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Resolving Issues with Night Mode
Resolving Issues with Night Mode

Common issues with IR and Night Mode with steps to resolve them

Updated over a week ago

Each camera has night vision capabilities, using a sensor to detect low light situations. When external lighting is low, the camera will switch to Night Mode and record in black and white using infrared LEDs (IR) to illuminate the environment. If the IR is emitted improperly through the dome or reflected back into the lens it will negatively impact image quality. It is imperative that the dome remain free of debris and the camera is installed properly to achieve the best image quality.

Common issues with Night Mode

  • Night Mode active during normal lighting

  • Internal reflection

  • External occlusion

  • Dust or debris on the dome 

  • Fingerprints on the dome

  • Condensation/moisture/foggy

This image shows the location of the IR illuminators for each camera model.

Environmental obstructions

If the camera is mounted too close to a wall, ledge, or another light source, the image quality may be degraded due to IR reflection. Ensure that cameras are mounted sufficiently far away from surfaces that may cause IR to reflect, and from other light sources.

Night Mode active on D30s/D50s during normal lighting

If a first-generation dome camera is operating in Night Mode when there is plenty of light, the IR sensor is likely obstructed by the camera case.

To fix the obstructed light sensor, physically rotate the lens barrel assembly 180 degrees so the sensor and IRs are visible through the camera case.

Note: After rotating the lens barrel, the camera orientation may need to be changed in Command. See this article explains how to change a camera's orientation in Command.

Example of proper and improper orientation:

Night Mode range

When portions of the frame, or the entire frame, appears dark, it can be important to bear in mind the maximum Night Mode range of each device model. For installations where the camera will be viewing objects outside of its maximum Night Mode range, an additional 850nm light with a longer range should be considered.

Camera Model

Maximum Night Mode Range


15 m /49 ft.


15 m / 49 ft.


30 m / 98 ft.


30 m / 98 ft.


15 m / 49 ft.




20 m / 65 ft.


30 m / 98 ft.


30 m / 98 ft.


50 m / 164 ft.


50 m / 164 ft.


30 m / 98 ft.

Internal reflection

Cause: When the camera case is not attached properly to the camera body, the IRs will reflect off the dome into the lens and back onto the dome.

Solution: Re-attach the camera case to the camera body and fully tighten the torx screws.
The picture on the left shows circular images caused by reflection. The picture on the right shows the image after the camera's case is attached properly.

External occlusion

Cause: When the protective film is not removed after installation it will cause IR glare.

Solutions: Remove the protective film from the dome. The camera may need to be refocused after removing the film.

The picture on the left shows the protective film making the image look blurry and out of focus with a unique mosaic pattern effect. The picture on the right shows the image after the protective film is removed. 

Dust, debris, or fingerprints on the dome

Cause: When dust or debris accumulates on the dome, the image will look fine in day mode. However, in Night Mode, the IRs will reflect off the dust and debris causing bright spots and loss of contrast in the image.

Solution: Used canned air to blow away dust and debris and then clean the camera dome according to the steps outlined in this article.

The picture on the left shows the image with bright spots and loss of contrast while some portions remain in focus. The picture on the right shows the image after the dome has been cleaned.

Example of Dust and Debris on Dome

Example of Fingerprints on Dome

Condensation/moisture inside the dome

Cause: When condensation or moisture is trapped inside the camera body you have a loss of contrast.  The condensation circle may come and go as it evaporates throughout the day leading to the build-up of mineral residues on the lens and dome itself. This is a form of water damage that can have catastrophic effects on the camera and will void the warranty. 

Solution: Clean the camera dome according to the steps outlined in this article. Please see the article for instructions on preventing water damage to your camera.

The video on the left shows condensation building up on the dome throughout the day. The picture on the right shows the image after the camera dome has been cleaned, dried out, and the water-tight seal securely in place.

Disable analytics

Disabling analytics can improve Night Mode results, as analytics features reduce exposure time which results in darker images.

Analytics can be disabled by browsing to the camera's Settings > Analytics page and disabling any enabled toggle switch from there.

Disable Night Mode

If you would prefer to disable Night Mode entirely, you can change it to FORCE OFF.

  1. Click the video quality button in the bottom left of the video feed

  2. Click Night mode

  3. Click FORCE OFF

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