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In your search for a security camera system, you will most likely have come across Night Owl and Lorex. Both of these brands specialize in security camera kits and offer a wide variety of devices ranging from PoE and Coax cameras to video doorbells, NVRs and DVRs.

However, despite having more than a decade of experience in this industry, both brands are very different in how they design their products and provide their services.

So in this article, we will be weighing up these two brands along with a comparison of their flagship security cameras.

Night Owl vs Lorex at a Glance

Mid-Range PoE Bullet Head to Head

Mid-Range Wi-Fi Bullet Head to Head

Mid-Range Wire Free Bullet Head to Head

Video Doorbell Head to Head

Mid-Range Analog Bullet Head to Head

Night Owl vs Lorex Overview

Night Owl is the youngest brand of the two. The company was founded in 2009 with Florida being its main headquarters. The entire company is based in the US, and that includes the design and manufacturing of security cameras.

Lorex was initially founded in Canada and has been a specialized security systems provider since 1992. However, they were bought out by Chinese company Dahua in 2008 and have since provided Dahua OEM products.

One of the most important differences between these two brands is the NDAA and FCC compliance. Since Night Owl is a US-based company, they advertise NDAA and FCC compliance. Therefore, making them one of the recommended brands for US Federal projects.

As Lorex was acquired by Dahua, a Chinese company, they do not comply with the NDAA and FCC standards and are not to be included in federal contracts.

From a customer satisfaction perspective, there is not a lot of love for the Night Owl Android or iOS apps, with an average rating of 2.1 out of 5. While the cameras are generally well regarded, the app seems to be the letdown, with reports of glitches, camera feeds being inaccessible and issues with motion detection.

While there is the odd complaint about the Lorex Android and iOS app, their average rating of 4.3 on the app stores speaks volumes.

Year Founded
2009
1991
Customer Focus
Business Leaning
Business Leaning
Aggregate App Reviews
2.4/5
3.6/5
Cloud Platform Name
Night Owl Connect Cloud
Lorex Cloud
Cloud Subscription Features
Cloud Storage
Cloud Storage
Cloud Subscription Costs
-
Starts at $3.49 / Month
Note: PoE & Coax cameras typically require a connected NVR, DVR or surveillance software package (like Blue Iris) to gain access to desktop, mobile or browser apps along with availing of Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS) Features. The specs below are based on integration with the manufacturers recommended NVR / DVR.

Mid-Range PoE Bullet Head to Head

Key Differences

Starting with the mid-range PoE bullet type cameras, there is not really a lot to separate these two cameras.

The Night Owl CAM-2PK-IC8 camera is cheaper per unit than the Lorex E841CA-E. Night Owl lacks a DC power option and full-color night vision that the Lorex camera supports (albeit using ambient lighting).

On top of that, the Lorex E841CA-E has improved video processing that can improve footage with Digital WDR/HDR, and it has a higher waterproof IP67 rating. While the Night Owl counterpart only has an IP66 rating.

When connected with the appropriate NVR, both cameras have e cross-platform support for both desktop and mobile applications. (Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac)

The advantage of this cross-platform feature is that the cameras (when configured with a compatible NVR) can detect motion and send alerts to your smartphone and/or desktop via the app.

Price
Power Options
PoE
PoEDC Power
WDR
Unsure
Digital WDR / HDR
IP Rating
IP66
IP67
Cloud Subscription
Optional
None
Apps
AndroidiOSWindowsMac

Key Features in Common

When talking about the similarities of both of these devices: they are both IP-based security cameras with bullet-type chassis.

Both cameras need to be hardwired to a CCTV system and require an NVR to store footage and they use PoE (Power over Ethernet) to transmit data and receive power.

Both devices support a 4K resolution of 3840x2160 using an 8MP camera. They have a fixed lens and do not support PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) functionality.

Neither camera has an integrated microphone and therefore, cannot record audio. They also do not support two-way communication features due to a lack of both microphone and in-built speakers.

Case Type(s)
Bullet
Bullet
Camera Location
IndoorOutdoor
IndoorOutdoor
Data Type
IP
IP
Camera Wire Type
Wired Data & Power
Wired Data & Power
Data Transmission
PoE
PoE
Integrated Microphone
No
No
Two Way Audio
No
No
Integrated Siren / Alarm
No
No
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Lens Type
Fixed Focus
Fixed Focus
Night Vision Functionality
Yes
Yes
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Spotlight
No
No
Storage Options
NVR
NVR
Number of Video Streams
2
2
Motorized Pan Feature
No
No
Motorized Tilt Feature
No
No
Optical Zoom Feature
No
No

Mid-Range Wi-Fi Bullet Head to Head

Key Differences

Both of these Wi-Fi security cameras have very different features and if you’re not specific with your requirements, it will be difficult to pick out a clear winner.

The Lorex W282CAD-E is the more expensive out of the two and it supports smart integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, Chromecast, and Fire TV.

On the other hand, the Night Owl CAM-WNIP2LBU is slightly more affordable but only supports Google Assistant and Chromecast.

