Lux Rating / Minimum Illumination Guide

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Dec 23, 2016

Lux ratings are one of the poorest specifications to use in selecting cameras. Now, with the rise of integrated IR, they are increasingly useless.

You need to be able to understand why lux rating (aka minimum illumination specifications) are so problematic, how they are established and what tricks / techniques are used.

In this guide, we explain why lux rating (aka minimum illumination specifications) are so problematic, how they are established and what tricks / techniques are used:

  • How lux ratings are tested / determined
  • The incorporation of shutter speeds in lux ratings
  • Dealing with lux ratings that include 'sens up' settings
  • Color vs B/W Impact
  • Understanding how IRE levels are used
  • Advances in super low light cameras
  • The practical lux levels typically specified based on analyzing 2000+ camera specifications
  • How to avoid getting burnt by lux levels
  • IR illumination and lux ratings

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

*** **** ** ** **** ** ********** *** *** ****** (aka ******* ************ **************) *** ** ***********, *** **** *** established *** **** ****** / ********** *** ****.

** **** *****, ** ******* *** *** ****** (*** ******* illumination **************) *** ** ***********, *** **** *** *********** *** what ****** / ********** *** ****:

  • *** *** ******* *** ****** / **********
  • *** ************* ** ******* ****** ** *** *******
  • ******* **** *** ******* **** ******* '**** **' ********
  • ***** ** */* ******
  • ************* *** *** ****** *** ****
  • ******** ** ***** *** ***** *******
  • *** ********* *** ****** ********* ********* ***** ** ********* ****+ camera **************
  • *** ** ***** ******* ***** ** *** ******
  • ** ************ *** *** *******

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

Lux ****** ***** / *************

**** ***********, ***** ***************** ** ******** ***** ** ****** ************ *** *******. **** are ****** ****-******** ***, ** *** ********** ** *** ************.

**** ***** **** **** ************ **** ** ****** **** ***** source **** ***, *** **** ** *** ******* ****, *** positioning ** *** *****, *** **** ******* / ***** ********, etc.

**** **********, **** ************ ******* **** ** ***** ** ** is*********. ** ** **** *****, ****** ** ***** ********** **** becomes *** ****-******** *** ******.

*** *******, ** *** ***** *****, **** *** ***** ***** easily ** ********** "****", *** **** ** *************** ** ****** nor ******* *********, ***** ** "*****"?

***** **** ************ ** **** ** **** ***** *** ****, they **** ** ********* ** ****** *** ******* *** ********, knowing **** ** ***** *********** **** ** *** **** *****.

Shutter ****** *** *** *******

***** ************* **** **** *** ******* ** ********* ** ******** shutter ******. **** **** */***, ****** */**, **** ***** * full ****** *******. ***** ****** ****** ************** ** *** ******* speed ***** **** */***. ***** ***** ****** ******* ****** ***** more ***** *** ***** ******* ************ ******,****** **** ** * *********** *********** **** ******* ******.

** *** **** ***** ******* *****, *** ************ ***** ******* illumination ** */*** *** */** ******* ******:

** ******, *** ******* ************ ************* '*****' ****** ** */**, but **** ** *** ************* ***********, ****** ******* *** **** light *** **** ****.

F ****** *** *** *******

***** ** ***** * ************ **** ******* ***** ******* ************ assuming * ********** ********** *** **** *** ****** ****. *** *******, * ************ might *** ***** ****** *** ****** ** *.** *** ** f/1.0 *** *** ****** *** **** ** ********** */*.* ****.

** *** ******* *****, **** ** *** ****, **** ******* illumination ****** ** **.*, *** *** ****** ******** **** ** F1.8 ****, ***** ************ **** **** *** ****** ** ***** ** ** **.* lens.

**** ******** *** ************'* *** **** **** **********, ********** **** basic ***** ***** *** ******* ************ ** ** ***** .*** lux ****** **** .* ***.

Sens ** *** *** *******

****-**** ********* * ********* **** *** **** *******. *** ****** the **** ** "*****", *** ****** *******, **** **** ********** (2x, **, ***, ***.) ****** ********** ***** */*** ** ******* the ********* ******* *****.

*** *******, *** **** ***** ***** ***** * ******** ******* illumination ** "**** ****-**." **** *********** ******* ** ** ********** 8.5 ****** (***/*** = *.**) ******** ****, ***** ***** ****** in ******* ******** ** ****** *******.

