Best Night Vision Security Cameras of 2023

If you’re going to invest in a security camera, why get one that only works well half the time?

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Lorex Image
SecureScore™: 9.0/10
With their stout construction, crystal clear video quality, and long-range color night vision, Lorex cameras are our top pick for the best night vision in the industry.
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Arlo Image
SecureScore™: 8.0/10
Another great option with color night vision, Arlo’s wireless installation and DIY-friendly setup make these cameras a great option for homeowners and renters alike.
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Ring Image
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
Ring cameras’ onboard infrared night vision cuts through the darkest of nights, and the company’s wide array of products makes the customization of your home security system a breeze.
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Why Is Night Vision So Important?

There are 24 hours in a day, but only 12 or so of those are illuminated. The rest of the time it’s either twilight or dark outside, so you want to make sure your camera is capable of recording images as clear at night as they are during the day.

That said, every camera has a minimum light level required to generate sharp images. With night vision equipped, once this threshold is passed, night vision mode will kick in.

There are several ways cameras can see in the dark, but the three main methods include:

  • Color night vision: As technology has progressed, the amount of light required for an advanced camera to generate sharp images gets less and less. Cameras equipped with color night vision can generate clear, color images using tiny, nearly imperceptible amounts of ambient light. When color night vision is working well, it’s the gold standard since it’s able to capture the most detail.
  • Infrared night vision: Another great option for dealing with darkness, infrared (or IR) night vision floods the camera’s field of vision with IR light that the camera can register, but is imperceptible to humans. The main drawback of IR night vision is that images captured will be in black and white.
  • Floodlights: While it’s okay for some applications, this is the least artful way of achieving night vision. Once the sun goes down, a light will kick on to illuminate where the camera is angled. Sometimes this light will be connected to an IR trigger so that it only turns on when it detects motion. The upside of this solution is that it has the benefit of acting as a deterrent. Criminals are less likely to break in if they’re suddenly lit up like the Vegas strip.

Now that you understand how night vision security cameras operate, let’s take a look at some of our favorites.

Top 5 Night Vision Security Cameras

  • Lorex - Best Color Night Vision Cameras
  • Arlo - Best Designed Night Vision Cameras
  • Ring - Best IR Night Vision Cameras
  • Canary - Easiest Setup Night Vision Cameras
  • Nest - Best Smart Night Vision Camera
  • 1 Lorex - Best Color Night Vision Cameras

    Lorex Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.0
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Lorex cameras are among the most well-rounded in the industry. They’re designed to last, reasonably affordable, and when it comes to shining a proverbial light in the darkness, they’re tough to beat.
    Lorex Doorbell Camera Night Vision

    • HD Video Quality (4K in Some Models)
    • Long-Range Color Night Vision
    • Lots of Equipment and Bundling Options
    • Smooth App Experience
    • No Contracts or Monthly Fees
    • Long History in the Home Security Industry

    • Lorex Website Is Hard to Navigate
    • Occasional False Notifications
    • No Professional Monitoring Options
    • Limited Customer Service Hours

    The Lorex security camera system is a highly customizable platform that offers users a little bit of everything. They offer wired and wireless options, have plenty of bells and whistles, and their rugged construction means they can handle almost anything Mother Nature throws their way. But let’s talk specifically about why you’re here — night vision.

    Most Lorex cameras are equipped with color night vision technology with digital noise reduction to ensure they record the sharpest video possible after the sun goes down.

    When we reviewed Lorex security cameras, we were certainly impressed with their ability to perform at night. And with options ranging from affordable wireless stand-alone cameras to full-blown pan-tilt-zoom options suitable for commercial applications, you’re sure to find an option that suits your needs.

    Color night vision models from Lorex include:

    • 4K Ultra IP Security Camera
    • 4K Ultra HD IP Dome Security Camera with Listen-In Audio
    • 4K (8 MP) Nocturnal Motorized Varifocal Smart IP Bullet Security Camera
    • 2K Spotlight Indoor/Outdoor Accessory Battery Security Camera

    The one drawback is that this equipment can get a little pricey — you can read more about that in our guide to Lorex camera prices, but the good news is they offer a wide range of options. If you’re on a budget, Lorex is still likely going to have something you can work with.

