Poor activity notifications


I have posted about this issue before but it seems to be getting worse…

Over the last few weeks, I have been getting notifications for shadows, flies in front of the camera, rain, and other various minor things but no notications for cars or people standing right in front of the camera. (See screenshots)

Todays issue was by far the best example yet. I did not receive a notification when a car pulled in my drive way but I did get one when a little critter walk in front of the camera.

I keep the device plugged in and I still have the same issues. I have reduced the motivation settings down to 4 becuase I was getting alerts every 10 minutes for random things. I have restart device a couple of times.

Any ideas??

Can Canary be taught to ignore pets?
Motion notifications for shadows but not for people
Canary Flex motion detection during Rain/Snow

Hey @NYY2121,

I remember your previous post about this and I apologize that things haven’t improved for you. I am moving this topic over to the feature request category for a request for improvement. I am also taking previous topics and merging them into this one.


First off I have my Flex mounted just a tad too high over my driveway for the IR to properly illuminate my driveway and I know it (about 8ft). I just don’t have any other options at the moment.

However, how has everyones performance and motion detection been with rain and snow (for those of us in areas that get snow)? I have my flex constantly recording all day but only notifying when in night mode. If its raining or snowing at night - the flex never stops recording. Here’s what my feed looks like the day after it rains.

And a 10 second clip of what the camera is capturing in each of these.

I had this problem with previous DVR systems that were software controlled with IR and motion zones, you’d get a few raindops (or snowflakes) that fly past the camera really close and the camera freaks out and thinks theres a lot of motion.

So far the Canary has been great about not ALERTING me purely for weather, but is there anything that can be done to improve the capability so it is not recording every second that it rains or snows at night? Will this improve at all if I can get the camera closer so the ground where the driveway is visible in night mode?



Yeah, I have similar problems. It does seem to be an issue since the IR Fix was released in the firmware update. Hopefully there will be a way to fix this down the line!


@bmickle @Zev Thanks for sharing your feedback about this. Are you noticing this happen when the Flex is plugged in and when used on battery, or is it only a problem with one or the other?


Hmm, due to the way I have it set up I can only confirm that it occurs when it is plugged in at this time. For me it’s both the notifications received but also how visible each and every drop/flake is as it passes by. It is not a problem in ‘daylight’ mode.


Like Zev says above I only ever operate my Flex while plugged in; I’ll unplug it now to see how it behaves on battery. Its been snowing in NH today so my Flex has been recording all day - so I should have more data about battery mode by tomorrow.

Given the snow here’s my “Today” feed - the camera has been recording non-stop all day.

And here’s a sample from one of the captures:


So I ran my Canary Flex in battery mode for several days - it does not trigger from the snow or rain when in battery mode - which is great.

But… it also missed 3 cars entering and leaving my driveway. I only knew this because it was family members - needless to say I will not be leaving it in battery mode. This may be a combination of battery mode and the height of my Canary off the ground, so I cannot explicitly blame anything until I re-mount.

However, the constant recording of rain and snow when plugged in has caused a fair amount of upload traffic from my Flex over the last month. This is a traffic report from the last 30 days from my router (ASUS AC-88U) - almost 18GB of video recorded in 30 days from a few rain storms.


Hey @bmickle,

Thanks for following up with your findings. I think this is largely going to be due to the differences in how Canary Flex records motion when plugged in versus when on battery.

When plugged in, your Canary Flex uses “computer vision” to determine if motion is happening. It’s basically just looking at changes in the pixels on the screen. Any pixels changing is registered as motion. Our computer vision algorithms then try to filter out repetitive motion from things like ceiling fans, or background motion like lights and shadows. However, inevitably some motion is going to get passed those filters. With night vision in particular, the infrared light bounces off those precipitation particles falling very close to the camera and it’s very difficult for the Canary to distinguish this from important motion.

When used unplugged, your Canary Flex will detect motion using its passive infrared (PIR) sensor. This sensor will blast the area with rays of passive infrared, which will detect heat signatures. When something with a different heat signature than the surrounding environment passes through those rays, it “trips” the sensor and your Canary Flex begins to record. This is going to be less likely to pick up something like precipitation.

