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An IR security camera is a security camera that can see in a band of light called infrared. Infrared is invisible to us, but there are some predators and pests that can sense it. Various kinds of snakes in particular can use it to hunt at night. If you ever wonder why mosquitoes can track you down when you can barely see, this is because they sense in infrared as well. Vampire bats can also sense in infrared.

IR Security Camera Basics

What do all these animals have in common? They hunt at night. Infrared isn’t dependent on the amount of light in a given area. Instead, infrared is emitted by heated objects. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Predator,” the namesake movie monster’s vision is presented in infrared.

An IR security camera can see in the same way, yet it doesn’t depend on emitted IR alone. Detail is crucial, which is why an IR security camera usually contains infrared LEDs. This means that the camera emits infrared in order to record the infrared that’s reflected back at it. Since people can’t see infrared LED light, they can’t tell that it’s being shone at them or that they’re reflecting it to the camera.

Visible and Invisible Infrared LEDs

This means an IR security camera can see at night, in areas where there’s no or little light. It doesn’t depend on no light, however. In low-light environments, it can still present an even better image. The IR camera will be able to see better than vandals or burglars themselves can – they may not even notice it recording their activities.

You can also install additional infrared LED banks to emit even more light. To the camera, it can appear bright as day even as the people in all that infrared light can’t see a thing. Since a camera can be a deterrent, you can choose between LEDs that emit different bandwidths of infrared light. Some kinds create a glow that is visible to the naked eye. This lets people see that there is a camera present observing their actions. Or you can choose LEDs that emit as a lower level, so that a night can tell there’s a camera there.