*** **** ** **** *** *** *** ***** *** ****** and *** *********. ******.

Color ** */*

******* **** ******* ********** *** ******* (*** */* *******) **** often **** * *** *******, *** ***** ** ***** ****, the ****** ** **********. **** ********** ** *** ** ********* performance ** ********** **** *** ** ******* ** ***** ***** the ** *** ****** ****** ** ***** ****. ******* *********** are ***** ***********, ** ** *** ******** *****, ***** **** list ********** ******* ************ ***** */**** ** ***** **** (************* 10x ******).

******** *.*-**-**:

********* **-*********-*:

***** ***** *** ** ******* ********* ***** ** *****, *** increases *** ********* **********. ****** ***** *********** *** ******** *** has ******* *********** ** ***** *** ********** ******* **** ******, as **** ** **** ********** ***** **** * ******* ********** camera ** *** **** *****.

IRE ******

*** *********** ** ******* *** ****** ******* *** *** *** ********** in **. *** ** * ******* ** *** ******** ***** in ** ****** ***** ******, ****** ***** ********* ***** *******. Since ** ******* ** *** ******* ****** ****** ** ***** full **********, ** ** * **** ******.

* *** ************* ***** **** ** ** **** ******, ******* different ******* ************ ****** *** ********* **** (**** ***** ** and **). *******, ***** ** ** ******* *** ************* *** testing **** ***, ** ********* ***** *** ***** ******* ************ spec ** ***** ***** (********* **), *** ******** ***** ********.

******* ***-*****:

**** ***-*****:

******* ** ****** ******* **** ***** ** *** **** ***, almost *** ** **** **** ********** **, ** **** ***** IRE ****** ***** ** ******* ** ** ****** *******, **** would *** **** * **********.

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

**** ************* (******* *******) ******* ** ******* ********** ** ******* "0 ***, ** *********" *** ***** ***-********** ** *******. **** they *** ****** ** "** *** *** *** *** **** own ** ***** ******, *** ******* **** ** *****." **** is ********* **** *** ****/* ********* ********** ******* ** ******** ****** ***'* *** ** *********** units.

Super *** ***** ********

** **** *****, ** *** ********* *** ****** ********** ******** that *** ******* **** **** ** *** *****, **** *** 'best' ***** ******** **** **** ****** ** ***** *** ******** in ***** **** **********.

**** *** ******* ** *** **** *** ***** ** (*) advances ** *** ***** ***** ********** **** ********* *** (*) as **** ****** ******* *** ****. ******* *** *** *********** process *** ******* ***** ******* ** ********** ***** ********* ****** the ****** ********. ********, */*" ***** ******* **** ******* ** a ***** *** ***** *******, ******** **** ***** **********, ******* low ***** ****** *********** ** *** **** (*.*., *** ******* */*"************ */*"****** *****). *******, ***** *** * *** **** ***** ****** IP ******* (*.*. *' ** ****) **** ******* ** ******** low ***** ****** ****** ** *** ****** ****** (*.*.,****'* ** **** ****).

Practical *** ******

**** ***** *** ******* ************ ************** ** ****+ ******* ** its ****** ******. **** ****, ** ***** ***** ********* ******:

  • .*** *** *** *****
  • .** *** *** *****
  • .* *** *****

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

*********************** ******* ************ ** ***** ********* ***** ************ *********** ***** ******'* *** ***** ***********. ** some *****, ***** ****** *** *** ************** ****** **** ** **** *******, ***** ** ******, ** ** ****** *************.

***** *** ************ ****** ** **** ******** *** ********* **** as *****'* ** *********** **** (***** ******* ****** ******* ********* due ** **** *******,*** *** **** *******) *** *******'* *******, * *** ********* ****** **** * very **** **.* ****.

** *****, ** ******* ** ************* ****** ****** ***** *.** lux, ** *********** ****** ******* ***** *****.

*.** ***

** ********* ******* ** ***** **** ***** *** ***** ******* *** ********* specified. **** ***** ******** *** *** ***** ********** **** ** Axis' ************************,******* ***-**** *** ***-****, *******'* *** *** ***-***** *** ***-*****, ****** ** *** "******" ************** *** ***** ******* *** low ***** ***********.

