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Last updated: December 21, 2021
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Monitoring your home at night requires having a camera that can see in the dark. Thankfully, night vision camera technology has come a long way in recent years. Many night vision cameras now offer full-color displays, integrated lights, and wireless connectivity to your home’s WiFi system.
To help you find the best night vision camera, we looked at both wired and wireless cameras for indoor and outdoor use. Many night vision cameras are general-purpose models with night vision capabilities, so we also looked specifically at how well they work in the dark. Other features like integrated audio and lights, weather resistance, and battery life were also crucial. With all these things in mind, let’s take a look at the five best night vision cameras on the market today.
Resolution: 2K HDR (2560x1440p); 1080p and 720p also available
Viewing angle: 160°
Weather resistant: yes
Warranty: 1 year
More features: high powered Infrared LEDs (850nm) with IR Cut Filter; 4 modes; color night vision; up to 6-month battery life on one charge; Wi-Fi connectivity; integrated spotlight; motion alerts; weather resistance; built-in siren; 2-way audio; Arlo Smart app; magnetic charge cable
This indoor/outdoor camera set from Arlo is one of the best wireless night vision security cameras on the market today. To start, it offers resolution up to 2K (you can also get 1080p or 720p versions to save money) and the lens offers an impressively wide viewing angle of 160 degrees. Another plus is that, unlike other night vision cameras that are filled with infrared lights on the outside, this camera just has a small panel of lights. So, it’s harder for potential intruders to tell that you have a night vision camera installed.
Users also loved the high-tech features of this camera. It connects to your home’s WiFi network and comes with a mobile app so you can monitor the live video feed or play back recordings from your smartphone. You can also turn on the integrated spotlight, activate a siren, or use the two-way audio through the mobile app. When someone approaches your home, the mobile app can send you notifications so you can decide how to respond.
Why are we impressed? Arlo provides cloud storage for 30 days of recordings, giving you plenty of time to review footage and download any clips you want to keep. The company is also fully committed to privacy and never shares your data or video footage.
What negatives must you be aware of? Recharging the battery on this camera can be a hassle if your camera is out of easy reach. That said, the camera can work for up to six months on a single charge. Arlo also sells a small solar panel that you can install to continuously power the camera.
This camera from Blink is an inexpensive and extremely handy wireless night vision security camera. It works indoors or outdoors and is fully weather resistant, so you can place it anywhere around your house. Another plus is that it runs on two AA batteries, so you only have to access the camera to change the batteries once every two years.
The camera comes with plenty of high-tech features, including motion detection and automatic temperature monitoring. You can get alerts through the Blink mobile app anytime someone approaches your home. Even better, you can set zones within the camera’s 110-degree field of view so that you’re only alerted to motion in areas that you care about.
The Blink camera supports two-way audio, so you can chat with visitors or instruct the deliveryman where to leave a package. However, it doesn’t have a built-in siren or spotlight to ward off intruders.
What makes it stand out? If your home uses Amazon Alexa, you can integrate the voice assistant seamlessly with the Blink camera. That way, you can hold an audio chat using Alexa or respond to motion detection notifications.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? One thing to keep in mind is that Blink doesn’t offer free cloud storage with this camera. You’ll need to pay $3 per month per camera to record footage and save it to the cloud. Otherwise, you cannot record video with Blink.
If your goal is to outfit your home with an incredibly robust security system, this 8-channel night vision camera setup from Annke is a great choice. Each of the 8 cameras comes with an easy to mount base and an adjustable head so they can cover any angle.
The viewing angle is just over 100 degrees, so you may need to use two cameras to eliminate blind spots in some areas. That said, the cameras are rated for 100 feet of night vision, which is more than most other affordable night vision camera systems provide.
This camera system doesn’t connect to your home’s WiFi network, which can be a downside for some users. However, it does come with a centralized recording box that makes it perfect for use as a CCTV camera system for night vision. The recording box is completely secure and encrypted, and offers enough storage space to hold 98 days of recordings.
Another plus is that Annke enables you to set up email alerts whenever motion is detected. You can mark out zones of interest for each camera, so you never have to worry about false alerts.
