When our neighborhood experienced a series of burglaries, I decided to research simple ways in which we could protect our home.
Little did I know that research would lead me to explore dozens of websites and community message boards offering home security advice.
One of the takeaways I learned was that homes without security systems were roughly 3 times likelier to be broken into than homes with a system installed.
So clearly having some form of security set up for our home was better than having nothing at all.
Still, I did not want to go overboard on an expensive security system. I just wanted a simple and reliable option that would give my family and me peace of mind, especially when we weren’t around.
As I looked around, two security brands kept popping up – Lorex vs Night Owl. What I liked about both of these systems is that they were relatively easy to install, reliable and inexpensive.
These security systems also provided automated alerts that could be delivered to my mobile phone in the event of suspicious activity.
What I discovered in my Lorex vs. Night Owl research is that both these security systems will do a great job of securing your home.
That being said, there are some key differences, which I will highlight in this detailed comparison so that you’ll know exactly which option to choose to keep your home safe!
Lorex vs Night Owl Qualities at a Glance
Established in 1991, Lorex is a leader of residential, non-professional grade security systems. If you’re looking to secure your home simply and cost-effectively, this brand could be the right choice for you.
Most of Lorex’s security systems are comprised of straightforward equipment – simply cameras and a hard disc. Their cameras offer decent quality resolution which is clear enough for you to recognize the face of a recorded person.
As most outdoor cameras do, it records the footage in color and sorts it by day.
To ensure 24/7 protection, it switches to a black-and-white scheme at night which makes faces easier to see.
But Lorex also features what they call “color night vision” which improves the quality even more for night-time monitoring and recording.
This video shows this feature in detail:
We really liked its intelligent the motion activation, as itt activates as soon as it detects motion, thus saving you DVR space on the hard drive.
All Lorex systems give you the ability to monitor your home while you’re on the road via an app, and Lorex apps are available for all major phone manufacturers.
- ability to use cameras away from home
- high-quality night vision
- all that you need comes in one system
- all products have a 1-year warranty
- the resolution is not excellent
- the fans of the DVR systems are loud when in use
Night Owl is a newer producer on the market. It’s strength is that it offers a wide variety of both residential and corporate security systems, as well as standalone cameras.
The options are extensive, offering wired or wireless systems of your choice. Plus, if you find yourself in need of additional units, all of their systems are easily expandable.
All Night Owl cameras offer high-quality video resolution during the day as well as at nighttime. They are also able to cover the area surrounding their focus with consistent quality.
Remote monitoring is also an option if you purchase this brand. You can even install a smart alarm system that lets you know if there are intruders when you’re away from home.
The virtual connection allows for audio footage, as well as communicating with people outside your home. Activiating this feature is as simple as installing the Night Owl app.
- HD recordings in both day and night
- a versatile offer of devices
- remote monitoring
- virtual communication via the system
- the brand is still relatively new
- settings not suitable for large-scale monitoring
- the software of the system is of questionable quality
Lorex Security Cameras
Let us now take a more detailed look into the Lorex systems.
FEATURES AND EQUIPMENT
In their basic security settings, you get 1TB worth of storage space and four cameras. More extensive systems provide a higher number of cameras and larger amounts of storage space.
The basic storage is large enough to hold up to 500 hours of footage. If that’s not enough, you can get a more expensive system from their family of security systems or connect it to your own cloud storage system.
The cameras themselves are very durable. They are protected from adverse weather as well as dust. This guarantees a consistent quality of footage in all conditions.
DESIGN AND VISION QUALITY
The cameras are big and bulky, as you would expect from outdoor devices. They are covered with plastics, which is not ideal but justified by the affordability of the system.
Besides being heavy-duty, the design of the cameras are simple. However, they do involve plugging in many cables, as the camera must be plugged in to a continuous source of power.
When it comes to camera coverage, the quality is okay, but the options are limited. For example, you can only see things in the range of the camera. In other words,you cannot zoom in and out.
The day vision for the camera is available until it gets too dark outside, after which it will switch to black-and-white. In black-and-white mode, everything displays in infrared.
There is no two-way audio. You can hear the events from the outside, but there is no option of communicating with people in front of your home.
