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Arlo Pro 2 Flashes Of Light At Night

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gpmike Guide
Guide

HW version H3 Serial number 5TF18A71CCEE6 Firmware 1.125.11.4_29092 Night Vision ==ON Plastic removed from camera front Both cameras mounted outside (1 has no ambient light whatsoever) Both cameras on battery Daytime presentation is excellent, however at night, either in motion detection mode or LIVE continuous flashes of light literally obliterating the presentation. I see other users with pictures I would be very happy with, so do I have two defective cameras or something I’ve overlooked?

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Post links to represenative videos here so we can see. Use the library, select a video and then use the Share icon to copy and paste a link here.

gpmike Guide
Guide

These two pics I saved from last night don't really represent how bad the presentation is.  The one in the backyard atually caught two coyotes that wandered by that I looked and looked at the video and finally found them from their reflective eyes.  In LIVE mode it's a continues stream of flashing smears.

gpmike Guide
Guide

and backyard

Highlighted
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

That's why I suggested the video links. Flashes aren't going to be seen/understood in stills.

gpmike Guide
Guide

Right Guru...had deleted the old files so here is a new one I created this morning.  I tried playing with the brightness setting but using the chrome browser in LIVE mode it took me several minutes to just get it back to zero.  The slider does not follow the mouse properly.  Cannot get it above zero and under camera settings the brightness icon is not active (greyed out).  Very frustrated.

 

https://arlo.netgear.com/hmsweb/users/library/share/link/BE9F6C60568AF84C_201901

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Ok, that video was VERY descriptive and not at all what I expected to see. It appears to be a swarm of bugs reflecting the IR from the night vision LEDs.

The brightness control is not smoothly varying. It has distinct stops - a total of 5.

gpmike Guide
Guide

After much patience set both cameras to +1 brightness.  Here is a video from the back of the house camera with no ambient light.  There are 6 LEDs at the top of the camera (inverted U pattern) with 2 bright and 4 dimmer, plus 2 more bright LEDs in the middle of the camera (side-by-side) for a total of 8.  Is this this a correct layout for the LEDs?

 

 

gpmike Guide
Guide

Maybe my question was not clear - should the 6 LEDs on the top of the camera all be of equal brightness?  I have 2 bright and 4 dim.  The 2 LEDs to either side of the lense itself are bright for a total of 8...4 bright 4 dim.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

If you attempted to post a link or image, it didn't work.

 

It's still light out so can't check a camera but as I recall, all LEDs are the same brightness. I suppose it's possible that some are angled so you have to change the angle you're using to look at the LEDs to verify that they're truly changed or maybe reducing the brightness also changes the amount of IR light from the LEDs. Try a different camera and change the brightness as well to test.

gpmike Guide
Guide

Hi Guru,

 

I tried several times to share/copy link from the libraries, but it just isn't workng today (nothing to paste) so I downloaded the video file then attempted to attach it but that didn't succeed either.  Anyway it's exactly the same as the 'front' camera insofar as the night flares and flashing.  Crazy!  Both cameras have two bright lights to the left and right of the lense, but among the six at the top 2 are bright and 4 are dim regardless the angle viewed.  If you could check yours tonight that would be great.  Unfortunately I think both of mine are defective...a shame since the daytime presentation is brilliant.  I just tried to share again which failed so I'll try 'Choose File' again - but not hopeful.

 

 

 

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

I may well be blind (my wife says so) but I see 2 LEDs slightly below and to the left and right of the lens plus 4 at the top. All seem to be the same relative brightness. 

gpmike Guide
Guide

Good morning Guru,

 

Thanks for looking last night...very kind.  Do you have a pro or pro 2 because I see something a bit different.  I have 6 at the top and 2 left/right of the lense.  Looking at the camera without any angle 2 at the top and the 2 below are bright and form a rectangle of brightness (almost a square).  The other 4 at the top present themselves differently.  1 on the left when viewed from a right angle becomes brighter, and 1 on the right when viewed from the left becomes brighter.  2 at the very top when viewed from an angle lower become brighter.  So it appears 4 of the lights at the top are set at various angles to disperse the IR accordingly.  The source of the distortion is fog.  Here in the Rogue Valley, OR we get a lot of fog.  Early last night before the fog the IR refraction was not present, then this morning with fog quite bad again.  I would rate the image without fog moderate to poor, and with fog useless.  Looked at various video clips of IR cameras through fog and although the results vary none are as bad as the arlo pro 2.  So guess I need to decide whether to live with the flaw or send everything back.  Shame as the daytime perfomance is brilliant.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

