Night vision surveillance is usually associated with high-value security endeavors, but one of the environments that can actually benefit the most from night vision is the inside of a car.
How Does Night Vision Work in Cars?
Night vision is useful in various contexts, not least of all for use in cars. Even when it isn’t night time, cars are often subject to limited light conditions due to interiors, tinted windows, and parking lots.
So if you’re considering investing in security products for your vehicle, we strongly advise choosing dash cams that have night vision built in so that you can get the most out of your surveillance.
Dash cams with screen displays are increasingly being built into luxury cars in order to improve the driving experience and make it safer. Night vision in cars is not just a security measure, then, but a safety one.
Even if your car doesn’t have native night vision camera support, some dash cams with screen displays are able to replicate this so that you can see further and more clearly while driving at night; particularly useful when navigating country roads in near total darkness.
Let’s check out some of our favorite options.
5 Best Dash Cams with Night Vision
· Best Dash Cam with Night Vision – Lanmodo Vast Pro
· Best Thermal Night Vision Camera for Car – Speedir Night Owl Plus
· Best Cheap Night Vision Camera for Car – 70mai 1S
· Best Dual Dash Cam with Night Vision – 70mai Dash Cam Pro Plus+
· Best Security Camera for Inside Car – AlfredCam
Lanmodo Vast Pro
Best Dash Cam with Night Vision
For the vast majority of us that don’t drive a Mercedes-Benz, Lanmodo has created a fully automotive night vision system designed to effectively replicate the built-in screen display dash cams increasingly included in newer models of cars.
The 8 inch high resolution screen sits on the dash and faces the user, so that they are able to see what the 1080p camera, located on the rear of the device, captures in real time. It mounts via a suction cup or the base stand, and charges via the cigarette lighter for convenience.
What the camera picks up is displayed in real time, and with night vision distance up to 948 feet, you gain a significant amount of time to react to what’s on the road than what headlights alone are able to provide. There’s a rear-view camera version as well if you’ve got a little spare change to spend, but it’s the regular windshield-facing camera that will have the most benefit.
- Up to 948ft night vision sight provides more than ten seconds additional reaction time when driving
- Easy mounting and charging via cigarette lighter
Screen is bright and high quality, providing a crisp HD image in real time
- AI doesn’t notify you if it spots something
- Rear-view camera isn’t included in the regular package
Speedir Night Owl Plus
Best Thermal Night Vision Camera for Car
Most dash cams and security cameras for cars will use a combination of short-wave infrared and software-based filters to create images in low-light. Less common is thermal imaging, which uses long-wave infrared to map heat signatures into an image and was originally designed for use in military contexts.
Speedir has adopted the technology to create a powerful dash cam that significantly enhances your vision in the dark, creating images using thermal imaging technology. This is combined with AI capable of identifying obstructions before they appear in our headlights, so that you will be told when something is approaching.
The camera is able to see a staggering 3000 feet ahead of your headlights, creating a lengthy reaction time for the driver. The image itself maxes out at 720p, which, given the wallet-melting price, is no doubt a bit of a let down. But it’s also no secret that AI-enhanced thermal imaging of this magnitude doesn’t come cheap.
- Super powerful thermal imaging can see 3000 feet ahead of the headlights
- AI notifies you when it spots people, animals, and other obstructions in the road
- Extremely expensive
- Only capable of 720p HD
- No screen display
Best Cheap Night Vision Camera for Car
Available on Amazon. From $31.99.
Though it might seem like it at times, night vision dash cams aren’t just reserved for the wealthy, thankfully. For those looking to simply record through the windshield rather than have a real-time image streamed to a screen, 70mai’s super affordable dash cam is one such option, packed with a variety of great features.
130 wide angle, 1080p full HD is enhanced with the Sony IMX307 image processor, and low-light filters are able to make clear images even in low light. It mounts easily to the top of your windshield and powers via a USB car charger, and footage can be saved to microSD (not included).
Most useful and impressive of its features is no doubt voice control, which allows you to control the camera without any distractions. You can command it to take pictures or to record a video should something happen on the road, though the camera also boasts an automatic emergency recording setting that starts recording if the driver were to get into an accident.
