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Why are there Small Red Lights Around the CCTV Cameras?

What is the Purpose of the Red LEDs around a CCTV Security Camera?

The small red lights around CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras are typically infrared (IR) LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). These IR LEDs are used for a specific purpose: to provide night vision or low-light visibility for the camera. You may also notice an LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) between LED lights used as a light sensor for dusk-to-dawn operation. This means the LEDs turn on in the evening and turn off in the morning by detecting sunlight.

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Small Red Lights Around the CCTV Cameras

Here’s how the IR lights in a security camera work to provide night vision allowing it to capture clear images and footage in low-light or dark conditions.

Night Vision

Infrared light is outside the visible spectrum for humans, so the red glow emitted by these IR LEDs is not visible to the naked eye. However, CCTV security surveillance cameras are equipped with sensors that can detect and capture this infrared light. When the ambient light levels drop, the camera switches to night mode and activates the IR LEDs to illuminate the area with infrared light. This allows the camera to capture clear images and footage even in total darkness or low-light conditions.


The purpose of these IR LEDs is to light up the area in front of the camera in a way that is invisible to humans but still sufficient for the camera to capture images. This illumination helps the camera “see” in the dark, making it useful for monitoring areas at night or in poorly lit environments.

Indication of Active Mode & Surveillance

The glowing red LED lights around the camera indicate that the camera is in active surveillance mode and is recording the surrounding area for protection and security purposes.

The red glow you may see around the camera is a faint indicator that the IR LEDs are active. While it’s not visible to the human eye, some cameras may emit a subtle red light when these IR LEDs are turned on.

Now, you know that the small red lights around CCTV cameras are infrared LEDs that provide night vision capabilities for the camera, allowing it to record footage in low-light or no-light conditions.

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