Lighting conditions, weather, distance, and other visual limitations all contribute to security cameras’ performance. This post will look at security cameras that use visible light HD video capture and thermal imaging. These thermal cameras are a newer type of product on the market. We will also talk about how video analytics help the cameras determine what exactly they are recording.

Advanced security cameras will record when they detect motion. Many modern systems allow you to view video clips on smartphones, tablets, or computers from any location.  Please also note that we are talking about a standard HD security camera when referring to visible light sensors.


Visible Light Sensors

These sensors are the most used type because they provide clear images during the day and at night with enough light. Standard, daylight cameras work off the same universal principle. A lens connects to a sensor that detects the reflected light and converts it into an image.

The images captured are very close to what a person might see. HD resolution enables quick object identification. These types of cameras continue to advance with features and are the workhorse of the surveillance industry.


Thermal Imaging Sensors

Thermal image sensors create pictures from heat (also called thermal energy or infrared). These sensors capture infrared data and produce images through analog or digital outputs. Thermal security cameras can virtually see in the dark, ignoring shadows and reflections. Thermal camera sensors can identify slight motion/temperature changes from very long distances.


Combing The Two

The one camera sensor type sees what the second cannot. To understand further how the two sensors function, let’s use a large power station as an example. If an intruder was moving in the shadows, a thermal camera could trigger a video alert. However, infrared radiation does not pass through glass.

It is merely reflected off it acting as a mirror. Here, an additional visible light sensor’s presence becomes critical if a burglar was hiding in a vehicle.

Thermal Security Camera Image

Video Analytics

Video analytics is a technology that processes a digital video signal using a unique algorithm to perform a security function. The type of algorithm that a camera employs depends on the manufacturer. The most common types are Fixed algorithm analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning algorithms, and Facial Recognition. Each class has an analytics performance in mind for different security applications.


Combining The Three Technologies Into One Camera

Outdoor thermal security cameras such as the SightSensor NS from SiteLogix combine visible sensors and thermal sensors for simultaneous detection. They utilize a hardware and software process called Dual Sensor Video Analytics. The DSA function compares scene detail and analytics in real-time.


These Units:

  • Function 24 Hours a Day. Low-light conditions or even complete darkness during nighttime hours are not an issue.
  • See Past Visual limitations. Visible light cameras, much like our own eyes, cannot see past visual camouflage, such as patterns that blend. Thermal radiation passes through these barriers. They are a good camera for the perimeter during bad weather conditions.
  • Contribute to Reducing False Alarms. The combination of advanced analytics and high contrast images help identify actual threats. They can tell the difference between an animal from an intruder in outdoor areas.
  • Provide A High Return on investment. Due to thermal imagers’ range performance, fewer cameras cover a wide area. Since standard visual cameras have trouble seeing beyond 200 meters at night, they require supplemental lighting in their fields of view. Such a cost could be scaled back or cut.


Contact our expert sales team to learn more about how thermal imaging cameras can protect your business. We have completed thousands of camera installations in our five decades of service. ADS is one of the most experienced video installation companies in Illinois.

About Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.

Alarm Detection Systems is one of the largest alarm firms in the country. Family-owned since 1968, we provide business alarmsfire alarmscard accesssecurity cameras, and home security systems. Proudly servicing Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin in the Midwest. Call us at 630.844.6300 for more information.

In Colorado, we service all of Denver, Boulder County, Northern Colorado, the Eastern Plains, and Colorado Springs. Call us at 1.800.446.7519 for more information.

The bottom line is that ADS would like a chance to earn your business. We feel that we can do an outstanding job of protecting your home or business. To that end, we frequently offer new customers incentives to activate monitoring of an existing system with us. Please visit the Switch Provider page of our website.

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