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What Is a Wireless IR Camera?

Alex Newth
Alex Newth

A wireless infrared (IR) camera is a camera that functions on the infrared light spectrum and uses no or very few wires. Wireless IR camera devices need power; to satisfy the wireless promise to consumers, these cameras often use batteries. To receive the audio and video from a wireless IR camera, the owner must use a receiver that remotely picks up on the camera’s transmission. Many wireless IR cameras have remote computer controls, which allow users to move the camera from a computer. These cameras are commonly used for security, especially during the night, because IR cameras can record without visible light.

Every wireless IR camera needs a power source to function. Some wireless IR cameras use disposable batteries, and these cameras will never need to be hooked to a power wire. The batteries are disposable, so owners may have to spend a lot of money powering such cameras. Rechargeable cameras will need to be paired with a power wire every few hours. While this means a wire must be used to make the camera function properly, the camera will rarely need to be connected for longer than several hours.

Wireless IR cameras are often used for security purposes, especially nighttime security.
Wireless IR cameras are often used for security purposes, especially nighttime security.

When the wireless IR camera is running, the owner will need to use a receiver to accept the audio and video transmission. After the receiver is tuned to the camera’s frequency, the camera will send waves of audio and video information toward the receiver, which the receiver will pick up. Depending on what the receiver is connected to, the owner will be able to watch the transmission from a TV, computer, VCR or DVD player. Some cameras may require specific operating systems for computer transmissions, but there are rarely such requirements for TV, VCR or DVD player transmissions.

If the wireless IR camera can connect to the computer, then it can normally be controlled from the computer, as well. The owner may be able to move the camera back and forth using the arrow keys or some other keys. Some cameras cannot pivot, and these cameras cannot be moved via the computer.

A wireless IR camera uses the infrared spectrum, so it can record even if there is no light visible to humans. This means these cameras are often used for security purposes, especially nighttime security. The IR light will be strong enough to record people, but they will be unable to see the IR light, which is invisible to the human eye.

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Discussion Comments


@GenevaMech- I would like to clarify the point that there are multiple types of night vision technologies. You can use infrared light as a supplemental light source for a night vision camera, but you can also use thermal IR night vision cameras. These cameras are actually picking up heat signatures from the surroundings and interpreting those as thermal images.

The most commonly seen thermography images are the types that use multiple colors to differentiate between warm and cold areas. Newer palates have been introduced however that allow the thermal images to create life like grayscale images. These are the images that create the sunken in eye effect that you are talking about. These are also some of the palettes used by the military in their IR cameras. The technologies are similar; differeing in the sense that one uses IR to create light and the other records the IR heat given off by the subject.


@ Highlighter- IR cameras actually create black and white images instead of the green images you find on camcorder night vision. Camera night vision is only useful in situations where there is at least some ambient light. In complete darkness, these cameras actually do not work. They can, however; work if a supplemental light source is supplied, like an infrared light.

The black and white IR cameras actually produce a very good picture, and they can shoot in complete darkness since they supply their own light source. These pictures create very clear images, although the eyes still look weird' almost like they are hollow. People look almost like ghosts in videos captured with these cameras.


Do the videos taken by an infrared camera always have that green hue that makes it particularly impossible to identify what it is that you are looking at? are the IR cameras used in these new wireless security systems the same technology as night vision in say my handycam? If this is the case, I do not think it is worth the money since everything recorded on these cameras looks very distorted.


@Framemaker- I bought an IR system for my convenience store and installed it myself within a few hours’ time. The system cost me about $1200 for four cameras, the storage device, and LCD screen, remote, and all of the camera receivers.

The system works flawlessly, and it is easily expandable if I want to add more cameras. All I need to do is order new cameras and receivers and connect them to y system. If you are trying to improve security, reduce shrink, and give yourself peace of mind on a budget, look for a complete system that is plug and play. You do not need any more skills than basic problem solving to install the system, and I assume if you are a business owner that this skill comes naturally.


How do wireless IR systems transmit if they are used in outdoor applications? I was under the impression that direct line of sight is necessary between the camera and receiver.

Additionally, can a normal video camera record IR video is an infrared light were installed near the camera? I have an existing wired surveillance system, but it requires that I have some light for recording at night. I figured I could save on electricity bill if I did not need to run the lights outside of my business at night. Could I simply install Infrared lights in flood light housings on the corner of the building, or can only special types of cameras pick up and transmit infrared light?


@glassaxe- I am thinking about installing an IR camera system in my business, but I would like to learn a little more about them since I know very little about the technology. How did you determine what type of system to buy, and what else is required for an IR system to function besides the cameras? How easy is the system to install, or if you had it professionally installed, how much did the install cost?

I am thinking that I would like to install the system myself since the system is completely wireless, but I am not the best when it comes to computers or setting up a network. I would appreciate any advice you could give me on Wireless IR security systems, the components you had to buy, and the technical knowledge necessary to manage the system.


IR cameras are great. I use them to keep an eye on my house. I live in Phoenix, and burglaries and abductions are not unheard of. In fact, there was a home invasion that ended in the murder of the homeowner just earlier this week.

For my family and our valuables sake, we are able to monitor the property and the entrances to the home. Everything is stored via cloud storage, and it gives a sense of security. My wife can literally look into the dark night without actually moving to a vulnerable position in front of a window. The system gives her peace of mind whenever she hears a strange noise around the house.

She said between the cameras and the dog, she feels completely safe at home when I am away on business. It also allows us to watch the kids in the yard without actually having to go outside. We can do work or chores in the living room or kitchen while the kids have fun and are safe. I would definitely recommend these types of cameras to those looking to increase home security.

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    • Wireless IR cameras are often used for security purposes, especially nighttime security.
      By: trekandphoto
      Wireless IR cameras are often used for security purposes, especially nighttime security.