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Arlo Pro cameras wake up and flash their LEDs periodically

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AncientGeek
Hero
Hero

At some point a year or more ago, I installed an Arlo Pro on my desk in my office facing a Logitech Circle Camera that I was evaluating.  I don’t recall if I did it by accident or if I was trying to see two different sides of my office for some reason.  Regardless of the reason, this setup alerted me to the fact that Arlo wireless cameras (I haven’t tested this for the Q or Q Pro) wake up and flash their IR LEDs when I open the app on one of my mobile devices.  It does this when getting status.  That was interesting enough, but then I also discovered that these IR LEDs also flash from time to time when I am NOT opening the app.  In fact neither my wife nor I are opening the app, but the LEDs flash just like they do when I open the app.

 

I believe ... from my LTE router (MR1000) experience ... that even with all cameras turned off, the cameras wake up a few times each day to send status to the mother ship.  So perhaps the periodic LED flashes are just wake up status calls.  However, my paranoid self wonders if there is any way a hacker could trigger those wake up LED flashes.

 

Has anyone else noticed this behavior.  You’d need cameras from two vendors facing each other, I believe....in order to see this.  Every once in a while my Logitech Circle sends me a notice that the camera saw some motion and the recording is always an LED flash from the Arlo Pro.

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

I have seen a Q cause this at night but haven't had it set up like this to notice for over a year (when the crazy neighbors moved out). I happen to have a Pro and the Q set up next to each other at the moment so will point them at each other to see what happens. Pulse me in a few days to remind me to check.

AncientGeek
Hero
Hero

@jguerdat wrote:

I have seen a Q cause this at night but haven't had it set up like this to notice for over a year (when the crazy neighbors moved out). I happen to have a Pro and the Q set up next to each other at the moment so will point them at each other to see what happens. Pulse me in a few days to remind me to check.


Thanks.  It will be interesting to see if Arlo cameras can detect this since they would likely all be refreshing status when the app is opened.  Perhaps there is enough of a timing difference between the status inquiries that one can update status while the other notices and records the IR flash.  This only gets “noticed” in low light, of course.

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

I was just looking for this thread. Thanks!  🙂

 

I've had maybe a half dozen recordings from my Q that show the Pro IR LEDs briefly flash. One was during the day:

 

https://my.arlo.com/hmsweb/users/library/share/link/A50E0492C505D755_201907

 

The Q never sets off the Pro.

 

It has nothing to do with opening the (Android) app or using a browser. Happens at random times not associated with my interaction.

AncientGeek
Hero
Hero

@jguerdat wrote:

I was just looking for this thread. Thanks!  🙂

 

I've had maybe a half dozen recordings from my Q that show the Pro IR LEDs briefly flash. One was during the day:

 

https://my.arlo.com/hmsweb/users/library/share/link/A50E0492C505D755_201907

 

The Q never sets off the Pro.

 

It has nothing to do with opening the (Android) app or using a browser. Happens at random times not associated with my interaction.


I’m glad you are also seeing the random flashes.  This leads me to believe it has something to do with the cameras communicating with the mother ship .

 

I see both the random flashes and a definite link to when I or my wife open the app on iOS.  Not all of the time, but after we haven’t looked at it for a while.

 

I wonder if the IR flash is part of a self test that is triggered when the camera does a status update. I know from my MR1100 that even with the cameras turned off and in disabled mode, the system transmits a few K of data every so many hours each day.  I recall determining it was insignificant in terms of monthly data usage.

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