The Best Infrared Cameras of 2020
These cameras will let you see clearly at night in black and white.
There are many advantages to getting a security camera with infrared LED lights, the most obvious being superior night vision. Unlike bright white lights, which tell the whole world of your security camera’s presence, infrared LED sensors are subtle, so you’ll be able to see people well and not the other way around. They also can be useful for home inspections, telling you tons of important information about your home’s heating systems, cooling systems, and more. I’ve reviewed dozens of home security cameras so I’m excited to bring you the best infrared options. Let’s get started with the best infrared cameras review now!
Infrared Camera Methodology
When I review any camera, I always go by our Necessary Features Test, which judges cameras based on the following factors:
- Video: I prefer cameras with the industry standard of 1080p HD video, the ability to zoom in optically, plus a field of view of 120 degrees or wider.
- Audio: Security cameras should come with two-way audio, which allows the user to speak through the camera using its mobile application.
- Night vision: I also make sure that the night vision is infrared rather than color from a bright white light, as that can be very conspicuous.
- Storage: Cameras should come with both cloud and local storage so you can back up your footage in multiple ways.
- Smart platform integrations: If you’re already in the Amazon, Google, or Apple smart home ecosystems, then you’ll want a camera that lets you use your voice assistants to control it.
- Artificial Intelligence: I also look for cameras with person detection, which means that they can differentiate between people and other moving objects like cars, animals, etc. This leads to more specific and necessary notifications so you can put as little effort into monitoring your home as possible while still staying on top of things. Extra points if the camera has facial recognition!
- Value: I’ve reviewed dozens of security cameras ranging from $20 to $400, but I’d say the median price is between $100 and $200.
- Convenience: The camera should be easy to install and easy to use, with a highly-rated app from either the Apple or Google Play stores, depending on your mobile device.
To see a more detailed camera methodology, scroll down to the bottom of the best security cameras of 2020.
Infrared Camera Tips
So what are some best practices when installing and using your infrared camera? Out of all my experiences, here are some quick tips:
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your security camera if the electricity goes out, then you should definitely learn about some backup plans. The most common is cellular backup, which uses the data from your phone to connect your camera to its mobile application, rather than Wi-Fi. There’s also battery backup or landline backup if you still have a landline in your home. With any security camera, it’s important to think of a Plan B in case of a power outage in your neighborhood.
Even with mobile notifications, it can be hard to deal with every notification you get from your security camera, especially if you’re otherwise occupied. That’s where 24/7 professional monitoring comes in. For an additional monthly or yearly fee, you can get a team of people to check-in after an alarm goes off when your camera is armed. If you’re not available to deal with the situation, the monitoring team can contact emergency services for you, be it the police, your local hospital, or even the fire department. Not all security cameras have options for professional monitoring, but I always recommend it if it’s available.
|1||A large body surface like the back of a hand, but no intentional contact with a body part||Dripping water falling vertically|
|2||Fingers of similar objects||Dripping water falling from 15-degree tilt|
|3||Tools, thick wires, etc.||Spraying water|
|4||Most wires, screws, etc||Splashing water|
|5||Dust protected||Water jets 6.3mm and below|
|6||Dust-tight||Powerful water jets 12.5mm and below|
|7||N/A||Immersion up to 1m|
|8||N/A||Immersion over 1m|
If your infrared camera is outdoor, you have to worry about two more factors: the camera’s temperature range along with its IP rating. The temperature range is pretty straightforward, but IP ratings are a bit more complicated, consisting of two digits. While the first digit refers to the camera’s susceptibility towards solids, the second digit refers to liquids, important if you live in a place that gets rain or snow. Make sure your camera is durable enough to handle any weather that your area can throw at it in order to protect your investment.
Recap of the Best Infrared Cameras of 2020
That’s it for the top infrared cameras of the year! If you’re still unsure of which security camera you want, check out my list of the best indoor cameras for artificial intelligence, the best wireless cameras of 2020, or the best outdoor cameras of 2020.
FAQs about Infrared Cameras
- What are infrared cameras used for?
Infrared cameras are used for recording clear footage at night or in a dark area.
- Do all infrared cameras glow red?
Not all infrared cameras glow red when the sensors are on.
- Can infrared see through walls?
Unfortunately, infrared does not mean that cameras can see through walls.