Blink has come to be known as one of the pioneers of modern Smart Monitoring solutions, thanks to their ground-breaking advances in motion detection technology.
And there's no surprise in one assuming how hard it is to assimilate how a Blink Camera works. But no, that's far from the truth!
Blink Cameras work by relying on motion detectors to sense motion events and trigger recording. You can access all the events triggered and recorded on the Blink app. With a Sync Module, you can interconnect multiple Blink Cameras and record events directly to local storage.
Here's everything you need to know about Blink Cameras and how they work.
Blink Camera: The Basics
Before setting up Blink Camera to monitor the activities in and around your premise, there are a few things you need to heed.
Most noticeably, what actually goes on with these feature-packed devices?
Features like Motion detection and Night detection do not come to fruition by chance.
Even if you can enable them with a tap of your finger, knowing the way around them will determine the outcome.
But not all Blink Models feature the same exact feature set.
Take a look at this table for a more insightful understanding of Blink Cameras and how they differ:
|Blink Model||Motion Detection||Night Vision||Two-Way Audio||Activity Zones||Live View Recording||Standalone Compatibility||Local Storage|
|Blink Indoor (Gen 2)||✅||✅||✅||Advanced + Privacy Zones||✅||❌||✅|
|Blink Outdoor||✅||✅||✅||Advanced + Privacy Zones||✅||❌||✅|
|Blink Video Doorbell||✅||❌||✅||Privacy Zones||✅||✅||✅|
Irrespective of the features, the fundamentals are pretty much the same throughout the models.
Here's how it goes with Blink Cam:
Let's start with motion detection:
Motion Detection on Blink Camera
Motion detection is the cornerstone of Blink Cameras. Blink prides itself in there ingenious implementation of effective motion detection and event-triggering capabilities.
All Blink Cameras, regardless of the model, come with Motion detection capable of detecting and triggering motion events happening in the immediate surrounding of the Camera.
Equipped with a PIR (Passive Infrared) sensor, Blink Cameras can accurately detect motion and trigger events within 25 ft of the device.
Albeit, environmental factors and climate conditions influence how far Blink Camera work.
PIR sensors detect motion with the help of the heat signature of the entity making the motion. So higher the heat signature, the more likely the detection takes place.
But you'll have to be cautious about this fact since larger entities like Cars can have a higher heat signature, which may lead to false triggers on the Camera.
To further optimize Motion detection on their Cameras, Blink has implemented a pretty elaborate configuration system on the Blink app.
You can configure Motion detection on a more acute level than most other OEMs would otherwise allow you to do so.
Setting options like Motion Sensitivity and Activity Fields will aid you in getting the best results out of your Blink Cameras.
Blink Cameras have a narrow field of view (FOV) of 110 degrees compared to the industry standard of 120 degrees.
Blink Home Monitor App
You may now be wondering how Blink Outdoor Cameras work or how Blink Mini saves clips.
The answer is simple - the Blink Home Monitor App.
All Blink devices, may it be Sync Modules or Cameras, have to be synced with the Blink App to work or even be configured.
It is through the app that the Camera alerts you of any activities and saves clips.
Once a Blink device gets added to the app, you're given command over all the settings, features, and clips thus recorded by the device.
The interface is very user-friendly, with carefully scripted feature tabs and setting toggles; very much pleasing to the eyes, too.
You even get to watch the live view stream of your Blink Cameras from the app.
Another killer feature of Blink devices and the Blink app is Two-Way audio.
A select few Blink Cameras, like Blink Video Doorbell, come with a Two-Way audio feature that allows users to converse with participants in front of the Camera, much like an intercom system.
Night Vision on Blink Camera
Another staple feature of Blink Cameras is Night Vision.
If you have ever owned a Monitoring Camera, you must know how frustrating it is to detect and record events come nighttime.
Blink has implemented a carefully thought-out Night Vision feature on their Cameras specifically for low-light imaging.
Night Vision is made possible on Blink Cameras through an 850 nm IR LED light to illuminate and record events in low light scenarios. Although, the feature is limited to a select few models.
And much like the Motion detection feature, Night Vision also features an extensive set of configuration options, including configuring the IR intensity on your Blink Cam.
Adjust the IR sensitivity to resolve recording issues during the night.
Note: be cautious while using Night Vision since it could ruin the recordings if not implemented properly.
Clips on Blink Camera
While Motion detection works its magic like a charm, the recording thus derived from the triggers gets stored as Clips on the Blink app.
Blink Cameras do not support continuous recording, and each Clip has a maximum duration of 60 seconds.
After a Clip has been generated, the Camera will trigger and record again only after a retrigger interval.
The Clip length and the retrigger interval are configurable from the Blink app.
Where the Clip gets stored depends on whether or not you have a Blink Subscription or a Sync Module.
Cameras linked to the Sync Module will have all the clips stored in the Local storage if you have one connected.
With a Blink subscription, Clips get stored on the Blink Cloud services for 60 days, after which they get deleted.
