Blink XT IR nightvision expecting too much?

So I’ve only had my Blink XT for around a week and a half I think. Daytime recording is great. I was having trouble with the IR settings (all 3) white washing faces at any distance. My new XT came tonight. I installed it in the same spot as the old tried all 3 settings and got better results but…

Ive never had any other security cameras besides a stick up cam I ordered at the same time. This XT has way better range of IR illumination but seems to be slightly inconsistent. I thought I had it all set up but I’d go into the garage come back to the same spot where I had a pretty clear face shot only to have my face white washed again.

Ive noticed a little further out it was pretty consistent and pretty distinguishable face image, but getting within 5 ft or less of the cam whitewash.

I tried mounting it above the service door facing into darkness with same results. Am I doing something wrong or is this normal. By the way I’m wearing a black t shirt and black hoodie.

1st picture is my original placement and I’m standing about 10-15ft out in black hoodie, navy pants.

2nd picture is moving in on it in black t, navy pants.

3rd picture it’s moved above door.

4th picture same spot I moved out a little off door step.

Does this look normal to you experienced users or am I expecting too much to have it not white wash?

Here’s a screenshot from a video my XT took the other night when I went out late to walk the dog. I keep the IR illuminator intensity at low.

I’m definitely less than five feet from the camera, and also wearing a black jacket.

I would like to think I didn’t get a second faulty camera but even positioned away from the house so there’s no IR reflection I got same results. Getting within 5 ft of camera and looking like your picture, forget it. I tried all 3 settings and even mounting above service door and same results. 3 or 4 times the pictures came out like yours but I’d step away then back just when I thought I had the right location and settings and bam, whitewash again.

Heres a video I shot this morning after 30 more minutes of trying all the settings again and slight angle adjustment.

And this is my Thanksgiving visitor XT in total darkness. 1080p
The subject is about 13’ from camera

Looks better then mine, mine is 15ft or less from that door and about 9ft up. I think the whitewash is also making it look worse then the video quality and possibly slightly choppy or maybe I’m imagining it.

Settings are at enhanced video, auto IR set at low. Camera and module have full signal bars. Home network pulling around 235mbps dowbload/13mbps upload.

as a rule, IR washes out colors. If you are in an area that is already well lit, I would keep the IR off if colors are important to you. I have my IR off, and got full color on our Christmas lights.
You can probably adjust the whitewashing in the face by turning down the intensity in the settings. But if you are looking for actionable video, most of your clips seem to be getting that

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Im not looking for color. What I am looking for is is what marktheknife is getting. I cant even get close to the camera and get facial visibility like that. Also I have IR Illumination on the lowest setting, low.

Speaking of color how much light does this camera need to switch off night vision? I found it strange I had a 100w light 10-15ft from that camera on and it stayed in night vision but as soon as I got up tp adjust the view/angle it would switch off night vision until I got off the ladder then back to night vision.

But there is a point that your face could be seen fairly well. I sharpened the image a bit. So I think it past the test.
Thoughts?

I noticed that too. My 75W flood lights in the backyard makes my XT turn to color when on too.

Mark yeah I will say its very good picture untill you get in a 5ft radius or less of it. I was looking at marktheknife’s picture more looks like he m8ght possibly have street lights assisting his IR on a city corner?

Mark I’m wondering why when I have that light on so close, its staying in night mode and not going to color? You’d think when I get up the ladder in the cameras “face” that would block light to keep it in night mode, not switch it to color.

How did you save this picture from your device?

I took a screenshot while the video was playing. On an iPhone you press the home and power button at the same time.

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OP has stated several times he’s not seeing much of difference no matter what the IR intensity is set to. He even RMA’ed his first unit.

Correct, there is a streetlight on the corner behind me. The doorframe where the camera is mounted isn’t directly bathed in light from the streetlight, it’s kinda blocked by the corner of the building. But it’s certianly not pitch black in general right around me, I live in NYC.

I’ll see if I can get a pic later tonight with the IR illuminator off to help you compare.

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@Estpaul What is the image quality without any white light? I have the same issue with my XTs, but I have a lot of white light and other IR illuminators from my wired cameras. Have you tried maybe covering up some of the IRs with electrical tape? I wonder if it’s also dependent on surrounding surfaces and the reflectiveness of those surfaces. I’ve noticed that the concrete in the alley way (where my XTs are monitoring) gets a lot of reflection from my external IR illuminators. I don’t see anything obvious other than some IR bouncing off of the wall (side of your house, it looks like) in your “3rd picture it’s moved above door” pic. I know IR reflection can ruin an image. I faced that with one of my wired cameras, and I had to adjust the angle.

@livingtx I’m not sure what you mean by image quality without any white light? I tried adjusting it when I had it up above the door and there was no real difference, plus with that shot you can see compared to my first mounting location I lose a lot of coverage. Besides the wall its all open dark yard not much to reflect off of mounted above the door.

At this point I’m figuring I’ll just have to deal with it? I doubt I got another bad unit but after seeing marktheknife IR picture quality and a youtube reveiw another guy did with his above the door and a lot more stuff for the IR to reflect off with clear IR picture quality I’m starting to wonder.

This color picture shows the original location.