Why are we impressed? If you need eight cameras, this system is impressively inexpensive. The cameras are high-quality, too. They offer 1080p resolution and 100 feet of night vision, plus built-in sirens.
What negatives must you be aware of? This camera system needs to be wired not just to electrical outlets, but also to the central recording box. So, getting it set up around your home can be a challenge.
The Wyze Cam offers an extremely inexpensive solution for adding night vision cameras around your home. This set of two 1080p resolution cameras costs under $50 and comes with many of the same modern features as more expensive competitors. The biggest difference is that the camera system must be wired to an electrical outlet, which limits where you can place each camera.
Despite that, the cameras still connect to your home’s WiFi network so you can view footage from anywhere. Whenever motion is detected, the camera automatically starts a 12-second recording that is saved and uploaded to the Amazon Web Services cloud at no extra charge. If you want to record footage outside of these motion events, the cameras accept standard microSD cards.
The Wyze Cam system also comes with helpful security features like a miniature siren and two-way talk. There isn’t a spotlight, but the siren should be enough to scare off most would-be intruders. Another plus is that the camera system is compatible with home voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Why are we impressed? It’s hard to argue with the price of the Wyze Cam system. For under $50, you can put one camera at your front door and another around the back of your home. There’s also no monthly subscription for recording or storage.
What negatives must you be aware of? The Wyze Cam does lose ground in a few key technical features compared to its more expensive competitors. It’s important to note that the camera is only rated for 30 feet of night vision. That’s not very far, especially if you have a large yard. In addition, the cameras only capture night video at 10 frames per second, compared to 30 frames per second for most standard cameras.
This night vision dash cam is the perfect addition to your car. It offers an extremely impressive 170-degree field of view while recording at 1080p HD. The camera also boasts high dynamic range (HDR) so that it can accurately capture the color of the sky and the shadows on the road ahead at the same time.
The camera has a couple helpful driving-specific features. For example, you can use it as a rear-view camera with night vision if you place the camera on your back windshield. The parking monitor also helps keep your car secure by alerting you to motion whenever someone approaches. The camera will also automatically record and save video clips anytime unexpected driving behavior happens, so you always have a video record available in case there’s an accident.
You can monitor what the camera is seeing on the large, high-definition 3-inch back panel screen. Just note that the camera isn’t waterproof, so it’s not an all-around night vision security camera for outdoor use.
What makes it special? The camera’s 170-degree field of view is extremely impressive and ensures that you can see the entire road ahead of you or behind you. The camera mount also swivels 360 degrees, so it’s easy to turn the camera if something interesting is happening off to the side of the road.
What cons did we find? Users noted that the 1080p resolution uses up a lot of memory card storage. A 128 GB SD card will store around 14 hours of video. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to limit the video resolution.
Things to Consider
With so many appealing options on the market today, choosing the best night vision camera for your needs can be difficult. In our buying guide, we’ll help you find the right night vision security camera for whatever monitoring you have in mind.
How do night vision cameras work?
Most night vision home security cameras work by flooding the area they’re monitoring with infrared light. Infrared light is invisible to the human eye, so it still looks completely dark to us in front of the camera. But the camera sensor, which can detect infrared light just like visible light, is seeing the equivalent of a brightly lit scene.
Most night vision surveillance cameras also have an infrared light filter, which turns on during the day. That way, the infrared light that’s normally flooding the world alongside the visible rays of sunlight don’t impair the camera’s image. Once the sun goes down, the infrared light filter is turned off.
How to find the best camera with night vision
Getting the best night vision home security camera comes down to what features are most important to you. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the top things to consider when picking out a night vision camera.
Type and usage
The first thing to consider is how you plan to use your night vision camera. Are you looking for a night vision home security camera, a night vision trail camera, or a night vision dash camera?
While some cameras can work as all three, most models are specifically designed with just one of these common purposes in mind. For example, the Blink Outdoor Camera is designed primarily as an outdoor home security camera (although it also works indoors). The APEMAN Dash Cam, on the other hand, offers specific features like a parking monitor that make it perfect for use in your car.
