Is Your CCTV Night Vision Blurry?

Posted on 31st May 2017

It stands to reason that if you have gone to the expense of purchasing and installing CCTV cameras to protect your home or business premises, you expect 24 hour, clear image coverage.

One of the key problems however that people report is that their CCTV night vision is not working properly. These problems obviously need to be sorted out quickly, after all if your CCTV night vision is blurry you may well not be able to detect the sort of detail you need for prosecutions should any crime be committed.

We have some tips below that will help you to solve issues involving blurry night time CCTV images and maintain a generally good level of service from your CCTV camera.

Understand how your CCTV camera night vision works

Night vision cameras are not as clever as they sound, they can’t see in the dark but they do make use of LED lights which illuminate the subject enough to capture a clear image. The reason that we, or our unsuspecting burglar, can’t see the light from the LEDs is that they emit light which is beyond the spectrum that the human eye can see; this light is infrared (IR) light.

Keep your CCTV camera and equipment clean

One way to avoid your CCTV night vision not working is to ensure that you have a regular cleaning program. You should particularly check for spider’s webs as these don’t cause issues during the day when the camera focuses beyond them, but at night reflect IR light from the LEDs back and cause image blurring. Spider sprays are available to deter spiders from making webs.

Ensure an adequate power supply

The LEDs required to produce the infrared light that illuminates night subjects will take additional power from your power source. Voltage drop, which can stop CCTV night vision from working or cause it to produce poor quality images, can occur if your cables are too long or if they don’t include enough copper. CAT5 cable for CCTV night cameras should be pure copper and not aluminium clad in copper. Wiring guides should always be followed.

Check your CCTV camera range

CCTV camera range calculations are not an exact science and some trial and error positioning may be required if your CCTV night vision is not working properly. By standing in front of your camera at different ranges you can work out the optimum distance for your unit.

Check CCTV camera positioning and angles of view

If your CCTV night vision is blurry then you may well have problems with the position of your camera or the width of your angle of view. If the camera is positioned or the angle of view is adjusted so that light can bounce back from a shiny surface (for example guttering) you will experience either a white haze or a completely white screen.

Try narrowing the angle of view by zooming in, eliminating all other light sources and positioning the camera visor so that it is lined up with the back of the camera body. CCTV cameras should never be positioned behind glass if you want them to work at night.

Check for wireless interference

Sometimes wireless networks can work on the same frequency and cause interference. If this is happening to your wireless CCTV camera you will experience lines or noise on the screen. Older style cordless phones are particularly prone to interfering with wireless CCTV cameras. Try turning off any other wireless devices to find out which might be causing your problems. It is important too to remember that the 2.4Ghz that your CCTV camera uses is a small radio wave and is most effective with line-of-sight.

Check the grading of your camera

Not all CCTV cameras are designed to be used outside. It is important to check that your system is using cameras that are marked for outside use. These should have no obvious openings and heavily sealed joins. Shielding even a waterproof CCTV camera from rain will help prevent spotting during the day, and at night.

Our top tips above show that even with the best night vision CCTV equipment you can experience issues. Whether you are undergoing problems or would like some friendly advice about protecting your home or business, we would love to help. For free no obligation advice please get in touch with us on 01908 698 777 – or email us at  
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