Our Guide to the Best Backup Camera with Night Vision
Why get a backup camera with night vision capabilities? Well, according to the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), backup cameras will be mandatory in any new car purchased in the United States. This rule will go into full effect by May of 2018.
But that news doesn’t explain why you may want one of these for your older car, or even a new one.
Rather, what I found most interesting were the statistics that NHTSA released on why they are requiring the installation of back up cameras now as well as and satisfying the mandate of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007.
The first statistic was that there are over 15,ooo “backover crashes” per year just in the USA. And out of those, 267 (estimated) were fatalities. But the saddest part of these statistics is that out of the
fatalities, it’s estimated that 31% of those were children under 5 years old.
So do you really need a backup camera? I guess it really depends. But if you have children, or even elderly people living around you as they were the second largest group of fatalities coming in at 27%, it might be a very wise decision. I mean, if you have kids, why wouldn’t you? They are completely affordable.
So why get one that can see at night?
I was wondering the same thing when a reader of Smart Car USA asked me to write on the subject. And here’s why I feel if you’re going to get a camera, then why not spend the few extra bucks to get one that sees in the dark? The difference in cost is really minimal.
And unless you have fantastic vision, seeing in the dark can be tough for anyone. Especially when looking behind you. And if you have a high car or SUV, it’s about impossible to see what’s behind you in the rear-view mirror or even your side ones.
But one with night vision lets you see things that you’re just not going to see otherwise. The picture may not be as clear as if it were daytime, but you WILL see there is something behind you. Even if it’s only your kid’s bicycle, which is another thing that the NHTSA’ data doesn’t reveal. The damage done to personal belongings and vehicles for backing up accidents that don’t involve a person. I’ve run over a toy or two, so I bet this happens an awful lot.
Which is the Best Backup Camera with Night Vision?
So if the above has convinced you to grab one of these, I do have a short list of the gear that I think would best suit your needs, be affordable and last a while. Hopefully never needing to be replaced.
First up is the AUTO-VOX M6 Dash Cam Backup Camera Kit. This is definitely an affordable option and the one I purchased myself at Campad Electronics, but not the cheapest on my list of great cams. But it’s worth every penny. And here’s why…
Of course this has nigh time capability.
This unit has a motion sensor which is great if you can’t see something even as small as a cat that’s behind your car.
Not only that, it doubles as a kind of security camera and is able to record the video of your rear view even if you’re not in the car. And the motion detection will automatically turn on the recording if your car is bumped or motion is detected up to three meters away. Perfect for parking lots. (As long as you wire the cam so that it gets continues power.)
There are both a front and rear lens for this. And the front lens is 1080P which means a really clear picture, HD quality here and has audio as well.
You have the option to turn of the touch screen after a few minutes if you don’t always want to see it. But it can still record even with the touchscreen off.
Here’s a video that I found really helpful explaining exactly how to install this unit. It’s not hard at all and can be done in under an hour even if you’re not a mechanic or even technical.
The other “con” is although it has a micro SD card slot for recording and saving your video, the kit doesn’t come with one. So you’ll need to buy one yourself.
My second choice is a less expensive kit that does many of the same functions as the AUTO-VOX, but not quite. But still very “acceptable” for those on a tighter budget.
Choice number two is the LeeKooLuu Backup Camera and Monitor Kit.
This unit also is a nighttime unit that can see in the dark. But unlike the previous kit I reviewed, there is only a single backup camera and nothing more.
It still comes with everything you need, it just doesn’t have a front view camera as well.
The LeeKooLuu can be plugged right into your cigarette lighter for a quick and easy install.