Camera video bad at night? Might be night mode.

Used Products:
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Tapo C200
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KC120
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KC100

In this article I wanted to address an issue that I’ve seen that deals with using a night vision camera while looking through a screen or window. A typical scenario is a camera that is oriented to look at a porch or driveway. It is usually the case that there is already some light already outside, and that is enough for the camera to use to show a decent image.

In using my sophisticated lab testing environment, I demonstrate a camera being behind an organic polymer (sheet of plastic). This is to represent the camera looking through a window for example. In the daytime the image will look perfectly fine, in this case the camera is looking at a wall.

 

When the light level becomes low the camera lens will then go into night vision mode. This is where you hear the “click” which is the IR filter moving into place, and then the IR lights turn on (little red LEDs). What tends to happen is the IR light will then bounce off whatever is in front of it, and completely distorts the image. What you are left with is a drowned-out image with bright spots being the IR LED lights.

 

In order to stop that from happening you need to tell the camera to not go into night mode and stay in day mode.

The off mode will keep the camera showing in color, and the lens still does a good job gathering low light. If you have at least some source of light that should be good enough.

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