Making the Case for External Illumination in Video Surveillance

admincamera, security, Video

Traditional perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS) are optimized to operate during the day. Surveillance cameras outfitted with visible sensors and video analytics, specifically, perform at their best when surveillance areas are sufficiently illuminated, and video feed is clear and high-resolution.

The inverse, then, is also true: When night falls and image quality shifts, security camera performance deteriorates.

This is true of surveillance cameras with built-in LED lights, as well. Even though these are marketed as an “all-in-one” solution, the range of integrated LEDs — which often encircle the lens — is typically specified at 150 feet and covers a 30° field of view (FOV), even though a standard camera’s FOV is 90°.

Built-in LEDs are also known to create “hot spots” in the middle of the camera view and cause heat buildup, which degrades the camera LEDs, and distance, over time.

Suffice it to say, PIDS need an alternative approach to 24/7 security.

The Power of Purpose-External Illumination

To address this challenge, visible and infrared (IR) external illuminators offers security integrators PIDS a versatile solution, which:

  • Minimizes heat accumulation
  • Maximizes the performance of video analytics, regardless of lighting
  • Offers extended illumination ranges and angles for advanced warning
  • Deters potential intruders

Designed with ease of integration in mind, external illuminators enable every security system to collect and act on high quality, evidentiary-grade images, regardless of the time of day. External LED illuminators operate at a low cost and come in several FOV and range options.

Visible light (white light) act as a floodlight to deter suspects and offers a color picture 24/7. IR illuminators transform a traditional PIDS into a covert, invisible surveillance system.

Tips for Integration

Consider the following tips, when integrating external lighting:

  • Each PIDS requires a unique solution. Consider the needs of your deployment before selecting a device.
  • Evaluate the FOV of your camera to determine the angle of your illumination.

Target specific points of interest, such as gates or doorways, with both your camera and illuminator to ensure the most important areas are covered.

Eddie Reynolds is President and CEO of iluminar.

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