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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, a lot of posts in this forum recommend this camera as a good all around B/W camera with IR, 420 lines and sound: http://www.smarthome.com/7603.html


I bought one and put it in my baby's room, and from 10' away I can't see anything--nothing. It has about 6 LED's, and if I hold it close to my hand or a wall--about 3 feet, it can see a very narrow area about 1' across. I don't expect broadcast quality, but it would be nice to see if the baby has crawled out of the crib.


My question is, do these things work in the dark or am I chasing a dead end? If I get an IR illuminator or another brand of camera, will I ever be able to see anything in the total dark 12' feet away? Or is this technology not really useful. Many of the web pages advertising IR cameras claim to have a 10' or 15' range, is this true? The multicam ad on HomeTech says 12' which is obviously not true.


And finally, I don't think the IR is harmful, but what about a strong IR illuminator with say, 104 LED's? Is that bad for the baby's eyes even though it is not in the visible spectrum?
 

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gsjmia,


Sorry the camera is not working out for your application. I am one of the forum users using these and have recommended them in the past. However, I have also warned that the IR illumination had a very short range. As an example, on my rear landing beneath the deck at the entrance to the basement where it's totally dark, I can barely make out the concrete landing at about 8'. If something of sufficient mass (say an intruder), steps into view, then I can see them fine.


Any IR illumination camera typically has a narrow range of view when it comes to total darkness viewing. The IR scatters and unless you have alot of IR illumination, a range of 12' will be difficult. Before you give up on the camera, you might try a more powerful IR illuminator as you suggested.


Unfortunately, I have no information on the effect of IR to a baby's eyes. I'm trying to recall if IR remotes have any warnings on them, but I don't remember. I'm sure a google search on "IR eye problems/effects" might yield something.


Good Luck, and keep us informed of your solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Robertmee, thanks for the info--I thought maybe a better camera would work, but was suspicious about the technology in general.


Rather than try another camera, there are some 56 LED's illuminators on ebay for about $68, I will give one a try and let you know.



I looked on Google and other search engines and couldn't find anything on the effects of IR (did discover that fluorescent light is bad for premeture babies), I would be very surprised if IR at that level were harmful, but thought I would put it out to see if anyone knew for sure.
 

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Guys,


Higher power infrared IS harmfull to your eyes, especially a babies.


Dont use it.


An inexpensive black and white CCTV camera like a Panasonic WV-BP130 will work fine with just a night light on in the room.
 

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"Higher power infrared IS harmfull to your eyes, especially a babies.

Dont use it."


They do have IR lights for baby cams that are at safe levels, I would spend the extra money and get an IR camera that is designed to be used in a babies room.


The b&w with a night light is also a good idea.
 

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What is the definition of, and how do I shop for, an IR illuminator with "safe levels for a baby's room"? I've had enough trouble finding a camera that has enough IR capability to see more than about 12" in total darkness - I have never seen any specification referring to being safe for baby's eyes, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To complicate matters, (this is what raised the issue for me in the first place) I read about a study that showed a night light in a baby's room can hinder eye development and will cause a higher incidence of astigmatism, so I leave the baby's room totally dark. Thus the need for the camera and IR.


But Serra is probably right, although I could find nothing on the subject.


So, I plan to install a regular B/W camera with the illuminator, but I will put the illuminator on a seperate circuit with a relay that has a momentary contact of about 60 seconds. The primary for the relay I may put on an X-10 type thing that can be controlled from anywhere in the house. When I want to look in, I will turn the illuminator on to see and it will automatically turn off in 60 seconds (maybe X-10 can do this without the relay, I don't know). That way, the illumnator will be off except when being used.


I wouldn't like leaving the illuminator on all the time anyway because both it and its transformer get REALLY hot.


The same thing could be done with a regular night light, but if the kid is awake or sick, the light going on and off could cause him to wake up and god knows I don't want to wake him up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry, forgot to mention, I got the 56 LED Illuminator and it in total darkness it looks like day light. The angle/peripheral of illumination is good enough that you can see everything in the room as if the light was on. I haven't tried it outside or anything, but I would guess this thing would illuminate a good sized area at least 20 feet away. But god does it get hot--about like a 150W light bulb.
 

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gsjmia,


Did you stay with the core camera with these illuminators? Just curious :)
 
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