  • 2 Arlo - Best Designed Night Vision Cameras

    Arlo Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.0
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    With a sleek design and an ability to see in both IR and color night vision, Arlo’s cameras are a solid choice for users looking for around-the-clock coverage.

    Arlo Pro 3 Indoor Video Quality

    Arlo cameras are great for keeping tabs on pets and kids

    • Well-Built Equipment
    • Super HD 2K Video on some models
    • Color Night Vision
    • No Contracts Required
    • DIY Installation (100 percent Wireless)
    • 160-degree Field of Vision
    • Noise Cancellation
    • Third-Party Integration

    • Recording Delay Issues
    • Limited Home Automation
    • Lacking Advanced Security Features
    • Considerable Up-front Cost
    • Occasionally Buggy
    • SmartHub Requires Ethernet Connection

    One of the main reasons we liked these cameras so much when we put Arlo to the test was the ease with which we were able to set up the system. Alro’s wireless cameras are a cinch to install, and from an operational perspective, they’re extremely easy to use. If you’re not the most tech-savvy individual but still looking for a security camera system to protect your property, here’s one you should consider.

    Speaking specifically about their nighttime capacity, though, the Arlo Ultimate and Arlo Pro 3 are both equipped with color night vision. One thing to note, though, is that these systems — regardless of which manufacturer you pick — are reliant on ambient light. If you live in a city or suburb, they work fantastically well. If you’re out in the middle of the country, you might find traditional IR gives you a better picture.

    Another selling point is that some of Arlo’s cameras offer 4K resolution — the best in the business when you’re talking about image clarity. And while they’re not the most affordable options out there (more on that in my guide to Arlo’s prices), their built-to-last design and technological edge definitely keep them in consideration.

  • 3 Ring - Best IR Night Vision Cameras

    Ring Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    One of the most well-known names in the industry offers excellent nighttime IR coverage.

    Ring Spotlight Night View

    Ring Spotlight Night View

    • Easy DIY Installation
    • Wireless models available
    • 1080p HD Video
    • Designed for Indoors or Outdoors
    • Highly Customizable Settings
    • User-Friendly Mobile App
    • Live Video Streaming
    • Two-Way Talk
    • Motion-Activated Notifications
    • Infrared Night Vision
    • Works Well With Alexa

    • Occasional Missed Motion
    • No Advanced Video Resolutions (2K or 4K)
    • Equipment Costs Can Add Up
    • Professional Monitoring Only Available in U.S. and Canada
    • History of Privacy Issues/Hacking

    If you’re considering home security solutions, Ring is a name you’ve likely heard. We’ve reviewed their products extensively, and with a few exceptions, we’ve always liked what we’ve seen. The same was true when we tested Ring’s security cameras — they’re solid, easy to use, and  really affordable.

    And at night, the story doesn’t change much. Most of their cameras are equipped with standard IR night vision — meaning the image will be black and white — but what’s recorded is extremely crisp and preserves a lot of detail. Will you be able to tell if that car was yellow or white? No, but you may be able to capture the license plate.

    That said, Ring does offer color night vision on all of its wired products. The drawback here is that if you’re looking for this feature, you’re going to have to be comfortable with wiring or hiring a handyman. However, I’ve seen better color night vision solutions, namely from the two camera manufacturers above Ring on this list. For IR, Ring is great. For color, not so much.

    The trade-off, though, is that Ring has a huge list of products that offer nearly unlimited customizability at prices that won’t break the bank. Read more about that in our guide to Ring’s products and prices.

  • 4 Canary - Easiest Setup Night Vision Cameras

    Canary Product Image
    SecureScore™ 7.6
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Affordable and versatile, Canary’s a good option for folks looking for a 24-hour-a-day surveillance system.

    The Canary Flex - one of the company's offerings with IR night vision.

    The Canary Flex – one of the company’s offerings with IR night vision.

