The Blink line-up of cameras is great for indoor and outdoor home security and detecting when there is motion. That said, one of the key features is being able to detect events that occur during the dark hours of the night. Do Blink Cameras Have Night Vision?
All Blink Cameras come equipped with night vision. Blink cameras use an IR emitter to illuminate an area, which provides a black and white image. There are settings available within the Blink app to change the intensity of the IR emitter.
The default settings for Blink cameras are set to “Auto”, meaning night vision will come on automatically when the camera detects that the environment is dark enough. If those settings have been changed, in this article I’ll review how to change them to what you need and review what each setting does.
Lastly, I’ll cover what to check if your night vision appears to not be working correctly.
Blink Camera Night Vision: Settings And How To Turn It On
Okay, you know that your Blink camera has night vision, now how do you turn it on? If you haven’t changed any of the default settings it should turn on by itself when placed in a dark environment.
How To Turn On Night Vision On Blink Camera?
If your default setting somehow has been changed, here is how to enable night vision on your Blink camera.
- Open the Blink app
- Click on the Camera Settings icon
The Camere Settings icon in the far right button is located above the camera image. It is to the right of the camera name and just the right of the motion detection icon (The running man).
- Scroll down to the “Night Vision” section
The Night Vision section is the fourth section down. As of writing this article, the sections are currently in this order: 1. General, 2. Monitoring, 3. Motion Detection, 4. Night Vision, etc.
- Enable the night vision by changing the “Control” option to either “Auto” or “On”
Blink Camera Night Vision Settings
There are two night vision settings that you can adjust:
- Control (On, Off, Auto)
- Intensity (Low, Medium, High)
Blink Night Vision Control
The Blink night vision control setting is the option that determines if night vision is enabled or not. Whether it comes on or stays off.
The Control setting has three options: On, Off, or Auto.
Auto: Auto will toggle night vision on or off based on the lighting conditions.
On: On will constantly have night vision enabled.
Off: Night vision will not turn on, no matter how dark it is.
Auto is Blink’s default setting and what I would recommend using unless your Blink camera is always going to be in a dark setting.
Blink Night Vision Intensity
The Blink intensity setting is the option that controls how bright the IR emitter shines. This is useful for controlling glare in specific locations.
The Intensity setting also has three options: Low, Medium, High.
After you have the camera mounted and where you plan on keeping it, I’d recommend opening up live stream when setting the IR intensity.
Steps to set your Blink Cameras IR Intensity
- Wait until nighttime
- Open up live view
- If being used for motion detection, stand as close as you think a person might reasonably stand.
- Adjust the IR intensity for the best image quality.
If the IR intensity is too high, the image will appear whitewashed. It will be hard to make out objects because everything seems white. Lower the Intensity.
If the IR intensity is too low, the image will appear dark. You won’t be able to see anything. Increase the Intensity.
What Is Dark Mode Setting On Blink Camera?
People will often see the dark mode setting and think it has something to do with night vision. In reality, it has nothing to do with night vision.
The dark mode setting is a setting to control the appearance of your Blink app. Light mode has dark text on a white background, and dark mode has light text on a dark background. System mode will have the Blink app match whatever mode your phone or tablet is currently set to.
That should explain why it’s not in the night vision section. Unless you are into customizing your settings, I’d just leave this one alone. That said, it won’t do any harm playing around with dark mode until you decide what you prefer.
Why Has My Blink Camera Gone Black And White?
If you have not previously used night vision on your Blink camera, you may be surprised to see that the clips it recorded at night are in black and white.
The Blink Camera will have a black and white image when night vision is enabled. Night vision, by default, is set to “Auto” and should only turn on when it is dark. Night vision can also be set to “On,” in which case the image will always be in black and white.
Sometimes we adjust settings not fully understanding, or misunderstanding, what they will do. You are not alone if you were tweaking the settings for night vision and turned it to “On,” thinking, ‘Yeah, I want night vision enabled to see when it’s dark.’
However, if you only want night vision to turn on when it is dark, you should use “Auto” mode. This will make the night vision automatically come on when the Blink camera detects that it is dark and turn night vision off when there is ample light.
