An infrared security camera has infrared
lighting (light from a different region of the
electromagnetic spectrum than we normally use
to see) installed around the outside of the lens
of the camera. This lighting allows the camera
to capture a good image in no light at all. With
a little bit of light (called low light) the infrared
camera can capture a picture that looks just like
daytime. People use infrared security cameras
for businesses that have the lights out at night
(in case of break-ins). Or for outside, nighttime
viewing. Keep in mind that even at nighttime
there is a normally some light from the moon,
stars, or street lights.
Infrared Cameras
Infrared cameras are often called "Night Vision" cameras because they can 'see' at
night. However, do not confuse "Night Vision" with "Day / Night Cameras". Day /
Night cameras do not have infrared lights built in. More about those types of
cameras below.

A common problem with infrared cameras is that they do not do well in outdoor
housings because the infrared light reflects off the glass of the housing. Some
people get acceptable results if the camera is absolutely flush up to the glass
thereby reducing the glare. An alternative solution is to use a day / night camera
which has an extra sensitive imaging chip that allows it to capture a good picture in
low light situations without using infrared lighting. This works well for example if
there are street lights outside or an exterior light that can be left on at night. Keep
in mind that cameras without infrared lighting will not capture an image with zero

The level of light required to capture a good picture is referred to as a camera's lux,
the lower the lux the better the camera can see in the dark. For example a camera
with 0.003 lux is better than a camera with 0.2 lux. Infrared cameras are also
compared by how far they can see in total darkness. Our 80ft Infrared Day / Night
Color High Resolution CS-Mount Camera can see up to 80 ft. with no light at all!

The image that infrared cameras capture is black and white - however some
cameras will capture color images during the day when light is available and will
automatically switch to black and white when light is low.