Will Daylight Damage an Infrared Camera’s LEDs?

April 9, 2020 2:04 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Infrared cameras are among the many types of surveillance equipment we supply to commercial and residential customers for use in CCTV systems in Phoenix. One of the most common questions we receive from customers is whether or not they have to worry about the infrared camera’s LEDs being damaged by direct exposure to daylight and the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

The answer is no—these cameras are designed for both lighted and low-light use, meaning you don’t have to worry about daylight damage. The infrared LEDs remain off during the day when it’s light out, and only turn on for nighttime use.

This doesn’t mean, however, that these cameras are completely invulnerable to the elements and to general wear and tear. There are some types of issues that commonly occur with infrared cameras. Here are just a few examples:

  • Improper placement of foam rings: Most infrared cameras will have foam rings. The glass on the camera reflects infrared light like any other kind of light, and when this happens in the camera, the infrared light reflects back into the lens, creating a negative effect that could make the camera useless in low-light situations. This is why the foam ring exists, to prevent this effect from occurring. If the foam ring isn’t seated properly (it should be flush with the infrared board, which is the base of the lens) it will result in that negative effect. To resolve this, open up the camera and make sure the foam ring is in proper position.
  • Missing foam ring: Improper placement of the foam ring is a relatively common issue. An entirely missing foam ring is not nearly as common, but it does happen, believe it or not. When you open up the camera and see a missing ring, you should make it a priority to get a foam ring that fits that camera as soon as possible so you can use the camera as intended.
  • Glare: Infrared glare can be caused by debris on the camera glass, but more commonly it’s caused by other issues, such as reflective surfaces like light-colored surfaces or bodies of water for outdoor cameras, or for items or furniture around the camera for indoor cameras. Proper installation and mounting, as well as planning out where the camera will be located, can help you eliminate this issue.
  • Glass obstruction: There’s usually a plastic film that comes on the camera glass, which helps keep debris away from the glass. Debris and fingerprints could potentially cause infrared glare, or at the very least obstruct your viewing area, so it’s important to regularly clean the glass thoroughly to remove these obstructions.
  • Reflection: You might also experience problems with infrared reflection. There are a variety of potential causes of this reflection, including a camera that’s indoors looking through a window (the infrared will bounce off the window), failure to remove the plastic cover on the glass dome, dirty glass, poor mounting location or obscured LED lights on the infrared board.

For more information about potential problems with infrared cameras and CCTV systems in Phoenix, AZ, contact Southwest System Monitoring, Inc. today.

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