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General discussion of network (IP) and analogue security cameras, NVRs / DVRs, remote viewing software and other video security equipment and accessories.


Here you can find useful information about a wide range of topics ranging rom the practical considerations on the selection, installation and maintenance of video security systems, to queries about specific brands (HikVision, Milesight, Dahua, Samsung (Wisenet), Trikdis etc.) and any technical FAQs about networking, PoE, models compatibility, IR and low light sensors capability, video analytics and face recognition features etc.


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Oct 12, 2018

IR (infra-red) night-vision Troubleshooting


Edited: Jul 31

There can be many causes of a night-vision mode not working on a security camera, here we look at some of the most common ones along with simple troubleshooting options.


1. Night vision does not work at all


First thing to check is whether your camera has an IR function at all.

Solution: It will normally be obvious on a physical inspection of the camera – it would have small LEDs around its lens.

2. Night-vision would not activate


There may be a few things that can be causing this issue:


  • The IR mode would not kick in if the sensor detects that there is sufficient ambient light. This may be an issue if the camera is pointed directly at a source of light.

Solution: position the camera so that its lens is not exposed to any direct source of light at night. If your security camera has an adjustable sunshade, slide it forward to block excess light – check this one for Hikvision cameras.
  • Whilst new cameras normally have the ‘night-vision mode’ enabled by default, the mode may need to be manually turned on for some older models (e.g. some of Hikivsion and Honeywell cameras).

Solution: go into camera's settings and make sure the mode is turned on.
  • A common issue on some of the older Sony cameras used to be that the camera (or night-mode) would stop working altogether if you do not upgrade its firmware.

Solution: Although we are not aware if the same issue occurs on Hikvision or Dahua cameras, it is always worth checking that you have the latest firmware. It is also likely to resolve any other image and flickering problems – check here for how to upgrade firmware.


3. Camera keeps turning on and off when IR is activated

If your camera works fine during a day time and then turns off (or keeps turning on and off) at night, then one of the likely causes may be voltage drop.


IR LEDs used by a camera in a night-mode consume more power than the camera uses during a day. Therefore if you exceed the recommended cable length to power the camera (or cable specs), you may experience voltage drops, resulting in image quality deterioration and complete deactivation of IR (or the camera itself) at night.

Solution: Check your security camera specifications to make sure the extension cable run is in the proper range. If necessary, replace the cable with a shorter one or a cable with a higher copper composition (if you use a network cable).

4. Night-vision works but the picture is blurry


  • Some cameras are not designed to give good quality clear night vision image, so there is very little you can do to make the image better, other than by adding more light (so that the camera does not rely on IR at all) or replacing the camera with a more suitable one.

Solution: for Hikvision cameras look for ‘Darkfighter’ cameras which indicate that the camera is specifically designed for night-vision operation – like this one.
  • If you have a varifocal camera, one thing to check is whether the focus and zoom setting are adjusted so that the camera can focus on a point of interest at night.

Solution: check the settings to ensure that there is no de-focus issue.

4. Night-vision works but the picture is blurry

If you see white spots or white haze when the IR is activated, then the most likely cause is IR light reflecting back into the camera lens. The light emitted by IR LEDs is quite bright (albeit not visible by human eye) so any flat, reflecting surface located close to the lens of the camera can reflect the light back causing the issue.


Solution 1: If you have a varifocal camera, try to narrow the field of view by zooming on the object of interest (e.g. a door). The wider the angle of view the more likely the issue will appear.


Solution 2: If there is something close in front of the camera (such as guttering or power unit panels), consider moving it or the camera or covering it with a non-reflecting fabric material to reduce the reflection.


5. Camera is positioned inside a shop and I can’t see anything through the window


(A bit of school physics) IR light is a specific frequency of electromagnetic emission that will bounce off the glass (unlike visible light that goes though). So amounting a camera inside a building to check what is going on through the window… will not work.

Solution: just don’t do this.

6. Reboot / Reset

The “Golden Rule” in any IT troubleshooting – if something is not working for apparently no reason – try to reboot the device. When you reboot an IP camera, it will erase any cache files and recalibrate its settings, which may fix the problem.


If a simple reboot did not work, consider doing a factory reset, which will reset the camera back to its default settings. More details on doing a reset can be found here.


