Baby monitors consist of two units – a portable one you keep, and a camera that goes by your child. Most monitors use color LCD screens, so you get a very clear picture from the camera in your child’s room. Screen sizes range from about 2 ½ inches to as large as over 4 inches. On many monitors, you also get features like the room temperature and time.
Speaker and microphone
A speaker and microphone are built into all baby monitors. Currently, most have two-way talk, so you can hear your baby and also talk to them through the monitor. You can reassure your child as soon as they start crying so they know you’re on your way. You can also use the baby monitor like a walkie-talkie to communicate to your partner if they go to the child.
The camera functions on modern baby monitors are very advanced compared to ten or even just five years ago. Using the monitor, you have complete control over the camera in your child’s room. Most cameras have digital zoom or even tilting functions so you can adjust your view horizontally and vertically to look around the baby’s room. A new feature in some cameras is the ability to switch out an optical lens. You get get zoom or wide angle lenses, so you don’t lose any resolution. Some cameras even have record functions. If you have multiple children you need to be on the lookout for, many monitors let you connect up to four total cameras, so you can use just one handheld monitor for four different areas.
To keep an eye on your kids during the night, most monitors have night vision. The camera will sense the amount of light in the room and adjust its image accordingly. Some even have invisible infrared LED lights, so you can see in the dark without disturbing your child.
Most monitors run on lithium batteries, while the cameras are A/C. The lithium batteries are rechargeable, and most give at least 3-6 hours. The more powerful monitors have energy-saving modes, like PEEP (a Lorex-brand feature) that puts the camera and monitor to sleep when there’s no sound. You can get 36 hours of battery life with this mode. Other power-saving modes give 10 or so hours.
One of the major benefits of modern baby monitors is that you can move quite a ways from the camera and still get a strong signal. These signals should also be secure with limited obstructions from microwaves, cordless phones, and so on. More limited ranges start at about 400-450 feet, while longer ranges extend to 700, 800, or even 900+ feet. Many monitors include an “out of range” signal that will alert you when you’ve wandered too far.