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Infared Cameras and the Dark Cycle

Question for anyone who might know or have had a similar problem. As required by State our cultivation has extensive camera surveillance and these cameras go into night vision when the rooms are in their dark period. My question is if it’s possible for the red light given off by the camera to see in the dark could possibly be seen by the plants causing disruption in the dark period. In one of our rooms we have had problems with hermies in strains that have never had this issue before and the plants most effected seem to be the closest to the camera. The spacing in the room is tight, so the camera is only about a foot away from the nearest plant. I took a spectrometer reading of the red light being given off by the camera in the dark period (which is visible to the human eye).


I know that anything above 700nm is outside PAR but my question is if it is still visible to the plants and interrupting the dark cycle possibly causing hermies in some strains?

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Quick question: Would you happen to have a picture of the camera relative to the plants (both in night time and day)? Would be useful for assessment.

Here’s what the camera is seeing right now. I’ll have to get pictures of the camera relative to the plants next time I’m at the cultivation.

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Hey @john . This is an important topic in my opinion. If you google this you’ll find several links with some interesting information. Here’s a link where Ed Rosenthal talks about infrared light and how it affects plants -


The only problem is he talks about cameras that just take in/receive IR light. Many inexpensive cameras today have infrared-light emitters. These infrared LED’s have varying light spectrums. Some are in the low 700 nm spectrum while others are higher up in the 900 nm. The border between far red and infra red is called the “Red Edge” and starts at 700 nm. Plants reflectivity to the infrared spectrum rises sharply starting at 700 nm and beyond. The spectrometer that you posted shows there’s some light being produced in the far red spectrum. It’s very little, but this might be what’s causing the plants closest to the cameras to hermie on you. If it was a single plant, in only one location I’d be doubtful about the camera being the cause. If more than one plant in near proximity to a camera, or two plants in different locations but each located closest to the camera are going hermie, then I’d assume the Camera is the guilty party.

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John, do you have the opportunity to cover some of the light with something like tape? Even if you use translucent tape, a few layers of it should lessen the light intensity coming from that red beam pretty significantly. (Think scotch tape).

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Electrical tape might work too!

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I agree with Nate and Hunter. I’d cover up as many as you can. The camera likely doesn’t need much IR to still have a clear picture. Each camera has a minimum lux rating. Decent IR cameras need less than 1 LUX. Reducing the intensity is the key. If there were more distance between the plants and your camera it would help too. It sounded like that might not be an option though. I’m also a big fan of electrical tape since I’m an electrician. :slight_smile: Most camera installations this likely isn’t a problem (Cameras are mounted further away). I’m a small cultivator myself, so I feel your pain. I like your setup btw. Rockwool/ebb and flow? Your plants look happy. Are you topping several times or mainlining them?

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Good advice from everyone so far. I would say if you’re not trying to get new cameras over 940nm so that the red spectrum is even further out of the plants red spectrum than the 700nm-850nm most cameras emit, then definitely cover up the red light with elec. tape or something. Also I always want any cameras with IR as far away from the plants as possible, but if your space is tight and you can’t move the camera then covering the light will be your best bet.

I also recommend if strains are turning herm on you and you think it might not be the light then find a new pheno asap. Herms (as you all know) are never worth the stress, and those plants might want to herm with any stress they encounter.

Good luck.

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In my experience the light from surveillance cams is not sufficient enough to cause any problems. I’ve been growing with cameras in room for 6yrs. Exit signs and proper cam coverage are important when it comes to compliance with state regs. If your plant herms or shows stress light leaks are usually the scapegoat.

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Nice feedback ! Covering up the camera will be your least expensive solution. In addition to what Alfro_EndoFarms mentioned, having unstable genetics could be the issue, especially if a small amount of light is causing your plants to herm. Typically IR light is not photosynthetically active, however, it can increase the surface temps on the leaves, but I don’t think the IR from the camera is strong enough to do so. In addition to, IR cameras sense heat being emitted from a warm body, the camera usually doesn’t emit IR light.

However, the red light may be enough to disrupt the dark period, if the intensity is strong enough. Also, keep in mind the inverse square law. The intensity of the light is dependent upon the distance of the light source from the target area.

Best of luck !

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