    • Up to 1080p HD Video Quality
    • Modern, Sleek Design
    • Works Indoors or Outdoors
    • Canary Pro Has Air Quality Monitoring and Built-in Siren
    • Basic Functionality Without Contract
    • AI-Powered Person Detection
    • Super Easy Installation
    • Smart Home Automation with Google and Alexa Assistants
    • Advanced Safety Features

    • Occasional Missed Motion
    • Only 3 Cameras Available
    • Somewhat Pricey Cloud Storage Fee
    • Slow Communication with App
    • May Experience Buffering and Network Slowdowns
    • No Package Detection

    When we reviewed Canary’s cameras, both their form and function stood out. They’re discrete, sleek, and offer some really interesting features like built-in alarms and air quality monitors. Really interesting stuff, but how do they perform when the lights go out?

    Surprisingly well, actually. Both the Canary Pro and the Canary Flex offer onboard night vision using IR sensors. The lack of a color option moves them down a little on this list, but their onboard infrared still performs admirably in low-light situations. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense option to help you keep watch over your property and possessions, Canary will get the job done.

    While they don’t have an extensive list of products — only three security cameras currently — these options are affordable and will keep most consumers covered. Read up on that in our guide to Canary’s offerings and costs.

  • 5 Nest - Best Smart Night Vision Camera

    Nest Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.0
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Backed by some of the best technology in the industry, Google Nest cameras offer great image clarity, day or night.

    Nest Cam IQ indoor and outdoor, in box

    Nest Cam IQ indoor and outdoor, in box

    • High-Quality Cameras
    • Innovative Features Such As Facial Recognition
    • 1080p HD Resolution
    • Activity Tracking With Nest Aware
    • Built-in Google Assistant
    • Free and Paid Plans Available
    • Modern Design
    • Stable Connection Due to Wired Power Source

    • Relatively Expensive
    • Outdoor Cameras Can Be Tricky to Install
    • Outdoor Camera Wiring Is Not Weatherproof
    • Lag With Two-Way Talk Audio
    • Delays on Producing Video

    Google Nest cameras offer some really powerful technological tools like facial recognition, activity tracking, and a built-in assistant — all of which we explore in detail in our Google Nest camera review. If you’re looking for bells and whistles, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a system that offers more.

    And when the lights go down, Google Nest doesn’t disappoint. Their crystal-clear resolution, coupled with their powerful IR sensors, help deliver details you’d never catch with lesser models.

    Watch out, though. As we explain in our guide to Google Nest’s products and pricing, some of their equipment can get a little costly. If you’re shopping on a budget, you might be able to better stretch your dollar elsewhere. Consider reading our guide to the most affordable home security cameras for more information.

Final Thoughts on Night Vision Security Cameras

Like we said before, when you’re shopping around for home security cameras, you want to make sure you’re selecting a product that’s going to be working 24 hours a day. Criminals love to act under the cover of darkness, and if you’re one of the unlucky folks they victimize, your best shot at recovering is to have as much information and detail as possible.

To do that, you’re going to need a camera that’s recording using the most advanced night vision technology available. Depending on your situation, that’s likely going to be color night vision or advanced IR. The cameras I’ve listed here are all great options, but I always encourage folks to do as much research as they can. If you want to know more about your options, head over to our guide to the best securty cameras of 2023. There’s tons of helpful information there.

Night Vision Security Cameras FAQ

What is color night vision?

Color night vision is a bit of a misnomer. What’s really going on, mechanically speaking, is that a camera’s light sensor is sensitive enough to deliver color images in extremely low-light settings.

What is infrared night vision?

Infrared, or IR, night vision is the capacity for a camera to project infrared light that human eyes can’t see, using it to capture black and white detail in low- or no-light situations.

Does my security system need night vision?

While studies show the majority of property crime happens during the day, a significant number of burglaries and break-ins occur under the cover of darkness. You’ll want a security camera that captures crisp images in both conditions.

Which security cameras have the best color night vision?

Two of the best manufacturers of security cameras offering color night vision are Lorex and Arlo.

How much are cameras with color night vision?

Color night vision is a relatively new technology and, as such, costs a little more than traditional IR night vision.

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