If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
The times when outdoor home security cameras are most important are often at night. Whether it’s keeping an eye on unwanted nocturnal visitors like raccoons and coyotes, or looking out for the more worrying problem of burglars, there’s a lot of activity that happens at night that home security cameras can keep an eye on while you sleep. The problem is that, when the time most demands it, home security cameras often fall short. There are many home security cameras that claim to have great night vision, but the actual results don’t always stack up. The affordable fix is to invest in an IR illuminator.
IR illuminators emit light on the infrared spectrum, which makes it easier for security cameras to “see” in the dark. They can help illuminate those areas where normal nighttime lights don’t reach. A major benefit of IR illuminators is that they emit light that is invisible to the human eye. That makes them a good alternative to traditional floodlights, which can potentially cause some angry visits from red-eyed neighbors. The most important thing to check before buying is the wavelength. If your home security camera’s night vision uses a different wavelength, it won’t be of much use. The products below include the wavelength on their listings, so you can cross-reference with your own setup.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to enhance your outdoor home security system, IR illuminators are a great place to start.
1. CMVision LED Long Range IR Illuminator
This IR illuminator is a good option for larger spaces. The unit contains 198 IR LEDs, and it has a range of up to 400 feet. The unit comes mounted on a rotating joint, so you can angle it in a variety of ways for better coverage. It has two power settings — it can be set to come on only at night or left on all the time.
Pros: Powerful option with 198 LEDs and a 400-foot illumination range.
Cons: Short cord.
2. CMVision 114 LED IR Illuminator
This IR illuminator is also from CMvision, and it’s a less powerful and more affordable illuminator. It has 114 LEDs and a potential range of 300 feet. Like the other CMvision, the unit comes mounted on a rotating bracket, making it easy to adjust for optimal coverage.
Pros: 300 feet maximum coverage, making it a good size for illuminating backyards.
Cons: Like the other CMvision option, the cord is short.
3. Univivi IR Illuminator 8-LEDs
For a compact option suited to illuminating smaller spaces, this IR lamp has 8 LEDs and a maximum range of 85 feet. It’s attached to a rotating bracket so you can easily find the right angle for your illuminator. It’s waterproof, so it can be mounted inside or outside.
Pros: Affordable option with a rotating bracket and 90° projection for wide coverage.
Cons: Projection angle is slightly narrow.