You may want to adjust the recording range for your Canary Flex on battery to see if you can get better motion detection at the distance you have it mounted. This would allow you to avoid the constant recording from precipitation without compromising your motion detection for more important things. However, it may be preferable to leave it plugged in with lowered sensitivity to avoid getting alerts and just deal with the extra videos in your Timeline. Ultimately it’s up to you.

We’re definitely always working on improving our computer vision algorithms to try and help with situations like this, and we really appreciate your reports! Please continue noting any unusual motion detection you have with your Canary Flex so we can look into options for improving it :slight_smile:


Thanks @angie.

The snow/rain falling in my examples above is pretty close to the camera (<1ft, likely a couple inches). Do you guys have any idea of the rough distance away from the camera a very small object (raindrop snowflake bug, etc) would need to be away from the camera to prevent detection with the computer vision algorithms?

My plan is to move the camera closer to the ground, install it with the secure mount, and put a small visor over the camera to better protect from sun/weather in the new location. If making that “visor” 4in instead of 3 will help with rain inadvertently triggering the camera I’ll try that.


It’s difficult to say, as detection range can vary based on the kind of activity and environment. That said, plugged in any motion less than a foot away is rarely going to be ignored. I’m not sure extending the visor to 4" would really be helpful to avoid this kind of motion detection.


Understood, thanks for the help. As of now this isn’t causing any problems but is just a nuisance - I guess I was hoping to see if anyone else was having constant recording during rain/snow from their Flex.


I am having the same issue with my Flex (on AC power) that is mounted about 9 - 10 ft off the ground under the eve of the house. It picks up snowflakes and now that it’s warming up, it picks up insects flying past and swarming in front of the IR illuminator of the Flex. It constantly sends video to your server all night long. I am experimenting with a separate IR illuminator I bought from Amazon, mounted below the Flex about 2 ft off the ground. I am trying to accomplish two things. Greater night vision range and hopefully attracting th insects to the stronger IR signal given off by the illuminator. It has vastly increased the night vision range of the Flex. I’m still waiting to see of the insect swarms are reduced. I’ll share more as my experiment progresses.


@86nine51S, awesome any link to the IR illuminator? I’d love to give something like this a try.


These are the ones I bought. There are many others on Amazon. I just took a shot and tried this one for +$20 plus the 12V power supply. I will be trying different locations for it to see what the coverage is like. This one is mounted about 8 ft under the Flex. I might try putting it somewhere else to see what the illumination pattern looks like. I may also have to move my Flex since it is very close to a downspout where a neighborhood Robin likes to sit and it’s flapping into the camera every time it lands up there.

Univivi Infrared Illuminator, 850nm 6 Leds 90 Degree Wide Angle IR Illuminator for Night Vision,Waterproof LED Infrared Light for IP Camera,CCTV Security Camera

CMVision UL Listed Regulated Power Adapter, 12VDC, 2Amp for Camera, LED Light, IR Illuminator


Here is a comparison of my IR installation without and with remote IR illuminator.


That’s really cool as a way to add that… I’ll have to look into that myself.

I had previously mentioned that this was not an issue in daylight hours. apparently, that is not entirely true… a strong rain storm today my device caught motion from the rain during daylight hours. Included are a few screen captures of that.


Over the last few weeks my Canary flex has gone from good to bad. I started getting none stop alerts for shadows in my drive way but nothing for when the fed ex guy was standing right in front of the camera. They preview of the motion didn’t even show him… I didn’t notice it until say the small box outside of my door.

Not sure what has happened but it’s disappointing. I have the setting on about 3 because I kept getting alerts for nothing.

What gives??!!


@NYY2121, this seems a bit weird. Can you share with us an image of what your Canary Flex sees and how it is set up? Even at a “3” it should provide notifications for human movement.

The other thing to check is whether or not your privacy modes might be enabled incorrectly and that could be causing the issue.


Here are the pictures… first one shows no box but during that video it’s delivered at 1:36. Second one shows you the box sitting there at 1:42.

In the 1:36 video you see it delivered by the FedEx buy but no notification.