befor you buy a infra red lighing system, you might want to check that your cemra can actually pick up the infra red light. one easy way is at night have someone watch the camera on TV and the other person go outside with a remote control and point it strait at the camera and press some buttons to see if any flashing lights come up, if they dont then forget the infra red lighiting, if they do, check on ebay, www.maplins.co.uk or www.dabs.co.uk (might be .com not sure)
If your camera does not show IR , such as the remote control possibility, I would suggest White light Security lights. Its the cheapest option. Make sure you buy a security light with a Detector and set up the sensitivity and direction, as you want to ignore smaller objects such as wild animals.
Only lower quality cams will distort under IR, a pro/decent quality colour camera will either not show IR at all, due to it having a IR Cut filter which stops the IR gettting to the sensor,or in the case of 'true' day/night cameras they will have a removable (camera controlled) IR Cut filter that slides out of place when the cam reaches a certain light level (or by manually triggering it on some cams also) to allow IR to be used. It slides back in to place during daylight, to block IR.
I think you should first have a check that whether your cameras can pick up IR, if can not, you'd better think of changing another cameras, for cameras with remote IR has high image quality...
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If the cameras are on the inside, looking out, you'll possibly be stuffed ! IR has problems getting through windows ! In which case, 'white light' exterior security lights on a PIR sensor. (Dirt cheap, 10 quid in Argos? )
If the cameras are 'overt' exterior, then go for white light anyway, as they're a bigger deterrent than than the camera.
If the cameras are covert / 'discreet', or you just dont want to piss off the neighbours every time a cat goes past, go for the IR.
Most cheap 'commercial' IR Illuminators, are around 750-850nm, ie: they're not properly covert anyway, giving a dim red glow like a fag butt at 25m ! Covert ones are up around 950-980nm, which may be great,....BUT..most mainstream cameras are only around 5% efficient in that range, so you REALLY have to make sure that your cameras gonna be able to see 'em.
And, last of all, how far away is your area of interest ? IR Illuminators generally have lower range than 'white light'.
I have to say, I agree with Prestige. Unless the camera you have is very special (in which case I doubt you would be asking about it here!!), in my opinion, it isn't going to be worth your while trying to rig up another solution.
What is the camera type? Standard body/Vandal Dome etc? Is it an indoor or outdoor camera?
The only thing that might stop you (practically) doing this is if the connectors on the camera/DVR are not standard connectors (BNC).
Have a quick look at our range of CCTV cameras where you can get an outdoor camera with IR for Â£60.