Wired or wireless
Another important thing to consider is whether you want a wired or wireless night vision camera. Wired cameras like the Wyze and Annke night vision cameras take a bit more work to set up, and you don’t have as much flexibility in where you can place them since they must be wired to an outlet. On the other hand, you never have to worry about recharging or replacing the cameras’ batteries.
Wireless night vision cameras like those from Arlo, Blink, and APEMAN are increasingly popular. You can place them anywhere and they typically connect to your home’s WiFi network, so you can get alerts and view a live stream from anywhere with an Internet connection. The only downside is that you need to remember to charge or replace the batteries every few months.
The resolution of your camera can make a big difference in the clarity and quality of your night video. Most of the cameras we reviewed offer 1080p video, which is considered high resolution. The Arlo camera has 2K resolution available, which is extremely crisp and clear.
The viewing angle of your camera describes the sweep of area that it can see in its field of vision. If the area in front of and behind your night vision camera comprise 360 degrees of view, then a camera with a 170-degree viewing angle like the APEMAN camera will be able to see nearly everything stretching to the sides of the camera lens.
Most night vision cameras have much more narrow viewing angles, so you may need more than one camera to eliminate blind spots in an area.
Many night vision surveillance cameras come with different modes to increase their utility. For example, you may be able to change the resolution or set a timer for your camera in order to increase its battery life. Or you can switch between daytime and nighttime modes so that your camera operates around the clock.
Another thing to consider is whether your night vision video camera has an alarm mode. This can be helpful if you’re using your camera for home security and want to receive an alert or turn on a spotlight whenever a potential intruder is detected.
If you plan to place your camera outdoors, waterproofing is critical. Thankfully, nearly all of the outdoor night vision cameras we reviewed come with excellent waterproof ratings. Look for IP6 or higher, which indicates that the camera can withstand being submerged for brief periods without suffering any damage.
As with any electronics, a warranty provides peace of mind that you’re getting what you paid for. All of the night vision cameras we reviewed come with manufacturers’ warranties, although they typically only cover one year.
What else can be important?
When looking for a night vision camera, there are some other features that stand out as important. Some cameras like the model from Arlo offer color night vision instead of a black and white picture. This isn’t essential, but it can make your night video look more realistic.
Another thing to consider is whether your camera offers two-way audio. This can be helpful if, say, someone shows up with a package when you aren’t home and you want to give them instructions using the camera audio. The Arlo and Wyze cameras both offer two-way audio.
An IR cut filter is a built-in filter that removes infrared light from the image recorded by your camera. This is essential if you plan to use your camera for both daytime and nighttime use, since the IR cut filter removes infrared light from the image during daytime. At night, the filter is turned off since the night image is based entirely on infrared light.
Most night vision cameras can also work during the daytime. When the sun is up, they automatically turn on an IR cut filter that blocks out infrared light. As a result, you get a normal video camera image like you would expect from a standard video camera.
High dynamic range (HDR) describes a camera’s ability to capture both really bright parts of a scene and really dark parts of a scene at the same time. The human eye is really good at doing this, but not all cameras are. If your camera doesn’t have HDR capabilities, anything in the shadows might simply appear as black and anything in the brightest part of the image might simply appear as white.
Our three overall favorite night vision cameras on the market today are the Arlo Pro 3, the Blink Outdoor Camera, and the Annke 8-channel Security Surveillance System.
The Annke system is an excellent value if you’re looking to outfit your entire home or a commercial building with night vision security cameras. While the initial wiring can be a challenge, the fact that you’re in control of your video feed and can store up to 98 days of recording is a huge plus.
The Blink camera is a great option if you want an affordable and effective security camera for your front door. It offers motion alerts and two-way audio. However, keep in mind that recording requires a monthly subscription.
We think the Arlo Pro 3 is the best night vision camera for most homeowners. It offers a wide variety of features including two-way chat, wireless connectivity, motion detection, and a built-in siren and spotlight. While it can be a little pricey, we also appreciate that it comes with 30 days of free cloud storage for your recordings.