I then turned the camera all the way to the left corner(which would be my right standing in the picture) of the sidewalk facing the street(no walls for IR to bounce off) and for a few seconds I got a pretty clear picture standing under it (again IR on low setting) I walked around the cam re adjusted and it was white out again. This is the best picture I got right before it started whiting out again.

And finally this is the view with no IR.

Also livingtx do you know hoe many IR leds there are in the blink xt? I thought I read there was only one. This is a stick up cam I’ve been trying by my front door. There’s no adjustable IR settings it has 6 ir leds that are reflecting off my wall no problem.

Thanks everyone for the help so far, maybe we’ll get this figured out haha.

@Estpaul I meant… if you turn off all the white lights (ie. porch lights, floodlights, etc.) that you can, is the image any better? White light and IR light can have odd effects. @marktheknife marktheknife said his place was nearly pitch black, right? Do an experiment by turning off all the white lights (including those that might bleed through nearby windows) and see what it looks like. Then, turn on all the white lights and see what it’s like. Which is better?

I can’t recall how many IRs the XT has, but I think you’re right – only 1.

I have the same issue with reflection, but I always thought it was my white lights and external IRs flooding the Blink.

I sent my husband out for a walk around the house so I could capture these video clips for you to see. I have a lot of reflection.

  1. Floodlights keep this camera over my driveway in color mode.
    https://youtu.be/_dd2Ce2-ABI

  2. West side of my house. Very little external IR from Blink. You can see the only white light is a back porch light a ways away. Probably only mounted 7 or 8 feet high.
    https://youtu.be/R7M-KRk5G8Q

  3. Some external IR from wired cameras. (Mounted to a tree) about 4 feet off the ground. Some white light.
    https://youtu.be/HtoK2i9T6yk

  4. I need to adjust this camera. It looks like it slipped down some. Some external IR. Some white light. Mounted to a tree about 4 feet off the ground.
    https://youtu.be/l7kAka9LkXo

  5. Fairly dark. Some external IR from wired camera. Please note that the sensitivity of this camera is turned WAY down to cut down on false alarms on sunny days. Sensitivity is set at 4.
    https://youtu.be/X7N38v_K5c8

  6. Alley - lots of external IR from an IR illuminator (separate from my wired camera) and lots of white light. Mounted to my fence about 6 feet off the ground.
    https://youtu.be/QjqPQzy9zYc

compare that to the Coyote video I posted: https://youtu.be/k-dtLc1l-lc Notice how the light doesn’t reflect AS MUCH on the coyote? Blink does recommend mounting at least 7 feet high. http://support.blinkforhome.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2242810-mounting-your-blink-camera

  1. Driveway fence view - lots of external IR (from illuminator which is separate from the wired camera) and lots of white light (my flood lights and neighbor’s flood lights.
    https://youtu.be/xHyEyhABKOg

Nope not pitch black. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I’d say the ambient light is moderate for nighttime but right where my face is it’s fairly dark. I’ll post something without IR in a min.

@livingtx I just took these.

1st no inside lights on no outside lights. IR on low.


2nd IR and service light

3rd No IR and service light on only

4th No IR no lights

Here is a view outside from driveway with the garage to my left and the only streetlight. You cant see it when standing at service door.

Here is my camera mounted. Gutter to sidewalk is 10ft


The picture with service light on and IR on low is 10x better but then theres the trade off of that service light being so bright its almost washing a face out on the doorstep but then a very good picture all around it for recognizing a face. Maybe a dimmer bulb? Then I’d also have to replace the fixture with a motion sensing one since I dont like wasting electricity and forget to turn lights off when I leave. Thats what I like about my ring stick up cam is the night vision no extra light needed but it doesnt light up nearly the area blink xt does.

Its also only 720p another draw back compared to blink xt and no free cloud storage. Also I noticed the blink XT with service light on is picking up some strange reflection/red dot in the lower left corner.

@Estpaul Yes, I think experiment #2 with the service light and IR on low was good. I use LED bulbs and have replaced my switch with a Lutron Casetta switch that I have scheduled to turn on/off at sundown and sunrise. I can dim them as well, but I like them 100%. I just leave them on all night. For my wired cameras (I haven’t tried with Blink), but the cameras take a split second to adjust to the sudden light when it’s a motion activated and washes out the entire image for a bit. I don’t like that. LED bulbs are relatively cheap, and it’s an easy to change out. Switching your light switch and getting a smart hub (either the Lutron Pro – I got mine at Best Buy by all their Magnolia theater setup or something like Wink or another hub that will support Lutron Casetta (or whatever smart switch you want to use). That’s what I do anyways.

If you didn’t want to do that or you just want to reduce glare from the service light, you may want to look for a fixture that directs the light downward to reduce to reflection – though, you might want to try with someone holding a “shield” such as a metal cookie sheet (sorry, the only thing I can think of) in front of the service light as you walk up to the door and see if the shield helps prevent glare.

The other thing I’m wondering is – what if it were mounted higher (move it left on the eve where the room slopes higher from the ground). Or… would putting it on that window frame give a better angle with less glare? I suspect the answer is that the camera needs to be further away to avoid being washed out.

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