You can also backup clips to a local storage device if you have an active Blink subscription. Clip backups may fail if you have expired the subscription.
Now let's look at how to add a Blink Camera to a Blink System:
How to Add Blink Camera to Blink App
With the basics of Blink Camera taken care of, let's add it to a Blink System and get it to start working.
Most Blink Cameras connect to a Blink System through a Sync Module. It is through the Sync Module that the Camera transfers Clips and responds to commands.
Some models, like the Blink Mini, can connect directly to the app without connecting to a Sync Module.
And so, it would be best to add a Sync Module to the Blink app first.
Although, adding a Camera or a Sync Module follows similar steps with the added procedure of connecting to a WiFi.
Nonetheless, follow these steps to connect a Blink Camera to a Blink System:
1. Connect your device to a 2.4 GHz WiFi band (same as the Sync Module).
2. Open the Blink app and click on the '+' Add device icon to the top right.
3. Select Wireless Cameras.
4. Enter the serial code of your Camera by scanning the QR code from the back of the Camera. You could also enter the code manually.
5. If everything goes as expected, a success message will appear on the screen.
Click on Done to complete the setup.
And just like that, you've successfully synced a Blink Camera to the Blink app. Perform this step to add and record multiple Blink cams simultaneously.
Now, let's configure Motion detection on the Cam:
To add a Sync Module to the Blink app, go to Add device (+)> Blink Wireless Camera System> Scan QR code> Discover Device> choose WiFi (only 2.4 GHz)> Done.
Enable Motion Detection on Blink Camera
With the Blink Camera synced up to a Blink System, it's time to enable Motion detection.
Motion detection does not come enabled by default on Blink Cameras. For that, you will have to arm the Blink Camera first.
With the Camera armed, you can enable Motion detection in two ways.
Follow these steps to do so:
1. Open the app and switch to the System with the Blink Camera.
2. Tap on the Armed tile from the bottom of the screen.
3. You can now see a couple of icons appear next to the Blink Camera tile.
The faded Running Man logo indicates that Motion detection is inactive. The Muted Bell icon suggests the status of the Snooze feature.
4. Tap on the Running Man logo to activate Motion Detection. Once enabled, the logo will turn Blue.
You can also enable Motion detection and configure it from the settings tab.
Tap on the Camera Settings icon (3 horizontal bars) and scroll down to the Motion Detection tab.
Toggle Enable to turn ON motion detection.
Motion Detection Configurations
Within the Motion Detection tab lies the various other configuration options for Motion detection.
Here are the various features and configuration options available on Blink Cam pertaining to Motion detection:
Sensitivity: Determines how sensitive the Blink Camera will be to detecting events. Tinker with the slider to find the best sensitivity for your Blink Cam.
Retrigger time: Interval between successive event recordings.
Motion Zones/Zones: Set up focus zones for the Camera to detect motion exclusively in that zones.
Additionally, you can also set up Schedules to automatically arm and disarm Blink Cams without the app.
How to Access Clips on Blink
With the Camera setup and Motion detection activated, it's time to check the Camera's recordings.
And as with everything Blink, the recorded clips are available on the Blink app too.
But accessing the Clips is not limited to the app alone. Instead, you can access them from the local storage connected to the Sync Module.
The Sync Module 2 comes with a USB port to which you can connect a USB stick and store Clips locally.
With a Local storage option connected to the Sync Module, the Blink Cam stores all the clips on the local storage regardless of the status of the Blink Subscription.
If you have an active Blink Subscription, Blink backups the clips stored on the cloud to the local storage once a day. You cannot access backups from the Blink app.
With that said, here's how to access Clips from the Blink app:
1. Open the Blink app.
2. Tap on the Clips icon from the bottom toolbar.
3. You can now access and playback all the clips recorded.
You also can access the Live View tab of the associated Camera while playing the clip.
Blink distinguishes the Clips based on how or where they are stored/recorded with appropriate icons for ease of identification.
The Orange dot next to the Clip tile indicates that the recording is new and unwatched.
Clips generated through Motion detection triggers will be marked with a Running Man icon, while the ones recorded through Live View will have a Camera logo.
On iOS devices, you can edit Clips by deleting or sharing multiple clips at once. This feature is not available on Android devices.
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide on everything Blink and how a Blink Camera works.
Along with comprehending how a Blink Camera works, it's equally necessary to know where and how to position one to get the best results.
If you have any further queries about the same, feel free to contact the customer services of Blink, especially if you encounter issues with the features like Blink Photo capture not working.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is there a monthly fee for the Blink camera?
You can use a Blink Camera with or without a Blink Subscription. The basic Blink Subscription plan will cost you about $3/mo, while the Blink Plus plan costs around $10/mo for each device.
Do Blink cameras record all the time?
No, Blink Cameras don't support continuous recording. You can, however, arm the Camera 24/7 and reduce the retrigger time to record more frequently.
Can I view my Blink camera away from home?
Yes, you can view the Live View tab of your Blink Camera and access clips from the Blink app even when you're away from home. Though, the connection may be a bit sketchy and spotty.
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