Posts Tagged ‘ IR’

Common Issues With IR (Infrared) Dome Security Cameras

Written By:
Monday, September 26th, 2011

Common issues with IR Dome Cameras

This is a demonstration of issues you might find with IR Dome Cameras.

  1. If you noticed in this snapshot, you will see white spots around the image. This is caused when the lens is pointed straight up almost at 90 degrees. The lights are OFF and the IR’s are to close to the edge of the vandal dome housing. The light from the IR’s are bouncing back producing this issue.

Figure 1

Demonstration of camera been to closed to the edge of the camera dome cover

Figure 2

To fix this issue you must move the camera lens down to a point that the IR LEDs are not close to the edge of the dome cover. After you have the camera positioned away from the edge of the cover, the image should look like this:

Figure 3

  1. Another issue you might encounter after mounting this type of cameras are smudges and haze in the image. This issue is caused by having finger prints or dirt in the clear cover of the dome camera. This is an example of how it will look like when the dome is dirty:

Figure 4

I will be cleaning the surface of the camera with a microfiber cloth. It is recommended to use this type of cloth to clean the camera, because it will prevent scratches that might cause the IR’s to bounce back.

Right about to clean the camera

Camera image after cleaning the cover

There are many other issues that can cause IR reflection or bounce back. This includes:

  • The dome cover is not bolted in tight enough.

  • The rubber seal between the lens and the dome cover is not flush against the clear dome cover.

  • Another IR camera is in the field of view of this security camera and is causing white out areas.

  • There is a reflective surface above, below or in front of the security camera that is reflecting the IR light back into the camera.


IR Vandal Proof Dome

Written By:
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Having problems with night time vandalism or theft?  Perhaps you should consider an IR (InfraRed) vandal proof dome camera.  These cameras can “see” where humans can’t and are made to be tamper resistant as well.

The camera is probably the most visible component of a digital video security and surveillance system.  In addition, the camera is often placed right in the “heart” of the vandal inflicted area.  This makes these cameras all the more incredibly obvious–and the target of even more vandalism.

Therefore, an IR vandal proof dome camera is usually constructed of a tough metal exterior (housing).  These housings are designed to take a bit of beating.  In addition, the domes or viewing areas where the lens looks outward are generally made of Lexan polycarbonate.  These two enhancements will often deter the “would be” vandal, hence the term “Vandal proof.”

Another feature of IR vandal proof dome camera is the ability to capture and record clear, high detailed video images in total darkness using infrared technology.  The nice thing about this is that the dome camera can do this automatically and is often set to do so when lighting conditions drop below a certain level (such as less than 1 Lux).

How does the IR vandal proof dome camera capture infrared video images?  This is actually due to a “by-product” if you will, of the sensor and the ability of the camera design to allow for IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs to be stacked in an array inside the camera housing and around the lens.

Lets take a closer look at how an IR vandal proof dome camera works to understand how it can take both daytime (plenty of visible light) and nighttime (little to no light) high resolution video images.  A typical digital video security and surveillance camera works by transferring the light reflected off objects into measurable amounts of electrical impulses.

In order to record video, the camera lens gathers the light reflected off objects in the camera’s field of view and focuses them onto small sensor chips that usually range from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch square.  These sensor chips are excited when light strikes them and give off very small, but measurable amounts of electrical impulses.

There are two different sensor chips used in cameras today.  Each goes about getting the measurable impulse differently, but both produce the same end product, a digital video image.  These chips are the Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

After the focused light strikes the sensor and the electrical impulses are emitted, Integrated Circuit (IC) chips take over processing and digitizing the electronic information.  The signals to this point are actually in an analog format and an analog-to-digital processing chips digitizes the data.  In addition, a Digital Signal Processor or DSP also analyzes the digital data before allowing it to leave the camera and makes corrections to the data whenever necessary.

