Best IR Illuminator for CCTV? (2022 Review)

As the world of CCTV has changed and evolved, consumers have had different priorities when it comes to their security systems, and as technology adapts and improves the baseline for what is a good system shifts.

When shopping for a closed circuit television security system, we often require a lot of different things, be that HD picture, two-way audio, or the ability to see criminals around the clock. 

Best IR Illuminators CCTV

Some cameras have the luxury of a high-quality infrared sensor built into the device, but some may require an additional device called an infrared illuminator which provides supplementary lighting in the dark. 

With a lot of models on the market, it can sometimes be overwhelming to find a device that works for you. With this being said, our top pick for an IR illuminator for CCTV is Nightfox XB10 CCTV Infrared Illuminator – with two variants available (850 and 940nm) there is an option for whatever your needs are.  

Although this is a more expensive option than some of the other models available on the market, it is an effective and popular IR illuminator that would pair well with any security setup. It is versatile enough to work for pretty much any CCTV installation and strong enough to be effective at a variety of ranges.

So, in this post we’ll cover:

  • Best IR Illuminator for CCTV
  • CCTV IR Illuminator Basics
  • How CCTV IR Illuminators Work
  • Finding the Best IR Illuminators
  • Reviews – Best IR Illuminators for CCTV
  • Summary – CCTV IR Illuminators
ImageProduct
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Nightfox XB10 CCTV Infrared Illuminator
  • Larger lense for wider illumination
  • Lightweight to work well on different mountings
  • Premium price and quality
  • Larger lense for wider illumination
  • Lightweight to work well on different mountings
  • Premium price and quality
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Splenssy 96-LED IR Illuminator
  • 96 LEDs for high powered lighting
  • Water and weather proof for durable outdoor usage
  • High-quality 840nm IR light
  • 96 LEDs for high powered lighting
  • Water and weather proof for durable outdoor usage
  • High-quality 840nm IR light
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Eecoo IR Illuminator 48-LED
  • Effective lighting up to 20m
  • Weatherproof casing to increase durability (IP66)
  • Lower radius than other options
  • Effective lighting up to 20m
  • Weatherproof casing to increase durability (IP66)
  • Lower radius than other options
View on Amazon

Our Top IR Illuminators for CCTV

Nightfox XB10 CCTV Infrared Illuminator  (Our Top Pick)

Splenssy 96-LED IR Illuminator  (Best for Small Businesses)

Eecoo IR Illuminator 48-LED (Best Budget)

What is a CCTV IR Illuminator?

A CCTV IR Illuminator is a device that works in conjunction with a security system that helps light up dark footage and capture additional things at night. As the name suggests, an Infrared illuminator uses infrared technology to emit a low-level light. 

Infrared light is often felt as heat as opposed to light in most scenarios, this is due to it being a much longer spectrum of light than standard sources.

As a rule of thumb, the majority of night-vision devices will require some form of infrared light to work effectively, but as technology adapts and changes, the reliance may be lowered in the future. 

Natural or ambient sources of light can be used for the CCTV footage in some situations, this can be moonlight or installed lights in the area, but in lower light scenarios a CCTV system will need some form of IR light to capture effective footage at night or low-light. 

Due to their design, an infrared illuminator for CCTV does not attract too much attention and can be a fairly subtle addition to your security set-up, and can be more effective than a spotlight or motion-triggered light; although these can be helpful additions to help deter additional crime.

Benefits of IR Illuminators for CCTV

Each IR illuminator will have its own series of benefits and reasons that someone might install them, but broadly speaking, they all have the same benefits. Let’s look at a few general benefits of IR illuminators for CCTV.

  • Invisible to the naked eye – having a device that does not garner too much attention can be incredibly beneficial to your security setup and keep the location of your camera more subtle and creates no light pollution. 
  • Minimal operational costs – by design an IR illuminator does not cost much to run and will have a very minimal effect on your security system costs as a whole. 
  • Illuminates dark areas – the newly visible areas will allow you to have a much higher level of security around your property and give you more time to focus on other things.
  • Plays well with others – an IR illuminator is meant to be used as part of a wider security system and CCTV setup, so its easy to link with your different devices.
  • Easy to install – unlike other things in the security space, an IR illuminator is easy to install, especially if you have already set up your CCTV system, it can often be as easy as a plug and play option.
  • Improve camera performance – the addition of an IR illuminator allows for higher optimisation from your CCTV devices and will pay dividends in the future.

Different Types of IR Illuminators for CCTV 

Infrared illuminators have a few different types and there are some nuances between these, each model will have slightly different specifications and work better for certain situations.

To keep things simple, we will briefly look at two of the most popular and widely used types of IR illuminators, 850nm and 940nm.

850nm IR Illuminator 

One of the popular types of IR illuminators for CCTV is in the wavelength 850nm or nanometers. An 850nm IR illuminator provides clarity at a range of distances and is less likely to provide blurry footage. 

850nm IR illuminators do give off a faint red light, which can be seen as a disadvantage depending on how you are going to use your device. In terms of security, this is not always a bad thing and can deter criminals before they even approach. 

940nm IR Illuminator 

The image quality and range are a little lower on a 940nm IR illuminator but there is zero visible light emitted, so they are perfect for being much stealthier, this means it is used a lot for airsoft, hunting and security applications.

Some experts describe the colour of the IR illuminator to be a lightish purple or violet, as opposed to the grey emitted by an 850nm light. Regardless of which option you choose, both are very suited for security and CCTV applications and will greatly improve your night vision footage.

How Does an IR Illuminator for CCTV Work?

