Just a few short decades ago, most car owners were lucky to find seatbelts, side airbags, and air-conditioning in their vehicles. Now, even some entry-level rides boast Bluetooth audio, heated seats, and touchscreen navigation (well, sort of …). One thing you won’t find, however, in all but the highest end luxury cars is a night vision system. In most cases, such tech is only available as an aftermarket add-on.
Enter Lanmodo: A company with a brief catalog of curious products designed to solve a variety of mostly car-related issues you never knew you had. Most notable: The automatic car tent.
Our introduction to Lanmodo came in the form of an invitation to test out the company’s Vast Automotive Night Vision System. The aptly named system is designed to do exactly as its name implies: It’s a purpose-built, all-in-one monitor-camera to help drivers see at night, in near-pitch-black conditions. They offered us a review model to see what we thought. Since it’s an interesting bit of tech for hardcore roadtripping, I was eager to take a look.
Lanmodo Vast Automotive Night Vision System Review
(One aside: This review is for the entry-level Lanmodo Vast Automotive Night Vision System, and not the upgraded Automotive Night Vision System with Rear View Camera)
First, let’s outline the two best selling points of the Vast Automotive Night Vision System in Lanmodo’s own words:
1080P and Full-color Image: LANMODO Car night vision camera is equipped with 8.2” IPS screen and presents 1080P HD full-color image even at night,helping judge the road conditions quickly when driving.
Wide-angle Vision, Long Distance View: LANMODO car night vision system is of 36° HD wide-angle vision, presenting a broader view of the road, night vision distance extends up to 300m, drivers will know the road situation in advance and take measures to avoid accidents.
The Traveler’s Take on the Lanmodo Vast Automotive Night Vision System
Installation & Setup
Straight out of the box, installation was a snap. Everything you need to get going (even a screwdriver) is included. I had the device unboxed, suctioned to the windshield of my 4Runner, and powered on in less than 10 minutes.
Two mounting options are provided: A traditional suction cup and a sturdy, and very grippy anti-slip mat. Both work well, but I prefer affixing it to my windshield for long-term use. One curious note is that the unit is essentially upside-down when mounted to the windshield, and the on-screen menus are too in this setup. There aren’t many options to change in the menus, so this isn’t a huge issue. Once you’ve initially dialed in your settings, there’s little need to tweak them again.
A traditional cigarette lighter cable is included, as is a separate cable for plugging into your car’s OBD port. I opted for the former, started my truck, and the Night Vision System powered on within a few seconds. I noticed two things straight away: The screen is bright and reasonably crisp and clear. There is a slight — very slight — but noticeable flicker. It might be a deal breaker for a home TV or computer monitor that you plan on staring at for hours on end. But, it’s mostly a non-issue with this product given that it’s designed to be glanced at for only a second or two at a time while driving.
Seeing in the Dark
The 8.2” IPS screen is quite wide, presenting a complete view of the road ahead. The rear camera can be angled slightly up, down, and to the sides to better capture your field of view. With the unit mounted square above my radio, I had to push the camera all the way to the left to capture the entire field of view — which it does. But, even at the extreme, the monitor faces the backseat more than it does the driver. For that reason, I wish there was a bit more play to push the camera farther to the left and right.
A series of buttons on the top of the unit are each dedicated to a specific function on the Vast Night Vision System. Customization is limited, but that’s by design rather than omission. There’s not much you’ll need to tweak. Power the system on or off, adjust the brightness and contrast to your liking, and decide whether you prefer the screen in full color or black and white. (I’m not sure why B&W would be preferable, but it’s there nevertheless …)
The Vast Night Vision System delivers on its promise. The photos below depict a visual test at dusk a few minutes for the sun went down near my house. The exposure, lighting, and color depicted both outside my truck and on the system’s screen are accurate to what I was seeing in person.
There’s a noticeable difference between the two with the Vast system greatly magnifying the available brightness. Because the system relies on at least some available light — no matter how minimal — it won’t work in complete darkness. Although, if you’re driving around in a pitch-black area with your headlights off, you probably have bigger problems than a night vision system can solve.
The Bottom Line
In short, the Lanmodo Automotive Night Vision System works and does exactly what it promises. It’s a niche product for sure, but it’s clearly a great alternative to much more expensive factory systems. If you’re in the market for night vision tech for your car, the Vast will absolutely do the trick.
In the future, it’d be cool if the front-facing camera could also record. Given the prevalence of dash cams these days, that addition would make this a true, all-in-one car camera solution.
Pricing & Availability
The Lanmodo Vast Automotive Night Vision System is now available with a retail price of USD $499 (without the rear camera). Add roughly $100 for the upgraded system with a 720p rear camera.
LANMODO Vast Pro Dash Cam Front and Rear, Full Color Super Night Vision up to 984ft, Dual 1080P Car Driving Recorder, WDR/HDR, SONY Sensor, Loop Recording, 24hr Parking Monitor, G-Sensor, Support 128G
- 【Dual 1080P Full Color Starlight Super Night Vision】Equipped with advanced Sony CMOS sensor, this dashcam provides dual 1080P full color videos and Images with amazing details even at starlight environment, make it a reliable driving assistant all day and night or in rainy, foggy and snowy days, especially for elders. Backup Camera with IP67 waterproof grade, works well even in torrential rain
- 【Night View Distance up to 984ft】With Sony Sensor and 7-Glass Lens, the On-Dash Camera has the view distance up to 984ft, which allows drivers to gain more reaction time to avoid an accident. 45°Angle broader view than naked eyes, makes Night Driving safer and easier. Note: Vast Pro requires only a faint light to form a clear image, so it will show image noise in a completely dark environment and will be overexposed when it encounters strong light.
- 【Real-time Loop Recording/ G-sensor/ 24H Parking Monitor】Loop Recording allows continuous real-time recording even if the Micro SD card (support up to 128G) is full. G-sensor detects a sudden collision and locks the collision footage. 24 hours Parking monitor with low voltage protection secures your car at any time without draining car battery while the vehicle is off (the night vision system must be connected to OBD Port).
A Second Opinion
Check out this complete video review of the Lanmodo Vast Automotive Night Vision System courtesy of Diablo Formula Racing:
The post Brighten Up Your After-Dark Road-Tripping with Lanmodo’s Vast Automotive Night Vision System appeared first on Vagabondish.