Black and white image

I have been having a little problem with my YI Home Cameras. I have them sitting in a window pointing outside to a lighted parking lot. Recently one has been on color but has now switched to black and white. The other camera has always been in black and white after the sun goes down. I have Night Vision turned off as both are looking into a parking lot with a steer light.

It’s very important for me to have them in color so I can accurately see what people are wearing.

What can be done about this?

Hi @Anduril, thank you for joining the forum. It sounds like the camera has become stuck in night vision mode. When did this problem start?

Have you tried resetting it? If that does not help, please let me know and I will get your some contact details from you so customer support can check if the camera is still under warranty.

Be interesting to see the outcome of this please. The 1080p dome camera I am using in what sounds a similar arrangement (pointing at a window, IR lights off) goes to black and white.

I just thought that’s how it works. A Blink Mini I have in a similar manner doesn’t go black and white. So thought it’s just how the Yi works.

So if you can post the outcome here it would be appreciated. Thanks.

@YorkshireUser does the camera switch back to day mode when it’s not pointed out the window?

@Anduril Do you also mind pointing the camera away from the window and letting me know if it goes back to the normal color mode.

It sure does Mark. With the clicking noise as it returns to colour.

When pointed at the window the clicking noise is heard and the camera goes back to black and white.


Thanks @YorkshireUser. Very interesting. I know the indoor cameras can run into issues with the IR light and motion detection when pointed out a window. But I haven’t heard of this particular phenomenon happening.

Appreciate I have cropped both. But this is the comparison between the Yi Dome 1080p and the Blink Mini.

Both pointing out of two different living room windows but with the same lighting conditions. image image

@YorkshireUser YI Dome on the left?

Yes the first of the two images. The lighting and other variables are like for like.

1 Like

The aggravating part is that sometimes it will be in color at night and other times it will be in black and white. I can point it inside and it will work normally.

@Kami_Mark I have reset them several times. Even deleted them and added them again.

@Anduril Unfortunately this is not something that can be remedied with a reset or anything like that, as the light sensor inside the camera being interfered with somehow by the window glass. For this reason we advice people to install a dedicated outdoor camera. Sorry I can’t be more help!

What could explain the camera image being in color one time and black and white another? Is there a sensor that could be covered up?

What I’d suggest to test it and if course of safe to do it. Open up the window and let the camera view outside without the glass and see what happens. If then it works in colour at least you know why the Black & white happens and can assess if it is suitable for your needs.

For me I think the quality of the video is excellent

This might work too mate. There must be an ambient light sensor so place with if expect a port hole some place. It is if you can find it or the manufacturer advise where it is located.

But covering it up with say some electrical type tape (the thick black stuff) may trick the sensor into not operating.

It could be trial and error but what have you got to lose?

You’re right. There has to be some sensor. The funny thing is, when it’s in black at white and night and car headlights shine into it, it will switch to color for as long as the lights are pointed at the camera. Then it will switch back to black and white.

We are going to figure this out. Searching for a question online is almost useless.

Agreed online information about YI seems limited. Which I’m surprised about because the offering is excellent. I’m impressed.

That is strange for you. Granted my situation I’m on a second floor, but when it goes to black and white car headlights look bright white. I do think the image quality is fabulous though.

But I read your post and understand you have a need to keep colours available.

You could try putting some tape around the entire lens area leaving the actual focal lens clear. Hit and miss I know.

I might try this. I’ve emailed YI about this issue and haven’t heard anything back yet. This is my last resort.

Let me know how you get on. But I think it’s how the Yi cameras are designed.

I use the Dome and yours are the the Home. Doubt there will be any tear downs available yet or indeed ever.

My guess is the glass is reducing the amount of light required below the threshold required for daytime mode (could also be a particular wavelength that the cameras sensor uses for this, I’m not sure). If the glass is double pained or tinted, or the room that the camera is in darker than outside this could also cause issues. Basically the indoor cameras are not designed to look through glass.
Some things you could try are put the camera as close as possible to the glass as possible and make sure the glass is very clean.

But why would sometimes it be in black and white and other times color?