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Security Camera Color Night Vision: Setting Day & Night Mode

Certain elements such as the mercury from a security light can damage the internal components of a security camera. If it's mounted too close and causes damage, and you're lucky enough to not brick the entire camera, you might be left with damage to the ambient light sensor and the inability to automatically switch between day and night mode on the camera (color and b/w). If this is the issue you're having with an IP camera, unfortunately, this damage is not covered by your warranty, but there is a workaround. This workaround is the same video optimization method used to set your night vision ip camera into color mode at night.

Our IP cameras can be set to a schedule for day and night mode, meaning you can control the hours of the day the camera will be in color or black and white mode. It's a little involved, but when you're finished you'll no longer have to worry about day/night switching and you'll save money on purchasing a new camera.

Step 1: Connect the Camera to Your Network

If you already know how to pull up the camera's web interface, then skip to Step 3. In order to log into the camera, it must be connected to an open network port, not the PoE ports on the back of the NVR. If the network port is not a PoE port then you will need to power the camera with one of the following:

If your camera was connected to the NVR's PoE switch on the back, it has negotiated a new IP address with the IP camera and if the NVR was on the default settings for its internal switch the IP camera is now using the scope 10.1.10.x. Additional work will be needed to bring it to the right address so it can be accessed.

If you have not ever connected the IP camera to the NVR's internal PoE switch and the default gateway on your network is skip to Step 2.

1) In order to bring the IP camera back to the right scope on the network, you will need the IP Config Tool that came with your camera on a cd. If you do not have the cd or do not have a disc drive you can get it from our downloads page. If you're using the download make sure you extract the file and find the setup file. It looks like this:

Locate Config Tool Setup File

2) Double-click on the setup file and allow it to install. Click yes if prompted.

Windows Security Question

3) This window should come up after allowing the program to make changes to your computer. Click Next to continue.

config tool welcome screen

4) Here you have the EULA. If you would like to change the program directory for the install now is the time. After you've finished reading it click the checkbox for "I agree" and click install.

config tool - click agree and click install

5) Once the IP Config Tool has finished installing you'll see this screen. Click on close.

config tool - install success

6) The IP Config Tool should have created a shortcut on your desktop. Double click on the icon to open it.

config tool icon Double click on the Config Tool icon to launch the program.

7) This step will vary depending on your firewall settings. If you're prompted that windows blocked some features, check both of the boxes and click "Allow access."

allow acess to network

8) Once it starts it will begin scanning automatically to find NVRs, DVRs, and IP Cameras that are from CCTV Camera World. If you don't see the camera click on refresh.

Click Refresh
If the IP Camera doesn't show up on the IP Config Tool you'll have to dig a little deeper. Otherwise, skip to step number 12.

9a) Open the command prompt by clicking on the Start Button and type CMD into the search bar and press enter.

9b) Type ipconfig and press enter.

type ipconfig in command prompt

10) Write down the computer's IP address and the router's IP address that's displayed on your command prompt window.

find router ip address

The IP address for your computer is the IPv4 Address and the IP address of your router is the Default Gateway. In our case, the scope is 192.168.1.x. Yours may be different. Make sure to use your scope when configuring the cameras.

11) Change the settings for scanning by clicking on "Setting."

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You will be prompted with a window like the one above.

  • Make sure both boxes are checked
  • Set the start IP to the same as the Default Gateway (written down from earlier)
  • Set the IP Number to 255
  • Click OK

If nothing appears click on the refresh button at the top of the window.

12) Now the camera should appear in the window on the IP Config Tool.

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Double-click on the Cameras IP address to open its settings.

13) Now that the settings are open, change the camera's IP address to match the scope of your network. Make sure you set it to an address that is not and will not be taken by another device. If you do there will be an IP conflict, and you will be unable to access the camera until the other device is either removed from the network or its IP address is changed to something else.

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Change the IP address and the gateway to match the scope of your network. Don't just copy the figures from the pictures. Refer to the Default Gateway you wrote down earlier.

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When you're finished click "Modify."

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Then click "OK."

14) Check the work to make sure the camera is at the right address. Wait about a minute for the camera to reboot and address itself properly then hit refresh.

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It should appear here.

Now that we know the IP address of your IP camera, we can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Accessing Your IP Camera from the Web

When using the IP camera's built in web server to access the settings you must use a browser that is compatible with ActiveX. Therefore, using Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Safari will not give you access to the camera. You can use Firefox or Internet Explorer 11. We recommend IE11. There are a few steps that you'll have to take with the browser in order have the ActiveX controls fully functional. You can follow this guide here: Enabling ActiveX to View Your IP Cameras and DVR Over the Web

Before getting started on Step 3 make sure your computer is connected to the same network as the IP camera.

