CMVision CM-IR130 IR Illuminator Review

The CMVision CM-IR130 is a rugged infrared illuminator that can help your security cameras see better in the dark.

It has an array of 198 LEDs that create a 60° wide beam of 850 nm IR light that's usable over 200' away from the illuminator.

This is the most powerful IR light source that I've tested so far and I like it a lot, so keep reading to see how it performs.

CMVision CM-IR130 IR Illuminator Review


  • Requires 12 VDC ±5% at 1 Amp Max
  • IP65 rated weather resistance
  • 198 850 nm IR LED array
  • Approximately 60° beam width
  • -10°C to +40°C (-14°F to 104°F) operation
  • Automatic on at dusk and off at dawn
CMVision CM-IR130 Front LED Array

I tested this IR illuminator with two different Dahua cameras mounted on my temporary test platform, similar to the way I did with my review of the CMVision CM-IRP12-850.

On the left of this picture is the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z 2MP varifocal turret that I reviewed here.

On the right of the picture is the Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z 4MP varifocal bullet that I reviewed here.

CMVision CM-IR130 with cameras on test platform

Mounting and adjustments

This is the third infrared illuminator that I've used, and it is certainly has the most rugged mounting bracket that I've seen yet.

The mounting bracket is similar to a bullet camera, and the power cable extends through the adjustable mount and can either come through a mounting hole like I have it mounted, or it can be ran through a notch in the base if you need to run the wire on the mounting surface.

The base has four mounting holes and a gasket, and can be mounted to any solid flat surface large enough for the base to fit.

There is a plastic nut and a set screw that hold the arm in position on the base, and another set screw on the illuminator end of the arm to hold that end in position.  The arm itself allows for 180° of adjustment and has its own set screw to lock that adjustment.

360° adjustment at the base, 360° adjustment at the illuminator, and a full 180° adjustment in between means that you can mount it above, below, or in front of almost any surface and point it in the direction that you need.

That leads me to my only negative experience with this product, all three set screws are a different size, and only two hex wrenches came with the unit, meaning that you can't really get this installed and adjusted unless you already have your own set of hex keys.

Maybe it's just a tolerance problem...

The small set screw at the base appears to take a 1.5 mm hex key, and one comes with the illuminator and does work, but it's a loose fit in the screw head and a 1/16" hex key works much better.

The set screw at the illuminator side is 3 mm and it it comes with a 3 mm hex key that does work well.

The set screw in the middle of the arm is probably supposed to be 3 mm, but a 3 mm hex key fits very sloppy in it.  Loose enough that I wouldn't even use it there because it will eventually damage the screw and the tool.  What does perfectly fit that center set screw is a 1/8" hex key!

Maybe that center screw head is out of tolerance or maybe something else is going on, but I would suggest that you have your own set of Inch and Metric hex keys handy.  I use this inexpensive Tekton Inch / Metric Hex Key Set that should have any key you'll likely ever need when installing security cameras and illuminators, as well as anywhere else.

Included with the illuminator are the hex keys mentioned above, four mounting screws with plastic anchors, and a 12 Volt 3 Amp power supply.

CMVision CM-IR130 Side View
CMVision CM-IR130 Side View Mounted

Daylight camera images

Here's the area that we'll be looking at in the night images, and the cameras have their built-in IR turned off and are setup exactly the same as they were for my CMVision CM-IRP12-850 review.

Both cameras cover the same horizontal area with the same zoom level, but they have different vertical elevations.

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z Daytime

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z Daytime

Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z Daytime

Night time with no added illumination

Here's what things look like with no intentional added illumination.  There is a 13 Watt CFL light and a mercury vapor yard light behind and slightly left of the cameras.  The CMVision and the built-in IR of the cameras are all disabled right now.

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z with no IR

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z with No IR

Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z with no IR

Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z with No IR

Quite a difference in low light performance between those two cameras.  It's easy to see which one you would want if you couldn't add any additional lighting, and why the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z is included in my article about the best night vision security cameras.

Let's power on the CMVision CM-IR130 illuminator!

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z with CMVision CM-IR130 IR

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z with CMVision CM-IR130 On

Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z with CMVision CM-IR130 IR

Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z with CMVisionCM-IR130 On

The CMVision illuminator is pointing essentially straight out and not up or down at all, and it looks like a little to the right of center.

CMVision says that this has a 60° beam width of light and I'd say that's an accurate description.  It is narrower than the CMVision CM-IPR12-850 which has a beam width spec of 80° to 90°.

CMVision says that this CM-IR130 us usable out in the range of 130 meters (hence the model name).  CMVision also states the usable range as 300 to 400 feet, and 130 meters converts to 426.5 feet.  As with most IR illuminator products, these numbers are very optimistic and I don't see it usable at the upper limit of those distances in any real world installation.

The end of the wooden fence is 105' away, the white building to the far right is 100' away, the left end of the white building in the center of the image is 150' away, and the boat to the left of that is 190' away.  There's nothing else in view beyond the boat except for a distant building 370' away, and it's just barely visible in the night images.

Here is a final image from the Dahua 4431 camera with it zoomed all of the way in.  Now you know why it was at a different vertical elevation than the other camera.  When it's zoomed all of the way in it covers that back corner of my yard pretty well.  The Dahua 5231 is covering the overall area of that part of the back yard and would be looking at a small area of grass if zoomed in right now.

Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z zoomed in with CMVision CM-IR130 IR

Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z zoomed in CMVision IR130

Here's what all 198 LEDs on the CMVision IR130 look like at night.  This was taken with my Canon S5 IS camera and is pretty much what it looks like to my eyes too.

The dull red glow is normal and you'll see that with any 850 nm IR light sources because a tiny amount of energy coming from them falls in the visible spectrum.  Very little at all compared to the massive amount of invisible IR light from it.

CMVision CM-IR130 IR LEDs lit at night

CMVision CM-IR130 with all 198 LEDs on at night

Final thoughts

I have to say that I really like this illuminator a lot.  It's not a small unit, measuring 7.5" wide and 5" tall, but it appears to be very rugged and the mounting bracket is much more sturdy than the ones made from sheet metal  used on the CMVision IRP12-850 and the Univivi U06R that I also have.

As expected, it doesn't light an area quite as far as the manufacturer claims, but that seems to be the case with about all infrared illuminators from any manufacturer.

I'll definitely be keeping this and I need to decide where I will be permanently mounting it around here since I was just testing it on a temporary test platform.

I'm glad I got it and I think you would be pleased with it too if you need an IR light source with around a 60° beam width that's good out to 200' or so.

Update 2017-09-22 - I no longer recommend this product!

I will leave the Amazon link below for reference, but I do not recommend that you purchase this product.

Leave a Comment: