ********* ** ***** as ~*' *** ********* as **** **'+, **** using *** **** ********.
  • ****, ************** ********:***** ********** *** ***** light, *** ****** *** a ******** ****** ** ~35-45 ******* ****** ** can ** ********* *****, which ****** ** ******* in ********. **** **** the ****** ********* ** record ****** **** ******, but *** ***** ***** simply **** *** **-*******.
  • ***** ************ ******:*******, *** ***** ***** stayed ** *** **** ~5 ******* **** *********, even **** ********** ******* remained ****** ** *** scene, ***** **** ***** not ** ******* ** camera ********.

**** *********, *** ***** light ** *** ***** LNWCX-C ***** ** ******** to **** *****. ****** more **** ********** ***** coverage ** ******* **** as ******* *********************, *** ***** ***** uses *******, ********, **** diffuse ****, ***** *** effectively ******* ** ******* an *** ********** ** a *******. ***** **** provides * ********* ****** which *** ******* **********, it *** ******* ****** annoying ** **** ***** and ***** ********* ** they **** ****** ***** property.

Availability *** *******

*** ***** *****-* *** be ***** ** ******** ********** $***.** ***, ******* to *** **** ********* Cam (~$*** ******), ******* wireless/white ***** ******. **** pricing ** ******* ****** than **** ***** ******** consumer/DIY ******, **** ** the*********/***** *******(~$***) **** ******* ******(~$**), ****** ******* ** these ****** ******* ***** light "****** **********."

**** **** *** ****** part ****** ** **** in **** **** (*****-*) is ***** ******** ** the ******. *******, ** have **** ******* *** LNWiHD ** ***** ***** websites *** *************.

Physical ********

*** ***** ****** *** a ***** ***/**** **** factor, ********** * *** motion ******, ***** ********** IR, *** ***** ***** LEDs ****** ** * plastic *******. ***** ** an ******** ** *** physical *************** ** *** camera *** *** ********.

White ***** ***********

** *** *****, *** white ***** ********* **********, sometimes ********** ** ********* over **', *** **** consistently ********** ** ~*' distance **** *** ******* approaching *** ******, ***** below.

Long ********/***** ************ ******

*** ******'* ***** *** lights **** * **-** second ******** ********, ** which **** ****** ** triggered *****, ********* ** subjects ***** ****** ********. Compounding **** *****, *** white ***** *** ******** for **** ~* ******* when *********, **** ** subjects ******** ****** ** the *****.

******* ** ***** ******** may ** ******* ** camera *****.

Light ****** ******* ** ***

*** ****** ****** ***** levels ** ** ******* in *** ***, ** a ***** ** * to *, ******* **** ~3.1 *** ** ~*.* lux ** ~**' ********. In *** *****, **** on *** ****** *******, the ****** *** ***** visually ********* **** *** white ***** ******* *** quite ******** ** *** highest ******* ** **** distance.

******* ** ****, ***** may **** *** ***** annoying **** **** ******* outdoors, ** ******* ********** from ********* ********* ***** shining ****/**** ***** ********.

Slight ** ******** ***** ***** ************

********** *** ***** ***** in *** ***** ****** varying ******* ** ************. When ****** ****** ** stationary ** *** *****, exposure *** **** ** adjust ** ******* ************ of *** *******, *** the ****** ** *** test ***** *** ******** overexposed.

ir only vs white light comparison

******** ****** ******, **** as ***** ******* ******** at *** ******, **** more ******** ***********, ***** here:

ONVIF ********* *** *** **********

** **** **** ** add *** *****-* ** some *****, **** ** Network ***** (*****) *** Milestone ********, ** **** as ***** **** ***** ONVIF, **** *.*** ***** working ******* *****, *** no ****** ********* ** other ******. *******, *** camera ** *** ****** as ***** **********, *** did *** **** **** Exacq, ******* ****** *** failing ** ****** **** connected.

Test **********

****** ******** **** ******* unless ********* ***** *****. Note **** *** ****** does *** **** * web *********, **** *** configuration ********* *** *** Lorex **** ***.

*** ********* ******** ******* was ****:

  • ***** *****-*: *.***.*******.*.*, ***** Date ****-**-**

Country ** ******

*** ***** *****-* *** **** in *****:

********

** **** ** **** more ******* **** ********** white ***** ****, ****************** *******, ** **** ****** available.

Comments (14)

the Lorex model uses smaller, narrower, less diffuse LEDs, which are effectively similar to shining an LED flashlight at a subject.

Now, if you could get the light to stay on longer and accompany that with a little movement to simulate somebody holding it, that would be an interesting deterrent.

might as well throw in the sound of a double gauge pump while your at it ;)

Update:

There was some confusion on the part number being used for the camera, I added a note in the "Availability and Pricing Section" explaining that there were different part numbers that we came across during testing for the camera, both on the website and in the documentation but ultimately used the part number that is on the camera.

For comparison, I am testing the 4k POE powered Dahua variant IPC-HFW1831C-PIR and it does not have the 5 second white light limitation or the cool down requirement. The camera allows you to toggle 5-30 seconds for the white light steady on or flashing. I tested with steady on and was able to trigger it over and over again for two minuets. The Dahua variant camera supports ONVIF and passes the PIR/motion detection via onvif - at least to Blue Iris VMS and events triggered by PIR/motion can be seen via Onvif Device Manager.

Fenderman, thanks! It's not officially shipping in the US so we try to avoid such testing products because it can lead to manufacturer criticism (that was not approved, tested, etc. for American standards).

That said, what did you think about the quality and usability of the integrated white light included in that model?