Step 3: Configuring the Camera for Scheduled Day/Night Mode

There are a few points to cover for this configuration:

  1. Default the camera to make sure no misconfigured settings are kept
  2. Make sure that the time is set on your camera
  3. Configure Day/Night schedule
  4. Configure day settings and night settings
  5. Test your settings

Let's get started.

1)Open IE11 and enter the address of your camera into the URL bar at the top of the page.

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If you're prompted to install plugins please follow the link posted above in step 2 for Enabling ActiveX to View Your IP Cameras and DVR Over the Web.

Enter your credentials and click login.

2) Click on the "Setting" or "Setup" tab in the top right corner of the screen.

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You've now landed in the settings portion of your IP camera's web server. Follow the guides below to configure the camera.

How to Default Your IP Camera

In order to make sure there aren't any previously configured settings that will cause conflicts, you'll want to default the camera's settings.

1) Click on System from the drop-down on the left side of the screen.

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2) Click Default on the left side under "System."

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3) Click on the Default button in the middle of the page.

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4) Click OK.

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Your Camera is now set to factory default. Let's move on to configure time.

Configuring Date and Time On Your IP Camera

If your time isn't set right, then setting a schedule would be pointless. The camera will be looking to its internal clock to keep its schedule.

1) Click on the System drop-down on the left side of the screen.

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2) Click General under the system drop-down menu.

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3) Click on the Date&Time tab in the middle of the screen.

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4) Now we've landed in the settings for "Date & Time." Configure the time in the following order:

  1. Set your time zone - Eastern is GMT -05:00
  2. Set Daylight Savings Time - Click on DST Enable - then click the Week radio button - follow the second picture below for the days and times that daylight savings starts and ends.
  3. Click Sync PC - this will sync it's date and time to the current settings
  4. Click Save

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Optionally you may sync with an NTP Server. It is recommended that you do so as over time the camera starts to lose time. Just check the box, select your NTP server, make sure the camera has access to the Internet.

How to Configure A Day/Night Schedule Manually

Finally, what we've set out to accomplish. Setting the schedule.

1) Click on the Camera drop-down on the left side. Then click Conditions.

2) Click on the Profile Management tab in the middle of the page.

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3) Your profile should be set to Normal. If it's not that might be the cause of errors. Try going back to conditions and clicking default before moving ahead.

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Now select the Schedule Radio Button.

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4) Your window should change to something similar to the image below.

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By default, the schedule will populate the day profile across 24 hours.

5) Click and hold on the end tab and drag it into the time your sunrise occurs.

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6) Click and hold on the other end tab and drag it into the time your sunset occurs.

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Then click save.

You now have your time block configured for Daylight. Let's move on to configuring the profile for Day and Night.

How to Configure the Day and Night Profile

Since we've now added the camera to the network, defaulted the camera, set the date and time, and have given it a schedule lets take the last step and configure the profile for day and night.

1) Click on the Conditions tab at the left side of the page.

If your plugins are installed you will see a window with the cameras feed in it to the left and a set of controls to the right.

2) Click on the drop-down tab that says "Normal" and select Night.

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3) On the right-hand side select the drop-down box for Day & Night and choose Black and White.

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You should notice the image to the left has changed to black and white, once it does click save.

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4) Click on the profile drop-down at the top again and select Day this time.

Then click on the Day & Night dropdown and change it to "Color."

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5) Click "Save" at the bottom of the page.

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The configuration is now complete! Let's test the schedule to make sure the profile settings are accurate and the schedule actually works.

Testing the Schedule for Day & Night Switching

Always double check your work. It will save time troubleshooting later.

1) Go back to the Profile Managment tab under Setting > Camera > Conditions and drag one of the end tabs to make the camera goes into night mode, and save.

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2) Click on live view at the top of the page.

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You should see the image in black and white.

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Ok, night works.

3) Go back to the Profile management tab by navigating to Setting > Camera > Conditions > Profile Management. If you need help getting there refer to the images above. Drag the end tab back to its location (sunrise or sunset) and click save.

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4) Click on live view again to test the Day setting.

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Your feed should appear with color.
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That completes our tutorial if you have any questions leave a comment in the discussion box below.

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.


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