Infrared imaging has become a mainstay feature in Monitoring systems. Blink, with its configurable IR intensity feature, is one of the absolute best Cams for nighttime event recording.
I have had a commendable number of Blink Cams over the years, and I can safely assert that low-light imaging is indeed one of the better features of Blink.
Initially, I did feel a bit skeptical about the IR intensity feature. But, after a slow learning curve, it helped me become well-versed in low-light recording.
IR Intensity on Blink Camera
IR intensity determines the intensity of IR illuminators on Blink Cameras during low-light conditions. You can configure the IR intensity of your Blink Cam between 3 preset configs - low, medium, and high. Adjust the intensity according to the lighting conditions to get the best results.
IR imaging is standard on all current Blink models. So, the configuration procedure is also the same across all the models.
An 850 nm IR LED illuminator facilitates imaging in darkness on Blink Cameras. With variable IR Intensity, you can adjust the intensity of the illuminator to detect and capture events come nighttime.
Prior to IR-based illumination, Monitoring Cams relied on visible light sources (like LEDs) to illuminate the immediate surrounding for recording.
This method was not only inefficient but severely affected the recording quality as well.
With the introduction of IR lights, visibility increased manifold, and so did the recording quality.
Blink Cams rely on motion detection to trigger and record events. But motion detection requires a very efficient illumination to work.
Night Vision on Blink Cams is one of the best in the biz. IR illumination is heavily optimized to better motion detection in low-light conditions.
'Nough said about Night Vision, here's what IR Intensity has to do with Blink Cams:
Most OEMs that provide Night Vision or IR illumination don't provide their users with the option to configure its intensity.
All you get is to turn ON or OFF the feature (some of them do it automatically).
With Blink, however, you can not only enable/disable the feature but also control the intensity of the IR illuminator array.
You can also put Blink Cam in Auto Night Vision mode to automatically enable Night Vision when the ambient illumination falls below the required limit.
Why vary the IR intensity? The answer is simple - to get the best visibility!
Not all surroundings deem a standard IR illumination pattern to detect motion.
Ambient lighting varies from place to place. Some premises may be sufficiently lit and don't warrant intense IR illumination.
On the other hand, poorly lit locations will require you to pump up the IR intensity to its highest possible value to get a good exposure.
Blink Cams come with three levels of IR Intensity - Low, Medium, and High. Depending on the existing exposure of your frame, you get to choose the right intensity level.
Let's take a look at how to configure IR intensity now:
How to Configure IR Intensity On Blink Cam
One of the advantages of Blink Cams is how simple configuring the settings is.
Thanks to the handy Blink Home Monitor app, you can adjust the IR Intensity anytime at your leisure.
All you have to do is to connect the Blink app to a stable network and sync your Cam with the app.
Then, follow these settings to change the IR intensity of Night Vision:
1. Open the Blink Home Monitor app and tap on the Camera Settings icon at the top.
2. Select the Video and Photo settings tab.
3. Select the level of IR intensity you would like - Low, Medium, or High.
4. Jump back to the Live View tab of your Cam and check the visibility.
Make sure you have sufficient exposure for motion detection.
Before you change the IR sensitivity, set Night Vision to either Auto or ON. If the Night Vision is OFF, the feature will not work.
How to Choose the IR Intensity Level
The characteristic element of Night Vision is the monochrome output you get once enabled. And tweaking the IR intensity level can make or break the exposure.
You can use Night Vision for daytime recording as well. Do remember that Night Vision boosts the sensitivity of the Camera multifold.
In other words, daylight will render the output overexposed and ruined. Not only that, but motion detection also becomes obsolete as a result.
Setting the levels wrong can land you in a void and render the output all washed out.
Take a look at the many scenarios you would and wouldn't need Night Vision:
|Scenario||Night Vision Control||IR intensity|
|Dusk||ON/Auto||Low - Medium|
|Night||ON/Auto||Medium - High|
Even if you can't decide which levels suit best for which scenario, you could always check the Live View feed of your Cam to assess the quality.
From the table, the only scenario that's ambiguous in terms of Night Vision is with indoor setups. If you have sufficient lighting, like in living rooms, set the IR intensity to medium or low.
On darker premises, like in a corridor, try the High setting.
