5 Tips on Buying a Night Vision Security Camera

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5 Tips on Buying a Night Vision Security Camera

Suitable for home or business use, night vision security camera systems provide reliable surveillance, high-resolution images, and capacious image storage utilizing a digital video recorder (DVR) instead of videotape. Many systems allow recording of footage from multiple cameras on a single DVR simultaneously. Surveillance systems provide continual recording, or the consumer can program the system to take a still shot at regular intervals, such as every 5 or 10 seconds.

When purchasing a night vision security camera, consumers should consider black and white or color options, types of system connectivity, outdoor vs. indoor models, number of cameras needed, and the Lux sensitivity and light settings required. Night vision security cameras are available from security firms, electronics stores, and from online resources such as eBay..

1. Decide Between a Color or Black and White Camera

The determining factor in choosing a black and white or color security camera is the light level in the surveillance environment. High-resolution color cameras often feature an infrared (IR) cutoff filter to provide integrated night vision. Color cameras are a good choice for use when there is sufficient light. While the resolution may be lower than an equivalently priced black and white camera, color cameras allow the user to identify a subject's hair, clothing, and car color and hue.

Lux Rating

A Lux rating measures light intensity as perceived by the human eye. Most color security cameras feature a Lux rating between one and four, while black and white cameras feature Lux ratings much lower. Those who are looking for clear video footage should choose a color camera over a black and white model, because video footage from a color camera is typically easier to view than black and white images.

Black and white security cameras intended for very poor lighting conditions may feature a Lux rating as low as 0.0003. Nighttime footage captured with a single light source is clearly visible and detailed enough to reveal identifying characteristics of the subject. Cameras with such a high-intensity Lux rating take footage with minimal video noise, often perceived as static, snow, or interference, resulting in a detailed image. Color cameras designed for poor lighting conditions are generally more complex and costly to manufacture than equivalent black and white cameras that produce a high-quality image under similar conditions. An important feature of night vision security cameras are infrared sensors that provide additional versatility to a color camera when used in dark or low-lighting conditions.

2. Choose the System Connectivity Type

Depending on the recording conditions and environment, consumers should determine whether a wired or wireless system best meets their needs. Wired cameras are appropriate for indoor and outdoor use, and generally provide the highest image quality. These security cameras feature DIN or BNC connection ports for increased versatility; additional video extension cables connect the cameras to the recording and control unit.

Wired Systems

Wired systems are well suited for expansive locations that may be too large for wireless system coverage. When used for night vision monitoring, these cameras include an infrared cutoff filter that produces accurate color imaging. Night vision cameras generally generate black and white images to produce optimal image clarity, contrast, and detail. Because of visible wires, these systems may be apparent to an intruder, who may attempt to stay clear of the cameras.

Wireless Systems

Wireless cameras are simple to set up and are a budget-friendly way to create a security system. Security cameras that use digital wireless signals are not vulnerable to signal interference from other devices. Digital security cameras provide clear audio and video output for additional detail when acquiring and retaining security footage.

Wireless systems are well suited for locations covered completely by the signal, and most wireless systems require clear line of sight between the receiver and the transmitter. Tree branches or wildlife that impede the line-of-sight connection compromise the signal from an exterior system. Utilizing battery power, a wireless system has no visible wiring and is easier to conceal from intruders.

Internet Protocol

IP (Internet protocol) network cameras allow the user to connect the system utilizing a computer router. This connection method treats each security camera as a device controlled by the router. Many network security systems allow the user to control the cameras remotely via a smartphone or computer with an Internet connection. Many network cameras are capable of recording the video footage to a network video recorder or a computer using the appropriate software. Consumers can utilize systems that allow real-time monitoring of the scene, whether through a dedicated monitor, computer monitor, or a smartphone or tablet.

3. Consider an Outdoor or Indoor System

Both indoor and outdoor systems are effective at providing safety measures for the consumer, and the purpose of the system determines which is best. Whether installing the security camera installed outdoors to scare away potential predators or indoors to keep the family safe, each offers great protection to any home.

Outdoor System

Outdoor cameras should be waterproof and dustproof to provide reliable operation in any kind of weather. Cameras mounted beneath an overhang provide additional protection against severe weather. An outdoor camera should have a protective rain hood and camera housing to keep rain, snow, and debris off the lens and to provide as clear an image as possible. Some commonly monitored exterior areas include fence lines, driveways, walkways, and entrances.

Indoor System

Indoor cameras do not need to be weatherproof. Installing a surveillance camera in plain sight, with a visible recording indicator, discourages after-hours intruders from carrying out illegal activities. Others may choose to have the camera blend into the decor to hide the system from intruders.

Motion Detection

Motion detection is a useful capability for outdoor surveillance systems, particularly when used at night. A function of the DVR's software, this capability scans the frame for any movement and provides a cue to begin recording. When correctly configured, this selective recording capability allows the user to optimize the DVR's storage capacity as well as the continuity of the footage. Motion detection video systems should be set to a moderate level of sensitivity so that normal motion such as a flag or objects moving in the breeze do not trigger the system.

4. Choose the Number of Cameras in a System

For a small business or home system, an exterior system consisting of two or four cameras provides sufficient coverage to protect against intrusion. Professionals advise installing sufficient interior cameras to provide full coverage for the monitored area. There should be no blind spots as the subject moves from one camera's field of view to another. The number of cameras in the system depends on the level of coverage, including perimeter, exterior, and interior surveillance. As with any piece of equipment, the number of cameras generally affects the level of investment in the system.

5. Decide Upon Light Sensitivity and Lux

The Lux rating determines a camera's ability to capture an image under a variety of lighting conditions. For example, a candle that is located one foot from any object casts 1-foot-candle of illumination on it; this is equivalent to 10-Lux.

Lighting Condition

Lux Range

Direct sunlight

100,000 - 130,000

Indirect sunlight

10,000 - 20,000

Daylight, overcast clouds


Interior office

200 - 400

Dark day conditions




Late twilight


Full moon illumination


Quarter moon


Clear night sky, no moon


When selecting a night vision security camera, the consumer should choose one with as low of a Lux rating as is practical. The quality of the image depends heavily on the amount of light the camera takes in.

How to Buy a Night Vision Security Camera on eBay

Once you have identified your security needs, you may search for a night vision security camera or system on any eBay page. Simply enter the item into the search window, such as " night vision security camera,," and browse the resulting listings. You may wish to narrow the search by camera type, connectivity type, color mode, or brand, such as " wireless Bullet security camera.."

Before committing to a particular item, be sure to become familiar with the seller's reputation, including customer comments, feedback rating, and selling policies. Because of the value and weight of security cameras, you may wish to select a system offered by sellers within a certain radius of your zip code, which may save shipping costs. It is important to confirm that the seller agrees to an in-person pickup before finalizing the transaction.


In an effort to protect their property, lower their insurance rates, and maintain their personal safety, home and business owners employ a variety of camera-based security systems. Because property is vulnerable after dark, night vision cameras are powerful tools in maintaining security. These versatile cameras utilize infrared LEDs to capture clear images even on dark nights. Night vision security cameras also acquire video footage in color or black and white. The use of motion detection technology allows users to avoid taping hours of inactivity.

Likewise, high-capacity DVRs allow consumers to store many hours of footage with ease, an advantage when they are out of the area for an extended time. Consumers can buy a high-quality system on eBay for a comfortable and secure shopping experience.

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