If you would always prefer to have a color picture, even when it is dark, you will need to place a light that fully illuminates the area that the Blink camera is facing. Make sure that the light is behind the camera and not shining into the camera.
Otherwise, you might get a distorted image. If that has been a problem (or if it ever is in the future), check out my article on the topic: Why Is My Blink Camera Blurry, Cloudy, or Fuzzy? Fixes To Clear The Problem (Including At Night!
Blink Camera Night Vision Not Working
If you have made it this far down the article, I suppose you already have a good idea of what the night vision settings are. Really, there aren’t that many; only two!
You’ve turned the IR control mode to “On” and are only seeing a black image from the Blink camera.
First, let me say there have been known firmware issues in the past. If you have a Blink Mini, make sure the firmware is updated past 9.70. This update was pushed out in late 2020, so it should be well past that by now, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.
Troubleshooting Steps For Blink Camera Night Vision Not Working
Blink cameras are designed to be an affordable solution to home security. They are not top-of-the-line security cameras, and therefore may require some careful handling to get them to work properly. Here are troubleshooting steps for when you are having problems with night vision.
Replace The Batteries With New Batteries
If you have a battery-operated version of Blink camera, either the Indoor or Outdoor models, one of the first signs that the batteries are starting to die is problems with the IR emitter.
One way I’ve seen users experiment with this is by changing the IR intensity setting. Switching to a lower setting results in a better image, whereas increasing the intensity result in a darker image.
I don’t completely understand this, but I would assume that the batteries are dying, so they don’t have enough power to power both the camera and the IR emitter set to high intensity.
Ensure The IR Emitter Is Not Covered
This is a common problem when users do not use the mount that came with their Blink camera, or they’re trying to hide the camera behind something.
If you are using a custom housing, perhaps a housing so you can use your Blink Mini or Blink Indoor in an outdoor setting, make sure that the IR emitter is not covered.
Blink has diagrams on its website that indicate where the IR sensor is located.
Blink Mini Layout: Click Here
Blink Indoor & Outdoor Layout: Click Here
Reboot the Blink Camera & Sync Module
I know this is the start of basic tech support you will receive, but there is a reason they ask you to try it. It’s easy and sometimes fixes the problem.
Rebooting the device may fix anywhere firmware issues where it got stuck in a certain state. It’s a software bug, but at least you don’t have to wait for a firmware update.
To reboot your Blink cameras, simply remove the batteries and put them back in. To reboot your sync module, or if you have a Blink Mini, unplug them from the power source and plug them back in.
If the problem starts back up again in a few days after it was seemingly resolved, it is probably a battery issue. Try replacing them. Blink recommends using lithium AA batteries.
Remove IR Reflective Materials
Blink cameras are very sensitive to IR light when in night vision mode. That’s how they produce an image! They have to be sensitive.
But if something is reflecting the IR light back into the lens, it will blind the camera. Imagine someone shining a flashlight into your eyes when you’re in a dark room. You wouldn’t be able to see anything else either.
Look at the camera image while night vision is enabled and notice any part that appears white. Objects that appear white reflect the most IR light back towards the camera.
Shiny objects tend to be the most problematic. Think of the glossy coating on leaves or the sheen on certain types of siding. There are lots of things that could be reflecting light back.
Try to move those objects that appear white out of the camera’s field of view. If that is not possible, try moving the camera.
Contact Blink Support
If none of these suggestions seem to be the problem, it’s possible the camera is defective, and the IR emitter just doesn’t work. As long as the camera is under warranty, Blink will send you a replacement after going through some troubleshooting steps.
This is the part where I usually get annoyed because it’s all the stuff I already tried, but it shouldn’t take much of your time.
Here are all the ways that you can contact Blink Support
The Blink Support “Contact Us” page is located here.
In this article, we talked all about night vision on Blink cameras. All of the cameras that Blink sells do have night vision. If you don’t change the settings, night vision should come automatically at night.
Make sure that the IR emitter is not covered and the camera is not pointed at any reflective surfaces, or else the image may appear completely dark or whitewashed depending on the problem.
If the camera is defective, Blink has a good reputation for replacing them as long as they are under warranty.