Troubleshooting Issues with IR Illumination
Now, let's go over some troubleshooting steps for various issues associated with the same.
Night Vision is tricky to set right on Blink Cams. May it be due to network issues or problems with the app, things can fall apart pretty fast.
Here are some of the most common issues with Night Vision and IR illumination on Blink Cams:
Night Vision Kicking in Abruptly
Sometimes, your recordings might come as monochrome footage. Obviously, Night Vision is the culprit.
The likeliness of Night Vision to kick in on your Blink Cam abruptly can be traced back to a singular setting option.
If you have set the Night Vision Control to Auto, the Blink Cam may misjudge the ambient lighting and enable Night Vision to compensate for this lack.
All you have to do is to turn this setting OFF. Follow these steps to do so:
1. Open the Settings tab on the top of the home screen.
2. Scroll down to the Video and Photo settings tab.
3. Set the Night Vision tile to OFF.
Blink App not Responding to IR Intensity Configurations
One of the most annoying problems with the Blink app is unresponsiveness. Even if you change the IR Intensity level on the app, it doesn't get reflected on the Cam.
The Blink app can become unresponsive due to network issues or outdated firmware.
To fix this issue, start by checking the status of your network. Run a speed test on your device and check if the network parameters are stable.
If not, refresh the Router/Modem by turning it off and back on again after a few seconds.
Next, check and update the Blink app on your device. Follow these steps to do so:
1. Open the App Store of your device.
2. Search for the Blink Home Monitor app.
3. Click on the Update tile to initiate the update.
Check for the issue now.
Blink Event Recordings are Grainy
Grains in event recordings are a direct result of the high sensitivity of Cam sensors.
Since we cannot adjust the sensitivity of the Sensor on Blink Cams, modifying the IR Intensity could resolve such issues.
Grains are common in low-light imaging. The trick is to keep it to its absolute least.
Apart from exposure indifference, condensation on the Cam lens can also influence image quality. Cleaning the lens could resolve the issue.
Boosting the Intensity to medium or High will influence the imaging quality and reduce grains.
Check the Live View tab after configuring the IR Intensity to confirm the changes.
Blink Cam not Detecting Events During Nighttime
Motion detection is a sensitive subject on Blink Cams.
Blink Cams have a very sophisticated motion detection system.
Blink has enabled a very flexible motion detection configuration menu on the app to let the users decide on how they want the mechanism to work.
All you have to do is to fine-tune them to work best.
The feature in question here is Motion Sensitivity. And it is recommended to fine-tune Motion Sensitivity to get the best settings on Blink.
Follow these steps to tweak this setting:
1. Open the Camera Settings tab from the Home tab.
2. Scroll down to the Motion Settings tab.
3. Next to the Motion Sensitivity tile, you can find a slider.
4. Move the slider towards the right (High).
Exit the tab and check the density using Live View.
Note: Overdoing the Sensitivity will lead to unnecessary motion triggers.
Another effective yet simple fix for issues on Blink Cam is to power cycle the Cam and the Sync Module. Doing so could also solve other issues like Blink Camera not connecting to WiFi issue.
In the case of the Cam, remove the batteries and re-insert them after a couple of seconds. With the Sync Module, unplug the power supply and plug it back in after a few seconds.
The very ability to configure the IR Intensity of the IR illuminators on your Blink Cam is bliss.
It's not that often you find such a level of flexibility in configuration with modern-day gadgets.
In this article, we explore what IR intensity is on Blink Cams and how to configure it.
Provided, too, is a brief troubleshooting guide to help you tackle issues with Night Vision and IR intensity on your Blink Cam.
If you have any other concerns or tribulations about IR Intensity, feel free to contact the Customer services of Blink for further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are Blink cameras good for night vision?
Blink Cams feature a killer Night Vision feature. Equipped with an array of IR illuminators, Blink Cams can illuminate and detect motion and trigger events within a range of 25 ft.
Why can't I see anything on my blink camera at night?
If you can't detect motion or see anything come nighttime on Blink Cams, better enable Night Vision. You can do so by going to Cam Settings>Night Vision>Control> ON/Auto.
Where is the IR on the Blink?
IR sensors are usually located on the lower half, below the Cam sensor, on Blink Cams.
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