Finding a best night vision CCTV security camera for your house is not that easy. You may have read lots of night vision security cameras reviews, but still get puzzled:
Do the security cameras you are looking for have best night vision, should you buy wireless outdoor night vision security cameras, color night vision vs white and black night vision, which one to choose, or shall you install the outdoor security camera with night vision through glass windows inside your house (does it work)?
Read this post to figure all out. If you have more questions about night vision security cameras, leave them in your comment below this post.
- Part 1. Do CCTV Security Cameras Have Real Night Vision? How to Tell
- Part 2. How Do Outdoor Security Cameras with Night Vision Work? 101 Basics
- Part 3. Why Is It Black and White? How About the Color Night Vision
- Part 4. Color Night Vision VS Black and White? Which One to Choose
- Part 5. Outdoor Wireless Night Vision Security Cameras? How to Choose
- Part 6. CCTV Security Camera with Night Vision Through Glass Windows? Read This
- Part 7. Night Vision Security Camera Not Working? Troubleshooting
Can IP cameras see at night?
There are many top outdoor security cameras with night vision for sale. However, it’s not surprising many wireless cameras are not night-vision compatible.
Do check all and ensure the security & surveillance IP cameras have a good night vision before you purchase them.
Methods are as below to find if it’s a top night vision CCTV security camera:
#1. Check the specifications to see if there is night vision in the list or IR distance info.
#2. Ask the manufacturer to provide night vision video samples.
#3. Check if any of the other customers shared night vision footage.
#4. Check media reviews of the product.
#5. Google to see if you can find anything about the product’s night vision.
A high quality security camera from top CCTV camera brands would offer long range IR distance night vision, say up to 100 feet and even 190 feet, and help you to monitor day and night (24/7) your house, your front yard, your back garden, your garage (vehicles or cars), and anywhere you want.
Long range night vision captured by Reolink RLC-423.
The most common night vision type used in CCTV security cameras is infrared (IR) night vision, which relies on infrared lights.
Those outdoor night vision cameras have built-in small LED bulbs (when looking at the camera lens, you will find them set inside around the lens), and an IR cut filter, which is used to detect daylight and to block out the light falling on the image sensor during the day in order to keep color in daytime looking accurate.
Infrared light is completely invisible to our eyes, but visible to the security IP cameras with night vision.
When it’s pitch black outside, the LED lights turn on and act as a flood light of sorts, and the filter automatically gets removed. So the security cameras can see clearly at night and capture high resolution images and videos, even in the place that’s totally dark (without any lighting).
High quality outdoor night vision security cameras can capture black and white night vision videos, yet what most people do not know is that they can also produce color night vision.
Black and White Night Vision
Why is my outdoor CCTV security camera black and white at night?
Most infrared outdoor night vision security cameras capture footage in black and white, because human eyes can differentiate between black and white better than in other shades of colors. And with high resolutions, say 4MP (4-megapixel), 5MP (5-megapixel) – Reolink RLC-410, for example, these cameras capture much clearer videos with more details.
Black and white night vision video footage shared by Wes G, one of the customers of RLC-410.
An attempted burglary was caught
Color Night Vision
Those qualified outdoor CCTV security cameras, as what I’ve mentioned, can offer color night vision. By default, they would offer you black and white night vision, but you can change the default settings to make the full color night vision applied.
Take Reolink RLC-410 as the example. On Reolink Client, access the camera, head to “Basic Settings”, “Image” and choose “Color” in the “Day/Night” column.
Nevertheless, in the security camera market, when we say color night vision, the first concept that comes to mind for most people is starlight night vision.
It’s true that starlight night vision always produces images in colors even in very low-lit locations, thanks to the powerful starlight image sensor.
So if the outdoor CCTV security camera uses a starlight image sensor (we also all this kind of cameras starlight security cameras), it offers color night vision, such as Reolink Argus 2. If you want to know more, read this color night vision cameras guide.
Color night vision footage shared by Chris, one of the customers of Reolink Argus 2.
Should I choose a color night vision security camera instead of a white and black night vision camera?
There is no “Right ” or “Wrong” answer to this question.
In some cases, white and black night vision would be much better than color night vision, and vice versa.
And you need to know the important things below when considering choosing one.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Best Outdoor Night Vision IP Camera
#1. Image quality
High quality CCTV night vision cameras can capture black and white videos, as well as color footage, as what I mentioned above. However, black and white night vision in those cameras is always much better than full color night vision in image quality.
If the camera has a starlight image sensor, things would be different. Normally, the starlight image sensor could offer much better color night vision than others. See more in: starlight security camera guide.
#2. Storage spaceColor night vision footage has more elements than black and white, so it would occupy more storage space. Therefore, if storage is a concern for you, black and white night vision may be a better choice.
