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IR Cameras: No color in night vision mode

In low-light conditions most infrared (IR) security cameras will automatically shift to black and white IR / night vision recording. Black and white IR images ensure the maximum level of detail and clarity in low-light conditions. Color Night Vision (CNV) security cameras contain image sensors which are more sensitive to light, enabling them to record in color in low-light conditions. CNV cameras work best when placed on the exterior of houses or buildings with external light sources nearby.

Check your product specifications sheet to ensure your camera has the CNV feature. Product downloads and documentation

CNV requires ambient lighting to record full color images. If the lighting conditions ever drop below 1 lux (total darkness), the full color video will switch to black and white IR night vision to ensure optimal low-light image quality. If the video feed is not displaying in color, there may not be adequate ambient lighting for the CNV feature to operate.

CNV comparison

To troubleshoot color display in CNV cameras:

  • Ensure that the camera is installed in a location that is not in total darkness. CNV requires a minimum of 1 lux to function properly. In total darkness the camera will use IR sensors and display the video feed in black and white. Consider installing the camera in an area with external light sources nearby.

  • Ensure that the camera is receiving sufficient power. Check the power source by connecting the camera to a known working power bar, surge protector, extension cable or power outlet.

    CAUTION: Power adapters are not weather rated and should be installed indoors or in a waterproof box.

  • Ensure that the camera and its light sensors are not obstructed.

  • If using a bullet camera, ensure that the hood or sunshade is not too far over the camera to prevent light from reaching the sensors. These obstructions can prevent adequate ambient light for CNV from reaching the sensors.

TIP: The color displayed from a CNV camera may appear differently under incandescent or florescent lighting conditions. Adjusting the camera settings in the DVR / NVR menu may improve the quality of the video image. For more information on adjusting video image quality refer to your user manual. Product downloads and documentation