A lot of people have decided to install their security cameras indoors, behind glass windows. However, putting a night vision camera behind a piece of glass can ruin the images that they capture. So, we’ve put together useful tips, so you’d know how to use night vision camera through glass.
Light exists as a spectrum that is both visible and invisible to human eyes. During night time, there’s minimal visible light. Your night vision camera can utilize this little visible light and will also detect light that is invisible to our eyes, and record them in videos that show us what the camera can see.
Night vision cameras are sensitive even to small amounts of visible light and can also pick those that are not visible to human eyes, and transform them to media that we can see. Most commercially available night vision cameras pick up infrared light and have infrared lights to illuminate the area that the camera is pointed at.
Security cameras mounted outside your house or apartment are prone to many problems. The cameras get damaged by rain or snow, or the quality of the videos gets ruined by extreme weather. Troublemakers also find them easy to tamper with. Having them can also ruin the aesthetics of your house.
So, it’s only natural for people to find a way not to install them outside the house. That’s why the idea to put the cameras behind the glass window came about.
But doing that is not really an ideal solution. Sometimes, the picture that you get from your security camera when you have it behind glass windows when it records at night are plain white or appear overexposed. That’s because there’s extra light getting picked up aside from what you intend to get. This is the light that gets reflected on the glass window. This would come from various light sources within your home.
The light inside the house, your home’s ambient light, and the light coming off the infrared light on the camera can bounce off the surface of the glass. These are picked up by your camera and will interfere with the recording of the outside scene you intend to capture. This is by far the biggest challenge you might encounter with your security camera set-up.
During the day, you might notice that the image from your security camera looks great, and then the quality diminishes on night recordings. This is because natural light outside overpowers the light that the glass reflects inside the house. Come night time, the strong natural light outside is no longer there, and then you have various light sources indoors bouncing off the glass window, overpowering the light coming from the outside.
You need to make sure that the light that is coming from outside your window is the dominant light all the time to make your camera work. Here are some of the ways on how to use night vision camera through glass.
Your camera might be equipped with an infrared light. It works by throwing off infrared light onto the area the camera is pointed at, and the camera picks up the light that bounces off that area. When your camera points outside, against a glass window, that infrared light would bounce off the glass instead of the objects outside. Turning that off leaves your camera to capture only what’s coming from the outside.
If you feel that this will lessen the quality of the video you’d be capturing, then you can try putting an infrared light outside. This can take over the role of the infrared light that was built-in into your camera.
This does not mean you have to turn off all the lights inside the house so that you’d get a clearer picture from your camera. It just means you block the light so that it doesn’t bounce off the glass window. Some suggest draping a black cloth around the glass window. Ambient light gets blocked by the cloth, and your camera is free to record only the image outside.
You do not have to limit yourself to using cloth. Any material that you can install that blocks off light that will not interfere with the shot that your camera has to take will work.
Ambient light can also come from your camera’s status light. Your camera can also pick that up. Turning it off can improve the quality of the videos on your camera.
By putting the front end of the camera as close to the glass window as possible, you minimize the amount of light that reflects on the glass, that the camera can pick up, to a minimum. Minimal reflected light means that it cannot overpower the light coming from the outside.
If you choose to install the camera a few inches away from the surface of the glass, then you’d be letting a wider area of the glass to be within the camera angle–letting more reflected light to get into the shot.
When natural light decreases at night, you can use artificial light sources. You can use light bulbs, lamps, or an infrared light if you don’t want to attract too much attention to your home. These will provide you with light that is strong enough to overpower light coming from inside your home.
When you can’t have cameras that are installed outside the house, you can opt for cameras that are mounted behind glass windows. However, having a piece of glass in the line of sight of the camera can ruin the videos you’d be taking. Try to control how much light is coming off the glass to balance it off with the light coming from the outside.
Your goal is to allow more light from the outside to get to the camera without too much interference. You can either minimize the light that bounces off the glass from inside the house with the techniques mentioned earlier or by increasing the amount of light coming from the outside.