While any security camera can be useful for helping to keep your property secure, the fact is that most home and car break-ins happen under the cover of night. Thus, if a security camera isn’t able to take video when the sun is down or the lighting is poor, then it really isn’t doing a good job of keeping your property secure. A good high-resolution night vision security camera should have a high-definition lens that’s still capable of taking crisp video even in low lighting.
In addition to taking color nighttime photography when there is ambient lighting, these cameras should also have an infrared lens that can continue to monitor activity even when light drops to very low levels. HD security cameras with night vision come in a variety of models, from hardwired versions that use a network video recorder to store video to full wireless battery-powered cameras that can be set up in a matter of minutes. If you’re looking to improve the nighttime surveillance of your property, then read on to learn more about the best night vision security cameras.
— Best Overall: Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
— Best Budget: Wyze Cam v3 with Color Night Vision
— Best Indoor: eufy Security Solo IndoorCam P24
— Best Easy to Install: Blink Outdoor HD Security Camera
— Best Resolution: Lorex 4K Ultra HD Security Camera
How We Chose These Products
When making our selections for the top night vision cameras for this list we considered a variety of criteria.
Picture Quality: First and foremost, a security camera of this type should produce crisp pictures in low-light conditions. With that in mind, we chose high-definition cameras with the ability to capture infrared video. When possible, we chose cameras capable of taking color nighttime video.
Ease of Use: Keeping in mind that many people want a camera that’s easy to set up, we included truly wireless models that can connect directly to WiFi and use a battery for power as well as those that require hubs or NVRs (network video recorders).
Compatibility: Since many people like to integrate their security system with their smart home, we leaned toward cameras that are compatible with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Home and can accommodate IFTTT applets that allow them to work with other brands of security equipment.
Features: We also leaned toward cameras that offer other important features, such as smart motion detection, two-way microphones, sirens, and floodlights.
Best Night Vision Security Cameras: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
Why It Made The Cut: It’s easy to install, has a high-definition camera, and can connect to WiFi without a hub.
— Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor
— Connectivity: WiFi
— Camera: 2K, 160 degree field of view w/ 12x zoom
— Compatibility: Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT
— Easy to install
— High-definition 2K camera with 12x zoom
— Small profile
— Connects to WiFi without hub
— Monthly subscription required to access recorded video
Outdoor security cameras that require a power supply can be a challenge to install. If you don't happen to have an electrical box already in place for installation, you'll more than likely need to hire an electrician to help with the install. That’s not the case with the Arlo Pro 4. It uses a battery pack, so there’s no need for hardwiring. Couple that with Arlo’s clever magnetic mounting system and the Pro 4 is a breeze to install.
With its 2K resolution, 160-degree field of view and 12x auto zoom, this waterproof night vision security camera offers excellent picture quality and ample coverage that’s suitable for covering larger yards and driveways. The Pro 4 also comes equipped with intelligent motion detection, so you can set it to take video of only certain types of events, which is crucial to help save battery life.
Despite its broad field of view, the camera is actually quite compact at just 3.5 inches by 2 inches by 3 inches. With the debut of this fourth iteration of the Pro, Arlo has added a built-in WiFi chip, so you can connect directly to your router without having to purchase the Arlo Smart Hub. Just keep in mind that without a hub, you’ll need to pay $2.99 a month for cloud storage if you want to access recorded video.
Other notable features include a noise-cancelling microphone, and a loud 80-decibel siren for scaring off unwanted visitors.
Best Budget: Wyze Cam v3 with Color Night Vision
Why It Made The Cut: Wyze equips the third generation of its night vision security camera with impressive features while keeping it at a rock bottom price.
— Indoor/Outdoor: Both
— Connectivity: WiFi
— Camera: 1080p, 130 degree field of view
— Compatibility: Amazon, Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
— Low price
— Built-in motion detection for people, packages, and animals
— Color night Vision
— Works indoors or outdoors
— Some features require a monthly subscription
The third generation of Wyze’s night vision security camera offers impressive features and functionality at a surprisingly low price. The company has boosted the frame rate for this new iteration of the camera, resulting in crisp clear video. It also can record color night vision, a feature you typically need to pay a much higher price to get, thanks to its Starlight sensor.
