Low-Light Solutions for Video Surveillance Systems

Properties that need surveillance but lack natural or artificial lighting face challenges with their security cameras. Most conventional security technologies require adequate lighting to detect people and objects within a frame, with the exception of infrared cameras and ultra-wideband perimeter technologies.

Fortunately, you don’t have to compromise security just because you lack lighting for surveillance cameras to do their jobs properly. The following are some of the most common and effective low-light solutions for video surveillance systems.

Auxiliary Lighting

If you have a mostly lit space that contains some dark areas, auxiliary lighting can help supplement your original lighting to ensure all areas are covered. High-resolution cameras can especially benefit from additional lighting because they generally lack the ability to capture images in low lighting.

Research shows that additional lighting doesn’t just help increase the effectiveness of surveillance technology. It also helps people feel safer, which makes this option ideal for community spaces or areas people access after dark, such as parking lots or break areas [1].

When you need to reduce glare while adequately lighting your space and increasing safety, auxiliary lighting is a worthy consideration.

Thermal Cameras

Instead of relying on a light source, thermal cameras use heat to capture images. Although the images won’t show the natural colors of the scene, they are ideal for extremely low-light areas that require surveillance or even those with no light.

These cameras are not impacted by weather conditions such as light rain, fog, and snow, although more extreme weather conditions may pose challenges. However, thermal cameras can be ideal for indoor settings, such as machinery applications, to help monitor temperature [2].

Since thermal cameras eliminate the need for an outside light source, they can eliminate the cost and effort of installing auxiliary lighting and reduce your energy bills. However, if you need your surveillance system to capture color, thermal imaging may not be the right solution.

Lightfinder Technology From Axis

Lightfinder technology from Axis allows for full color in high-resolution images, even in low-lighting situations, for better detail and minimal motion blur. Lightfinder uses extremely sensitive sensors, shortened shutter speed, and modified image processing to capture color better than the naked eye in darkness, with no outside light source required [3].

If you have an area with high motion and need 24/7 surveillance solutions, Lightfinder is generally the better choice since it reduces motion blur while still providing detail and color accuracy [4]. This technology can provide the benefits of traditional surveillance without additional lighting or thermal imaging.

Find the Best Surveillance Cameras for Your Most Challenging Applications

Although it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of each system to determine the right cameras for you, it’s also crucial to have expert insight before investing in surveillance technology, especially for low-lighting situations. Contact Surveillance Secure today at (877) 388-1248 to discover all your options for cameras in even the most challenging situations, including areas that have low lighting or no light source.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41284-021-00296-0 
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220882123_An_Effective_Surveillance_System_Using_Thermal_Camera 
  3. https://www.axis.com/solutions/lightfinder
  4. https://ipvm.com/reports/bosch-starlight-test 

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