Infrared not working on a new doorbell 2020 version

I just replaced my 2 old Gen 1 video doorbells with the newer 2020 models. The doorbell attached to the side of my garage is not going into infrared mode at night. The two red dots are not visible. The video is in color maybe becuase there are a few streetlights nearby.

I covered the doorbell and forced the red lights to come on. The video it took of me when I removed the cover was in night mode. However the red lights quickly turned off. I got to the point where covering the doorbell no longer turned on the red lights. They never stayed on for more than a few seconds.

This doorbell is hardwired. The doorbell that was originally there was also hardwired and had no issues going into night mode. Any ideas how to get those red dots to turn on at night? Perhaps the install didn’t go quite right. Short of a defective unit what do you suggest I do to try and fix the problem?

I attached a video of what I get at night if you desire to look at it.

Hello @streetwolf ,

That was great that you included a video of what your camera is seeing. Dang, that is a bright light across the street shining right into your lens, and it is likely what is fooling your camera to stay in Daytime mode. Since you can indeed see color in your video (which you would not if it was in Night mode) and the red-glowing IR LEDs only can come on when in the Night mode, so that’s another confirmation that your doorbell is staying in the Daytime mode and not switching to Night mode.

Since there is currently no setting to manually select or override which mode (daytime or nighttime mode) and the camera decides automatically when to switch on its own, I think as long as that there are several bright lights in the field-of-view, your Ring Video Doorbell will not change to night mode.

I don’t think you installed it incorrectly, nor do I think your doorbell is defective. This model is ‘improved’ over your old doorbell and hence probably more sensitive to the surrounding illumination.

Personally, I actually prefer the video quality of the Daytime mode over the Night mode during the night, so I’ve intentionally ‘tricked’ my doorbell by leaving my porch light on and I have several yard lights on, to maintain a bright area in my Ring Doorbell’s field-of-view. Your video, while in Daytime mode at night, looks pretty clear with good details too.

But if you like the Night mode better and/or want to be sure there isn’t something amiss with your new Doorbell, you could try doing a hard Factory Reset (press and hold the reset button for at least 20-seconds) which will return it to the factory firmware and wipe out any potentially corrupted downloaded firmware it might have got during the initial setup. After you release the Reset button, it will again automatically reboot and start the setup procedures again.

Another thing you could try is to remount the Doorbell in a different location where that bright light won’t be shining directly into the lens. Or maybe the use of a “Corner” or “Wedge” kit might be enough to angle the lens away sufficiently, so that the bright light doesn’t have such an impact on it switching modes. You can also telephone Ring Support for additional help on how to correct your issue :

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360036196372-Get-in-Touch

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19, their available hours have been changed also:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041597471-Ring-s-Response-to-COVID-19

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Thanks for your reply. The one important fact you might have overlooked is that the first time I covered the doorbell to block any outside light the 2 red leds came on. There was an audible click when they did (Is this normal?). When I removed the covering the red lights went out in a few seconds. I covered/uncovered the doorbell a few times and eventually I was not able to get the red lights to appear again when covered. I tried al sorts of things to eliminate external light hitting the doorbell. This kind of rules out the streetlights as causing the problem don’t you agree?

Could the issue lie in the doorbell being hard wired? Does it matter which terminal I hooked the red and white wires to? The doorbell at my front door which I also replaced is not hardwired and works fine.

BTW… Getting in touch with RIng support via phone is a ‘Hail Mary’. Probably becuase a lot of folks have bought RIng devices during the weeks long Black Friday sales.

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Hi @streetwolf ,

When you covered the doorbell to block any outside light, your Doorbell automatically decided, as it should, to switch to the Night Mode. When it switches to the Night Mode, the 2 red LEDs should and did come on.

When the camera switches to night IR mode, the audible click you hear is normal. The click is produced by a mechanical IR filter, physically and rapidly moving (snapping) behind the lens to improve the IR video quality. On rare occasions if this mechanical filter gets jammed or stuck and can not retract, it will produce a pink/purple color hue on the Day Mode video.

When you removed the covering and red lights went out, that is because your camera detected light and decided that it was sufficient enough light to switch back to Day mode. The glowing red IR LEDS can only turn on in the Night Mode.

The doorbell’s electronic circuits use a ‘delay’ to make sure it really is night. This delay prevents brief dark shadows from being mistaken as real nighttime that just happen to cause enough darkness to trip the set threshold cross-over point. This delay also aids during the transition period from early evening to sunset, to prevent the camera from rapidly switching back and forth between day and night modes as the sun sets, resulting with the IR filter ‘shuttering’ frequently/rapidly back-and-forth which could cause possible damage. That is probably why you eventually were not able to get the red lights to appear again when covering and uncovering the doorbell a few times in a short amount of time. Now that you have left it alone for awhile, I’m betting if you covered it again, it would switch to night mode again successfully.

