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Lorex provides customers with security cameras that use top-of-the-line night vision technology. We want to help you protect the things that matter most - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What is Night Vision?

The human eye needs visible light to see. Visible light is not always available, however, especially at night. So new ways were developed to help provide us with some vision in low-light scenes and in total darkness. There are three main types of night vision technologies. These include infrared illumination (also known as "active" night vision), low-light amplification (also known as "passive" night vision), and thermal imaging. Each of these technologies is used to allow humans to see in the dark.

earth at night
security camera at night

Night Vision Uses

Most people typically think of low-light amplification technology when they think of night vision (this is the type of night vision that has that green glow to it). Essentially, it is able to intensify minimal ambient light (even from the stars and the moon) and is purposefully tinted green because our eyes are more sensitive to green light. Active night vision, on the other hand, is used mostly by commercial and residential security applications. Unlike both active and passive night vision, thermal technologies do not need any light (infrared or visible) to construct visible images. Instead, they sense minute differences in temperature levels. This technology is now being used in military, firefighting, law enforcement, medical, and security fields.

Different Types of Night Vision

Lorex uses two different varieties of night vision in our security cameras:

infrared night vision example

Standard Infrared Night Vision

Active night vision works by illuminating a scene in infrared light. This light is completely invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen by devices built to be receptive to IR light.

color night vision example

Color Night Vision™

Working with available ambient light (such as streetlights), advanced image sensors capture more light, allowing them to continue to record in full color, even at night.

infrared LEDs on security camera

Infrared Illumination

Most security cameras from Lorex use active night vision to see at night. You may have noticed tiny LEDs around the lens of security cameras. These are infrared LEDs (Light Emitting Diode), which act a kind of flood light that bathes the scene in front of the camera in infrared light. The sensor of the camera, which is capable of detecting infrared light, will see the intensity of the reflected light on the scenery and convert it to a video signal. The signal is then enhanced and amplified to provide a high-quality video.

infrared cut filter example

Infrared Cut Filter (ICR)

The majority of security cameras from Lorex use an Infrared Cut Filter to ensure the highest quality images - day and night. During the day, the infrared cut filter drops in front of the lens to block the infrared lights from entering. This ensures that they do not affect the colors of the footage. When lighting levels become too low, this filter is automatically disengaged to allow the infrared light into the lens of the camera. This is when the full-color image turns to a monochrome black and white.

Why is night vision in black and white?

Visible light is only a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is within this part of the spectrum that we can see colors. Infrared light, on the hand, has a longer wavelength and is just outside of this range, which is why it is invisible to humans. So in low light situations, the image sensor within the camera does not detect the visible light wavelength. Instead, it measures the light intensity, which is why night vision is seen as black and white.

electromagnetic spectrum diagram
night vision advantages

Advantages of Night Vision

There is no denying that criminals like to work at night. Not only is it dark outside, but most people are inside of their homes or fast asleep. This is the most important advantage of having a security camera with night vision capabilities - your property will always be under constant surveillance. This is true even for the darkest areas of your property. Infrared lights do not necessitate external light sources, so there is no need to add more lights to these dark areas. Moreover, if an incident does occur, the footage can be used to find and prosecute the individual or individuals responsible.

house at night with color night vision

Color Night Vision

Lorex has introduced revolutionary image sensors to some of our latest security cameras. These sensors are more sensitive to visible light than their predecessors. This means they can absorb more light and can continue to see in color, even in the dark. This will add a whole new level of visual detail that can help identify people (or objects such as cars) throughout the night. It is important to note that if there is no visible light available then the sensor will have to rely on the camera's infrared lights exclusively, which will cause the camera to record in black and white.