Wi-Fi cameras require infrared (IR) for night vision. However, IR bounces off the glass – if you use your camera behind a window, you will only see a blurry reflection at night. This will give you a clear picture.
Night vision and windows do not mix
The night vision on most Wi-Fi cameras uses a relatively simple physics trick. One or more IR LEDs emit as much light as possible and act as spotlights. Since infrared is invisible to the human eye, you do not even notice it, and your camera can use this IR light to record video at night, you've probably found it works perfectly during the day. But at night it's a blurry mess of videos that mostly shows just the reflection of your camera and spots of light.
This completely overcomes the point where even a surveillance camera is available. If your camera has seen someone outside, you never know what they look like or what they do.
If you want the night vision of your camera to be through glass, then you want to provide outdoor lighting. You can use either conventional outdoor lighting or IR lighting. You must also disable or cover the camera's built-in IR illumination. Finally, you must either move the camera as close as possible to the window or tilt it slightly, rather than using a direct angle.
It is best to use an outdoor camera. An outdoor camera will deal with glass issues and benefit from most of these suggestions. However, if you can not use an outdoor camera for some reason, consider using these options to enhance the video you get with your indoor camera.
Consider letting the porch light on
The first goal to get a better picture is to put the built-in IR lights out of the To take out the equation. Traditional lights are the easiest way to reach this goal. If you have a porch light, leave it on. You can then turn off night mode on your camera.
The options here vary from camera to camera. With some cameras, like the Wyze Cam, you can just turn everything off. When the night mode is off, the IR lights will not turn on. Depending on the camera, your video may be colored. As you can see above, the picture is so clear that you would see the face of anyone approaching your door at night.
However, this has one obvious drawback: they consume electricity throughout the night and may disturb your neighbors. Motion activated lights are a better solution. You can find battery powered lights that attach easily to your door or wall, like the Overlight. Or you could consider a powered solution with headlights. A floodlight alone can be more effective than a porch light. Together they make a crystal clear video.
Turn Off or Cover the IR LEDs
In the above example, the video from the camera is still in color and therefore has less detail. If you want less noise and more clarity, you should keep the video monochrome. Some cameras allow you to turn off the IR light while in monochrome mode. Other cameras like Wyze Cam are all or nothing. If this is the case, a small insulating tape is sufficient.
Your outdoor lighting is still useful in spite of IR lighting, but you get a bit more detail with monochrome videos – especially if you use multiple outdoor lights. The excess light will also drown out the reflection of your camera.