Once this digital data has bee prepared it is ready for transmission to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR and/or monitor.  If it is sent to the DVR, it will more than likes undergo some refinement to the data and will be compiled into a digital video file using a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility.  The CODEC reduces the size of the file while maintaining high quality of the image.

Let’s go back in this process though and take a look at the CCD and the CMOS.  IT just so happens that both of the sensors have a “side benefit” that is inherent to the sensors.  Both of these sensors inherently “see” IR light naturally.  The IR light that they are most sensitive to is in the near infrared spectrum; the same infrared light that is used in television and DVD remote controls.

Another benefit of this particular wavelength of radiation is that it is completely invisible to the human eye.  We can’t tell it is there, but the camera can use it like a floodlight or spotlight to capture high resolution, clear, crisp video.  IR video incidentally is displayed only as black and white or some other monochromatic configuration because near infrared light is not in the visible color light spectrum.

So if you are looking for a camera that can withstand some mistreatment, yet produce fine color day images and fine black and white IR mode images, we suggest that you consider one of Security Camera King’s IR vandal proof dome camera.


640 x 480 Infrared Camera

Written By:
Monday, October 11th, 2010

What exactly is a 640 x 480 infrared camera? This can be a complicated answer for many reasons. In the following article we will attempt to address some of the characteristics that can make this seemingly simple question so complicated. Specifically, we will briefly discuss infrared technology and the reference to display resolution and how they relate to a 640 x 480 infrared camera.

First lets discuss the meaning of “infrared” when we talk about a 640 x 480 infrared camera. The term “infrared” refers to the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation. The wavelength of infrared radiation generally ranges between 0.7 and 300 micrometers abbreviated as “µm.” The exact range and categories defined may vary slightly depending on the scale that is used to describe the radiation.

For our purposes, it is sufficient enough to know that infrared radiation is a longer wavelength than visible light, therefore the human eye cannot see it. Further, there may be several categories of infrared radiation based on wavelength but we will only consider two; “near infrared” radiation which is invisible to the human eye but is the closest in wavelength to radiation that is visible to the human eye) and “long-wavelength” also called “far infrared,” which for our discussion is the thermal imaging region which is naturally emitted by objects and requires no external or artificial illumination.

So, on this basis there are essentially two types of 640 x 480 infrared cameras. The first type, and the one most commonly used in digital video security camera systems, is the near infrared camera. This camera contains one of two electronic sensor chips, either a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS). These sensors are able to convert the light energy into electrical energy that can be measured, thereby creating a digital image. Fortuitously, these sensors inherently detect near infrared radiation as well.

The near infrared 640 x 480 camera uses external infrared radiation (or infrared light) to illuminate the area in its field of view. These cameras use InfraRed Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDS to illuminate the target area in order to create an image. The IR LEDs are normally configured in an array that surrounds the camera lens so that they are focused in the same direction. However, some cameras may have IR LEDs clustered off to the side of the lens and there are even separate “illuminators” that contain nothing but IR LEDs and can be mounted and aimed separately from the camera.

These cameras normally produce a color image in visible light conditions and when the visible light is not bright enough to produce a high quality video image, they switch to infrared, producing a monochromatic or black and white video image.

The far infrared 640 x 480 infrared camera does not require additional external infrared illumination. This camera uses an infrared “Focal Plane Array” or FPA sensor and is capable of creating a digital video image based solely on the thermal emissions or “heat signatures” of objects. These cameras are often called “Forward Looking InfraRed” or FLIR cameras. These cameras are also often made in a “hand held” version. Older models of these cameras had to be cooled somehow to prevent the users’ and their own thermal emissions from interfering with the image.

Far infrared 640 x 480 infrared cameras are often used not only for covert surveillance and security, but by inspectors and engineers to detect a variety of heat signatures. These cameras can be used to detect areas of heat “leakage” from a building or “hot spots” on mechanical engines and other devices.

