We spoke to CCTV consultant Simon Lambert about CCTV lighting and you can hear his advice on this short video.
His comments encompass:
- The prevalence of poor CCTV lighting
- How to improve image quality through better surveillance lighting
- And why datasheets are not necessarily a reliable barometer for judging CCTV lighting
Below that is a transcript if you prefer to read his comments.
CCTV consultant Simon Lambert on CCTV lighting
“By far and away the weakest link in most systems is the lighting. Consequently, if you can get the lighting right you can make major strides forward in getting a good picture – especially at night-time.
“Because quite often, the lighting on site may be behind the subjects that you’re interested in. It’s OK for safety – it’s OK for people not to fall over the pavement and for normal walking about – but from the camera’s point of view the lighting might be behind them.
“So the person or the vehicle appears to be a silhouette. Well if you just saw my outline and I was completely silhouetted – how would you identify me?”
It’s a very difficult thing to do. So the lighting needs to be from the front. The lighting needs to be from the direction in which the camera is looking.
“And if that means extra lighting specifically for the CCTV, then that front-on lighting, bright, is the key.
“Camera specifications that we’ve all read on datasheets, they tend to be optimistic – very, very optimistic – and when we’ve been in the workshop and measured these things with scientific instruments and the like, we’ve found that the figures are rarely anywhere near realistic.
“So actually over the years we’ve found you tend to need a lot more light than the datasheets suggest to get a clear picture.”