You can control the camera actions using an app. Unfortunately, the convenience ends there, as there are no options to connect to existing smart home applications.
Lorex cameras use AI to detect motion. However, there’s no specific motion recognition feature so you may receive notifications for moving animals and shadows, resulting in more alerts than you might like.
EASE OF INSTALLATION
Due to the simple design and easy to follow user’s guide, the installation is pretty much foolproof. In fact, most Lorex users choose to DIY install their security systems.
MONITORING AND ACCESSING RECORDINGS
If you’re securing your home and not an office building, you will be doing all the monitoring yourself. Thankfully, Lorex provides a very helpful app to do this.
The Lorex Secure app gives you the options of live-streaming and accessing your footage remotely.
There is also a great feature that allows you to review your event history if you don’t have the time to watch the entire footage.
Plus, to be extra safe, you can set up critical zones for your cameras to monitor and use push notifications to alert you to when you might want to look at your camera footage.
Lorex has a team of helpful and efficient employees ready to support you in case of any trouble with all systems including their wireless and battery powered products.
You can email them or call for live communication during working hours, and all info is helpfully available on their website.
Having gone into more detail about Lorex security cameras, we will now do the same for the Night Owl cameras.
FEATURES AND EQUIPMENT
The basic system also comes with four cameras and 1TB worth of storage, but unlike Lorex cameras, you cannot connect them to your own separate cloud storage service to expand the number of recorded hours you can capture. The included hard disc can be connected to an app so you can view video footage from your cameras without any trouble.
The cameras you receive can be placed either indoors or outdoors. Sleek and black, they will be able to fit into a more modern home design. They are also quite durable and can withstand various weather conditions.
DESIGN AND VISION QUALITY
Night Owl cameras film events in high definition. However the area they cover is limited, considering the cameras can’t zoom and have a narrow field of vision.
There is a two-way audio option. That means you can communicate with those who find themselves outside your home.
While Night Owl cameras can be accessed via a phone app, there is no smart home integration. They are also not controllable by voice.
Their older model cameras do not interpret the images they receive, which means they will react to a lot of movement and possibly provide you with too many unecessary alerts. However, newer models provide heat sensors which help reduce unecessary alerts.
EASE OF INSTALLATION
The simple Night Owl system only has a few components, so you can easily install it yourself. It is no more difficult to DIY than Lorex.
MONITORING AND ACCESSING RECORDINGS
The app allows you to access every recording created. You can also live-stream and create different channels for different viewing areas. Additionally, you can download and share images from the camera.
You may contact customer support via live chat, e-mail, and phone. When it comes to customer service, 24/7 phone support distinguishes Night Owl from many of its competitors.
Why Both Lorex and Night Owl Are Good
As you can see, both of these brands offer a lot great and similar features.
First of all, cameras from both manufacturers are durable. You don’t have to worry about the storm raging outside, as the cameras can handle it.
Both sets of cameras can also be controlled by apps. Sure this may be a standard these days, but it’s still a great benefit if you’re anxious about leaving your house for an extended period of time.
Cameras from both companies are also easy to set up by yourself without a lot of effort, which saves you time and eliminates the expense of having an installer set them up for you. And despite their simplicity, the cameras still offer excellent functionality.
Storage capacity is also great for these cameras. If you don’t plan on keeping every recording your camera ever made, you will enjoy the 1TB or more of space for a very long time.
These two brands are quite similar in terms of simplicity, reliability and eas of use, but we wouldn’t be doing a Night Owl vs. Lorex comparison if they were exactly the same. So now we’ll take some time to highlight the different areas in which one manufacturer is stronger than the other.
We must say, that when it comes to variety, Night Owl takes the lead. Being a newer company, they focus more on innovation and give their buyers more options to get wired or wireless cameras.
Plus, Night Owl can be used in smaller corporate settings as well as your backyard. If you’re looking for a company to meet most of your needs, this is the one.
EASE OF USAGE
As an established business with decades in the security industry, Lorex excels when it comes to ease of use. There’s almost no user who reported having to ask for professional help while installing.