In terms of app support, the Night Owl Wi-Fi camera has both desktop and mobile compatible apps along with an optional cloud subscription service. The Lorex camera only supports mobile applications and doesn’t have a cloud service.

A very subtle difference between the two is that the Night Owl Wi-Fi camera can detect faces while the Lorex camera can detect vehicles. So if you have a specific requirement for either faces or vehicles, (but not both) this might be the deciding factor.

Finally, the Lorex camera supports dual-band 5GHz Wi-Fi and uses DC power (adapter is included) while the Night Owl camera only supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and relies on AC power.

Price
Power Options
AC Power
DC Power
Data Transmission
2.4GHz WiFi
2.4GHz WiFi5GHz WiFi
Storage Options
microSDNVRCloud
microSDNVR
Smart Motion Detection Features
Person DetectionFace Detection
Person DetectionVehicle Detection
Smart Integrations
Google AssistantChromecast
AlexaGoogle AssistantChromecastFire TV
Cloud Subscription
Optional
None
Apps
AndroidiOSWindowsMac
AndroidiOS

Key Features in Common

In terms of similarities, both are IP-based wired cameras that can be operated on their own. (With the optional feature to be set up with an NVR.)

Both of these cameras use the same resolution of 1920x1080p to capture footage from a 2MP camera. Along with that, they support both infrared and full-color night vision. (The in-built spotlight helps with improving ambient lighting)

These cameras have an outdoor-friendly IP65 rating and also in-built microphones and speakers. Therefore, they can be used as sirens and two-way communication devices.

Like many standalone cameras, they have in-built motion sensors that can detect motion and notify you via mobile applications. On top of that, they record footage continuously since they receive continuous power through a wired adapter.

Case Type(s)
Bullet
Bullet
Camera Location
IndoorOutdoor
IndoorOutdoor
Data Type
IP
IP
Camera Wire Type
Wireless Data & Wired Power
Wireless Data & Wired Power
Integrated Microphone
Yes
Yes
Two Way Audio
Yes
Yes
Integrated Siren / Alarm
Yes
Yes
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
Lens Type
Fixed Focus
Fixed Focus
Night Vision Functionality
Yes
Yes
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
Spotlight
Yes
Yes
Motion Activated Recording
Yes
Yes
Continuous Recording
Yes
Yes
WDR
Unsure
Unsure
IP Rating
IP65
IP65
Motorized Pan Feature
No
No
Motorized Tilt Feature
No
No
Optical Zoom Feature
No
No

Mid-Range Wire Free Bullet Head to Head

Key Differences

The Lorex U222AA is the bulkier and more expensive version of these two battery-powered cameras. It is the more versatile option in terms of power as it supports an optional solar panel (a dedicated panel provided by Lorex) and the option to be wired to a wall outlet using an AC-DC adapter. (on top of the already existing rechargeable battery.)

On the other hand, the Night Owl CAM-BWNIP2LBU-B only draws power from the rechargeable battery which makes recharging a hassle. Nonetheless, it is more affordable and includes a MicroSD card slot for local storage.

The Night Owl wire-free camera can only be set up to record footage when motion is triggered and doesn’t support continuous recording. On the other hand, the Lorex camera will record 24/7 continuous footage.

Also, the Night Owl camera has cross-platform compatibility with both desktop and mobile applications, and it is the only device, out of these two, that can detect faces.

Both devices are weather-resistant. The Night Owl camera has an IP65 rating while the Lorex camera has a slightly better IP66 rating which is slightly better water resistant but not fully waterproof.

The Night Owl camera can operate standalone while the Lorex cam requires the L222A8 recorder to function.

Price
Power Options
Battery
DC PowerBatterySolar Panel
Integrated Siren / Alarm
No
Yes
Storage Options
microSDNVR
NVR
Continuous Recording
No
Yes
WDR
Unsure
Digital WDR / HDR
Smart Motion Detection Features
Person DetectionFace Detection
Person Detection
IP Rating
IP65
IP66
Apps
AndroidiOSWindowsMac
AndroidiOS

Key Features in Common

Both of these fully-wireless cameras provide the option to transmit data to an NVR / Recorder

Both are IP-based and can only rely on the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band. Neither of these devices has an integrated siren but they can be used to record audio and communicate as a two-way device.

The maximum resolution for either of these devices is 1920x1080p on a 2MP camera with a fixed focus lens. On top of that, both fully support infrared and full-color night vision.

Case Type(s)
Bullet
Bullet
Camera Location
IndoorOutdoor
IndoorOutdoor
Data Type
IP
IP
Camera Wire Type
Wireless Data & Battery Power
Wireless Data & Battery Power
Data Transmission
2.4GHz WiFi
2.4GHz WiFi
Integrated Microphone
Yes
Yes
Two Way Audio
Yes
Yes
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
Lens Type
Fixed Focus
Fixed Focus
Night Vision Functionality
Yes
Yes
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
Spotlight
Yes
Yes
Motion Activated Recording
Yes
Yes
Motorized Pan Feature
No
No
Motorized Tilt Feature
No
No
Optical Zoom Feature
No
No
Cloud Subscription
None
None

Video Doorbell Head to Head

Key Differences

Right out the gate, the Lorex video doorbell is the more high-end device in terms of hardware. It is a good deal more expensive than its Night Owl competitor.

