Infrared Lighting for high security Closed Circuit Television - CCTV monitoring systems

With most crime happening at night time it is important that your CCTV system has adequate lighting, ensuring your CCTV images are effective.

Your site may already have lighting in the form of orange sodium or white Halide lighting, however you may require a less intrusive form of light such as (IR) Infrared Lighting.

There are many fundamental challenges when using IR Illumination.

  • Even Illumination
  • Running Costs
  • Angel of Illumination
  • Quantity of Illumination
  • Integration with Camera & lens
  • Distance.
  • Reflection
  • Absorbtion

Technical Services professional understating of installing the correct IR lighting will have a significant impact on the performance and effectiveness of the CCTV System.

What is Infra-Red light?

Infra-Red light is a light that the human eye can not see but the monochrome CCTV camera can. Near Infra-Red light is light of a longer wavelength than the visible spectrum, between 700 and 1,100nm, just beyond the visible spectrum.

It is this near Infra-Red that is used for CCTV purposes.

As Infra-Red contains none of the colours visible to humans it cannot be used with colour cameras. To see Infra-Red, monochrome or day-night cameras, are needed. CCTV cameras using Infra-Red always provide monochrome images.

Applications that require covert surveillance, or applications where even low levels of overt lighting must be avoided for reasons of light pollution, are ideal for Infra-Red light.

See Demo footage

Sources of Light

Incandescent Lamps (Including Halogen)
For CCTV purposes, bulb life is limited and they are very inefficient. They are generally expensive to run (typically 500 watts) and expensive to maintain (up to 3 bulb changes per year). End users are increasingly moving away from using halogen based lighting products in favour of longer life LEDs.

LEDs are the fastest growing lighting solution for CCTV applications. They are extremely efficient and offer unbeatable reliability. LEDs offer the lowest possible running costs (less than 100 watts for highest power units) with the longest operating life (up to 10 years).

Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) are semiconductors that naturally emit a narrow band of light. They are a relatively new development in lighting but their usage is expanding rapidly on the back of clear technical advantages. LED’s are comparatively expensive to purchase but provide extremely long life up to
100,000 hours. In comparison fluorescent bulbs typically last 10,000 hours and incandescent bulbs 1,000. LED efficiency is typically 80-90% with the greatest efficiency coming from LED’s producing red light.

Advantages of LED’s include extremely low electrical consumption, low operating temperatures and
continuity of colour through the operating life of the LED. Unlike traditional bulbs LED’s are also highly durable, insensitive to vibration and their hard casing makes them difficult to break. They are also capable of emitting light at a given wavelength without the need for a filter and are quick start devices.

Operational Cost Per Year

  Mains Driven Bulb Low Voltage Halogen Bulb Raymax LED LED Saving
10 units GBP £3,860 £1,940 £180 £3,680
50 units GBP £19,300 £9,700 £900 £18,400
100 units GBP £38,600 £19,400 £1,800 £36,800


Raymax 25 from Raytec
Ray Max 25
Don’t compromise on quality

Many budget cameras with built in Infrared Red claim distances of 25M, unfortunately when tested and compared the results differ.

The Professional manufacture RayTEC produce a Ray Max 25, it states an honest 20M. The unit is 160mm x 120mm x 80mm and weighs 0.9Kg, approximately the size of a shoe box filled with a bag of sugar.

Yet the cost effective IR Bullet camera seen and advertised on internet sites weighs 25% of the Ray Max & is considerably smaller but claims an IR distance of 25.

The above products may seem similar compared on paper when obtaining more than one quote, however light is energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation and simple size illustrates the two are fundamentally different.

The IR Bullet Camera has its place & Technical Services would & have recommended the use of them on correct installation as they are discrete & cost effective, a typical IR distance we have found with IR bullets is 9m max in a reflective environment.

Raymax 25 from Raytec
IR Bullet Camera

All CCTV security and monitoring products supplied and installed by Technical Services (Shropshire) are fully tested and evaluated at our head office. We also hire or rent CCTV security and monitoring equipment UK nationwide and will work to any budget. Call us now on 08456 58 58 57 or complete our Call Us Back request form here.

The Technical Services CCTV Team