Assuming the “in-development” for turning the off IR lights is for the existing camera base including my V2s, I would like to start researching separate IR sources. Bugs are a real problem and having the light source away from the camera will give us potentially more light and a far enough away place for the bugs to buzz around so as to not trigger alert notifications. It will also solve the light reflecting off glass problems.
Has anyone researched this? Any good suggestions? Any things to avoid? Is there a particular wave-length to go for or to avoid? Thanks in advance.
I have a birthday coming up and I was hoping to score some recommendations on outdoor IR lighting for gift ideas. Even links to articles would help.
I’ll post this light because someone posted a comparison photo showing no light and three different models. I was surprised there seemed very little difference between this one and some of the advertised 130ft+ models. This one claims 80ft.
Thanks Rick, that’s the wavelength of the current onboard lights that glow red. I think I’ve read where other wavelength LEDs are invisible, at least to us. So hopefully, if they are also invisible to the bugs, do they work with the Wyzecams? I don’t know the answer to either question at this point, but hope to find out. I was sort of hoping the outdoor camera guy(s) had maybe already researched this.
I just did some experimenting with interesting results.
First a review of how the IR cut filter works. In day mode, the IR filter is normally in place between the lens and the sensor to remove IR light which would result in a purple cast. In night mode, the IR filter is pulled out of the way.
Fun fact: you can manually change the position of the IR filter by placing a strong magnet on either side of the camera, regardless of day/night mode. Here’s what I did:
In a totally dark room, I put a V2 in day mode (LEDs off), but pulled the filter out of the way with a magnet. Then I used the LEDs on a Pam to illuminate my face. The V2 was clearly sensitive to the 940nm light from the Pan. I did the same thing using a 2nd V2 for illumination. The V2 was equally sensitive to this light.
Conclusion: you can use a 940nm light source as illumination for a V2, it should work fine, and be less visible to humans than a 850nm source.
Possible hack: Put a V2 in day mode but tape a magnet to the side to pull the filter out of the way. This will simulate night mode with LEDs off. You can then use an external illumination source.
Catches to the above hack:
The camera will be no good for daytime use (purple cast).
Even at night there is a distinct purple cast in this configuration. Apparently night mode also has the function of putting the sensor into black & white mode.
Just got this explanation from Wyze about why the Pan and V2 use different wavelength:
The 850nm is easier for people to see the red light coming from the IR LEDs themselves and there were complaints that this made them harder to conceal for security reasons. In the Pan they put 940nm in, the lower wave length means less people have sensitive enough eyes to see the light so it is more concealable. A side effect of this was needing the additional 2 IRs to make up for the reduces power which is also why the Pan has 6 IRs instead of the 4 the V2 has.
I’ll have to go back and find it, but before lunch I read the 940nm doesn’t illuminate as well s the 850nm. Not sure why. May be an efficiency thing like Ethanol doesn’t get as good of mileage as gasoline, so it takes more of it to go the same distance. More research on the trade-off for me to read.
So we know both wavelengths will work and the question becomes, does one attract bugs more than the other? And, will putting the light source some distance away from the camera cut down on the bug triggered false alarms?
Well, here is a study where they used 940nm light to study insects reaction to light at shorter wavelengths.
“In none of these previous studies was light of wavelengths >700 nm used, probably because of the pre-conception that insects are blind in this wavelength region. However, as we have shown here, leafhoppers can indeed detect near IR light (~740 nm) and are clearly attracted to the light source. Consequently, near IR sensitivity may be found to be widespread among insects.”
I would think the longer the wavelength, the better, but there is certainly a trade-off as was seen in using the extra lamps in the Pan camera. Not to mention finding lower priced options with the 850nm vs 940nm lamps. As for the bug issue, I wonder if the 850nm is just enough to attract them to the source without having another alternative. It’s hard to believe, with the number of events overnight, these fly-bys are random. I may try using a standard LED nightlight as bait to draw any nearby bugs away from the camera, just as a test. In any case, putting the light source, 850nm or 940nm, some distance from the lens should help.
Something I didn’t see mentioned here amongst all the cool science stuff - BTW, we have an impressive community of user, don’t we? - is that you should do some heavy reading of reviews and make sure that whatever IR source you buy has a quality power source. Cheap unregulated power supplies will dramatically decrease the life of IR LEDs. Took me two IR illuminator setups before I figured this out.
Everything looks great at first but over a few weeks to a few months, you’ll start to see a decrease and then LEDs will start to die off. Do some research before you buy!