As for the reference of “640 x 480″ in a 640 x 480 infrared camera, this refers to the image resolution in pixels that the camera is capable of displaying. Far infrared cameras are more commonly referred to by their resolution in pixels, i.e. 640 x 480 infrared camera. However, digital video security cameras may also use the same description.

This can be confusing because older, analog security video cameras more commonly referred to their resolution in terms of TVL or Television Lines. Since the security camera industry today uses primarily digital video cameras, they may refer to the resolution in terms of TVL or pixels.

Perhaps the easiest way to tell the difference between the two is the price. Near infrared digital image security video cameras can be purchased for as low as less than one hundered while far infrared FLIR cameras range from one to several thousand dollars.


4 Camera IR Security System

Written By:
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

A 4 camera IR security system is the perfect solution if you need security or surveillance monitoring in total darkness. Electronic technological improvements have not only resulted in high quality equipment designed for this purpose, but have made infrared (IR) cameras very affordable too.

4 camera IR security system normally consists of four cameras, a processor/capture card/CODEC application, a monitor and a digital video recorder or DVR. The cameras send their video in the form of electronic data to a processor or capture card that interprets the data and creates a digital file that can be read and/or saved for future use. The CODEC application reads the digital video file that is created and applies COmpression/DECompression (hence the name CODEC) to make the file much smaller and therefore easier to handle and store while maintaining high quality characteristics of the images or video. The file is then available for live or real-time viewing on a monitor. At the same time the file is normally saved on a DVR for future use. The DVR is much like the hard drive on a personal computer.

There are several types of cameras available; however IR cameras are specially designed for “seeing” in total darkness. Digital video cameras produce images by using a special electronic light sensor called a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) or a Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. CCDs are particularly useful for infrared applications because of the sensitivity of the electronic chip.

Modern technological advances in design of CCDs have yielded a sensor that is extremely sensitive to light. This means that most CCDs can produce high quality video in very low light conditions such as the available light on a moonlit night. However, a 4 camera IR security system needs to go one step further; it needs to be able to produce high quality video in total darkness environments. Fortunately, most CCDs are inherently sensitive to IR light radiation. Therefore the CCD makes an excellent choice as an image sensor for IR cameras.

The cameras in a 4 camera IR security system can produce high quality color video when there is some available visible light. Under infrared conditions, the camera produces a monochromatic or black and white video image. These cameras have IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that surround the camera lens. The LEDs emit IR light that is invisible to the human eye but is visible to the CCD. These LEDs act as invisible spot lights or flood lights for the CCD, illuminating the target area images with IR light. Generally, the more IR LEDs surrounding the lens, the greater the range and field of view for the IR video.

There are many useful applications for a 4 camera IR security system. These systems provide excellent night time security coverage for outdoor building and property perimeters. In addition to perimeter coverage, IR cameras can be placed so that they can monitor areas that are normally not well lit in the evenings. They have both commercial and residential applications for this purpose.

Indoors, 4 camera IR security systems can be used to provide security and surveillance monitoring for rooms that are not illuminated. Stores, offices, and businesses can all make use of IR security systems to provide the utmost security without the expense of leaving several building lights on. Residentially, nurseries or baby’s rooms can be monitored in the evening without disturbing the infant with unnecessary light. Rooms inside homes can be monitored for security purposes without the need for lights. Potential intruders can be monitored without their knowledge since the IR illumination used by the camera is invisible to the human eye.

Recent technology also allows 4 camera IR security systems to be networked using Internet Protocol (IP). This means that the system can be connected to the internet so that monitoring and recording can be accomplished anywhere there is internet access. In addition, this also means that via this network 24/7 monitoring can easily be provided by monitoring service companies.

Innovative technology can now provide you with a 4 camera IR security system that can be used for in nearly any environment for any application at affordable prices. The versatility of these systems not only provides for wide applications but for easy accessibility for monitoring from remote locations. What’s more, 4 camera IR security systems require no additional requirements than standard camera security systems.