Wyze’s camera comes equipped with a motion sensor, which will record a 12-second clip when it’s tripped and store that footage in the cloud for up to 14 days at no charge. It is important to note that there is a 5-minute period between clips during which the camera will not record, which is a significant lapse should someone be lurking around the home for an extended period. You can install a 32-gigabyte microSD card, which will allow for 24-hour continuous monitoring.
The Wyze Cam attaches to a hinge mount that allows you to tilt the camera vertically up to 180 degrees or swivel it up to 360 degrees. The Wyze Cam supports IFTTT, and it’s compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants.
Other features include a built-in siren that can go off when the camera detects motion. If you’re willing to pay an additional $1.99 per month, you can get intelligent motion features that detect people, animals, and packages.
Best Indoor: eufy Security Solo IndoorCam P24
Why It Made The Cut: Eufy’s indoor security camera gives you maximum coverage thanks to mechanical tilt and pan features.
— Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor
— Connectivity: WiFi
— Camera: 2K, 125-degree field-of-view moving camera
— Compatibility: Amazon, Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit
— Tilt and pan functions
— Moving motion detection for people and animals
— Two-way audio and alarm
— 2K resolution
— Does not support IFTTT
The eufy Security Camera offers features normally found on much more expensive indoor night vision cameras at a very competitive price. Most notably, the P24 has mechanical pan-and-tilt functions, allowing the operator to get a full view of the room via a smartphone. Users can manually control the camera using a joystick interface or command the camera to take 360-degree video of the room. It produces high- definition 2K video, including black-and-white infrared video for nighttime conditions.
The P24 also includes intelligent motion, meaning it will track moving objects, people, or animals when the motion sensor is tripped. You can also program it to detect sounds as well as human and animal movement and send alerts when certain types of movements are detected.
For those purchasing the camera to monitor their pet, there is a Pet Command feature that plays a pre-recorded command when the pet is detected. There are loads of other useful features too, including a built-in siren, and two-way audio. Event camera footage can be stored in the cloud for $2.99 per month or footage can be recorded continuously when the camera is equipped with an SD card.
While the camera doesn’t support IFTTT applets, it is compatible with Alexa and Google voice commands.
Best Easy to Install: Blink Outdoor HD Security Camera
Why It Made The Cut: This easy-to-install outdoor security camera can operate for up to two years on two AA batteries.
— Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor
— Connectivity: Hub required
— Camera: 1060p, 110-degree field of view
— Compatibility: Alexa, IFTTT
— Easy to install
— Long battery life of up to two years
— Compact size
— Two-way speaker
— Requires hub to connect to WiFi
The fact that it requires a hub may turn off some potential subscribers, but those looking for an outdoor security camera that’s very easy to install and requires little in the way of maintenance, would do well to consider this model from Blink.
Blink is powered by two AA batteries that can keep the camera going for up to two years, far greater than most other battery-powered security cameras. This not only makes Blink one of the easier security cameras to install, but also one of the lowest maintenance battery-powered cameras on the market.
Its high-definition 1080p video puts it on par with other outdoor security cameras, though its 110-degree field of view is narrower than most and its night time video is limited to black and white.
For those who won’t like the aesthetics of an outdoor security camera, Blink is one of the smallest options at just 2.7 by 2.7 by 1.2 inches. Other notable features include a speaker and microphone and a temperature sensor.
Since Blink is owned by Amazon, it works with Alexa and is also compatible with IFTTT applets. Blink does not connect directly to WiFi, so you’ll need to purchase a Syn Module to connect to the WiFi network. While this is an additional expense, video can be stored via a USB port on the Syn Module, eliminating the need to pay for cloud storage. You can also opt to pay a monthly subscription fee to store video clips.
