One of the most stressful things I’ve ever been through was buying my first home. I learned a lot from the experience, and looking back on it now, there are things I wish I could’ve done differently. Certainly, I wish I had this thermal camera during the time of my home inspection.
Going through the process with our realtor and home inspector was a learning experience all on its own when it came down to bargaining the final price of the home. While the inspection uncovered potential issues like a rusty gas line and several shingles missing on the roof, it didn’t spot the hidden danger that appeared on my downstairs ceilings months after we closed on the house.
Seeing hidden dangers behind walls
At first, I saw less than a handful of these light circular spots around one corner of the living room ceiling. Unless you focused on them, you wouldn’t even know there was anything going on — they were barely visible to the eye. I didn’t think much about it at first until I used the InfiRay P2 Pro thermal camera attached to my smartphone. That’s when the gravity of the situation hit me.
Not only did I visibly see the spots I initially saw in the corner, but there were more than a dozen more splattered throughout the ceiling. Really, the ceiling lit up like a Christmas tree when I pointed the InfiRay P2 Pro at it. After a week, more spots appeared throughout the ceilings in our downstairs rooms — so I was naturally annoyed by this. All of the worst case scenarios suddenly flooded my mind, like perhaps there was a leak in a pipe or on the roof that covered the affected rooms.
However, my worries soon disappeared when I did some research and found out they were nail pops. Through the thermal camera, they appeared as distinct cold spots. In older homes like mine, nail pops frequently happen because the nail holding the drywall to the ceiling became loose over time. They can be easily fixed by swapping them with drywall screws, which is a common practice in newer homes.
I really wouldn’t have been able to see them without the thermal camera, which helped me to uncover other potential issues and hidden dangers behind the walls in my home, such as the hot spots around the back door in our laundry room. That explained why the tile floor around it felt warmer when we had the air conditioning on.
I really like that the InfiRay P2 Pro only needs to be attached to the USB-C port on my smartphone, seeing that past thermal cameras I’ve used often needed to be recharged before using them. Additionally, the InfiRay supports a temperature reading from -4℉ to 1112℉ (-20℃ to 600℃), which allows for extreme temperatures to stand out while using the app.
While I found the thermal camera handy to use inside of my home, I was even more impressed by what I uncovered using it outdoors.
Excellent range to see far
One of the neat things about thermal cameras is that you can literally see in complete darkness, since they detect heat signatures. It’s like having the Predator’s vision, but on my phone.
I found the InfiRay P2 Pro's range impressive, as it allowed me to spot the raccoon who’s been raiding my recycling bin outside. I estimated the critter to be at least 30 to 40 feet away from me, which is impressive because the raccoon stood out from the cooler grass around it.
While strolling through the boardwalk at night, I was yet again impressed by the InfiRay P2 Pro’s range. Pointing the thermal camera toward the water, which was about 150 feet away, I was able to spot people in the water swimming. Not only was this camera helpful at finding issues at home, but I can see how it could be beneficial for emergency situations as well — much like how it spotted those swimmers. If one of them was in distress and unable to call out for help, you could still see them in the dark.
Thanks to its sensitivity, compact size, excellent range, and ease of use, the InfiRay P2 Pro earned a regular slot in my backpack — I never know when it might come in handy.
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John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.