Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is important to any security set-up and night vision plays a huge role in enforcing the function of a working, successful CCTV operation. In this day and age anyone using a CCTV security system will want to benefit from its uses 24/7 and therefore maintaining a decent operating service during the night hours, as well as the day hours, are essential and beneficial to any user. Over recent years CCTV technology and night vision have developed and obviously improved. It is to a point where night vision capabilities can protect an area that once could have been considered a hotspot for possible crime. Some cameras can even create images when there is no light therefore meaning you are doing all you can in these moments to prioritise your safety and protect what is yours.
There are several important functions of CCTV and of course night vision within. It is obviously a security measure, with regards to this it is, in its physical presence, a deterrent against would-be criminals and can prevent crime. It obviously can film crime that has taken place and can therefore be used as evidence and proof in the case that it may need to be presented as such in situations such as a court of law. Also for a place that may have staff and customers on the grounds, for example a factory outlet, CCTV can be used to rectify certain situations that could arise in the workplace. For example violence against staff, accusations of internal theft, and accidents that may occur on site. These situations, if caught on camera, should all be able to be resolved much easier with the image playback.
Night vision can be utilized using one of three methods; low-light, infrared illumination, and thermal imaging. Even though they need some light available to create an image, low light cameras produce excellent images during low light scenes and they have the ability to identify people, cars, items etc. These cameras work by using image intensifiers that enlarge the light to form an amplified image. Infrared illumination teams up with motion detection technology. These cameras detect movement using motion detection and the infrared illumination lights the scene to capture the images. Infrared illumination use LED lights to transmit black and white images. Black and white produces a better quality image which works perfectly for this camera to be able to pick up such details as number plates and lettering. They don’t rely on ambient light to pick up and capture images. Thermal imaging works on the basis that objects within shot radiate infrared energy because of its temperature and is therefore picked up. It also therefore doesn’t require light to produce images. The more heat emitted from objects equals more infrared energy shown and the infrared energy is what in turn creates the thermal image. These cameras have very good long distance capabilities and they offer a high level of sensitivity when picking up images. They produce black images when objects are cold and white when they are hot and some thermal imaging cameras also project images in colour.
Now, to talk about night vision specifically. Night vision is, as indicated in the title of it, the ability to see at night, during dark hours, and in low-light conditions. One of the first things that may spring to mind when hearing the term ‘night vision’ is tactical military operation. The reason for this is that the military forces were one of the first to use night vision technology and bring the term into the mainstream. It is very fitting because someone today who may use CCTV night vision, say a car dealer, who wants merchandise watched and protected during the night when the property is unattended, will want to identify and enforce some of the uses that the tactical forces also use during military procedure. For example, would be criminals who may want to plan a robbery at an unmanned plot, may think that they are covered by darkness to the point they can get away with the crime they have committed, however taking the point of view of an army who are prepared to fight and protect themselves at night using night vision, the owner of the said plot could use the tactical awareness of military procedure to gain the upper hand on any trespassers on their patch who are intruding the property, breaking the law, and need to be dealt with. Having CCTV night vision basically prepares you for the war on crime and gives you the upper hand to be tactically ready for those that oppose.