As I mentioned before, I actually prefer the Day Mode video quality for my Ring Doorbell even at night, and I ‘trick’ mine by using several lights bright enough to prevent my doorbell from switching to Night IR mode. Ring is aware that some people were not completely satisfied with the IR video quality, so on some Ring cameras they’ve have a “Color Night Vision” feature:

  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • Video Doorbell Elite
  • Floodlight Cam
  • Spotlight Cam Wired/Mount
  • Stick Up Cam Wired POE

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360038559351-Understanding-Color-Night-Vision

So when I re-watch your video, that is a lot of light shining into the lens from several sources, especially that one light at the end of your driveway area. It is actually more light in your video’s field-of-view than I have on my Doorbell video (which I’ve intentionally ‘tricked’ into staying in the Day mode, which I prefer). And I still think the detail quality that I see in your video looks pretty good to me (but that’s just my personal preference). So, I’m still thinking it does not rule out the streetlights. Now, it could be possible that the electronic circuitry ‘switching’ threshold might be “out-of-tolerance” and set a little to much on sensitive side. This can not be changed with any settings available to you. If your camera has a defective tolerance, then only replacing the doorbell would be your remedy.

All my Ring cameras and my Ring Doorbell are hard-wired and switch modes as they should (except for my cameras I’ve intentionally ‘tricked’ into staying in Day mode). And whether it is ‘hard-wired’ or on ‘battery-only’ should not have any impact on when the camera decides to switch to night mode either. Also, it should not matter which terminal you hooked the red and white wires to, because it is low-voltage alternating-current (AC), so unlike battery direct-current (DC) there is no ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ side.

You could do a little additional experimenting, in additional to the hard Factory Reset I mentioned in my first post. You could temporarily swap this doorbell with your other new front doorbell. It should be relatively easy if they both are the same model. Then see if the street lights cause the other doorbell to not switch too while it is in this location. Or it is possible that your doorbell’s mode-switching circuits are a bit “out-of-tolerance”, and swapping locations with your other doorbell could help determine that. I do think that your newer improved Doorbell has much better video qualities than your old doorbell, and probably that is why it can “see” better during the dusk period and therefore can afford to delay switching to Night Mode.

If you do determine the switching is “out-of-tolerance” and you are still within the Return policy 30 days, you could just return it and replace it. If beyond the 30-day, you can telephone Ring Support for additional help on how to correct your issue :

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360036196372-Get-in-Touch

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19, their available hours have been changed also:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041597471-Ring-s-Response-to-COVID-19

I do hope that I’ve maybe given you some helpful information that you find useful. I’d be curious to hear an update back on the final outcome with your Night Mode issue. :slight_smile:

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You certainly know your stuff! Covering the doorbell this morning did not turn on the red lights. I did a 20 second reset and setup my doorbell all over again. Still no red lights when covered. I contacted support and they had me do another 20 second reset to no avail. I was asked to check out the doorbell tonight when it is dark to see what happens. Support will call me back tomorrow to check on the doorbells status.

I agree the daytime video at night is pretty cool. The one thing I don’t like is the elongated glare of the nearest streetlight as well as a couple of other lights to the left and right of the main one.

Regardless, the unit should work as designed. I am only basing this on the fact that covering the doorbell completely does not turn on the red lights which might indicate a defect which might show up somewhere else down the line. I conceed that being a more sensitive model that the streetlight being so close and bright would turn off the night mode even if the red lights came on when I cover it which of course they don’t anymore.

I’ll be sure to post the outcome here. Once again thanks for the incredible help and knowledge you have provided me.

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@streetwolf wrote:

You certainly know your stuff! Covering the doorbell this morning did not turn on the red lights. I did a 20 second reset and setup my doorbell all over again. Still no red lights when covered. I contacted support and they had me do another 20 second reset to no avail. I was asked to check out the doorbell tonight when it is dark to see what happens. Support will call me back tomorrow to check on the doorbells status.

I agree the daytime video at night is pretty cool. The one thing I don’t like is the elongated glare of the nearest streetlight as well as a couple of other lights to the left and right of the main one.

Regardless, the unit should work as designed. I am only basing this on the fact that covering the doorbell completely does not turn on the red lights which might indicate a defect which might show up somewhere else down the line. I conceed that being a more sensitive model that the streetlight being so close and bright would turn off the night mode even if the red lights came on when I cover it which of course they don’t anymore.

I’ll be sure to post the outcome here. Once again thanks for the incredible help and knowledge you have provided me.

Hi @streetwolf ,

You are very welcome. I’m glad to help. I do wish I had figured out a way to completely solve your issue. Thank you for your kind words. :slight_smile:

OK, so you did try the hard Factory Reset and re-completed the set up and when you covered it again and with ‘no click’ sound (although sometimes snapping IR filter can be very subtle/quiet) and no IR lights means it is not switching into the Night Mode, so it maybe your Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen / 2020 Release) is indeed in failing.

Since Ring Support asked you to check out the doorbell tonight when it is dark to see what happens, and they said they will call back tomorrow, that means they are documenting your issue. And if it cannot be resolved, very likely they will replace the Doorbell free of charge under its warranty. During this Covid-19 mess with how it is causing personnel manning difficulties, if they accidentally forget to call, then don’t hesitate to call them after a reasonable amount of time.

And yes, I look forward to your post on the final outcome here. :slight_smile:

A little while ago I was playing around with the doorbell. It wascompletely dark at the time and the streetlights were on. The doorbell was not in night mode. However when I covered the doorbell the red lights came on. After I removed the cover they went off. I did this a few times with the same results. I think you are correct that the streetlights are making the doorbell stay in day mode.

When I uncover the doorbell, night mode sticks for a few seconds and I notice that the glare from the streetlights is still there albeit in black and white. That being so having the doorbell in day mode at night insn’t a bad thing as you mentioned from your own experience.

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