**** ** *** ** *** ** ************* *** *********** *********** at ***** ******. *** *******, **** *** ******** *.**-**-** *** Axis ***** *** ********* ** *.** ***. *******,*** ********* *** ******** ******'* *********** ** **** ***** **** ** the *****.

*.* ***

******* ********* ** **** ******** ********* **** ** *** *****. **** ******** ******** **** previous ********** ******* ***** *** ***** *********** *** **** ********** by *** ********** ******. ************, **** ***** **** ***** ****/**** F-stop ****** ***** **** ****** ****** ** *** *+ *** range *** ********* ****.

**** **** ** ***** ******* **********, ** *** ***** ** a *** *******, ******* ********* ** **** ***** **** ****** not ******* ********* ***********.

*+ ***

******* **** ******* ************ ******* ***** * ******* ** **** ** **** ******** *** ***** **********. ***** ratings *** **** ****** ***** ***** **** ***** **** ********* (such ** ******* *********** **********) *** ********* ****** **** ** ********** ***-**************** **-*****/***.

IR ************ *** *** ****** - *** ******

**** ******* ***** **** / ******** ******** ********** **.

******* ** ****, *** ******* ** *** ********* ***** ** them, ***** ***** ******* **** ***** *** ********. ** ** possible ** **** ** ******* ** ******* *** ** *********** but **** ** ********* *** ****. ** ****, **** ** cameras ****** * *** ****** ** * ***, ***** **** do *** **** *****.

** ********** *** ****** ** ***** ******** *** ** ******* when ** ** ********, ********* ****** ***** **** (***** **** IR ** **, *** ****** **** ** ***** *** *****). See **** ******* *****:

**** *** ************* ******* **** *** **** ******* ** *** other *******. ********, ***** ** ******* **** ***** *** ************, many, ********** ***** **** ****, *** **** ** *** *****, relying ** ***** *****-** ** ************* ** **** *** ***** bright (*.*.,*** ********** ****** ***** *******).

What ** **

** *** ***** ** ********* ** ***, *** ** *** want **, *** *** **** ******* ******* ************, **** ********** the ********* ************* ********:

"******* ************ ** *.** *** ** */*** *******, ** **** up *******."

*** ********* *** **** ** **** ******* ********* ** *.* lux ** ****** *** ****** ****** ****** *** ** *** light, **, ** *****, *** *** ****** ***** *******. *******, if *** ******* ********* ***** **** ****, **** .***, *** significantly ******** *** ****** ** ********* ****-******* *** ***** ******* that *** ************** *********.

*******, **** **** ** ******* *** "*/*** *******, ** **** up *******" ** ******* ************* ********* ************** **** *** ******* gamed *** ******* ** ********* *********** ****** ****.

****** ****,****** **** **** *********** *** ******* *** ***** ************ ******* *** **** ******** to *** *** **** ** ***** ** **** ****** / light ******.

[****: **** ***** *** ********** ******* ** **** *** *** updated ** ******** **** ** ******* ******** ** ********** ** usage *** *********** ** ***** *** ***** *******.]

Comments (13)

***** ******* ! ***** ************ **** *** ***** ** ****** to **** *********** ***** ** ***** ****, *** **** *** test *** ******* ** *** ***, *** *** *** **** performance ! *** *****'* * *** ********** ** *********, **** according ** *** ****** *** ***. **** ****** **** **** settings, *** ******* ****** *** ***** ** ****** **** **** a **** ******* ** ***********. ***** **** *** ** ** interesting **** ** ****.

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

** ******** ****** / ************ **** ** **** **** ********:

**** ****, **** **** ** ******** **** ******* ***** *** can **** *** ******, ***** *** ** *** ******** ** the ******** ***** (**** ******** *** ******).

**** *** ** *** ******** **** ************’* *** ** **** their ********’ **** *** ***** ***** ************, * **** ***** up ********** *** ***** ***********. **** ***** *********** *************** **** you **** ********* *** *********** ******* *** ************ ***’* ******* all ** *** ****** ****** ** ******** ******* *** ******’* performance. ***** ***** *** **** ********** ********* *** *** ******** are ****** ** ** *********** ******* ****** (**** ****), * will ***** ** ********** * *** ******* **** * **** confidence **.

