We all know a night vision security camera is the best if you want to keep an eye on your property all the time. But what do bugs look like on night vision camera systems?
While it’s a weird question, understanding it makes it pretty easy to differentiate false alerts from real ones. And for that, you won’t have to wake your whole neighborhood with the siren when all on the compound are gnats.
We do have night vision cameras that you can identify the kind of bugs triggering the intrusion alerts. But many brands are still lacking in clarity and may trick you that someone is on your property when there’s literally no one.
What Type of Night Vision Camera Do You Have?
In this article, the idea is to give you a glimpse of what bugs look like on a night vision security camera. But before we can come to that, we’d like to know what type of Night vision system you’ve installed on your property.
Do You Have a Colored Night Vision Camera?
If you have a Color night vision security camera, it’s very possible to identify some of the bugs flying around. But the clarity varies from one camera to another depending on the type of technology on board. How so?
Each model of camera has the minimum light level it needs to create colored pictures. A perfect example is a Lorex wireless security camera that requires a low-light condition of at least 0.02 lux to capture images in color. But at the same time, a PTZ outdoor security camera will need the area to have a brightness of at least 0.1 lux to continue recording in color.
Another thing, the kind of image sensor onboard a camera determines the clarity of pictures both day and night. If you have a 4k 30fps security camera, the nighttime pictures will be clearer than those of 1080p and 2K systems.
Furthermore, most spotlight security cameras usually enable the built white light when they detect movements. And for a system that has PIR motion detection, it may trigger from insects over the sensor. But an advanced motion sensor security camera with only person detection enabled will not pick movements from animals at all.
Do You Have an Infrared “Black & White” Night Vision Camera?
If your security camera doesn’t have color night vision, you’ll only be able to see in the darkness via infrared technology. Infrared illumination (also called active night vision) relies on the IR LEDs built on the camera to see.
The science behind infrared technology on a night vision security camera is also pretty easy to understand. It works by automatically disengaging the infrared cut filter built into the camera so the infrared illumination can reach the image sensor.
If the intensity of the reflected infrared light on the scenery is strong enough, the camera will now process the video signal and amplify it into high-quality footage.
As you may know, visible light is the small part of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be perceived in color. Then the invisible light spectrum, which includes our infrared illumination, will also be undetectable to the image sensor.
So, when the IR LEDs of a camera are active, the image sensor will only be able to create a black-and-white image. In most cases, the “white” is part of the object emitting the infrared signal while the “black” is just the usual darkness from the absence of visible light. And the stronger the intensity of the reflected (infrared) light, the better the nighttime images.
Unlike color night vision, infrared night vision works even in total darkness. The only problem is that it will be tricky to tell a face apart or the true color of the object.
Do You Have a Thermal Night Vision Camera?
Thermal night vision security cameras are not commonly used, but they behave a little like “active” infrared night vision. They continue to function at low-lighted conditions and total darkness as they rely on the radiation (temperature levels) signature from the objects.
But different from infrared technology, thermal night vision doesn’t require even invisible light to build a video signal. The cameras often have monochrome screens with a color scheme that provides the contrast needed to track people or animals.
Each of the said color shades often corresponds to a specific temperature level. And at the same time, each camera will have only a particular set of the palette, such as White Hot, Sepia, Rainbow HC, Ironbow, Black Hot, et cetera.
FYI: You’ll mostly find thermal security cameras in the Military from their high detection range- up to 1000+ feet. In 2020, various hospitals, airports, and other public buildings also stepped up to install these cameras to detect people who may have Coronavirus.
What Do Bugs Look Like On Night Vision Cameras?
Now that we have outlined the type of night vision camera you may have, going through the ways bugs will appear is simple:
- What Bugs Look Like on a Color Night Vision Camera
As was mentioned earlier, a superior Color night vision camera can capture footage rich in details at night as during the day. If it’s gnats, the wings will be more visible since they’re larger than the body. Then a spider will still look like a spider while entangled in its nest.
Remember, a spotlight camera with a PIR sensor or People-only mode may fail to trigger the automatic switch to power on the white light. And for that, the bugs will be captured in the infrared night vision mode instead of on color.
- What Bugs Look Like on an Infrared Night Vision Camera
A high-resolution security camera may be possible to identify bugs like spiders and mantis with the infrared night vision. But when the image sensor and IR LEDs aren’t powerful enough, small flying bugs look like a falling snow or rain.
Upon reflection, you’ll notice some bugs look like a ball of light on the night vision camera. At some point, you might even think they’re the taillights of a car or a person with a flashlight at a distance.
- What Bugs Look Like on a Thermal Night Vision Camera
When dealing with a thermal night vision security camera, we’ve just said you can only identify objects by their temperature levels.
If your camera works by a White Hot color palette, the lighter tones identify a hot body and dark shades for cold temperatures. A Rainbow HC color scheme will have the warm body in a rainbow of colors while the rest is dark.
Even though bugs are cold-blooded, they still give out heat. A high-quality thermal camera can pick up the structure of their warm body, especially when using the Rainbow HC color scheme.
The way bugs look on night vision cameras varies with the type of technology involved. If using a color night vision security camera with a superior image sensor, it’s possible to identify the bugs in their natural form.
You could also be able to identify bugs when using a high-quality infrared night vision camera. But when using an inferior model, the flying bugs will appear more like falling rain, snow, or ball of light.
It’s even worse if the camera is utilizing software-based motion detection as the sensor will trigger whenever there’s a change in image pixel. Thus, you’ll end up with too many false alerts.