The Lorex video doorbell supports dual-band Wi-Fi (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz) while the Night Owl device can only rely on the 2.4GHz band.

Another improvement that the Lorex device has is a higher maximum resolution of 2560x1920. The Night Owl doorbell only supports 1920x1080p on a 2MP camera.

The Lorex B451AJD-E has an in-built spotlight/night light and it can record full-color night-vision footage. It also has IP65 protection compared to the IP54 on the Night Owl video doorbell.

The Night Owl camera only supports Google Assistant and Chromecast smart integration while the Lorex camera is more versatile and supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and Fire TV.

On a final note, the Night Owl WM-2DBWNPM can detect faces, and it is compatible with desktop and mobile applications while the Lorex camera only supports mobile applications. (Unless connected to an appropriate NVR)

Price
Power Options
AC Power
DC PowerAC Power
Data Transmission
2.4GHz WiFi
2.4GHz WiFi5GHz WiFi
Integrated Siren / Alarm
No
Yes
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
2K: 2560x1920
Storage Options
microSDNVRCloudDVR
microSDNVR
WDR
Unsure
Digital WDR / HDR
Smart Motion Detection Features
Person DetectionFace Detection
Person Detection
IP Rating
IP54
IP65
Smart Integrations
Google AssistantChromecast
AlexaGoogle AssistantFire TV
Cloud Subscription
Optional
None
Apps
AndroidiOSWindowsMac
AndroidiOS

Key Features in Common

When it comes to similarities, both video doorbells require AC power or the previous doorbell’s wiring setup to draw power and ring the chime.

Both video doorbell devices have the option to transfer footage to an NVR. However, they can also be used as standalone devices.

Also, both devices have two-way communication and infrared night vision, and like many other video doorbells, they default to recording footage when triggered by motion but can also be set up to record constantly.

Case Type(s)
Video Doorbell
Video Doorbell
Camera Location
IndoorOutdoor
IndoorOutdoor
Data Type
IP
IP
Camera Wire Type
Wireless Data & Wired Power
Wireless Data & Wired Power
Integrated Microphone
Yes
Yes
Two Way Audio
Yes
Yes
Lens Type
Fixed Focus
Fixed Focus
Night Vision Functionality
Yes
Yes
Night Vision Type
Infrared
Infrared
Spotlight
No
No
Motion Activated Recording
Yes
Yes
Continuous Recording
Yes
Yes
Motorized Pan Feature
No
No
Motorized Tilt Feature
No
No
Optical Zoom Feature
No
No

Mid-Range Analog Bullet Head to Head

Key Differences

Finally, we have the head-to-head between the two analog HD / coax mid-range cameras.

The Night Owl CAM-2PK-DP2LSA is the clear-cut winner as it includes several advanced features over the simpler Lorex LBV2531W.

Neither of these cameras is standalone, so need to be connected to the appropriate DVR to get access to feeds, features, and apps.

The Night Owl CAM-2PK-DP2LSA is a premium and heavy-duty analog security camera. It supports computer vision software that can detect people, vehicles, and even faces, via the DVR.

The Night Owl camera is also the better option for combating low-light conditions as it includes a built-in spotlight and full-color night vision (two features sorely lacking in the Lorex LBV2531W.)

The Lorex camera has a higher IP66 rating over the Night Owl’s IP65.

Price
Power Options
AC Power
DC Power
Integrated Siren / Alarm
Yes
No
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
Infrared
Spotlight
Yes
No
WDR
Unsure
Digital WDR / HDR
Smart Motion Detection Features
Person DetectionVehicle DetectionFace Detection
-
IP Rating
IP65
IP66
Apps
AndroidiOSWindowsMac

Key Features in Common

In terms of similarities, both cameras record raw footage at the same 1080p resolution using a 2MP camera. Since they are analog devices, both cameras use coaxial cables to transmit data and they need a DVR to store footage.

Last but not least: both cameras have a fixed focus lens and cannot perform any PTZ functions. They also do not support two-way communication.

Case Type(s)
Bullet
Bullet
Camera Location
IndoorOutdoor
IndoorOutdoor
Data Type
Analog
Analog
Camera Wire Type
Wired Data & Power
Wired Data & Power
Data Transmission
Coax
Coax
Integrated Microphone
No
No
Two Way Audio
No
No
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
Lens Type
Fixed Focus
Fixed Focus
Night Vision Functionality
Yes
Yes
Storage Options
DVR
DVR
Motorized Pan Feature
No
No
Motorized Tilt Feature
No
No
Optical Zoom Feature
No
No
Cloud Subscription
Optional
Optional

The Night Owl vs Lorex Verdict

So there you have it. The Night Owl hardware fully stands up against the Lorex equivalent, however, is let down by issues with its apps. That being said, Night Owl is now fully NDAA compliant, unlike Lorex, which opens up a lot of doors to US federal contracts. Let us know what you think of these two brands below!

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