Inside CI recently took a trip to LILIN HQ courtesy of Invision UK, to sample some in-depth training on its IP cameras and related hardware. Headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan, the company has quickly grown to be a preeminent manufacturer in the advanced IP video surveillance industry.
LILIN has taken a lead in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of a broad range of networking surveillance solutions. More recently it has taken a growing interest in the CI business.
It was the IP camera that brought the company to the attention of the home automation market, after being approached by Control4 to produce a driver. At this training course, attendees get to see just how powerful a product this can be when integrated into a smart home environment.
The course kicks off with an introduction to the LILLIN range, and how to integrate them into your control system. LILIN offers drivers for all the popular platforms.
The camera range is extensive, from bullet cameras to discrete in-ceiling models. Each one is equipped with SD cards for recording.
The L series offer a high quality 1080p image with 15 FPS. Moving up, the iMEGAPRO series offer 1080p at 30 FPS. These come with tamper alarms and face detection. The newly launched M series is a cheaper option to the Pro models but still includes 30 FPS. Top of the line is the Ultra series which boasts 4k resolution with 120 FPS – but as it stands at the present there is no option for recording in 4k.
Choosing the right camera for the right task is very important and LILIN provide a tool on its web site to make it easy to select the best lens for where you are fitting the camera. This tool calculates the right lens for face detection and number plate recognition.
Next up, attendees learn how to connect the cameras together. This isn’t as straight forward as you might think. You’ll need to work out if you have enough bandwidth (each camera uses 3 Mbps), vital if you are using POE and switches. Cameras with IR typically use 12 watts, and you do have an option to power the cameras with POE injectors.
The course goes into great detail about IR. Infra-Red allows you to see detail at night, but you need to consider reflective value. Shinning a torch into the garden if there’s no subject to light up won’t reveal anything. If you specify a 25 metre IR, it will only work up to that distance so you must make sure you choose the right IR for the job.
LILIN has just launched a door station. It is full HD with built-in PIR and SD recording. It uses SIP for two-way communication, so can be connected directly to Control4 as C4 has a SIP manager built into it.
One of the highlights of the day is the hands-on session. We had to plug a camera into a switch and then run IP scan software, which comes with the LILIN camera. IP scan allows you to see the details of the camera on the network – its IP address, subnet mask and gateway. There’s also a nice tool for updating firmware across the whole camera range.
Setting up this IP camera using a web browser is a really straight forward task. In the browser window you have an advanced mode that allows you to manage all key features, including triggers, white balance and events. New to this advanced feature is IVS, or Intelligent Video Surveillance, which allows you to set Motion detection, advanced motion detection, tripwire and object counting.
After lunch, it was time to take a closer look at the LILIN NVR. This is a really slick piece of recording kit, which can integrated into a home automation system. The driver is IP, so you can do just about everything that the NVR does through the Control4 system. All LILIN NVRs support 16 channels. Each model comes with a different frame rate and hard drive options.
The setup of the NVR utilises a simple menu. Once the IP address has been assigned, you then search for all the cameras on your network and assign them to your 16 channels. Playback of a specific month, day and time is possible.
Another neat solution is the LILIN app. Free to download, it allows you to set-up your camera network to be viewed on mobile devices. Installation is very simple. Once you have assigned ports on your router, you set up the cameras on the system and suddenly everything that you can do internally on your network can now be done remotely.
All in all, this was an invaluable training day. We found LILIN cameras really simple to install and control via all the major home automation controllers. The NVR is a great system bonus, as the multi-screen options and resolutions are far better than just using the individual cameras alone.
Given that security is now a major requirement from customers, being able to offer CCTV options is clearly vital. If you’re not doing this already, you should seriously be thinking about it… then book yourself onto the next Invision course.