Night vision cameras are worth a second look

Night vision cameras are worth a second look
The Lanmodo car night vision camera can help drivers when street lighting isn’t great, or in areas they are unfamiliar with.

Noel Campion finds the Lanmodo night vision camera aids driving in the dark and can reduce road accidents

I live in a city where street lighting is getting better thanks to improved street lighting technology and where visibility is generally excellent at night. But when I do have to drive outside the city, and especially in an area where I’m not familiar with, products like the Lanmodo Night Vision Safe Driving Assistant are an aid to help improve road safety.

The Lanmodo system that they sent me to test uses existing light and enhances visibility using the camera sensor and software. This works a little like a standard digital camera where you increase the ISO to allow more light into the sensor. The night vision software then further improves this signal to provide a better, brighter image. The lower the light, the more work the system has to do and as a result, the image quality is grainy and less clear.

Night vision systems are currently available in some high-end cars from Audi, Mercedes and BMW. Lanmodo decided to develop its night vision system to improve the safety of night driving for anyone with a car. A lot of car accidents happen at night and many of them are caused due to poor visibility and bad weather situations. Lanmodo night vision system is a driving safety assistance for people who drive at night and although I’ve been using the system for the last month, not all of it was during dark hours. Of course, the Lanmodo will also work during the day, but in general, for everyday driving, it’s completely unnecessary and more of a distraction.

So, what do you get in the box? Well, a screwdriver, plus the camera and IPS 8.2-inch, 1080p display is one unit.

You also get the two methods of powering the system via a standard 12v light plug or by using the OBD2 port and two different methods of mounting the Lanmodo unit.

The quickest and easiest method is the one I went with which is a simple non-slip mat that the unit fits into. This is then placed on the dash. The other is a suction cup system that mounts to the window screen but since I already have a dashcam, this wasn’t an option for me.

Night vision cameras are worth a second look

It’s really important and should be obvious that no matter how good a system like this could be that it’s only a driving aid and should not be used to stare at all the time while driving at night. The main function of the system is to get assistance with clear and bright road feedback while driving in low light, rainy weather etc.

The Lanmodo 1080P Night Vision System can enhance vision up to 300M and help drivers to know some road situations in advance to take measures and avoid accidents.

One of the things I like about the system is how simple it is to use. On the top of the screen are seven buttons. I would have prefered it if the buttons were spaced a little differently because the power button is in the middle, but it’s only slightly bigger than the other buttons. This means that if you want to turn the screen on or off you could easily press the wrong button instead.

The first button is for switching from the main camera to an optional rear camera. I can see how the rear camera would be of incredible assistance to those who have to drive for a living and don’t already have a reversing camera.

Lanmodo 1080P full-colour image night vision system is useful for those truck drivers who always drive at night. A truck has a long body which makes it more difficult to reverse in the dark. This is where the Lanmodo 1080P full-colour image night vision system could be beneficial and the connector line of the rearview camera can be up to 600M to suitable for almost all vehicles.

While testing the display during the day, the display is incredibly clear and sharp. However, for night driving, I had to turn down the brightness to avoid the distraction. The 8.2-inch display is pretty massive and so where you locate it on the dash or window is important. Although the display is 8.2-inch, the aspect ratio is very wide and the image is actually stretched/squashed. This isn’t an issue as such but worth noting.

Image quality during the night is incredibly impressive. It really enhances any available light on the road in front of you. I found while driving on rural backroads I was able to see way beyond what I could with just my headlights. However, oncoming headlights or even taillights will cause the screen to blow out, but that doesn’t surprise me when you consider that the system is trying to enhance the available light.

A small annoyance is that the camera doesn’t have any image stabilisation resulting in a shaky image. The mounting system I used on the dash is in part to blame for this and perhaps the suction to the windscreen would have been a better option.

Overall, the Lanmodo Night Vision Safe Driving Assistant is excellent at improving night vision and bad visibility during the day and although I can’t recommend it to everyone, those who would benefit from it already know who they are.

www.lanmodo.com $499 with free worldwide shipping

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