Tech Tip Thursday from Facebook

When shopping for DVR cameras, those with more IR (Infrared) LED's aren't necessarily better than those with fewer. If you're in a smaller area, a camera with a huge number of IR LEDs may "bloom" because of the large amount of light and the picture will end up washed out. Consider buying cameras with different LED counts and supplementing with external illuminators as needed.

Remember, too, that most IR illuminators tend to be fairly directional and produce a "spotlight" effect. This can make the washed out effect even worse if the camera ends up pointed at a larger, reflective surface. Good camera aiming can cut down on a lot of blooming and other illumination problems.

Generally speaking, the picture quality will tend to worsen with less illumination. The camera's AGC (automatic gain control) steps in and attempts to compensate for missing illumination. In so doing, a lot of noise can enter the image. In large rooms, it if often difficult to get "enough" IR illumination to avoid noise. In small areas, the opposite can be true. Too much illumination washes out significant amounts of detail from the resulting video -- not good, either.

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