There are several methods that can help you better understand how to spot a drone at night.

In this article, I’ve gathered them all together.

Today, you will learn all about how to identify a drone at low-light conditions.

8 Ways to Spot a Drone at Night

The light, sound, and radio signals are the three primary things that originate from the drone which help in detecting it at night.

Listed below are several different ways of spotting a drone at night:

Lights from the Drone

When drones fly at night, they often emit lights. The lights can be blinking or non-blinking. You need to keep a check while searching for a drone at night as the lights emitted are usually dim. Surveillance drones on the other hand have bright anti-collision lights that make them easily visible. The drones can emit lights of various colors like red, green, white, etc.

drone at night

Sound of the Drone

The next way to locate a drone is to listen to its sound. Drones make different kinds of sounds which mainly depends on their propellers. The sound can be described as a buzzing sound as they move through the air. Most drones are reasonably quiet, but if you pay attention, even the quietest one can be heard. Sound is one of the simplest ways to spot a drone.

By using Drone Detector Application

Smartphones have made life easier and nowadays everyone has one in their hands. There are several drone detector apps available online. All you need to do is download one on your smartphone. These apps are designed to capture unencrypted wi-fi signals that drones use to communicate with their pilot. Whether the signals are being received by the drone or not can be confirmed by comparing the received signal in the app’s database. Though this method works only if the drone is within half a mile of the device.

Motion Detection Cameras

Motion detection cameras are quite useful. These cameras should be placed in positions where the object is visible. They work by detecting movement by comparing the series of images they capture. Usually, the motion detection cameras are programmed to send notifications directly to your smartphone. Using infrared light makes the objects visible at night just like normal white light.

By using Acoustic Sensors

Acoustic Sensors are a bit pricey but have some great advantages. They are usually used in quiet surroundings to detect drones at night. The key benefit of these sensors is that they can detect drones that lack communication signals and don’t reflect signals properly. It is hard for any spying drone to miss the acoustic sensor. Another plus is that along with the drone, it can give additional information about the model as well.

Infrared Light Motion Detection

Using a night vision camera’s thermal energy to detect movement, infrared light motion detection is an essential technology that helps find drones quickly in dark surroundings. By using the infrared camera, spotting the heat signature on the drone becomes super easy. Infrared cameras are popular among police and military services but for security reasons can be used by civilians as well. Set up the camera in a location where it will have a clear view of the area to be monitored.

Microwave Motion Sensors

The Microwave motion sensors send out electromagnetic waves to their surroundings, they detect waves as they bounce back. This way you can easily feel the presence of the drone via microwave motion sensors as parts of the waves will be bounced back by drones. They can also give a fair idea about the speed and direction of the drone. The place where you install the sensors matters the most, an ideal choice would be the window.

Radar Detectors

Another accurate method of detecting drones at night is the Radar Detectors. Radar detectors can detect drones by analyzing the signals that bounce off drones located along the path of the radar’s transmission. Compared to microwave sensors, radar detectors can monitor a larger space. You can set them to spot the drone in a specific direction or all directions as per your will. They are efficient when comes to spotting drones at night and give you the exact distance from your property.



Thanks for reading!

I hope this guide helped you gain all the information about how to spot a drone at night 🙂


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