#Troublesheeting #IR #NightVision #Samsung #Hikvision



I just gota swann swdvk-855508 camera set. All of the cameras work fine except one - which works in the day time but does not switch to the night mode. I've tried to restart the system but it is still the same.


Any suggestions? Please help and thanks in advance.

Have you updated the firmware? I had the same issue with swann and upgrading firmware helped.

@Mint St8t Farm I bought the whole system in one go (8 cameras) and 7 work fine. So it is probably unlikely to the a firmware issue?

@Malcolm Jo I think it could still be a problem. I think such kits are assembled using different pieces of equipment which might have been manufactured at different times - hence some of the cmaeras have upgraded irmware whereas the non-working one still uses some old firmware version.

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  • The situation I had was that I wanted to set the camera in a portrait orientation so that I can view part of the house and a narrow long driveway. After a few minutes on the phone with Armsec (massive thanks for that guys!) I’ve got it all sorted. So I thought that I would make this post for whoever may be interested in doing the same! I had a dome camera with a 3-axis adjustable lens. So the first thing I did was to pull the cover off and rotated the lens. It sorted half of the problem – now I could see the whole driveway but I had to turn my head side-ways to view it. So the next thing I did was to use what Hikvision calls ROTATE MODE and, as the name suggests, it flips the picture by 90°. Unfortunately, for some reason, the mode was disabled (greyed out) and I could not change it. So this is where the tech help was handy – following their instructions I updated the firmware (I wont go into detail here as I’ve seen there is a post on this already) and then temporarily switched off the default H.264+ compression in the Camera Configurations. I then rotated the picture! PS: Once you’ve flipped the picture you can set H.264+ back on if you choose to do so. Hope this helps!
  • We have recently had a few clients who have experienced some issues with PoE plugs on the pigtail of their Hik cameras, which resulted in the PoE connector failing to supply power / transmit signal. Typically, the problem appears after the PoE connector has been used outdoors for a couple of years without a proper waterproof insulation. Less often, the issue can be caused by physical damage, faulty waterproof and simple wear and tear. Unfortunately, Hikvision does itself provide any spare PoE connector replacements, so you will have to do a bit of a workaround. The process itself is, however, quite simple and does not require any prior engineering experience. So, here we will look at what you need to do if you have this issue. Step 1 – Make sure that you have all the necessary tools To get your camera up and running, you will need: Crimping tool Punch Down tool Cat5/6 Junction Box (punch-down type) Step 2 – Cut off the faulty PoE Connector Using a utility knife (or just a sharp knife) snip off the PoE connector on the camera, ideally as close to the connector itself as you can to leave you with a long enough cable. Step 3 – Strip an inch of the cable Using the crimper, strip back an inch of the cable to expose the 8 coloured wires within. Step 4 – Identify your wiring colouring Depending on the model you have the colouring may not follow the standard colouring, so you need to work out what wire colouring your model follows. You will need to use the wiring pattern of the T568B standard . Older Hikvision devices use the following colouring: Newer models may have the following colour scheme correspondence: Step 5 – Punch the wires into the corresponding slots Using the punch-down tool, place the exposed wires into the corresponding slots in the junction box (using the colour scheme tables above). The end result should look something like this. Step 6 – Connect the other RJ45 to the junction To complete the process, connect the other network cable to the junction. #Hikvision; #DIY; #PoE.
  • The process for resetting your Hikvision camera to default manufacturer’s settings depends on whether or not your camera has a push resent button. Most Hikvision camera that come with an in-built SD card slot (EDGE Memory) have a push button. In Hikvision model nomenclature the Edge memory is denoted by the letter ‘F’ (for Flash). More details about Hikvision nomenclature can be found here . Your camera has a push reset button Unplug the power supply. Press and hold the reset button. Plug the power supply back in whilst still holding the reset button. Keep holding the reset button for another 10-15 seconds. Release the button. Wait until the camera has rebooted. If your camera does not have a reset button As long as you remember your password, you should be able to reset and reboot your camera by logging into your camera. Click on the ‘Configuration tab’ Go to ‘Maintenance section’ Click on ‘Restore all parameters to default setting’ Click ‘Reboot’ (although most camera will reboot automatically at step 3) If your camera does not have a reset button and you cannot log-in If you cannot log into your device (presumably because you forgot your password), then you will need to follow the ‘ Password Recovery Procedure ’ #Hikvision; #Hardware; #Reset


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