Where you place your Blink camera helps you get the view that you want.
To observe a place, mount the camera and use the Blink app to test your view by taking a new thumbnail, or by entering Live View.
You control night vision features from the Camera Settings screen. To get the best results for low light conditions you adjust brightness of the infrared LED. Click to learn more about night vision settings.
There are situations when the camera image does not appear as you would see. In early morning, for instance, if the motion sensor turns on the camera to capture the event, the white balance does not have time to calibrate, and you may see a blue tint to the image. The next clip will have a corrected white balance.
Click to learn more about flipping the view and mounting your Blink Mini camera.
Another common use for Blink cameras is to alert you when activity occurs.
To detect motion, the camera is sensitive to the size of an object as it appears in the view. A small animal close to the camera could trigger similar detection as a larger animal farther away, because the appearance of their heat signature is similar. The best range of detection is within 5 to 20 feet (about 1.5 to 6m) of the camera.
Motion detection is also sensitive to bright flashes like those from automobile reflections, or sunlight coming through tree branches.
If you wish to be alerted to a person arriving on a walkway or path, place the camera so the direction of travel moves across the camera view, rather than towards it. When motion goes toward the camera, the image differences from moment to moment are quite small as compared with motion moving across the camera view.
To be alerted to people, rather than animals, you might place the camera so the view is above the ground high enough to not be triggered by the animal or their tail.
If you are primarily interested in arriving visitors and deliveries, it may be useful to mount the camera looking towards the doorway, so random pedestrians or stray animals are not likely to enter the camera view and trigger a motion alert. Remember that motion across the screen (side to side) is more effective for detection than action moving toward the camera.
Testing Motion Sensitivity
After you set motion sensitivity, it is a good idea to test it. Set motion detection for the camera to "On" and "Arm" the system, then walk into the camera view. Depending on your results, adjust the motion sensitivity setting, or shift the camera view, or adjust the infrared LED brightness.
Learn more about enabling motion detection and arming your system here.
In some cases, sources of sudden, or large temperature change can trigger a motion alert. Some examples to consider are intermittent activation of a heater pilot light, heat vent on an exterior wall, or a location that is exposed to concentrated reflections during certain parts of the day.
To learn more about preventing unwanted motion alerts click here.
Blink cameras are able to block off motion detection in certain areas that you set. Below is an image representing areas that were blocked from triggering a motion alert from tree motion, moving tree shadows, or blowing leaves.
Click to learn more about blocking areas from motion detection, by configuring Activity Zones.
Blink Outdoor and Indoor (gen 2) cameras allow you to set two Privacy Zones that block off ANY sensor detection. Privacy Zones are blocked inside the camera, ensuring imagery from those areas never gets sent from the camera. Click to learn how to use Privacy Zones.
In general, avoid placing the camera right next to a flat surface. Flat surfaces reflect light and create glare, which can affect the image in many ways. Glare can also be created by momentary reflections, or a strong source of light aimed at the camera lens.
The appearance of glare can be like fog, ghosting, or a bright area of the image. Glare can also make the background appear darker. This image shows a camera sitting directly on a shelf.
Moving the camera a short distance away from a reflective surface can make a big difference. Using a Blink Camera Mount or Blink Camera Stand is recommended to lift the camera off of surfaces like a shelf and improve image clarity. The image below is from the same camera on a mount.
In some cases, switching the infra red (IR) light Setting to "Off" can help also. If the area has lighting already, as with a garage door opener, your camera will provide a picture as shown here.
As the image below shows, a garage presents unique conditions. Note how the distance from the threshold (red mark) to the top of the camera view is in just the upper third of the view. Also because of the angle, when the garage door opens it will pass through the view quickly, leading to a person being detected late - especially if their body heat is similar to the sun-warmed concrete in the image. It is even possible that a person entering this garage may not be detected until they enter fully and pass into the cooler area.
In this case, we want to know when the garage door is first opening.
Considering that the motion sensor works much better when activity crosses from side to side, and that the camera is being asked to notice movement quickly while adjusting to the sudden presence of light, here are a few ways to help the situation.
1. Adjust the camera so the garage door motion starts at the bottom of the view, all the way to the top. The result would be door movement in view for longer time, improving the chances of detection.
2. Battery powered Blink cameras use differences in infrared (heat) energy to detect motion. A person walking on cold concrete is much warmer than the background and gets noticed. If the door and the ground underneath are heated by the sun, they might have a similar temperature, so the rising door may not show enough heat difference to trigger a motion alert. A possible solution is to glue or tape a material to the inside of the door that creates a difference. A block of foam insulation, for instance, will appear different from the background in infrared, and when the door lifts, the motion will be more obvious.
3. The Blink Mini, a plug-in camera, detects motion by comparing video from one moment to the next. In the dark, an infrared (IR) light provides the camera a visual image. In some cases, a solution is turning off the IR light to keep the Mini camera in 'daylight mode'. When the garage door opens, it's light turns on, and presents the camera with a big change from one moment to the next and a motion alert is triggered.
Another solution is to leave the IR active, and place IR reflective material on the back of the garage door. When the door opens, each of the reflectors create a very obvious motion thanks to the IR light on the Mini. Click to visit an Amazon.com IR reflector purchase page.