Troubleshooting for Night Vision

All Phylink IP cameras that offer night vision capabilities are equipped with Infrared LED lights placed around the lens. The IR LEDs can be set to "On" or "Off". In addition, the "Auto" setting uses a light sensor in front of the camera to check ambient light levels to turn on the IR LEDs only at night.

Similarly, "Black and White Mode" can be set to "On", "Off" or "Auto". The default setting is "Auto" so that you have the highest sensitivity at night. The "Moonlight mode" setting tries to boost available light by reducing the frame rate and also can be set to "On", "Off" or "Auto".

Using a camera behind glass

If you are using IR cameras to look through a window, you should set IR LEDs to "Off", otherwise the IR LEDs would reflect off the window glass and the glare would make everything almost invisible. So if you are mounting a camera to see through a window, during the day you get a nice sharp picture, but as soon as it gets dark and the IR lights come on, all you see is a bright white glow, as the lights are reflected off the glass.
There are several solutions to fix this issue:

  • You may want to experiment with the IR cut filter control in the "Auto" position even though Infrared LED control is set "off". Combined with automatic Moonlight mode and automatic Black and White mode, it makes the best use of available street lighting.
  • Mount the camera on the outside of the house.
  • You can purchase a separate illuminator and mount it outdoors. Most infrared illuminators in the market can work with Phylink cameras. This feature allows you to focus infrared light on particular areas of your camera's field of view and also allows you to use IR illuminator in the outside area without installing the camera externally. An external IR Illuminator helps eradicate the problem of glare from the camera's own Infrared LEDs when used behind glass.
  • With lots of fine tuning you may get an indoor camera working in this way but ultimately if you need to cover an external area we recommend to use an outdoor camera ideally.

The picture looks foggy

The reflections of infrared light will make the entire picture appear foggy. If you get the picture looks foggy we suggest you check the following points:

  • As the infrared light reflects at night, it can't be pointed through window. The IR LEDs of the camera must be turned off to avoid reflection, so the IR will only work through the glass if you have a separate IR illuminator that is either mounted outside, or located in another room with a window overlooking the same area.
  • When you remove the Front Shell to insert a microSD card, you must screw the Front Shell back tightly. Otherwise the IR LEDs of camera will be reflected back to the lens and makes the picture appear foggy.
  • The sunshade can be mounted in several positions depending on your need. If it extends forward it can do a better job reducing glare from the sun as well as keeping the lens glass dry in light rain or snow. On the other hand, reflections of IR light from the underside of the sunshade would make the entire picture appear foggy, so for maximum night vision range you should either move the sunshade all the way back or remove it entirely.
  • Clean lens cover glass also helps extend the range and reduces fogginess.

The reflections of infrared light will be captured by camera and make the picture fogg.
The following situations will cause the infrared reflection:

  • If the humidity of air is high, the fog will cause the reflection.
  • When the infrared LEDs shoot at the dust or the raindrops, it will produce many reflections.
  • If the infrared LEDs lights are against any near objects such as eaves and window.

If you turn on the infrared LEDs or it turn on automatically, don't let the camera against any near objects. You can try to turn off the infrared LEDs if there is enough ambient lighting around your camera, such as streetlight, overhead security light, etc. Using a separate IR illuminator can well avoid the reflection.

The video appears purple in the daylight

The purple image you are seeing through the camera is Infrared light that is present naturally in day-light or Infrared light emitted by the Infrared LEDs. These Infrared light will make the image appear purplish and pink.

All Phylink IP cameras that offer night vision capabilities have an removable Infrared filter also known as IR - CUT filter. If you force the IR - CUT filter off from the Night Vision Setup menu at daytime, the camera can "see" the Infrared light. So the camera will display a purple or pink image. This variation in colour is quite normal and is not a defect of the camera.

Similarly, if you force the Black and white mode off from the Night Vision Setup menu at night, the camera will display a purple or pink image.

When do you need an IR illuminator?

If you are not satisfied with the night vision or you want night vision distance longer, you can buy an IR illuminators which provides more power of infrared light. Most IR illuminators designed to work with CCTV or IP cameras work with Phylink cameras. Those are available from under $20 to over $100 from many sources.

If the insects are attracted to the camera's infrared LEDs at light, this will cause false alarm. You can turn off the camera's infrared LEDs from the Night Vision Setup page. And this will still allow the camera to see the IR light that is provided by a separate IR illuminator.

The wave length of camera's infrared LEDs is 850 nm. They omit a dim red glow when night vision is activated. If you want the IR LEDs to be invisible in the night, you can turn them off and use a 940nm IR illuminator. Note that the 940nm infrared LED will not dim red glow completely, but the performance of night vision is lower than the 850nm infrared LED.