Burglar with black mask climbing over fence caught on CCTV at night

How To Make CCTV Better At Night

Are you experiencing poorer image quality with your CCTV cameras at night time? This is a common issue for many businesses and homeowners which can be resolved with some helpful tips on how to make your CCTV footage better at night. CCTV camera quality has improved considerably throughout the years and most CCTV cameras today deliver HD-quality, crisp footage in daylight, but when it comes to night time the footage quality can actually end up becoming worse.

The Importance Of Having Clear CCTV Footage At Nighttime

If you ever encounter an attempted break-in or any type of criminal activity on your home property or business premises, then the event will most likely happen at night. As reported by the ONS, burglary statistics for 2022 revealed that  60% of all burglaries take place at nighttime in Wales and England from 6pm to 6 am. In light of these statistics and with our own expertise when it comes to home and commercial security, having an optimal and effective CCTV system that delivers clear nighttime footage is essential to get the most out of your security CCTV system.

Add Additional Lighting

One of the best ways that you can help to make your CCTV better at night will be to provide additional lighting. We understand that energy consumption is something we all have to be careful of, especially with soaring energy bills and also the impact on the environment, but to capture the best and clearest footage that could potentially help to identify a criminal, then you will need good lighting. 

Adding additional lighting will help to create a much more evenly lit scene for your CCTV system to capture clearer footage in its field of view. For the best results, you should not exceed more than a 3:1 contrast ratio of minimum and maximum lighting. We also recommend that you place your lighting behind the CCTV camera to minimise the effect of silhouetting and flared images. The best advice is to let an experienced CCTV systems expert, such as one of our CCTV installers at Cardiff Alarms, install and position your lighting for the best results.

CCTV at night time capturing snowy road with a lit up house and three cars in the driveaway

Get The Correct Strength Night Vision CCTV Camera

This is a common pitfall business and homeowners can find themselves in when selecting a CCTV camera. You must always consider and compare the different strengths of night vision CCTV cameras. All CCTV cameras will have a minimum and maximum range, but you should first work out the range in which you need to see. Once you have worked out the range, consider getting a camera with an added 10m range.

Having a CCTV camera that is too strong with a high maximum range can also have a negative impact on the image quality. If you only want a CCTV camera for your property, then you most likely won’t need a long-range camera, so if you were to have one that is designed for long-range image capturing and a subject was close to the camera, the camera would not be able to adjust to the infrared brightness and image quality would be too bright.

Ensure You Maintain Your CCTV Lens By Frequent Cleaning

For any type of outdoor camera, dust, spider web and also water stains can all accumulate causing obscured vision. Dust and water that builds up on the lens can cause the camera’s infrared lights to reflect into the lens which is what causes blurry footage. The severity will be dependent upon where your CCTV camera is placed and positioned. For instance, cameras painting downward would not so much be affected by water drops and dust.

Make Sure Nothing Obstructs Your CCTV Camera’s Field Of View

It may come as a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many of our clients we see have their CCTV camera’s field of view obstructed by things like tree branches. If something is obscuring the CCTV camera like branches as we have mentioned, the branches will be very light in the frame caused by the LEDs from the camera which then means the rest of the image will become very dark.


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