In this day and age manufacturers are coming up with security cameras for every price point, so standing out from the rest of the pack could be difficult.
Unless you offer outrageously advanced features, which also means it's way out of budget for most smart home owners.
Well, at the very least, an excellent security camera is one that has a great camera system.
More specifically, a camera with night vision.
This is an enviable feature for outdoor security cameras as being able to capture night video is an important aspect of home security.
Now, not all cameras have night vision as it's considered a premium feature.
But Amazon has come up with the Blink security camera, which is equipped with infrared night vision, priced at almost half of similarly-specked home security cameras.
So, do blink cameras have good night vision?
What about the Blink camera video quality?
Read on to know more.
Do Blink cameras have good night vision?
Both the Blink Indoor Camera and the Blink Outdoor Camera come with IR night vision which can help blink devices capture important footage at night or during low-light conditions.
The IR emitter lights up any area or dark room, significantly producing higher video quality and image quality.
Though Blink cameras can only take black and white images, the infrared night vision feature could be enough to identify burglars or animals that are within your property's premises.
What is IR on Blink cameras?
Blink cameras are some of the best wireless security cameras in the market for nighttime surveillance, all thanks to the IR LED embedded in them.
IR, which stands for infrared night vision, blasts a light that can't be seen by the naked eye.
This invisible IR light though is able to help your Blink camera record HD video footage even when it's completely dark outside.
Blink's battery-powered cameras also come with a Blink app and a built-in passive infrared sensor, which measures the infrared light radiating from the objects within the outdoor cameras' field of view.
A Blink outdoor security camera has an 850 nm IR light. For reference, the human eye can only perceive wavelengths from 380 to 700 nm.
How to enable IR on Blink cameras
By default, the Blink devices are set to "Auto", which means that the Blink camera night vision mode will automatically turn on when the camera detects that the surroundings are getting dark.
If the security camera settings have been changed and the infrared light had been turned off for some reason, here's how you can enable it:
Go to the Home Screen of the Blink app and tap the Camera Settings icon above the camera's thumbnail.
Scroll down and look for the "Night Vision" section.
Turn the control setting on, off, or set it to "Auto" so it automatically turns on when it gets dark. You can also adjust the IR intensity or the "brightness" of the infrared light.
Now, don't confuse Blink camera night vision mode with "dark mode" as the latter only changes the Blink app visual settings and not the security camera settings.
Blink night vision settings you should know about
Here are the essential security camera night vision settings you should know:
Off - IR LED never turns on and images captured at night are dark
On - IR LED is always on and images appear in black and white
Auto - IR LED automatically turns on when it detects that the environment is getting dark
Adjusting the IR intensity affects the brightness of the infrared LED of your Blink outdoor camera.
It can be set to Low, Medium, or High in order to control the amount of ambient light in the area.
If the IR intensity is too high, images will appear whitewashed so it will be hard to make out objects. Lower the intensity.
On the other hand, if the IR intensity is too low, images will be too dark for you to see anything. Increase the intensity.
How to improve the night vision of your Blink Outdoor Cam
The night vision on your blink outdoor camera is already powerful on its own. But there are some ways to improve your camera's night vision. Also, having the right settings is just as important as the mechanical parts of the camera.
Keep in mind that when the night vision is on, footage will appear as black and white since the Blink outdoor camera is relying on infrared light.
If you want colored images even at night, turn off night video and consider installing a floodlight to aid your camera in low-light conditions.
Always check how the footage from your Blink security cameras appear.
If it's too whitewashed, lower the intensity. If it's too dark, increase the intensity.
Also, be wary of reflective materials that could be directly in your Blink security camera and its field of view.
Blink cameras have night vision and are very sensitive to infrared light when night vision is on, so any object that reflects IR back to the lens is bad news.
It will blind the camera. Think of the object as a flashlight being shined into your eyes while inside a dark room.
Any shiny object, glossy surfaces, and anything white will reflect the IR light back to the camera, so keep those away.
Does IR affect motion detection?
Your Blink outdoor security camera can still detect motion even when the IR night vision is on, just as effectively as when it's off.
As long as motion detection is enabled, you'll still receive notifications when your camera detects motion even in low-light conditions.
What to do if your Blink camera night vision isn't working
Blink outdoor cameras are designed to be an affordable alternative to high-end security cameras.
It's priced almost half of its contemporaries and it doesn't have market-leading features, so a slight dip in build quality is to be expected.
But this outdoor security camera still has solid software and hardware, but it may require some more caution when handling to get them to work seamlessly.
Check the batteries
If you have a wireless Blink outdoor camera, one of the first manifestations of an aging battery is troubles with the IR emitter. But there are also other factors that affect your Blink camera battery.
Try playing with the intensity setting via the Blink app. Set it to low then crank it up to the highest setting.
If the image quality doesn't change, it might be because the batteries don't have enough power to support both the outdoor cameras and the IR emitter. In that case, Blink accessories for more power might come in handy.
Reboot the camera
Rebooting is the easiest and simplest way of troubleshooting your Blink outdoor camera.
This may fix any firmware issue or software that needs updating.
To reboot your camera, just pop off the batteries and put them back in.
To reboot the Blink sync module, or if you have the Blink mini, unplug it from the power source and plug it back in.
Check the IR emitter
If you opt not to use the mount that came with your Blink camera, you run the risk of covering the IR emitter and not knowing it, especially if you mounted the camera behind something.
The emitter could also be covered if you're using a camera housing.
Check the Blink website to know where the IR emitter is located on your device.
Contact the support
If all else fails, contact Blink support as a last resort.
You may have a defective IR emitter or worse, a defective unit that needs to be replaced.
Blink will gladly replace your device as long as it's still under warranty.
But not after they ask you to do some troubleshooting steps.
Going through the same steps over again could be annoying, but just stick to it.
It wouldn't take too long.
What is IR sensitivity?
IR sensitivity refers to how much infrared light is detected by the camera. This affects the brightness of the captured images.
Do Blink cameras light up at night?
Yes, Blink cameras work at night, thanks to the IR LED embedded into the device. This helps your camera capture a clear black-and-white image even during low light conditions.
Why can't I see anything on my Blink camera at night?
There are several possible causes for this: 1. the night vision might be turned off; 2. the batteries might not have enough charge to power the device; 3. the IR emitter is being blocked; 4. you have a defective device.
How far can Blink cameras see in the dark?
Blink cameras can detect motion from up to 26 feet away.
Does Blink Outdoor camera have color night vision?
No, the Blink outdoor camera uses IR night vision, which means it can only take black-and-white images at night. If you want colored footage, turn off the sensor and consider using a floodlight.
Does Blink Mini work in the dark?
Yes, just like the Blink Outdoor and Indoor cameras, the Blink mini also has IR night vision.