Using either an IR illuminator or a white light illuminator is always the best way to get the ultimate performance from your CCTV system. Easily installed the illuminators can work off a 12v power supply or even your local POE switch. In order to gain optimum performance try to install an IR illuminator adjacent to your CCTV camera looking into your field of view. Activate your IR and the scene is transformed from a dark grainy picture into to a crisp clear image.
As HD cameras start to become more and more popular the IR illuminator is becoming almost mandatory. Remember HD cameras need more light to perform in darkness than their analogue predecessors . White light illuminators are also an important tool if you need to retain colour images at night something you should discuss with your customers in detail. This brilliant form of led lighting is also sometimes known as network illuminators as well, the fact that you can just connect it into your local network switch means that white lighting will also be used in other situations other than CCTV. Domestic white light illuminators can be used as security lighting or even general lighting around the home the end user can be happy knowing that maintenance is low and that both current draw and on-going cost is negligible .
So how do they work? Firstly we need to look at how light behaves. Energy in a light wave is directly related to its wavelength. The shorter the wave length the more energy that will be emitted. Looking at the spectrum below we can see that violet has the most energy, and red has the least where we compare visible light. Adjacent to the visible light spectrum is the infrared spectrum.
We can’t see infrared light, however CCTV cameras that are either mono or true dual chip can. This means that our IR illuminator is able to shed invisible light onto a scene and see what we can’t see with the human eye. So night time surveillance using our IR Illuminator now becomes possible. This allows images to be captured and viewed covertly, meaning you can be watched without your knowledge. The distance that an IR illuminator can achieve will vary significantly depending on the camera and lens combination. Using a modern IR illuminator angles of light spread can be adjusted to suit the needs of the system.
So an IR illuminator has many benefits, however it can’t give you colour images at night. If there is a requirement for colour together with overt lighting then you will be better off installing a white light illuminator. Spectacular advances in white light led technology means that for prices that would once have been impossible we are getting incredible performance from 12v and POE powered lighting.
This spills into areas way beyond CCTV we see street light illuminators now that cost a fraction of the price of sodium or halogen lighting to run. Add to this domestic applications and white light illuminators will be common place within the next 10 years.
We need to add one note of caution. There are now many options available out there. Many claims are made as to the output/lumens of both white light and ir illuminators, all correct of course but this does not tell the whole storey. It is the distance this lighting can achieve plus the spread of light that dictates the real performance of the light. This will be reflected in the cost of the unit and its important that you investigate fully what you will get when you buy your lighting.
We suggest that any ir illuminator costing below the £100 mark at today’s prices (2012) will probably not suit most peoples needs. We firmly believe if you buy cheap you will buy twice. Paying over the £100 mark may seem expensive for what is essentially just a light fitting but when you buy quality illuminators you really do get what you pay for. Reliability, brilliant accurate light spread , low cost to run, low maintenance and control of light pollution. The carbon trust expect both IR and white light illuminators to repay the purchaser many times over before he ever has to consider a replacement.
Your old halogen lighting that is both expensive to run and difficult to maintain are quite simply a thing of the past. So in summary for IR illuminators and white light illuminators using an external 12v PSU or over POE check out the information we provide and increase performance of your on site lighting and CCTV systems and reduce your costs over night.