#3. Long range night visionObliviously, black and white night vision covers longer range than color night vision. For example, at 100 feet distance in the monitoring area, black and white mode would capture clear images, white color mode fails.
#4. PriceThe cost of the starlight image sensors are always higher than the normal ones. Therefore, security cameras with starlight image sensors may cost a little more than the ones that do not have a starlight sensor.
#5. Installation scenariosIn some scenarios, you may need color night vision rather than black and white night vision. Below are the most common installations of night vision security cameras:
- Large scale enterprise
- Shared footprints spaces
- Living rooms
- Passages in front door
- Front yards
- Back yards
- The entrances of a store
Many factors would affect your final choice. But do remember, a top high quality outdoor wireless security camera with night vision would have the features showed below:
High resolution. The image resolution should at least reach 1080p (1920*1080). The higher resolution the night vision camera for security has, the more details and clearer footage it would record, including facial details and license plates.
Weatherproof. Rain or shine, hot or cold, an outdoor CCTV WiFi IP camera must brave it all. So its IP code at least reaches IP65. See more in IP65 and IP66 Definition and Recommendation.
IR range. This indicates how far the camera with night vision could see at night. A long range night vision security camera should see at least 30 feet. In our test, the night vision range of Reolink Argus 2 and Reolink Go is 33 feet, RLC-410 100 feet and RLC-423 190 feet!
3D DNR. This will help to remove image noise in both daytime and nighttime videos, and it’s a basic tech that should used in a high quality camera with night vision.
Wide view of vision. The larger viewing angle of the surveillance camera has, the more it would capture, and the less dead spot you would have.
If you want a quick buying guide on best wireless outdoor night vision security camera, I’d like to recommend Reolink Argus 2 and RLC-410.
This wireless security camera with night vision is the star product of Reolink. With a starlight image sensor, it offers 2 night vision modes: color night vision, as well as black and white night vision.
- 100% Wire-free – so you can put it anywhere, with no cords and wiring.
- Based on 2.4Ghz WiFi – strong WiFi signal for live streaming.
- Rechargeable battery operated – no electricity power outlets needed.
- Works with a solar panel – eco-friendly and money-saving; and most importantly, helps get non-stop power.
- Starlight night vision – much clearer footage even in no light conditions.
- 1080p full HD – high resolution both for color night vision mode and white-black night vision mode.
If your place has no WiFi covered, Reolink Go is your best security camera with high resolution and full color night vision.
Here are the video clips captured by Reolink Argus 2.
Day time video
Night time video in black and white
Night time video in color
This long range CCTV night vision security camera is one of the best sellers. By default, it captures white and black night vision at dark in very high quality, and this is one of the favorable features for all its users.
- PoE (Power over Ethernet) – just one cable for both stable video and power transmission.
- 4MP (megapixels) – it’s 1440p super HD, much clearer than 1080p Full HD and 720p.
- 100 feet long range night vision – up to 100 feet night vision without any lighting.
- With audio – it has a built-in mic and will record sounds; you can turn off it at any time.
- IP66 waterproof rating – you can put it outdoors or indoors, no matter how the weather conditions are.
RLC-410 is a bullet night vision camera. If you prefer a dome one, you may get RLC-420.
Here are the video clips captured by RLC-410.
Day time video
Night vision video in black and white
Discussion: Wireless Night Vision Security Cameras vs PoE Night Vision Security Cameras
Since we’ve discussed which is better for your home in PoE and wireless (WiFi) security cameras in the post Outdoor Security Cameras, you can check to see it for your reference, or you can leave your question or share your opinion in comments below.
Note: All the night vision security cameras introduced above have motion detection and remote monitoring functions.
As mentioned above, all night vision CCTV security cameras feature infrared sensors, and most of them come with LED lights, which are intended for better lighting to record clear footage even in the dark.
Pointing the camera with night vision for security towards a glass window intending to look outside may result in a poor image because of glare and lighting conditions inside and outside the house. Therefore, it’s not suggested to use security camera night vision though glass windows.
We’ve also covered this topic in the specific post: Do Security Cameras Work Behind a Glass Window. For more detailed discussion and guideline, you may click to see it.
Your home security cameras are on but the night vision not working at all? The infrareds are not showing in “night vision”? The cameras work in daytime but videos are lost in night time?
If you are suffering night vision security and surveillance camera not working and not recording, try to:
- Check all the cables to ensure there is no problem.
- Swap the cameras to a different port on the NVR (if the cameras are working with a NVR).
- Make sure the cameras are power on, especially the wireless security cameras.
- Check if the infrared sensor in the camera is working (see if the infrared sensor has red lighting when it’s in the dark).
- Contact the seller who you buy the night vision security cameras from.
And you may refer to Top 10 Solutions to Fix Security Cam Not Working.