At night, it is difficult to spot drones. They are nearly invisible against the dark sky and they can be hard to detect with your naked eye.
That’s why we have compiled 7 tips on how to spot a drone at night so that you know for sure if one is hovering above your property or not. We will also give some pointers on what measures you should take.
What Do Drones Look Like At Night?
Drones do not shine or glow, so they are hard to spot at night. They may have blinking lights on them if the pilot is flying by a visual line of sight (VLOS).
If you cannot see a drone at night, it is possible that its lights are turned off and the aircraft follows the route only guided by GPS. In this case, there is no way to detect such an object in motion.
However, if during flying over your house or yard the device shows up and flies away from these places without turning back, it is very likely that there was a spy drone.
How Far Can Drones See At Night?
Drones can see very far and detailed at night. Sometimes, drones even have thermal technology to help them better detect humans in the dark.
The maximum distance they can see at night:
- Good vision at over 300 meters;
- A drone can see up to 600+ meters away in optimal conditions with infrared camera technology;
- Thermal technology can see up to 1000+ meters away.
How To Spot A Drone At Night
Watch Out For Light
If a drone is flying in the night, you can often see it because of its light. Drones are equipped with powerful LEDs that allow them to fly autonomously even when illuminated by street lights or car headlights. You should be looking for sources of bright white or colored lights moving across your field of vision very quickly.
Within 15 minutes after dusk, it will become impossible to see any flying objects without artificial illumination. The easiest way to get rid of drones during your outdoor activities is therefore by completely avoiding the use of flashlights and torches.
Listen To The Sound
Do you hear a humming? That is probably it!
This is one of the main ways to spot a drone flying over you. If something is up in the sky, it probably makes some sound. It might be really hard to hear if there are other sounds around or if there are bad weather conditions but this can help you figure out what’s going on even before seeing the device itself.
Use A Drone Detector Application
Use a drone detector application. This is the easiest and quickest way to know if there’s an unauthorized device in your area. There are several applications you can use for this purpose. You just have to download the one you prefer, open it and wait for a confirmation of an unauthorized drone’s presence nearby.
However, bear in mind that these apps are not 100% accurate so do not rely only on them if you want to know whether someone is spying on you with a camera or something else.
Use Motion Detection Cameras
Currently, the most effective way to detect drones is by using motion detection cameras. Motion-activated security systems can send you alerts as soon as a drone enters your property’s airspace, giving you time to call authorities.
The downside of motion detection cameras is that they are quite expensive, but if you can afford them then definitely use these.
No matter which camera model you choose to go with, the important thing is that it has night vision capabilities for optimal performance at nighttime.
Use Microwave Motion Sensors
Microwave motion sensors are designed to be used in homes and small offices. They detect moving objects, but cannot identify them. This makes it perfect for spotting drones.
If you use one of these sensors, it will go off any time a drone flies through its detection area. It’s easy to install and only requires that you plug it in.
For added protection, place them on windows or doors where drones are most likely to fly into if they’re trying to get onto the property.
Use Radar Detectors
Radar detectors are designed to detect any type of radar, including that emitted by drones. With the help of this device, you will be able to determine whether there is a drone in your vicinity and roughly estimate its distance from you.
Radar detectors are only effective against non-military devices which use standard radar frequencies (X or K bands). Radar signals used by military drones have a range of frequencies and cannot be detected by the radar detector.
Use Acoustic Sensors
When you look out for drones, it is easy to be distracted by the noise they make. However, if your enemy comes up with a silent drone that does not emit any sound or makes only low-intensity buzzing sounds, then this acoustic sensor would do wonders in detecting them at night. This device can detect subtle vibrations and unusual sounds which means that it can be used to detect drones in the vicinity.
However, it is advisable not to rely too much on these sensors as they are designed to pick up sounds made by humans and animals that produce noises within a particular range of frequencies. So if your enemy sends out an insect-sized drone that emits only very low sound or does not emit any sound at all, then this device will not be able to pick up the noise made by it.
What To Do When A Drone Camera Is Watching You
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a drone follow your every move it is important not to panic and to consider taking the following measures:
- Ask for help from other people who are around you, they may also have noticed a strange object flying above them or hovering close by.
It’s likely that someone else will have spotted the drone too and will come forward to offer their support if you ask for it.
- If you can, get a picture or video of any identifying logos on the drone which will help to identify who has been flying it when reporting them to the police or if you need to provide evidence in court later.
However, this is not always possible so remember that trying to get a picture of the pilot is always your priority.
- If possible ask for ID from any security guards that be near you and then call the police immediately who will be able to take the matter further and investigate your claims of being watched.
- If you are in a not public place, such as your home, then you are within your rights to ask for the person watching or following you to leave.
If they do not, then it may be necessary to call the police again as this could indicate that you have a trespasser on your property who is illegally trying to gather information about whatever goes on inside.