Best Resolution: Lorex 4K Ultra HD Security Camera
Why It Made The Cut: This 4K Ultra HD camera offers some of the highest quality night video of any security camera on the market.
— Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor
— Connectivity: Requires NVR
— Camera: 4K, 110-degree field of view
— Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant via certain NVRs
— Very high-definition video
— Long range of 130 feet at night
— Vehicle and person detection
— Requires an NVR
While the Lorex 4K requires the purchase of a pricey network video recorder and running wiring, for those who want the flat out best night time video, it’s the best option out there. Since it isn’t limited by a radio signal, the Lorex can support a 4K HD camera that takes video at a super fast 30 frames per second, allowing you to zoom in while still getting excellent video quality.
With that high resolution, the camera is capable of seeing objects up to 90 feet away in darkness, or even further with the presence of ambient light. And, since Lorex’s infrared night vision camera won’t kick on unless it needs it, much of that footage is in color. While Lorex’s resolution may be excellent, its field of vision has a narrow 105 degrees, which limits the space it can cover.
Lorex is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa with certain models of NVR. While you may bulk at the cost of purchasing an NVR, it may end up saving you money in the long run as it serves as a sizable local storage for recorded video, eliminating the need to spend money on monthly cloud subscription. That said, if you want to store videos in the cloud, you won’t be able to do it with Lorex.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Night Vision Security Camera
Camera Location: It’s important to first decide on where the camera will be placed. Some cameras are rated for outdoor use, making them ideal for monitoring locations around the exterior home. Indoors cameras are well-suited for monitoring kids and pets and other activity inside the home but aren’t weather rated for outdoor use. If mounting the cameras outside, it’s also important to consider how they will be powered if they need to be hardwired and how that may affect location.
Field of View: Night vision security cameras vary in how broad a field of view they give you. When selecting a camera, consider how much area you need to monitor. If you need to keep tabs on a large driveway or back patio, consider a wider field of vision of 140 degrees or more. Monitoring a room or small porch, in comparison, may only require a narrow 115-degree field of view.
Wired vs. Wireless: Night security cameras come in both wired and wireless versions. Since wireless versions don’t require a wired connection to transfer data, they’re much easier to install than a wired camera that requires you to potentially drill holes in the home to run wire. There are also completely wireless cameras that use a battery as a power source, which are the easiest to install. Just keep in mind that a truly wireless camera will periodically require a battery change, and hence require more maintenance. Depending on how many cameras you have, this can end up being more labor intensive than installing a wired camera.
Integration: It's also important to consider how a camera interfaces with the home’s WiFi network when selecting a night vision security camera. While some security cameras contain a WiFi chip that allows them to connect directly to a router for access to live and recorded footage, others require a central hub or must connect to a network video recorder (NVR) in order to connect the camera to the home’s network. While the requirement of an NVR or hub can add to the cost of the camera, keep in mind that they often include storage for recorded content. Many WiFi-ready cameras, in comparison, often require you to pay a monthly fee of around $3 a month to store camera footage in the cloud.
Q: Do night vision cameras work in complete darkness?
Night vision cameras work by amplifying natural light from the moon and stars to create an image, so they won’t work in total darkness on cloudy nights or in a completely blacked-out basement.
Q: How far can a night vision security camera see?
Using infrared technology to see, a good night vision security camera can see between 100 and 200 feet depending on the resolution of the camera and the amount of available ambient light.
Q: What security cameras work in the dark?
Night vision cameras use infrared technology, which captures infrared direct light from the moon and stars along with light reflected off objects to create an image that is visible in the darkness.
A good night vision security camera should be able to provide crisp pictures even at nighttime. With its high definition 2K camera, easy to install wireless design, and broad field of view, the Arlo Pro 4 is the best all-around night vision security camera on the market. Those looking for a night time camera to monitor activity inside the home should consider the eufy Security Solo IndoorCam P24, with its night vision and ability to be controlled remotely via the eufy app.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.