The simple design of their equipment makes it easy to install, setup and use. And if you do have questions, Lorex manuals provide excellent instruction.
Even if neither camera offers AI to recognize faces, Night Owl provides higher image quality. You will easily be able to tell the difference between a friend or an intruder using this camera.
Plus, dual-sound control allows you to greet your friends or alert an intruder that he may want to think twice about breaking into your home. .
Night Owl offers a variety of options for upgrading your system and adding new units. Yet, most of us looking for home security are happy with it being a one-time purchase that we install and forget about.
The Lorex system excels in keeping things simple, as you will get all the basics in a single device. You will also not be interrupted with optional upgrade messages every other week so you’re not constantly having to think about fine tuning your security system. You simply set up your system and forget it.
When it comes to customer service Night Owl excels over Lorex. Both companies offer online support that you can contact anytime.
However, when it comes to immediate phone support, Night Owl’s call center is open for help 24/7, while Lorex is only available during business hours.
Our Picks for the Best Lorex Security Cameras
Lorex manufactures many systems for different needs. These are two of their most favored ones.
This system comes with four cameras – two bullet, two dome, a long cable for each of them and an NVR. There are 2TB of primary storage, with the option of extending it if you need more storage.
The cameras are excellent in the dark owing to the infrared technology. It doesn’t matter if it’s dusk or pitch black, you will be able to see what’s going on.
These cameras are encased in metal, which means they can withstand extreme temperatures, snow or rain, and can last for a long time.
The setup is extremely straightforward thanks to the POE system. This structure ensures that only a single cable is needed for each camera.
One drawback to the camera design is that is does not cover a wide viewing area since it has low angle range of less than 90 degrees.
However, if you’re looking to cover larger areas you can expand the viewing range by easily adding more cameras.
This pack is more substantial, featuring eight bullet cameras. Each camera uses HDR to provide excellent images; Lorex made sure their devices are weatherproof, so you can use them outdoors in bad weather without worrying about damaging them.
The image quality in the dark is excellent. The cameras automatically switch to black and white when there is not enough light.
The NVR for playing the footage has 2TB of space and lets you observe action on all eight cameras at once. If you’re traveling, you can do the same from your phone using a simple app.
Finally, this device is easy to set up. You get everything you need in the package, including the tools required for the setup.
Our Picks for the Best Night Owl Security Cameras
Let us now take a look at two commonly-purchased Night Owl systems.
This setup provides a strong home surveillance foundation. It comes with four cameras and 1TB space which provides more than 500 hours of recording.
The bullet cameras are wired and have a 100-degree angle range. They film in color during the day and have up to 100 ft view at night.
The cables are 60 ft long so you can plug them in even from far away. There is also a power adapter for the cameras.
You can view storage from all Night Owl DVRs at high definition (1080p). Overall, this is an excellent choice for home surveillance.
This surveillance system is more advanced, with as many as eight cameras available to protect your home.
The hard drive is 1TB large, but it will last for a long time thanks to the Smart Motion Sensors that can be set up to record only when they detect motion.
These sensors also reduce false alarms by a considerable amount. They require both heat and motion so that they distinguish between a person or an inanimate object such as a garbage bag or cobweb, and alert you accordingly.
The camera has an infrared option, meaning it will continue efficiently recording at night. During the day, the camera records in full color and at high-definition.
You can use these cameras indoors or outdoors. They are small and don’t look intrusive and are highly durable even in the harshest elements.
As you can see, the primary offer is similar when purchasing from either manufacturer.
Consider your needs before you make a decision. We don’t think you can go wrong with either option, but if you want to pick one over the other we suggest the following:
Buy Lorex if you’re looking for a simple, traditional system which will not be a hassle to you and will last a long time.
Also, if you don’t plan to use the cameras indoors, Lorex is excellent.
Of course the “other guys” in our Lorex vs Night Owl discussion has their strengths as well:
If you’re going for a more full-fledged overall surveillance, Night Owl would be a better choice.
This new company provides more modern, advanced options for techies and security-lovers.
The cameras are also more aesthetically pleasing if you plan to use them indoors.
And just in case you want to consider another brand here, you can check out my detailed take on Lorex and Swann cameras.