Night Vision and related settings

We would like to present two solutions about how to manage the camera’s night vision. The first one is simple and fast to realize for users who just want to make the camera work. The second one allows more customized settings for special situations and use scenarios and to leverage the camera’s capabilities for better monitoring and video quality.
Please check our guides according to your needs.

Simple Quick Guide

This quick guide will help you to understand the way the camera’s night vision or ‘night mode’ works in less than 5 min.

By default, the camera is set to Auto Night Vision. There is no need to configure anything, just use the camera directly.
Here is how the Auto Night Vision works:
When the surrounding environment is dark, the camera will automatically switch to night mode. In night mode, the camera uses its IR LED to emit infrared light and it switches to the image coming from the IR LED, instead of the image coming from nature light. The image coming from IR LED is black and white. This is common for all the home security cameras, infrared binoculars etc.  

When the surrounding environment is bright enough, the camera will automatically switch to normal mode or ‘day mode’. It will shows the image coming from natural light. The camera will also stop emitting IR light from its IR LED.

Please pay attention to the important points below, Some conditions must be met to obtain a good night vision.
– Avoid IR reflections or blocking
In night vision mode, make sure that there are no objects or surfaces too close to the lens to avoid that the infrared rays are blocked or reflected. Blocked or reflected IR can severely impact the quality of the image in night vision.
Here are some examples to show the impact on video quality caused by objects close to the camera which block or reflect the IR light.
Example 1:  Infrared rays are reflected by the table, the reflections make the video too indistinct to see any details. 
night vision reflection

Example 2:  night vision blocked by the chair, the night vision cannot reach 20ft/6m, only about 3ft/1m

Here is the night vision image after correcting the two errors above, 

– Does your camera switch from normal/day to night vision back and forth continuously?
In this case, you might see a black video, followed by an overexposed one and perhaps by a normal one for a while, the switches can happen within minutes or even only seconds. 
This behavior is caused by local conditions
Especially cameras which are installed in nesting boxes or in other very small spaces often show these frequent switches between day and night mode. The faces of the box will reflect the IR light and act like light sources to the camera, now it will choose the day mode. In day mode, the IR LED go off, it gets dark and the camera switches back to night mode and so on. 
Even outside such small spaces, switches may be caused by light sources, like a little lamp or a flickering screen in the room causing constantly varying light conditions.
This is why we have developed a ‘Night Mode by Schedule’ feature to force camera staying in night mode permanently or during different times of day. 
Check this link for a quick solution: 
https://www.wiwacam.com/avoid-frequent-changes-between-day-and-night-mode/

– Avoid putting the camera lens behind window glass
In some use scenarios, the camera lens may be put behind a window to monitor the outside.
Please note that the IR light cannot cross the window glass. Instead, the window glass will cause strong reflections and send the IR back to the camera lens. You will only see an overexposed picture, not the outdoor area. The solution is to disable the IR LED on camera (check the Full Guide part as below), and provide a light source which will illuminate the outside. 

Full Guide with additional settings

This full guide provides instructions about further settings, such as IR LED ON/OFF settings,  night mode by schedule etc.

By default, the camera is set to automatic night vision. There is no need to configure anything, just use the camera directly.
In some cases, you may need to control IR ON/OFF policy, or make camera remain in night mode. Please check the settings guides below. These settings below are optional and will not be required in all circumstances, but only under some conditions or for special local conditions.

● Settings of IR ON/OFF while in night mode
You can control IR LED ON/OFF behavior while the camera is in night mode: 
Go to the camera’s settings –> Video Audio and LED –>  “Infrared LED in Night Mode”, you can choose Auto, Always ON and Always OFF.
These three options mean: 
Auto:  While the camera in night mode, camera will turn off IR LED if there is no live video or no alarm detection enabled, or no recording running. When there is such service (live video, alarm detection, recording) activated, camera will turn on IR automatically while the service is going on. 
note: for 940nm IR, we recommend to use Always ON instead of Auto. 
Always ON:  while camera in night mode, camera will keep IR LED on, until the camera switches to day mode.
Always OFF:
  IR LED will stay off even while the camera is in night mode.

Go to the camera’s settings –> Video Audio and LED –>  “Infrared LED in Night Mode”, you can choose AutoAlways ON and Always OFF.

● setting ‘Night Mode by Schedule’
You can set up to three schedules during which the camera will remain in night mode regardless of the light conditions in its environment. 
This features is useful when light conditions often vary in the camera’s environment, when the TV is running in a dark room or when headlights of driving cars illuminate the room. This feature can be also used for cases in which the IR reflections make the camera switch back and forth between day and night mode.

Go to the camera’s settings –> Video Audio and LED –>  “Night Mode by Schedule” –> Click the + to add time slot of the day. Each time slot includes a start time and an end time, like from 8:00 to 11:00. You can set up to 3 schedules.
During the schedules, the camera will stay in night mode regardless of the light conditions. 
At the end of the schedule, the camera will return to the automatic choice of day or night mode depending on the light conditions in the lens’ environment. 

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