Thermal Night Vision

This category features a range of night vision and thermal imaging equipment, including Surveillance and Spy cameras. The purpose of these products is to help you surveil your surroundings, your property and businesses, particularly at night, which can protect you from crime and help you gather evidence.

Night vision products use infrared (IR) light technology, that the human eye can’t see, to produce images in the dark, while thermal imaging devices use IR radiation to detect the heat of objects in an area, and translate these heat signatures into images. Most of our devices are water-resistant, have 3G/4G connectivity, and send push notifications when motion is detected, so you can monitor the footage remotely using your smartphone.

We can't find products matching the selection.

THERMAL NIGHT VISION PRODUCTS

Our category of night vision and thermal products includes a range of devices that you can use for crime prevention, navigation, surveillance, search and rescue. All of our devices utilise the latest infrared (or IR) and image enhancement technology, and are particularly useful for home and business security at night. A lot of these devices are also portable, so have become a popular choice for espionage, or even nature trekking.

Night vision is a catch-all term for all the technology that allows you to see and capture images in low-light conditions, but there are two main types: image enhancement and thermal imaging. Standard night vision devices are typically called image enhancement devices because they absorb the visible light in dark conditions to produce an enhanced image, whereas thermal cameras translate thermal energy (heat or temperature) to produce an image. The latter can be done in low-light, but is also a valuable tool in other conditions.

Good quality night vision and thermal imaging devices should be portable and compact in size for discreet footage capture, water-resistant, record in at least HD quality, and have 3G/4G connectivity, so you can monitor the footage remotely from your smartphone. The newest devices are both battery and solar-powered, allowing for the battery to charge using solar energy during the day while the battery serves as a backup, to ensure that it’s working all day.

Night vision equipment used to be the preserve of the military, ghost hunting TV programmes and specialist wildlife cameramen, however, almost anyone can now make use of the technology, especially when it comes to surveillance and protecting property. Night vision security cameras, goggles and other equipment have become a popular and reliable tool with private individuals who use them to protect their property and possessions, as well as for recreational purposes, for instance nature watching.

Thermal imaging equipment is used in the same instances, but thanks to the sophistication of this software, it’s also a vital tool within medical and scientific research, for example for skin temperature screening.

BUYERS’ GUIDE

How does night vision work?

The most common type of night vision that you’ll find is IR. This technology is very clever, as it floods an area with invisible light that the human eye can’t see – but the camera lens can. A person in that space will see it as pitch black and won’t be able to detect the IR light at all, but the camera will be able to film in fantastic clarity using the bright light produced.

The reason we can’t see IR light is that it has a longer wavelength and lower frequency than normal light that is visible to the human eye. Red is the colour of the longest wavelengths of visible light, and IR means ‘belowred’.

On a typical IR camera, you’ll spot a special configuration of bulbs being used. High power IR LED lights are positioned all around the outside of the camera lens.

While not commonly used in the home, business or even professional security cameras, image intensifier tubes are another type of night vision filming technology. They’re commonly used in night vision goggles to collect and significantly intensify all available light, including IR light. This enables the wearer to see in low light or even in near-total darkness. Night vision goggles that use this technology are most commonly used in military and law enforcement operations.

How does thermal imaging work?

Thermal imaging devices use IR as well, but in a different way. Every object absorbs and emits different levels of heat, even if they’re directly next to each other within the same weather conditions; think about how much heat your body emits in comparison to a vehicle. This energy is also known as IR radiation – the hotter the object, the moreIR radiation it produces.

Thermal imaging uses IR scanners to detect the heat of objects compared to each other, and translates these heat signatures into images. The higher the heat signature of the object, the brighter that object will appear in the image, making it easier to identify objects which are out of place within an environment, for example a forest.

The reason why this technology is so beneficial is it works in almost any light conditions. Night vision devices rely on the right amount of ambient lighting to amplify and capture invisible IR light, but since thermal imagery works by using sensors to detect temperature, these devices aren’t impaired in challenging light conditions, including dust and smoke. This is one of the principal reasons why thermal imagery is part of the emergency rescue services’ toolkit.

In general, IR is used for many different filming applications and is particularly useful for wildlife filmmaking. This is because the invisible IR light doesn’t disturb animals, as they can’t see it either. This means that secretive nocturnal animals and rarely seen night-time activity can be filmed.

USES

Simple uses for night vision and thermal imaging devices:

  • Gather low-effort evidence (such as faces and number plates) to share with the police or in a court of law
  • Unobtrusively monitor your property, equipment and vehicles
  • Protect your home while you're away
  • Catch a criminal in the act if you have suspicions about activity happening around your home or business
  • Capture wildlife on a nature trek or during espionage without attracting their attention

You can also use thermal imaging equipment to capture drone footage in difficult weather or dangerous conditions.

Business use

There are countless uses for these devices in a business context. Businesses may use both types for surveillance, taking advantage of their motion-sensitivity and real-time alerts to protect their property and ensure that stock, business resources or even employees are kept safe. In other cases, those in the armed forces or the police need to see what's going on as it happens. The fast image processing technology in night vision goggles, for example, is useful for this.

Personal use

Many burglaries and attempted break-ins happen at night, under the cover of darkness. With night vision or thermal imaging cameras, you’ll be able to sleep soundly at night. Many of these surveillance cameras are motion-sensitive and send real-time alerts when movement is detected, so you’ll know instantly if someone is trying to access your property without your permission.

Ordinary cameras can’t see in the dark, so they won’t always be able to detect motion and send you that essential alert to your phone. Both of these cameras are good for capturing wildlife footage, whether you’re animal spotting or trying to catch a glimpse of shy nocturnal animals. Thermal imaging devices have the added benefit of being usable during the day, as well as through more difficult weather conditions such as fog and smoke.

SPECIFICATIONS

Is night vision equipment legal in the UK?

As night vision and thermal equipment is becoming more popular and readily available on the market, questions may be raised over legislation governing its uses and ownership.

In short, no, there is no specific legislation prohibiting the use of optic equipment, including night vision or thermal scopes. However, as with any device, this pertains to lawful usage. You will be held criminally responsible if you’re using such equipment for illicit purposes, such as to burgle a house or business premises at night.