IR Illuminator light not being seen by trail camera.

fbutler

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Hi,

I'm new to using IR illuminators and need some help.

I have this 850nm IR illuminator: BW 48 LED Infrared Night Vsion IR Light illuminator Lamp 40M for CCTV Cameras Security Camera (Big) : Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

It works well with my Nest Cam (Battery) and I can clearly see objects lit up with the additional IR light from the illuminator

However I also have a 850nm trail camera: Wildlife Camera WiFi Trail Camera Bluetooth 4K/48MP with 36pcs IR LEDs Infrared Night Vision Motion Activated IP66 Waterproof for Wildlife Monitoring, Outdoor Scouting & Home Security : Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors

The Nest Camera (Battery) detects the IR light from the trail camera very clearly, however the trail camera doesn't appear to detect much light from the IR illuminator? (i.e. If I point the trail camera directly at the illuminator it sees a bright spot where the illuminator is but not a glaring amount of light, however it doesn't appear to see any objects lit up by the illuminator any better than when the illuminator isn't used. I hope that description makes sense.

As they are all 850nm IR systems does anyone know why the trail camera wouldn't detect much IR light from the illuminator?

Thanks for any thoughts that might shed light (no pun intended) on the issue.

Fergal
 

Sphinxicus

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:welcome:

Random guess. When you are testing with the additional external IR light, is the camera actually set in "night vision" mode? Many cameras have an IR cut filter which will move across the lens during daytime. If your camera has one of these, could it be in a state where the IR filter is still deployed? Can you force the camera into night mode so that the onboard IR LED's come on and then test? (assuming you havent done that)

Apart from that the only other thing i can think of is that the camera isnt actually using the 850nm wavelength despite it claiming to. Can your nest camera detect the IR lights from the trail camera, that may give an indication of if it is using 850nm LED's :idk:
 

fbutler

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Thanks for the response. I had though of that, however when an event is triggered the IR light from the trail camera is detected by the trail camera, just not the additional light from the IR illuminator, so I can't see it being an IR cut filter issue.

The fact that the Nest camera clearly sees the IR light from the trail camera when an event is triggered suggests that they are both using 850nm .

It's as though there is something subtlety different between the Nest camera and the trail camera in detecting the IR illuminator light. I'm wondering if it could be some kind of polarisation filter or something like that?
 

fbutler

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I just had a thought. Could it be because I have the trail camera IR brightness set to high, so maybe due to the brightness of that it's auto-adjusting and not seeing the illuminator light due to the relative brightness between them? (i.e. the trail camera IR is detected as much brighter than the illuminator IR). I'll adjust the trail camera IR brightness to low tonight and see if that makes any difference.
 

Sphinxicus

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quite possibly. If the onboard LED's are creating a "hotspot" of light where the camera choses to auto-expose for then its possible that the lower intensity of IR light being reflected back from distant objects wouldnt be bright enough to make a difference.

Much like many of the IP cams with the onboard white LED's. I've found them to create a local bright spot which the camera adjusts to which in turn makes further areas darker and worse than if no onboard lights were used at all.

I've never used a trail cam but as with any IP security camera, the first thing i do is take it off of auto settings and spend time dialling it in manually to its location. If you can do that with your cam perhaps you will see better results. Maybe share a few pictures, onboard IR only, onboard IR and external IR, external IR only (if possible)
 

fbutler

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Thanks for your thoughts. The IR brightness has 3 settings, highlight, normal, and economic. I had it set on highlight. I'll experiment with the brightness setting over the next few nights and see if that works.
 
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