***, * ***** **** ** * ***** ********.

** *** *** ***** *********** *************** ******* **** ************* *** not ******* ** ******* ******** ****** (*********** *****, ***.). *** goal **** *** ************** ** ********* ** **** *********** *** rating ***** (**** ****** **** ** *.***** ***) **** ****** the *** ****** *** ***** **** ********.

****, **** ** *** ******* ** ********** **** ****. * work *** * ********** *** ********** **** * ******* ***** has ** ** ******* *** *********** (***) ******* ** ** gotten **** * ********** "**** ****** ******". ******** ******** ** important. ******.

******* **** * **** ** ***** ******* *********** * ***** the ************ ***** ********* ** **** *** **** ****** ** Gain=1, ****=*/**, ** ******** **** *** ***** ********** *** ****-**** just ** ****. ****** ** ** ** *** ***** ** - ** *** (**.*) **** ** *******. *** ********* ** other ********** ** **** ***********.

#*, ***, **** *** **** *** ****** *** *** ********** use ********** ** ******* / ******.

*** *** ********* *** **** ********** ** ******* ****** ****** / ******* * ******.

*** ***** ** ***** *** ***** *** ********** ******* **** also **** ** ** **********.

*) ** ***** ** *** ********* ** **** ******* ***** noise ** * ***** ****** ** *** ********* ** *** picture . *** *, *, *** * **** **** ******* with "*" ****** *** **** ****** ** ***** ***** ( S/N). ************* ***** ******* ***** ***** ***** ** */* ** giving *** *********** **** **** "*** **" ***/** "***** ** ON" **** *** */* **** "*** ***" ***/ ** "***** Up ***" ******* **** *****. ****** ** **** **** *** same ********.

*) *** *** ****** *** *** ***** ** ***** *** critically ** ************ ****** ***** *** ************ ** *** *****. So **** ******* **** * ***** **** ** ***** ****** reflective ******. **** *** ********* **** *** ****** ******* * parking *** **** ** ***** ******* **** ********* ** ************.

*) *** *** *** *** * ***** *********** *** ************ and *********. **, ******** **** *** */* ******, **** * more ******** ******* ** *** * ****** *********. *** **% number **** * **** */* ***** ******** * **** ******* usable *******. ** ***** ** **** ** ***** *** *** to ********* **** **** ** ******* *** ************* ***** **** as * ******** ( ** *** ***** ***'* **).

*) ** ********* *** **** *** ** *********** ***** *********** and **** *** **** "*" **** *** ************ *** ** the ******** ** ** *** * *********** ** *** ***** at *** ********* ** *** ****** ** *** *************. * number ** ************ ***** ** ********* **** **** ***** *** ( ****** *******) *** ** **** ** *** ******* ******* this ***** **** *** ****** *** **** *** *** **** to ** ******.

*) ** *** *** ** *** *** *** **** ** the ****** ** *** *** ************* ************ ** **** ***** they *** ******* **** **** *** **** ** ***** ***********. The ****** **** *** *** *** **** ** ******* ********** is ** **** ** ****** **** **** *********** ***** **** by **** ****** **** *** *** ******.

*) ** ********* *** **** *** ** *********** ***** *********** and **** *** **** "*" **** *** ************ *** ** the ******** ** ** *** * *********** ** *** ***** at *** ********* ** *** ****** ** *** *************.

* *****, *********** ** *** ****** ***** *** ************ *** of *** ********. *** ** *** **** *** **** *** of *** ********, ******? ********* ************ ***** *****'* **** ********.

* *********** ** *** ***** ** *** ********* ** *** sensor ** *** *************.

**** ************* **** **** **** ***** *** ******* ************ **** the ****** ********. *** **** **** *** **** ***** ***** numbers *** *** *** **** ********* ** ******* *** ** end **** ***** *** **** ** **** ******* ** ****** who *** ********* **********.

***** **** *** ***** ***** *** ***** ****** **** ****** a * ** ** **** *** **** ******* ******* ** measure *** ***** ** *** **** ** *** **** ***** is ***** ** *** *********.

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

*** ** ****** *** ******* ***** ************ ***** *** ****** manufacturers *****. ** **** **** **** **** *******. **** **** Brian ******* *** *** ***** *** ***** *** *** *****'* makers ***** ***** **** ** *** ****** ********, **** ****** manufactures **** **** ***** **** *** ****** ***** ************* *** put **** ** ***** ****. ****** ** **** *** **********.

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