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11 January 2023

With red-white-black colours, our UFO camera systems usually stand out well when working on construction sites, solar fields or wind farms. However, it is different at night. Thanks to the infrared light used, the cameras detect everything that moves without spreading artificial light. And that is good for humans and animals according to Dr Kamiel Spoelstra of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). "With infrared light, you are then very well positioned. You can't get any better."

In the Netherlands, it became about 125 times brighter in recent years. This makes this small country one of the most illuminated countries in the world. All that light also has a downside. Researcher Spoelstra: "The Netherlands is a densely populated country. A small country with lots of people, agricultural activities and horticulture. If you compress that in a small area, you automatically get a lot of light."

Detection area in infrared

By equipping our Units For Observation (UFO) with infrared lighting as standard, we are doing our bit to reduce light pollution in the evening and at night. Dirk de Jong, manager of product development at Kooi: "Infrared is the normal way of lighting for us. It is invisible to humans so we don't cause a nuisance in built-up areas. In addition, artificial light also subtly alerts burglars to where valuables are stored. We put the detection area in infrared light with our UFOs without burglars knowing we see them. That is our strength."

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Artificial light harmful to nocturnal animals

Spoelstra has been researching the effect of night-time artificial lighting on animal behaviour in the Light on Landscape project for more than a decade. Indeed, municipalities and companies are increasingly lighting their residential and commercial areas with LED artificial light. "For now, it can be concluded that the blue side of light is the most disruptive for animals. This is because the light is relatively blue at night. Since nocturnal animals are relatively sensitive to the blue side of the colour spectrum, the proportion of blue in artificial light is all the more disturbing," the researcher said. A red light appears to be the least harmful for most groups, although, of course, no light at all is best, the researchers argue. Or infrared light. Spoelstra: "Night-active animals cannot see infrared, so this is also a very good way.” 

Artificial light is not preferred

Spoelstra is therefore not in favour of artificial light as is often still seen on construction sites or industrial estates. "Green light is not good under any circumstances. On land, green light is never beneficial for animals at night because they can simply see very well. Warm, white light is even better in that case." Spoelstra's research also reinforces de Jong's vision to remain committed to infrared detection. "We are constantly working to improve our products while also considering the impact on the environment and nature. This research proves that we are on the right track and we will certainly also continue to develop our products and services," de Jong said.

All suspicious movements are detected by the UFO via integrated cameras and detection systems that are equipped with powerful infrared technology. It does not emit distractive lights. This way we can provide optimal security to your site. In addition to that, Kooi camera units have a siren and a voice message, with which we can take direct action from the Kooi Alarm Center in the event of undesirable situations. Contact us if you would like to know more about the technology and methods we use to protect sites and valuable assets.