• Steven McCombs

Technology Spotlight: Lightfinder by Axis Communications

Updated: Sep 27, 2019

Lightfinder is a technology created by Axis in order to better make use of surveillance systems at night. Lightfinder can provide high-quality COLOR video even in extremely low light conditions. Network cameras with Lightfinder are beneficial to areas such as parking lots, constructions sites, campuses, city surveillance, and areas where color video may increase the likelihood of identifying people, vehicles, or incidents.


Traditionally, most network cameras switch to a night mode that is in a gray-scale format, cameras with Lightfinder stay in day mode and keep delivering color video. In surveillance, color can be a key factor in identifying a person, object, or vehicle. Lightfinder can add value not only in areas with the darkest scenes but light from areas with less than typical indoor lighting can benefit as well by employing a shorter exposure time thereby keeping noise and blur to a minimum.



The ability to reproduce colors in scenes with very little light can help operators quickly and accurately report the color of clothing or cars for more precise identification you won’t get in a camera running in IR Mode.


Lightfinder technology can be effective in scenes even with as little light as .05 Lux, which is about the equivalent of a clear night with a full moon. For reference, a candle 1 Meter away is 1 Lux, a traditional office light is 500 lux, and normal daylight is 10,000 lux.


To learn more about Lightfinder technology in depth, please reference the AXIS white paper listed in the sources area.


A few other benefits of Lightfinder Technology include:

  • Reduce motion blur (by using a shorter exposure time)

  • Reduce noise (still using a short exposure time)

  • Use longer telephoto lenses (which generally requires a shorter exposure time for a good result)

  • Increase depth of field (by using a smaller aperture in the lens)

  • Reduce noise (by using less digital gain)

  • Improve WDR performance (which means less noise) in the dark parts of the image


Additional Video References:

Axis Lightfinder: See true colors in low light - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NLPVbC-8M8


Live video demonstration between traditional camera and when Lightfinder is activated - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsD0Tka4EDI


Comparison Video with an Axis W1602-E - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-JdFbp9IuQ


Axis Lightfinder - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cN3LHdBQQ


Sources:

1. Lightfinder: Outstanding performance in difficult light conditions, August 2019, Axis Communications https://www.axis.com/files/whitepaper/wp_lightfinder_73157_en_1904_lo.pdf

(2012, November 20). Behind the Technology: Lightfinder Q&A. Retrieved from https://www.sdmmag.com/articles/88554-behind-the-technology-lightfinder-qa

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