Lighting Control with NI 178X Camera

Updated Dec 19, 2023

Reported In


  • Starter Kit for ISC-178x Smart Cameras
  • ISC-1780
  • ISC-1781
  • ISC-1782
  • ISC-1783


  • Vision Builder for Automated Inspection


  • NI-IMAQdx


Advanced Illumination RL127

Issue Details

I wish to buy an ISC-178X Smart Camera and I was wondering, if there is an option to control my light source from Vision Builder with the help of the Smart Camera?


The ISC-178X Smart Cameras have a dedicated LED lighting intensity control output, compatible with Advanced illumination’s (Ai) Inline Control System (ICS) 3 lighting control, which enables direct adjustments from the application software. The dedicated lighting intensity control is implemented as a 0-10V LED control.

  • ISC-178X Smart Camera
  • ISC-178x Smart Camera lens
  • Light Source with ICS3 light controller
  • (Optional) Power and I/O Accessory for ISC-178x Smart Cameras

The control line can be found in the Power and I/O connector of the Smart Camera.

To easily access this line it is recommended to us the Power and I/O Accessory for ISC-178x Smart Cameras.

On this brakeout board you can simply connect together your smart camera and your light source controller.

To control the light intensity form software, follow the steps below:
  1. Open Vision Builder AI(VBAI)
  2. Select the Smart Camera in the main menu of the VBAI and double click on it

  1. Select the Acquire Image(Smart Camera) step from the Inspection steps

  1. Select the Lighting tab in the setup menu of the Acquire Image(Smart Camera) step

Additional Information

Lighting Tab
  • Lighting Intensity Raw: A specialized analog dimmer output intended to be used with Advanced Illumination Lighting devices. 
  • ISO Out 0 Strobe: When enabled, the NI Smart Camera generates a strobe signal for use with an external lighting controller. 
  • Polarity: Specifies whether the strobe pulse is high or low while the smart camera is acquiring. 

ICS 3 & ICS 3S Inline Controllers

I3 Version
  • Light is in CONTINUOUS MODE when power is applied. The light will remain operating in continuous mode until a trigger pulse is
  • detected, or for as long as the trigger input is HIGH.
  • The First trigger pulse will initiate STROBE MODE. The controller remains in STROBE MODE until the power is toggled. In STROBE
  • MODE the output light pulse width always corresponds to the duration of the input trigger width.
  • A period of overdrive occurs within 5msec from the beginning of the pulse. After this period of time, the on-time of the pulse is at
  • the continuous output level.
  • Analog control is optional for remote dimming (0-10VDC) in both models.

I3S Version
The “I3S” version is identical to I3 except that the device will not power on continuous by default. The output is only active when the
trigger input is HIGH.