Often overlooked but a crucial part of any CCTV system, lighting is key to good pictures when you really need them. CCTV cameras have improved dramatically over the last few years and dual chip technology has meant that night vision from CCTV cameras is now acceptable most of the time, but in many cases it is only when images are really needed that end-users realize that lighting on their site is not sufficient to see exactly what they need.
Most installers will put a caveat in there terms and conditions stating that lighting will be assessed after an installation and that it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure lighting levels are sufficient.. However how often is this really done? This is especially true on installations carried out during summer months when no one ever sees the night time images until it’s a little late? Central stations also refuse to monitor poorly lit installations and will not be held responsible for poor quality nigh time pictures.
It is a little publicised fact but colour cameras need white light to work at night, IR lamps only work with mono images and in the past you either chose to install mono from scratch, sacrificing colour daytime images for night time clarity. Bulky IR lamps were installed and these were expensive and unreliable. Dual chip cameras were the compromise and these allowed colour during the day and mono at night but this did not solve the fact that IR bulbs would blow for a pastime.
Raytec are a progressive company who have addressed this problem using advanced LED technology to give an IR output that is long range and reliable it is something that anyone who demands night time pictures of good quality must insist on.
Alternatively you can fit halogen lighting that will work on a sensor to bring lights on automatically when someone enters an area protected by the CCTV camera, again however these bulbs blow easily and cost a lot to run.
Blackhawk and Predator domes.
360 vision have developed the ultimate solution to good night time images. They have both the Blackhawk and Predator cameras that have IR lighting built in that follows the tracking of the camera and ensures that a good nighttime image is always available.
Designing a CCTV system.
So when you think about a CCTV system, think about when it is most likely to be used and think about how you will design your lighting it is crucial this side of things is not overlooked.