New standard enables consultants, installers and end-users to specify and compare the performance of different illuminators Raytec are proud to present the industry’s first ever Lighting Standard for Video Surveillance Applications – ‘POWERS’. It is designed to enable consultants, installers and end-users to more easily specify and compare the performance of different illuminators. Raytec are hosting a webinar on the history, theory and practice of the new standard and invite all security professionals to learn more – sign up here. Quoting accurate lighting distances Historically, there has been no standard way to specify and compare different lighting products designed for Video Surveillance and their performance claims - particularly Infra-Red lighting. This ultimately causes confusion and potential disappointment for customers. Lighting manufacturers currently publish very limited information – in the majority of cases they merely quote a maximum lighting performance distance. With the absence of standardisation, one manufacturer could claim a significantly different performance distance when compared to another manufacturer for a product that delivers exactly the same output. Security professionals are therefore unable to safely rely on the lighting performance claims of the manufacturer. Calculating accurate lighting distances should be based around achieving a standardised level of light power on scene at your required distance – which in turn helps to ensure a standardised quality of image every time. But what is classed as acceptable light power on scene and what technique has been used to measure and calculate this? Distance is only one area of lighting performance to consider. Determining angle output is another vitally important area which is currently left open to wildly different interpretation by manufacturers. In addition, there are other criteria to consider which all affect the true performance and overall ‘cost’ of your illuminator. These include: flexibility and adaptability, integration capability, consumption, environmental impact, reliability, lifetime, warranty, customer support and lighting partner credentials. Easy to use guide for manufacturers After facing this challenge almost daily for the last 25 years, the Directors at Raytec took the initiative to launch the first ever Lighting Standard for Video Surveillance Applications – ‘POWERS’ which addresses all of the above issues and more. Tony Whiting, Raytec’s Managing Director (joint) and one of the pioneers of the POWERS standard shares his thoughts on its launch - “We are delighted to be the first manufacturer to tackle this head on by publishing an easy to use guide which outlines key criteria for you to consider when choosing and comparing any lighting product and partner. The standard provides security professionals with an understanding as to how their chosen lighting product will perform and sets a lighting quality benchmark to help customers make an informed choice”. “We are delighted to be the first manufacturer to tackle this head on by publishing an easy to use guide which outlines key criteria for you to consider when choosing and comparing any lighting product and partner", says Tony Whiting, Managing Director, Raytec Industries such as the traditional White-Light industry (street lighting/urban/commercial lighting etc) have long established standard testing methods which all manufacturers adhere to, meaning that all illuminators can be accurately compared. Providing consistent and reliable information Raytec have invited all the major lighting manufacturers to play an active role in helping to formulate this new standard and are delighted to advise that they have generally agreed with the proposed POWERS standard. Hopefully, in time, all reputable manufacturers will commit to measuring their lighting performance in accordance with the standard and publish the proposed information so that customers can have consistent and reliable information on which to base their choices. Tony goes on to say “We can also guarantee that at Raytec we are working hard to ensure that the standard becomes widely adopted and used for the benefit of everyone across the industry”. In addition, Raytec will offer testing of third party products in accordance with the standard, so where there is no published information available, Raytec will measure the product and provide the relevant information. LEARN MORE: JOIN OUR WEBINAR ON THE INDUSTRY’S FIRST LIGHTING STANDARD HERE - 25th November 2015 15:00 GMT (16:00 CET/10:00 EST/07:00 PST)
The VARIO Lighthouse Kit (VLK) from Raytec is a new extension to their family of award-winning VARIO illuminators. It provides a fully integrated lighting and camera housing solution as a high performance, all-in-one alternative to cameras with integrated LEDs. VLK combines class-leading VARIO LED illuminators, available in Infra-Red, White-Light or Hybrid, along with the facility for up to two IP or analogue cameras of the user’s choice (not supplied) into one fully integrated, pre-wired and cable managed housing. The all-in-one solution is easy and quick to mount and install and crucially it provides dedicated LED lighting that stands alone from the camera, thereby overcoming the known problems encountered with integrated camera/LED solutions. Standing separate from the camera, the VARIO illuminators are fully thermal managed and run cool with no risk of the LEDs overheating. Alternative CCTV lighting solutions such as cameras with LEDs around the lens are not thermally managed and consequently can easily overheat. Critically, this can also attract insects which form webs over the lens, preventing the cameras from providing usable images and also causing an increase not only in false alarms but also the risk of failing to detect an intrusion. For this reason, the latest British Standards for remotely monitored CCTV sites (BS8418) states that ‘IR illumination should not surround the camera lens on external cameras’. In addition, stand-alone lighting produces much clearer and more evenly illuminated images with no risk of reflection back into the camera lens or glare in the image – a common problem with traditional integrated camera/LED solutions. Users can integrate up to two cameras of their choice into the VLK unit which, with the associated VARIO LED lighting, can deliver excellent night time images up to 220m (722ft), for a variety of applications including CCTV, ANPR/LPR and thermal. “The VLK addresses a void in the market for a high performance, integrated lighting and box camera solution” explains Tony Whiting, Raytec Managing Director (joint). “Installers can benefit from the easy to install, all-in-one unit, while operators and users benefit from a reliable system delivering good night time images, rather than worrying about the poor images, false alarms and undetected intrusions associated with traditional integrated camera/LED lighting.” In addition, VLK facilitates much quicker and easier interfacing of lighting and cameras for combined operation. Its integrated ‘VLK Control Interface’ provides plug-n-play terminals offering access to multiple pre-set lighting configurations, for the highest level of flexibility and control to meet exact operational requirements, whilst ensuring outstanding 24/7 performance. Lighting configurations can include activation on demand via camera or external input (e.g. PIR, alarm or other external input), or autonomous operation from its integrated photocell. The integrated photocell can also be used to trigger switching of camera day/night mode in conjunction with the illuminators. “VLK enables much easier and smarter lighting integration with your cameras via a convenient, integrated wiring platform”, Tony further comments. “Triggering lighting on demand via your cameras delivers real savings through reduced electrical consumption, and when using White-Light, can provide a powerful, visible crime deterrent”.