Heard about the talking of starlight cameras? Sounds rather high-tech and seems to be a big leap forward in the night vision, doesn't it?

However, after hours of Google search for starlight Wiki or buying guide, you may still confused about what exactly is the starlight IP cameras, how does the starlight security cameras work, what's the difference between the starlight and IR night vision, and the cost, of course.

Here, we will share with you the most exhaustive and leading insights into starlight CCTV cameras from a senior hardware engineer, Daniel, who has been in the industry for over 20 years and knows all ins and outs about the starlight cameras.

After months' waiting in line and hours' interview, finally, here is what we got. Click the sections below to see what the expert has to say about starlight CCTV cameras.


Starlight Cameras

What Are Starlight Cameras

Starlight cameras are security cameras with special starlight sensors to provide improved night vision in low light conditions.

And that means "see things clearly that your eyes can't see"!

You know, human eyes could hardly identify anything when the illumination goes below 20 Lux. Well, the starlight cameras, with exceptional starlight sensitivity, could give you sharper and clearer images than your eyes could see even in 0 Lux condition.

How Do Starlight Night Vision Cameras Work

How does the starlight cameras work with only the "starlight" or even NO light?

In fact, it is the latest starlight sensor technology and the sophisticated noise suppression that result in the exceptional sensitivity and clearer night vision.

To be more specific, the starlight camera uses larger size sensors, wider aperture and reduces the shutter speed to collect enough light for human face and plate number identification, even when human eyes couldn't see anything.

Color Night Vision vs. Black & White Night Vision

Starlight cameras provide the best quality night vision, but not necessarily color night vision.

In order to see details clearly, like the human faces and plate number, in extremely poor light conditions, most quality starlight security cameras will automatically turn to black and white mode for the best clarity.

Of course, you can manually switch the starlight black and white night vision to the color night vision. For example, you can easily set up the Reolink Argus 2 color recording at night via the Reolink app:

Color Night Vision Security Camera App

Starlight Camera Videos

So what the starlight night vision will be like when it comes to the real home monitoring?

Here are video samples from the starlight camera Reolink Argus 2 for your reference.

Day time video sample in 1080p HD resolution:

Starlight night time video in black and white:

Starlight night time video in color:

What's the Difference Between IR and Starlight Night Vision

IR vs. starlight: Starlight night vision has better night vision than typical IR night vision cameras in terms of image clarity and quality, and provides color night vision even in the low light conditions where other cameras have to turn their IR lights on.

And that's because the starlight cameras could make the most out of natural light to produce superior images ever with advanced sensors. So you may just take the starlight night vision as the clearer and advanced version of IR night vision.

What's Special about Starlight Cameras

You could simply interpret starlight cameras as excellent night vision. But do you know on which aspects exactly do starlight cameras win other types?

Let's find out below.

#1. Starlight Security Cameras Have Better Clarity

Just as I mentioned, starlight cameras carry super sensitive sensor and specific lens to guarantee exceptional night vision with HD resolution, like the most popular 1080p ones on the market.

That means you will be able to see the plate number and people's face in distance clearly day at night when other cameras will fail to identify any details.

Mind that the starlight cameras will automatically change to black and white mode in extremely poor lighting conditions. Actually, whether it's black or color doesn't matter that much for a security camera. After all, the security camera is used for collecting crime evidence which will not be more convincible because of its color.

#2. Starlight IP Cameras Can See Further

Compared with the IR cameras which rely on the IR light reflection to produce images, the starlight cameras make use of the natural lights come from other objects even in low light conditions.

And therefore it could see further, like the people across the street and the signboard of far away buildings, than mere the illuminated area with IR or street light.

Starlight CCTV Cameras Cost

Starlight security cameras won't cost you much if you choose the right brand.

Admittedly, some professional starlight cameras which enable color night vision even in 0.01 Lux low light conditions could cost you over $1000, and they are typically used for special occasions.

But there are also many consumer-level starlight cameras with improved night vision designed for home security, and most of them come at rather affordable price tag (about $100).