As we briefly mentioned above, an infrared illuminator for CCTV works in a measurement called NM or nanometers, in context, this is the electromagnetic radiation wavelength closest to visible light on the spectrum. So, in short, this is how effective the IR illuminator is and what it can capture.

An IR illuminator allows for more to be captured by acting as a night-vision torch and providing better captured footage, which in turn provides a much more secure environment. 

IR illuminators can work alongside black and white cameras or even night vision devices, the light is invisible to the naked eye but will allow the CCTV device to pick them up. The IR device emits a low light that helps to not attract too much attention to the unit and keep your security system covert.

Do I Need An IR Illuminator for CCTV?

Here are some questions you should consider when looking into IR illuminators for CCTV, it is helpful to think about these questions when on the lookout for an IR device.

  • Do we need to capture footage in low-light?
  • Are we struggling to see our video feed in the nighttime?
  • Is the camera installed outside in a low-lit area?
  • What range do we need to cover?
  • Can we install lighting instead of an IR illuminator?
  • What’s the core purpose of this installation?

Have these questions in mind when you are researching IR illuminators for CCTV and deciding which model is best for you.

What Do You Look for in the Best IR Illuminators for CCTV?

Weatherproofing

An IR illuminator will typically be used externally and paired with a CCTV camera, so finding an infrared illuminator for CCTV that has a good level of weatherproofing and can withstand environmental factors is important. Normally a rating of IP66 or above is ample for these outdoor devices.

Range

As we have discussed above, IR illuminators work in NM (nanometres) and this determines how far they can capture footage effectively. So, when finding an infrared illuminator for your CCTV it is important to work out which would be best for you.

Affordable

Every business will determine what is the right price for them and how much they are willing to spend on certain things, so ensuring you get value for money is more important than finding something cheap. In this context, value is how much it will positively affect your security for the price.

Versatile

When it comes to security, being able to have a versatile option that works for different things is always important; In this instance, finding an IR illuminator that can work wherever you place it, be that indoors, outdoors, or something in between.

Best IR Illuminator for CCTV Reviewed

Nightfox XB10 CCTV Infrared Illuminator  (Our Top Pick)

Finding a cost-effective and high-quality CCTV illuminator can be tricky, as the cheaper models do not stand up to the more expensive options, the Nightfox XB10 is the exception to the rule. This infrared illuminator is designed to work with a variety of devices and with CCTV it is really effective.

Customers who have used the IR illuminator have said about the sheer range and strength of this device, especially when paired with a CCTV device, this speaks volumes for the device and cements it as our top pick.

Both the 850 and 940nm models are reasonably priced and would work for the majority of security systems if not all. If you are looking for an IR illuminator for CCTV that will be effective in an outdoor environment or at one of your entrances, look no further. 

Pros (+)Cons (-)
+Large lens for maximum illumination 
+Lightweight and versatile, works well with different CCTV devices
+Great range and image quality
– More expensive than other models 

Splenssy 96-LED IR Illuminator  (Best for Small Businesses)

When you are a small business, finding the best deals that also provide value for money is important to the business, a lot more than larger organsiations. This is true in all areas of the business, so when you are shopping for an IR illuminator you want to have a reliable and effective model that will serve your company well.

This 96-LED IR illuminator is a great price and would work well for any size business but especially for a smaller company. You will be able to light up your exterior locations and provide additional security for a low-cost.

The IR illuminator is made from durable housing that will be effective in an outdoor location and be protected from the weather, dust, dirt and debris, meaning wherever you set up your illuminator it will be effective. 

Pros (+)Cons (-)
+ 96 LEDs for improved lighting for your CCTV cameras
+ Water and weatherproofing (IP65) for outdoor usage
+ Simple to install
+ High-quality 840nm IR light
– Fairly universal but may not fit with some cameras 

Eecoo IR Illuminator 48-LED (Best Budget)

When you are in the market for a CCTV IR illuminator it is not always best to shop for the cheapest option available, but each business has different budgets and priorities. This IR illuminator is a viable option for those on a budget who still want to protect their business at night.

When used correctly, this IR illuminator would pair effectively with your security cameras and can be a viable option as a piece in your security system.

This IR illuminator would work better for a smaller area or an indoor location due to not having as much range as other options on the market.

Depending on the CCTV system you are connecting it to, you may not have an issue with its read radius, this would be an effective illuminator in both an indoor and an outdoor setting. 

Pros (+)Cons (-)
+ Great price and effective lighting (up to 20m)
+ Weatherproof casing to protect from the environment (IP66) 
+ Simple installation with limited knowledge of systems
– Lower quality and radius 

Final Thoughts on IR Illuminators for CCTV 

IR illuminators are used in a lot of different ways and can benefit people in varying businesses and for multiple purposes, their use in CCTV systems is a fairly recent development, but one that can be highly beneficial to your security footage.

As we can see, there are a few versatile and effective options available on the market when shopping for IR illuminators for CCTV. Each security system is different and what will be the best device to pair with this system will vary from company to company. 

We have given some recommendations for infrared illuminators that will work for any size business. With this being said, finding a solution that is within your price range and works for your security needs is always the most important steps to take.

Regardless of which IR illuminator you choose to pair with your security system, the end result will be a vast improvement on not having one of these devices for your CCTV setup. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to reach out to our team of security professionals who are always happy to help.

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Steve White

Steve White

Steve is an experienced security professional with over 20 years in security installation and consulting. He's here to help you answer your security questions.

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Steve White

Steve White

Steve is an experienced security professional with over 20 years in security installation and consulting. He's here to help you answer your security questions.

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