I specifically looked at a Pro 2 to be sure. I could be wrong but I swear there were only 4 LEDs at the top, all of the same brightness. I suppose it's possible you have a newer hardware revision (mine is H3).

 

Have you considered external lights? There are various IR spotlights listed on Amazon for 850nM, some with motion detection, and there's always a regular motion activated outdoor light. On some of my cameras I've added an Arlo light which works well and could be useful for you, especially if using different angles helps.

gpmike Guide
Guide

H3 - same as yours and nope - 6 on top.  I created an html diagram of the LEDs, but unable to attach as CHOOSE FILE doesn't work.  SIGH!!!

So how does one configure camera SETTINGS if using an external IR source?  I see CAMERA LED, but the heading under that is Battery Fully Charged Indicator.  The manual points to the LED to the right of the lense and states they change color?  Meaning when the battery is low?  I think NIGHT VISION turns OFF the LEDs altogether.  When night vision is enabled, the camera automatically turns on infrared (IR) LEDs to record in low light conditions. We recommend that you turn off night vision if the Arlo Pro 2 camera is facing reflective surfaces, such as windows.

 

 

Controller:

HW Version       VMB4000R3

Serial number   4R058A7AB3D0B

Firmware            1.12.0.1_27940

 

Cameras:

HW  version       H3

Serial number   5TF18A71CCEE6                (Back)

Serial number   5TF18A7NCB497               (Front)

Firmware            1.125.11.4_29092

Night Vision ==ON

Plastic removed from camera front

Both cameras mounted outside

Both cameras on battery

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Just rechecked my P2 and see 4 LEDs on the top with 2 others, one on each side, just below the top 4 so your observation seems to be the same. I had to move around a bit to make sure I wasn't seeing a reflection or refraction but I now agree that there are 6 on top with two slightly below the level of the lens.

 

As for external lighting, that's totally separate from Arlo - there's no setting. You just add lighting and configure as appropriate.

gpmike Guide
Guide

Right, of the 6 on top 2 are very bright (when viewed straightaway).    

1. The 2 dim ones at the very top angle down,
2. The dim 1 one on the left angles right
3. The dim 1 one on the right angles left
 
So, you can move your head about accordingly and see the dim lights become brighter as you take the correct angle.  This configuration results in the pro 2 casting IR waves at 4 different angles.  Straight/left/right/down.  This may be causing the refraction when fog is present...dunno.
 
I think if one installed an external IR source it would be advisable to turn NIGHT VISION OFF as the pro 2 LED solution isn't working very well (even without fog).  I'd really like to see how a pro camera works (statements from users with both indicate the pro has better night vision), but unwilling to fork over the $$$.  
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

The built-in LEDs have the same issue as driving in fog/snow with you headlights on - bounces right back into your vision. An offset source would minimize that effect and can be stronger so you get a better view of what's going on at a farther distance.

 

The Pro has better night vision primarily due to the pixel size of the sensor. Each increase in resolution but the same size sensor results in smaller pixel sizes and, hence, fewer photons hitting each cell. You can increase the sensitivity of each cell but then that also increases the background noise level at the same time, reducing the overall quality.  Additional lighting of any sort eliminates the issue which maintaining the increased resolution of the P2.

gpmike Guide
Guide

Driving in fog:  True, but I have viewed other IR cameras and whereas they exhibit haze etc. haven't seen anything as bad as the arlo pro 2 in fog.  If resolution is the issue at 1080p then perhaps the arlo pro 3 will have two lenses, one for daytime and a 720p lense that is switched to when the LEDs turn on.  I'm going to keep these and perhaps add a plain old 800 lumen LED non IR battery powered external light with a motion detector.  Thanks for your help Guru!!!