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In dark car interiors, screen can be a little bright
Compelling enough to distract you
If you have difficulty seeing the road ahead of you when you drive at night, and want a little extra help, you could consider taking a look at the Lanmodo night vision camera. It vastly improves your night vision and could help you avoid dangers that you might otherwise not see.
There are two versions of the night vision camera: One with a rear camera, and one model without. Both increase the amount of available light coming into the camera and aids your vision. It is really impressive and compelling to watch.
Inside the box, there is the camera, a non-slip mat, a box with adaptors, a suction cup, and a cigarette lighter socket. There are also input cables and an OBD adaptor to connect the camera to your vehicle management console.
You can either mount the Lanmodo camera on your windscreen or onto the dashboard taking out the screw, attaching the base, and placing it onto the non-slip mat.
You can tilt the camera on the back of the device to make sure it is looking at the correct part of the road in front of the car.
The camera has an 8.2-inch HD screen and 1080P resolution and it gives a 36-degree angle of vision ahead of the car, showing objects in color up to 300m away like they are in daylight.
In use during the day, the camera shows good details of the cars in front of you. They appear to be closer, however, due to the magnification of the camera. It is at night when the camera comes into its own.
When driving with the headlights on, the camera image shows cars as clear as in daylight. Even when parked in town with the headlights off, the camera image looks like it is daylight. It is really impressive.
The camera uses a technology called near-infrared imaging. It does not work well in a completely dark environment. Even on the darkest nights (there has been no moon during the early evening this week), you can still make out shapes.
Lanmodo can also be used for other night-time activities such as night observation or fishing etc. However, you would need an external battery such as the Jackery portable power pack to power the camera when you are out and about.
The camera is supposed to improve vision in both fog and rain, but unfortunately, now that spring is here, I did not experience either of these conditions. The extra clarity of the camera I had during the day convinced me that the view would improve in both of these weather conditions
I was concerned about a couple of things when using the camera. The screen is large and, in a smaller car, could take up much of your screen real estate -- especially if you also have a dashcam with a screen mounted on your windscreen.
Secondly, the image is very compelling and I found myself using it to drive -- instead of glancing at it occasionally to check the view ahead. This distraction could cause an incident if you do not refocus your eyes on the road.
The screen display is also really bright – and this is very apparent in a dark car with the dashboard lights dimmed. I found it a bit glaring sometimes. But this is a small niggle for such good visual aid in the car.
All in all, this is not a cheap camera. But for $400 with the discount code for the unit (without the rear camera), this is an impressive night vision system that will give you peace of mind.
Make sure you use it as an aid to driving and not a replacement for an all-round view. It is compelling to look at often -- but try not to get so fixated on the image that you get distracted in the dark.