Most of the criminal activity happens at night which explains the popularity of night vision security cameras. These HD over coax or IP cameras are able to see in the dark by utilizing their built-in infrared LED lights. You can’t see this kind of light with naked eye but the camera’s sensor can detect the object even when it’s pitch black.
The infrared lights illuminate the scene and the camera’s sensor captures the highlight subject to produce relatively clear black and white images. The security cameras switch on the night mode by itself, they have a light sensor that triggers when it gets too dark.
However, in some cases the CCTV security camera may not switch in night vision mode. This means the IR LED lights won’t turn on and the camera won’t be able to do anything in the dark. If you’re having this issue, then read the following guide on how to fix a security camera that doesn’t switch to night mode.
CCTV security camera not switching to night mode
1. Make sure that the IR block is not dead
Quite often the IR block may go dead and obviously will not turn on. This is usually the case when the water goes into the camera and burns the lights around the lens.
So, if you’re using outdoor cameras, make sure that the cameras are weatherproof and the seal has not been compromised. Simply inspect the camera and check for water residue. Or you cover the IR block with your plan and see if it turns on.
In other cases, only some of the IR lights are dead but not all of them. The camera may work at night time but the picture will be too dark or very low quality. Either way, you may need to buy a new IR block and get the bad one replaced.
2. Check the power supply
First of all you have to check the power supply. When the IR LED lights turn on, the camera will draw more power to supply the IR block. If the power supply is not able to provide enough juice, the IR LED lights can’t turn on.
Make the sure power box is working properly, in come cases certain blocks where the cameras are connected may go bad. If you’re using battery powered cameras, check the batteries and ensure that they supply enough power.
3. The monitored area is too bright
If the camera is pointing directly toward a light source, then its light sensor may not switch to night mode. The sensor will get “confused” since there’s enough outdoor light. If this is your case, try to adjust the camera’s angle or move the light source.
4. Check the wiring
You need to make sure that your CCTV security camera is wired properly. Sometimes, the issue is caused by a damaged wire or an incomplete installation. Inspect the affected camera, trace the wiring and make sure there’s no break.
5. Power cycle the camera or the recorder
In rare cases, the camera doesn’t switch to night mode because the camera is “frozen”. That’s why it is recommended to reboot the DVR or NVR or power cycle the camera itself, let all the equipment start fresh and then check the image at night time to see if the IR lights turn on.
Additionally, some IP cameras do not turn on the IR lights because of software related issues. Update all your equipment to the latest firmware and try again.
6. Bad camera
If your camera doesn’t work on night vision from day one and no matter what you try it still won’t work, then it’s possible you have a bad camera. It happens quite often to get a camera that is defective from the manufacturing line. Contact your seller/dealer and get a replacement.