- Super affordable
- Voice control avoids causing distractions while on the road
- Automatic emergency recording
- microSD required but not included
- Light filters won’t suffice for those living in poorly lit countryside
- Can be hard to hear if driving on the freeway or in a particularly noisy vehicle
70mai Dash Cam Pro Plus+
Best Dual Dash Cam with Night Vision
Available on Amazon. From $79.99.
For about twice the price as the humble, front-facing 1S, you can get 70mai’s more premium offering, the Dash Cam Pro Plus+. The big difference, and the most important one, is the inclusion of a separate rear-facing camera, so that both ends of the car are covered.
But that’s far from the only difference; Dash Cam Pro Plus+ also comes with a small screen device that, much like the cameras themselves, can be mounted on the windshield.
The ‘brains’ inside it are also a lot more intelligent, with an Advanced Driver-Assistance System that detects and warns drivers about various safety issues (e.g. drifting, getting too close to another car), as well as GPS and route tracking. It also displays and monitors speed and significant shakes, which triggers recordings even when the vehicle is stationary.
- Affordable choice for a dual-camera dash cam
- Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems make it useful not just for security, but for safety as well
- GPS and route tracking
- microSD not included
- Only one camera feed can be displayed on the screen at a time
Best Security Camera for Inside Car
Available within the AlfredCamera app. From $34.99.
When it comes to night vision cameras for cars, the concern people have isn’t always going to be related to rogue deers and drunk drivers. In fact, while dash cams can be useful in the event of an accident, some people may simply find them a distraction when driving, particularly those that also boast screens.
If your concern is simply the security of your vehicle itself, regular night vision-enabled IP cameras will do the trick, so long as you have a means of connecting a USB to the vehicle.
AlfredCam’s discreet, versatile look and easy installation make it a great option for monitoring the interior of a car. Strong night vision and motion enabled push notifications mean that in the event of an attempted vehicle theft in the dead of night, you’ll know straight away. You can then immediately sound the camera’s alarm from your phone and contact the police.
- Simple setup, easy to use
- Strong night vision
- 130-degree field of view will allow almost the entire interior of the car to be captured
- USB-connected power used by most IP cameras won’t be compatible with older vehicles, or otherwise may require a converter cable
- Without the possibility of screws, mounting will require some ingenuity (high strength stickers or velcro can be a great way to mount or tie down a camera)
Can you add night vision to a car?
Yes, you can add night vision to a car by installing a dash cam or security camera that features night vision. This can help increase the clarity of footage in low light conditions, as well as increase real-time visibility for drivers if the dash cam includes a screen device or voice controls.
Do car cameras have night vision?
Not all car cameras will have night vision, but most will, since it’s crucial for the camera to be able to see at night and in low-light conditions. For city dwellers, night vision may not be a priority, but for those living in poorly lit areas, it can be extremely beneficial.
Do dash cameras work at night?
Yes, dash cameras work at night using night vision. Night vision in dash cameras is usually either created through infrared, thermal imaging, or software based filters.
What is the best night vision dash cam?
Lanmodo’s Vast Pro is our choice for the best night vision dash cam. It comes with an 8 inch screen that streams camera footage in real time, allowing you to see almost 1000 feet further using night vision than you would be able to from headlights alone.
Is night vision and infrared the same?
Night vision is commonly achieved through either short-wave or long-wave infrared, though they aren’t synonymous. Some ‘night vision’ devices only use software based filters that manipulate the image to give it color, additional clarity, brightness, and altered contrasts.
Which cars have infrared cameras?
Automotive night vision (night vision in cars achieved specifically through thermal imaging) has been around for about two decades, but is becoming an increasingly popular feature now incorporated into virtually all luxury car brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Cadillac, and BMW.
Some models of Toyota and newer Peugeot’s also use infrared cameras. Surprisingly, Tesla’s do not currently have night vision.
Night vision proves to be a powerful tool in a range of surveillance contexts, and if you’re interested in improving either your safety on the road or your vehicle’s security, it’s really an integral way to ensure both even in low-light.
Dash cams that provide real-time images using thermal imaging technology are definitely on the pricey side, but if you’re looking to take simple security measures to make your car more secure, inexpensive dash cams and regular IP cameras can be used to great effect.