Why Does My Security Camera Keep Flashing?

A security camera mounted on a wall

Security cameras are notorious for posing all sorts of issues to homeowners or business owners who just want a consistent video feed of their areas. Security cameras are the best solution for keeping a watchful eye on houses and commercial facilities to provide 24/7 safety and crime deterrence. Security camera image flickering is one of the most common headaches in surveillance. This can be a pain to those who need to monitor areas as feed flashing, or flickering will degrade the image quality and make it very difficult to see what is going on. We will cover what this is below and how you can fix it for good. 

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What causes nighttime flicker?

One of the most common causes of disruption in security feeds is known as “nighttime flicker.” This is commonly caused by light sources that are interfering with your camera’s built-in low light or infrared capabilities. Many security cameras come with an enhanced dim light vision to help them keep a constant viewable feed at night. If light sources are placed too close to the camera, they can disturb the IR settings, causing the camera to rapidly switch between low light and daylight settings. 

However, nighttime flicker in your cameras may also be caused by an inadequate power supply, a loop-through video input, inclement weather, or faulty equipment. We will explain each of these possible causes along with tips on how to solve them. 

Are you looking for professional security system installation or updates for your business? TriStar Security Services can help you build an impenetrable and safe facility. 

Close Light Sources

As mentioned above, if light sources are placed too close to your security cameras, it could disrupt your feed and cause flickering or flashing. In unevenly lit settings, this will confuse your camera. Having a light too close to the camera can also cause a lens glare, making it even more difficult to observe what is happening in the area. If you need to fix nighttime flickering in your cameras, the first step will be to take a look at the lighting situation. You will want to ensure that the area is well-lit at all times, or you will want to move the camera or light farther away. Having a well-lit area is best for security and surveillance in general, so keep this in mind when creating a perimeter. 

Related: 1080p vs. 4mp: What’s The Difference And Does It Matter?

Power Supply 

Your power supply may also be a culprit in flashing or flickering security feeds. Often the flickering on your monitors is due to a 12-volt transformer failure. Security cameras commonly use 12 volts of power to provide video, so they need adapters to ensure they are receiving that level of power. These transformer components degrade over time and can cause something that appears as blinking or flashing on your screens. 

This could also be due to an inadequate power supply to the cameras. Security cameras need a fair amount of juice and a direct and uninterrupted power supply cable that provides the correct amount of power. You can examine your power cables and outlets to ensure that everything is receiving enough power. If that fails, you can check the 12V transformer components. 

Is the Video Input to the Monitor a Loop Through?

One of the first things you can check in your surveillance system is if the video input into the monitor is looped through to the video output to the hard drive or storage system. If you can view your video output, check to see if it is cut off at a 75-ohm load. Your monitor may be overloaded with the signal from the camera. If that is the case, it may be a problem with your monitor’s ACG circuits. You may need to update your monitor system with newer equipment that can handle the signal from your cameras. 

The Weather

The next culprit of flashing or flickering from your security feed may be inclement weather. Rain, Ice, Snow, Hail, and even the sun take their toll on outdoor security cameras over time. If you are only noticing screen flash or flickering intermittently, try to notice the weather at the time this happens. If it is raining or snowing, your disruption may be from the weather. As a fix, you can place your outdoor cameras under cover to reduce the effects of the elements. This could also save you in costly replacements over time. You can also purchase cameras that have advanced weatherproofing and are designed to take a beating outside. 

Outdated or Broken Equipment

All electronics and equipment break down eventually. When your camera systems start getting worn out, the video quality will often suffer. Think back to the last time you updated your software, monitors, cables, cameras, and everything else that goes into your security system. If you have outdated or broken equipment, it can compromise the safety of your facility. It might be time to replace your cameras with newer models. The same goes for cabling and monitors. 

A security camera with the sky in the background

How to Fix the Flashing

You can fix the flashing by diagnosing it for the above problems. These are all common problems, and you will most likely be able to identify the source of the flickering or flashing after following the above tips. If nothing is working, please contact us — we will have your system operating at its best in no time. 

Looking for a professional security consultant to identify your surveillance weaknesses? TriStar Security Services provides expert advice and installation for all your security needs. 

Now you should have everything you need to diagnose and solve screen flickering or flashing on your security cameras. For more advice and best tips on setting up your surveillance system, visit the TriStar Security Blog and give us a call! (512) 733-0944

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