"We firmly believe security matters most and it should be for everyone. That's why we make our products professional, reliable, affordable, simple, and DIY style," said Reolink Sale Manager Laura. "And the starlight camera Reolink Argus 2 is the latest brainchild of our effort to make home and business monitoring easier and simpler."

Where Should You Use Starlight CCTV Cameras

With the great improvement in night vision, the starlight security cameras could be used in expanded situations, like home monitoring, bar, hotel, parking lot surveillance, and etc.

There are even starlight cameras meet the standard for military and national geographic research use. For example, the starlight cameras used in underwater are once reported to capture bioluminescence.

And they will have more advantages in the open fields for their far-reaching night vision, including the back yard, front yard, meeting halls, street, airport, highways and tourist attractions monitoring.

Some of you might take the starlight cameras as overkill in home security, while it's definitely worth the investment and will prove its value if you feel unsafe during the night for the repeated burglars in your area – some wire-free mini starlight cameras are also available to make the surveillance more secret and effective!

Best Budget Starlight Cameras

Decided to give starlight cameras a try?

Here are two best budget picks to suit your various monitoring needs:

#1. Have WiFi? Try Reolink Argus 2.

Then Reolink Argus 2 is your best start if WiFi is available.

Coming with Sony quality starlight sensor, this camera could provide the best night clarity ever in very low Lux conditions indoors and outdoors.

Best Pick

Reolink Argus 2

Wire-Free Starlight CCTV Camera

This wire free rechargeable starlight camera can be placed and moved to anywhere you want, like leave it on the table, install it on the ceiling or under the eaves in 5 minutes!

Check the price

You don't need to worry about the burglars breaking into your homes, thieves stealing your bikes on the remote shed, or people keying your car during the night. The battery powered camera will capture every detail of the crime where other cameras fail to.

#2. No WiFi Network? Try Reolink Go.

If your monitoring place is out of the WiFi range and still want video monitoring, or better still, the starlight camera monitoring for the night, then you have to try the 4G camera Reolink Go.

Best Pick

Reolink Go

No-WiFi 4G LTE Starlight Camera

The Reolink Go, a powerful 4G-enabled, solar powered security monitor with a ton of features, modes, and applications. – Digital Trends Review

Check the price

Key Features:

  • 1080p full HD videos, the highest resolution among battery types
  • 100% wire-free, easy to install and remove indoors and outdoors
  • Rechargeable battery powered, no power outlets needed
  • Solar powered optionally, eco-friendly and money saving
  • Starlight night vision provides the best clarity of the night
  • Joe Oliver

    I hope the wire between the cam and solar panel is long enough for placement – other then – right next to it. Also including the fixed base wouldn't hurt future sales.

    • Hi Joe, thank you for sharing your concerns! Generally, the cable for solar panel could reach 4 meters, which could satisfy most monitoring needs. And you may also use extension cords for more flexible placement.
      If you have any further question, please do not hesitate to reply to the comment directly 🙂

  • Mike Baumiller

    Do these starlight cameras film throughout glass? I know the IR cameras reflect back off of the glad, I just don't know how these would work in the same situation

  • PiTi

    Do you plan to introduce any POE powered cameras with Starlight?

    • Flora

      Hi there, while we are happy to hear about your interest in PoE cameras with starlight night vision, we are sorry that we don't plan to introduce PoE IP cameras with starlight in the near future. Also, note that we are planning to release a PoE IP camera with a built-in spotlight and this camera will be capable of capturing color nighttime images as well. Follow us on social media, https://www.facebook.com/ReolinkTech/, to stay tuned with us! 🙂

      • PiTi

        Hi Flora, will it be then something similar like Hikvision ColorVu?
        To be honest... I have now Hikvision POE cameras and since 2 days I am also a new owner of your Argus PT. When it comes to night vision , Argus PT beats them all 😀 Great product! Now I want to have something similar instead my Hikvision POE cameras 🙂

        • Flora

          Hi there, thank you for your feedback! The new camera would be a bullet-shape PoE IP camera with built-in spotlight. That's all we can share with you now. For more details, stay tuned with us! 🙂

  • Max

    @reo does the star light sensor use less battery power?

  • Nuno Almeida

    Still waiting for non battery model 🙁



Up to 15% OFF Reolink smart security cameras