John,

I have only tested the camera indoors at my office. I have not noticed the extreme overexposure you show in your testing. I will look at it again. For me the white light and audible alarm see to be best suited for scaring off driveway car door checkers or folks casing a house by ringing/knocking on the front door. I hope to have it mounted outside in the next few weeks and will update. The IR, being a single small LED will likely be weak outdoors. Interestingly, the firmware allows you to download the alarm.wav audio and seemingly lets your modify the wav file, however, it is grayed out. The camera also has an always on green led on the face. I found no way to disable it. 

John, just a couple FYIs.  I'm pretty sure "Fender Man" commenting here is the same "Fenderman" from IP Cam Talk.  Per "Fenderman":

1. All those stills you post in your reviews are useless.  (They look really useful to me.)

2. Lux numbers can't be used for anything.  Not even approximating relative performance between one brand's models. 

3. Adding IR light is not going to help your security cameras.

4. And apparently you must buy a Dahua camera if you want good low light performance for less money.

I dared to suggest to a poster over at IP Cam Talk that his Hikvision rated at 0.028 lux in color was not going to get much better than the picture he posted (that he was disappointed with), so he had a couple choices.  Buy a Hik with a lower color lux number,  or add some lights outside.  That poster replied back that he might add IR light, at which point "Fenderman" said IR was just going to wash out the image, and lux numbers should not be used for anything.  So then I posted a couple stills proving how the IR light from one of the newer "EXIR 2.0" Hik cams made a huge improvement for one of the older Hik cams prior to EXIR.  (Both without extra IR and with extra IR stills from the older cam.) 

This is the point where "Fenderman" informed me that stills were useless.  When I told him that stills were in use here at IPVM extensively, and suggested he should come over here and tell all of you how useless they were, he became very unhappy.  He banned me and then went back and deleted every single comment I had made, even in other posts where he was not challenged.

Better tell that Technology Administrator at that large university that those IR floods he's using aren't doing any good, per "Fenderman".  And I guess I shouldn't believe my own lying eyes now that I just added a low cost Speco IR Illuminator on my back patio and on cam it looks like a huge bright spotlight now where it used to be dark and very noisy.     :-)

BTW, I would suggest that an excellent test article would be low cost cams without really good low light performance, but coupled with extra IR, versus higher dollar cams with really good low light performance.  It appears like adding IR to lower cost cams could yield similar results for less money.

 

Yes, Fender man is Fenderman from IPCamTalk. He has a much more aggressive moderation style than we do.

The concern with still image is motion blur, which is a reasonable concern to have. The upside of stills is that they are still and easier for people to look at and understand. To deal with the valid blur concern, we normalize all shutter speeds to 1/30s min and check for DNR blurring before doing any stills, calling out blurring problems accordingly.

BTW, I would suggest that an excellent test article would be low cost cams without really good low light performance, but coupled with extra IR, versus higher dollar cams with really good low light performance. It appears like adding IR to lower cost cams could yield similar results for less money.

Virtually all low cost cams have IR built-in so, if I understand correctly, you are recommending adding 'extra IR' in? We could do an official test, but generally speaking. I see 2 concerns - adding 'extra IR' is going to overexpose the near field badly as the area close to the camera will be too 'hot' / lit. Secondly, external IR needs to be powered separately, which adds cost and complexity. I think it is something potentially useful for residential but it's not a common practice in commercial applications where those things would be issues.

Note, I did see your mention about the University. If one has older cameras that don't have IR or whose IR is really poor and you don't want to replace the camera, I can see that.

But newer cameras, even low-cost one (from real manufacturers and I include Hikua in this) generally have sufficient IR power. They do sometimes have problems in terms of evenness of IR, hotspotting in the near field and adjusting to moving objects but external IR would be least likely to help there.

I guess I should add, don't collocate the added IR source with the camera, and/or don't use an IR source with the same coverage angle as the built in IR.

I'll suggest that "much more aggressive moderation style" doesn't begin to cover it.  He doesn't like test instruments taking data either, such as the light meters you use.  (And I don't know how you expect user supplied pictures or videos from one location where you don't have a light level to tell you much versus another location with different light.)

Yes too much light on the subject, visible or IR, can result in overexposure, as you show in many reviews.  This is especially true up close, of course, but the built in IR does not escape this fact either.  Your reviews (stills and video) also show that cameras from many brands have uneven IR coverage such that additional light would help.

In my case the added IR allows a mid range Hik 4K dome to cover much more ground than the camera alone.  The Hik's built in "EXIR 2.0" only covers the near field (up to about 25 or 30 feet), while the added IR now lights up the other end of the patio and with the 4K resolution you still get identifying details at 50 to 60 feet.  And there is no area of interest that is overexposed.

It does occur to me that maybe my suggested review scenario only works if you're dealing with a brand like Hik that has 4 or 5 (or maybe more) options with various price points. Otherwise it's just added cost, especially with the installation costs you mention.  On the other hand, the added IR can also result in more range for any camera.  This is more true with wide angle 4K cameras covering a large area.

John, just a couple FYIs. I'm pretty sure "Fender Man" commenting here is the same "Fenderman" from IP Cam Talk....He banned me and then went back and deleted every single comment I had made, even in other posts where he was not challenged.

lest no one forget your story, in protest change your name to “Fender Ban”, and post often!

#everythinginmoderation

Ha.  That won't be necessary. Pointing out the thin skin here once, using my actual name, will be sufficient.  I run a couple FB groups and don't feel the need to delete everything and everyone who disagrees with me, or even those who make it personal.  Pointing out the absurdity of his "advice" again, when in context to a topic, might be a different story.

btw, although IPVM’s moderation style might be less aggressive in general, unlike IPCamTalk et al, John disdains handles, requiring first and last names.

indeed this may explain fenderman’s inability to remain mononymous during IPVM registration, instead forcing him to bifurcate his beloved nom de guerre, thus forever separating the “Fender” from the “Man”.

 

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