by Jennifer Spears
I have heard a few interesting questions this week on infrared cameras so I thought I would post and then answer them here.
1. Why does the infrared camera turn to B&W at night?
– B&W camera chip sets can see in the infrared spectrum, thus they can see the infrared illumination when a color camera can’t.
2. Why does my infrared LPR (License Plate Recognition) Camera stay B&W during the day as well?
– Most LPR cameras are set to remain B&W all the time because that chipset can see the infrared illumination that will ‘light up’ the license plate day time or night time. You DO NOT want to use this camera for capture of general information as well as plates. It needs to be a dedicated camera for plate capture ONLY.
3. Do all infrared cameras have a faint red glow around the LEDs when they are on?
– Most infrared camera LEDs will show a faint red glow around them because the LEDs are shining in the visible infrared spectrum. When you get to around the 940nm range than even the LED glow is invisible when you are looking straight at the camera.
4. I have two infrared cameras with the same number of LEDs but one says it can illuminate up to 90’ away and the other says it can illuminate almost 200’. What is the difference?
– There are low light LEDs which transmit for shorter distances, and then high light LEDs that can transmit much farther distances even with a lower number of bulbs.
5. Can I power more than one infrared camera from a single power transformer?
– It is NOT recommended, but it depends on the mA (milli amp) requirements on the camera, and the amperage output of the transformer. For infrared cameras it is better to use one transformer per camera, or use a central output power supply that is specifically made to power multiple cameras at one time. Just make sure you are getting a big enough box for the cameras you want to connect to it.
So hopefully this will answer some of your infrared questions and you will feel comfortable using them in the future for all of your low light, or no light areas!

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