How to Spot a Drone at Night

While the advancement in technology has brought a lot of benefits, there are some pitfalls as well. Items like drones can be misused to spy on people and illegally capture pictures inside a person’s home. Most of the spying is also done at night time to give a drone the cover of darkness. If you feel like a drone might be following you around or that your privacy is being invaded, the following article will allow you to look out for signs of a drone nearby. 

I would not recommend throwing a rock at the drone if you find it, but if you were just practicing throwing rocks and accidentally hit a drone, no harm done. You did not hear this from me. On a serious note, you cannot shoot down a drone. Call an authority to handle the matter.

How to Spot a Drone at Night

You will have two options: using your senses or using technology. When using senses, you will have to keep your eyes and ears peeled for light flashes and buzzing sounds. With technology, you can use drone detection apps, motion detection cameras, radars, and microwave sensors to spot intruding drones at night.

Spotting a Drone at Night Using Your Senses

Two senses, in particular, will be very useful here: your eyes and ears. Here is what you should be observing:

Flashing Lights

If you think you saw a light blink near you, do not put it off as the trick of the eyes or a reflection of a nearby light source. Properly investigate until you are sure because drone lights are hard to distinguish, even during nighttime. There are typically two kinds of lights that drones have:

Navigation Lights ? Think of these as headlights for a drone. They do not flicker; instead, they remain in a straight line to help steer the drone. Unfortunately, these are not as strong as actual headlights, and you will have to make some effort to spot them. A factor that might aid you is that these lights can be a color other than white, such as green or red.

Anti-Collision Lights ? Not all drones will have this feature, but the ones that do make them easier to find. These lights have a strobing effect as they move and can be slow or fast, depending on the setting the owner sets. These also come in various colors such as red and white.

Distinct Sounds

As technology evolves, drones are becoming quieter to aid in their spying. However, they have a distinct buzzing sound due to their propellers. If it is a calm night outside, and you do not live in a crowded area, you should hear the buzz when you are near the drone.

Spotting a Drone at Night Using Technology

While drones may be getting stealthier, people are also coming out with ingenious ways to spot them. Some methods may already be installed in your homes or are otherwise easy to set up.

Using an Application

When they say they have an app for everything, they do mean it. You will find plenty of free apps online that can be used to track drones. These applications have a database of registered drones and usually work half a mile from the drone. 

It works by catching the unencrypted Wi-Fi signals the drone is using to report back to the owner. Those signals are then compared within the database to locate the pilot. However, a limitation here is that some Wi-Fi signals are encrypted, which will not be read by the app. There are also newer drones that use a mode of communication other than Wi-Fi. 

Motion Detection Cameras

When setting up cameras for their homes, people usually go for ones with night vision. Along with night vision, motion detection is an added feature that can be easily enabled in most cameras. Do ensure that your camera has a pre-equipped detection system for quick enabling. 

 As mentioned above, most drones have lights. If a drone is trying to spy on you, the lights, coupled with the drone’s movement, will activate your motion detection camera, and a notification will be received on your phone about an intrusion.

It is also advised to place these cameras at strategic locations. These could be windows from which anyone can see through, or on a balcony for a higher vantage point. 

Radar Detectors

This option is a little expensive, but there are radars that will scan the sky for any intruding drones in your vicinity. They do this by catching signals that reflect off the radar and also have motion detection abilities. Do not worry; they will not consider birds to be drones as they can differentiate between the two and store the differences.

These radar devices also have a lot of range and can detect drones even from a distance. They can also monitor the whole of your property, rather than concentrating at a particular spot.

Microwave Motion Sensors

These might be a little unorthodox compared to cameras but are a less expensive option than a radar system. They are placed on top of windows, where these sensors create a microwave. You can think of the microwave as a tank with still water inside. When a drone’s signals are detected, like water inside a tank would ripple when an object is dropped inside, these signals also create waves when reflected. Hence, any drones nearby will be caught.

How to Spot Your Drone That Got Lost at Night?

I would recommend waiting till there is light again, as trying to spot a drone in the dark will be troublesome. However, if you still insist on searching at night, I would recommend grabbing lots of torches and dividing the possible area your drone landed in into sections. Do remember to keep your drone controller on, as it will connect with the drone when it is near

Other ways include using GPS technology in the drone and tracking it through your drone’s phone application. You can do this through the flight logs or find my drone features.

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