NOTE: This information is provided as general advice only and all local laws should be consulted for using these devices.
A night vision surveillance camera allows you to see no matter how dark it may be. Most utilize IR (Infra-red)LED technology and provide a light source that only the camera can see. The only light visible to the human eye is a soft red glow that the IRs put off.
Generally speaking, the more IR LEDs a camera has the better it can see. Lower end cameras may not provide as much light as you might hope, but a moderately priced night vision surveillance camera should do a good job of illuminating a good sized indoor or outdoor area.
Common cameras that incorporate IR LEDs for night vision are bullet style cameras and dome style cameras. Conventional outdoor cameras in weather resistant housings usually require the addition of an external IR illuminater as most do not incorporate IRs.
IRs for surveillance are usually one of two wavelengths: 875 nm and 950 nm. The 875 nm is the most common and is the one that will put off the faint red glow when looking into the LED. The 950 nm wavelength will not put off any visible light but is less commonly used likely due to cost.
A good night vision camera will usually cost in excess of $100. As with any camera, I would recommend looking for one that has at least 600 lines of resolution so your images are clear and defined.
One of my favourite cameras incorporates a weatherproof camera, night vision camera and is verifocal meaning that the zoom and focus can be adjusted. I call these “eyeball” cameras. Below I have listed some that have good picture quality, night vision, weatherproof and they are all verifocal.
We commonly install these cameras both indoors and outdoors as they are very versatile. If you are setting up a system and are unsure which cameras will be best, purchasing these will usually cover all your surveillance camera needs.