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security camerasMost businesses searching for Houston access control systems know that cameras are an important element of an overall security plan. However, not all people know about infrared cameras and the benefits they offer. It is best to learn about them before deciding which types of cameras are best for Houston business security systems.

How Does Infrared Imaging Work?

Infrared cameras use thermal imaging technology. This means that the camera detects heat radiating from an object. Since the normal human body temperature is almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the cameras can detect human activity. Keep in mind that the image given off by the camera is a display of heat and will not look like a regular picture taken in a room with ample light. The image given off by an infrared camera is somewhere between a clear green-light photo and a black-and-white version of a photo.

Do Infrared Cameras Work In Daylight?

Day/night cameras are not the same as infrared cameras. While a day/night camera requires an ample source of light near a person or an object for the subject to be visible at night, an infrared camera can detect images and display them in clear detail with little to no light present. For example, a burglar breaking into a business at night where the lights are all turned off would not be clearly visible on a day/night camera. However, the infrared camera would detect the body heat and display clearer images.

How Far Can Infrared Cameras Reach?

The reach of an infrared camera depends on how many infrared lights it has. Infrared camera power is measured in lux. For a camera to display a clear image in total darkness, a 0.0 lux is ideal. It should also have a large quantity of infrared lights around the lens. More lights create a greater sight distance. Some thermal imaging security cameras can reach up to 150 feet in complete darkness. There are cameras for short or long distances, and there are also cameras for indoor or outdoor use.

How Much Do Infrared Cameras Cost?

These cameras vary in cost depending on their specs. Prices vary widely depending mostly on lux numbers. A basic camera with 0.5 lux may cost less than $50 per unit. However, top-of-the-line camera systems run well over $3,000. Since some units are able to function as regular cameras by manual user input, this can affect the total cost as well.

Are Infrared Cameras Really Worth It?

Although infrared cameras cost more than regular surveillance cameras, it is important to compare their installation and purchase price to the cost of losing inventory. If a burglar breaks in and steals $15,000 worth of merchandise in an electronics store and is not caught on camera, the stolen goods may never be tracked down. In addition to this, the stolen goods may cost the business more than what they would have spent on a few infrared cameras. Police have many advanced methods of tracking people down based on images today. For this reason, it is crucial to provide law enforcement with a clear picture or video whenever possible.

Any business looking for Houston office security systems can benefit from using infrared security cameras. In addition to providing a clearer image of invaders, these cameras save on energy costs. Many businesses simply add lights to the perimeter of the property to aid their cameras in capturing images at night. However, those images are not as clear, and infrared LED light bulbs use 80 percent less energy than incandescent lights. These cameras are a great investment for any business.