Compensating for narrow IR lighting

Discussion in 'Dahua' started by Kevin Michaels, Feb 26, 2018.

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  1. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    I've installed some Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z cameras around my house. The beam of the built-in IR seems a bit too narrow. For example, I've got one installed over my deck and while the center of the frame is well illuminated, the left and right margins are pretty dark and it would be hard to identify a person in those areas (see attached image).

    I could buy an additional IR illuminator, but then I'd have to figure out how to power it which seems like a pain. Can anyone think of any other possible solutions to this problem?

    Thanks in advance!

    Kevin
     

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  2. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    I disabled the IR in my 5231R-Z and use an 11 watt IR illuminator mounted well below and well away from the camera. It is actually pointed at about a 90 degree angle from the center of view of the camera. Using that, I have an excellent view, well lit everywhere, in an area that's about 40 by 60 feet.
     
  3. giel

    giel n3wb

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    If you don't feel like running a 12V line to the illuminator, you can split off power from the camera. If you power the camera directly, use a CCTV splitter on the 12V line (just a little 1-to-2 cable, can be found on Amazon for a few $). If you use PoE, you can always split off 12V power (with something like this https://www.amazon.com/Amcrest-Splitter-Adapter-802-3af-compliant/dp/B00CDT7KPO) and power the camera and IR with that.
     
  4. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    Which illuminator did you choose?
    Sample pic please of the results?
     
  5. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    One issue is that the IR is reflecting back into the cam from the area it is viewing, causing the overall exposure to be off.

    Ir is also reflecting from soffit in the upper left corner, that ...could... be affecting the exposure.
     
  6. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    I'm open to this, but I'm not sure how to do it without ruining the clean weatherproof install I've got (see attached image). I'm using PoE, so it's just CAT5e running thru 1/2" PVC conduit into a Dahua weatherproof junction box. Everything's enclosed, and there's nowhere to put what looks like a chunky splitter without exposing connections.
     

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  7. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    I can tilt the camera slightly downward and get the rafter tail out of the field of view, but not sure what other reflections you're talking about. It just seems to me that items in the foreground, like the railing, are naturally going to be illuminated more than items further away, right?
     
  8. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    Ask and Ye shall see -

    upload_2018-2-26_15-21-40.jpeg

    There is also another 11 watt on the other side of the fence. They're both mounted on the fence post against the house about four feet off the ground.

    I used these - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDRMWVG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    They've been up and running on wall warts since the end of last October with no problems.

    Incidentally, the street is about 150 or 170 feet from the camera to put things into perspective.
     
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  9. giel

    giel n3wb

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    Nice! I might pick up a couple of those myself... I'm in a rural area so not much environmental lighting and my driveway alone is 10,000sqft - turns out to by quite challenging to have good coverage for even the areas that I care about.
     
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  10. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    The only way you'll get that lit up is with auxiliary lighting, way to big an area for a camera. If you do that, shut off the IR in the camera. The advantage being that spiders and bugs no longer are attracted and false trigger by snow/rain/fog are just about totally eliminated.
     
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  11. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    Yep. This is the conclusion I'm coming to. I still have the issue of how to tap my PoE to power an IR emitter and still keep everything weatherproof. Probably have to insert a large weathertight junction box somewhere along the conduit and place a PoE splitter inside. No rest for the wicked! ;)
     
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  12. giel

    giel n3wb

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    Triggered by your post I'm actually looking into it myself how I would do it. Best for me is putting it on the garage, which is unfinished inside, so easy to just drill a hole, put a 12v cable through, caulk around it and plug it in somewhere inside. Thanks for starting this, it'll probably solve a lot of my rain/snow/fog falses!
     
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  13. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    Just watch the load on the PoE switch/injector. Some will go to 20+ watts, but a lot won't. Allow at least 10 for the camera to be safe plus the IR.
     
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  14. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    It looks like my NVR supports IEEE802.3af/at so I expect to have 25.5W available. Good point that the splitter will have to be rated for whatever the camera and emitter need. With 10W for the camera, that leaves 15W for the IR. So if I keep the emitter at or below 1A at 12VDC I should be okay. Does all this sound right?
     
  15. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    The rating for the splitter is for the 12VDC output of the splitter itself. The RJ on the splitter is a "straight through", in terms of PoE and ethernet, I think. Those illuminators I'm using are on 1 amp wall warts and they run at "barely warm" if that helps. Maybe I'll throw a meter on one of them and check to see what the actual current and voltage are just for a laugh. I bought a few splitters and am thinking about adding IR to my general coverage, front yard, cameras so it would be good for me to know what they're actually doing, too.
     
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  16. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    I'd be interested in knowing. My main motivation for making PoE work here instead of using a wall wart is that I've got my security system on a battery backup and it'd be better if the IR illuminator didn't go down in a power outage.
     
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  17. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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  18. darrenph1

    darrenph1 Getting the hang of it

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    Looking forward to your reviews!
     
  19. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    I'm curious too, Looney. (not curious yellow). When I looked at the photo on that link I thought it was the 960nm(?) lights, but they say 850nm. I'm considering building a hood, or shield, for on top and one side of both of the ones I'm using to keep the hot spots on the fence and trees to a minimum. Just a piece of flashing should do the trick.
     
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  20. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    I don't know about that 30-50 foot limit. I have a 36 watt IR illuminator for the back yard and it lights up a fence 200 feet from the illuminator and that's using a crappy SV3C camera, too. The IR in that camera was only going about 50 feet which is why I wanted more IR for it. It's the size of a, tranditional, 300 watt halogen flood light, one of those rectangular ones, but it sure does a heck of a job. It did cost about $30USD but seems to be worth it.
     
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  21. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    I already have Starlight cameras, as I said in my original post. The IR on the Starlight is what's causing the problem. And I don't think your statements about IR range are correct. There are many products out there for illuminating large areas.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2018
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  22. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    he is a spammer...I got rid of him..
     
  23. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    Wondered where that "uninformed" post went :lol:
     
  24. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    Okay, pretty much solved my problem with this IR illuminator. I also turned off the onboard IR lighting. Attached are before and after photos. The lighting still isn't uniform, but the edges of the image are brighter than they were before.

    Before:
    NVR_DECK_main_20180225200017.jpg

    After:
    20180312_202736_ch3.jpg
     
  25. darrenph1

    darrenph1 Getting the hang of it

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    So I was checking out the IR light on Amazon and noticed it said on the back of the unit "Keep the photocell downward to avoid sun exposure". Does sunlight wear the cells down? The spot I'm looking to place this is pretty much in direct sunlight most of the day.
     
  26. bigredfish

    bigredfish Known around here

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    Big improvement Kevin, where is the external IR mounted relative to the camera?

    Also have you checked to see if there is more wash out of people/faces with the external IR vs the onboard?
     
  27. Kevin Michaels

    Kevin Michaels Young grasshopper

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    I haven't done a comparison with faces, although I probably should. I was just pleased that I could see more detail in the margins than before.

    The external IR is mounted two rafters in front of the camera. You can just see it in the upper left corner (note how the rafter tail was illuminated before and is in silhouette now. The light is the bump on the bottom of it.) One more thing I'm going to try is tilting the camera down just a bit more to eliminate the hotspot on the beam over the deck. Hopefully that will help even out the exposure.
     
  28. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    There's probably plastic over it and it would help keep water out.