How to Tell If a Drone is Watching You at Night

You can identify a drone by its blinking light or sound and determine which way it is facing to determine if it is spying on you. However, it is difficult to say if the drone is actually watching you. In many cases, the drone may be looking at something else and appears to be watching you.

Hi folks! My name is Lavelle and I’ve been operating drones for nearly a decade for both recreational and professional purposes. During that time, I have rarely seen or heard of drones spying on people, nonetheless, even having a drone in your vicinity at night can be an unnerving experience.

In this article, I will discuss some of the ways that you can tell if a drone is watching you at night. I will also cover what drones can actually see at night and how you can protect yourself.

Key Takeaways

  • Start looking for flashing lights or strobe lights in the night sky to spot a drone.
  • Listen for an unusual sound. Drones can sometimes sound like a group of swarming bees.
  • There are several applications that can help you identify drone activity in your area.

How to Tell If a Drone is Watching You at Night

Here are some helpful tips to determine if you are being watched by a drone at night.

1. Look for Drone Lights

Drones are required to have flashing lights on them when flying at night. You can look for red and green flashing lights or for a white strobe light on the drone. If the lights are red and blue, it may be a police drone. 

2. Spot a Drone Sound

Another thing you can do is listen to the sound of a drone at night. You will be able to hear the propellers spinning on the drone and the sound of a motor is heard as well. Some drones, such as a Mavic by DJI, sound similar to a pack of bees swarming. 

Additionally, the pitch of the sound may indicate how close or how far the drone is from you. A higher-sounding pitch may indicate that the drone is moving closer to you. A steady-sounding pitch, in a lower frequency, indicates that the drone is hovering nearby.

3. Use an App to Find a Drone

There are several apps that can be used to identify drones. Apps that detect motion or identify infrared lights help with identifying drone activity. Many of these apps can be installed around your home’s perimeter. 

For instance, the Drone Watcher App found on Amazon is one of many apps used to detect drones.

4. Use Motion or Sound Detectors

Motion and sound detectors are good resources to aid you in detecting drone activity at night. By installing these types of detectors, you have a good chance of knowing when a drone is nearby. 

A more expensive option is installing an acoustic detector. These sensors detect acoustic sound waves and can easily identify a drone.

5. Use Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are another good option for detecting drones at night. These detectors identify and analyze signals given off by drones and can distinguish between sounds emanating from drones as opposed to something like birds or other animals. 

Radar detectors cover a fairly wide range and can let you know if a drone is heading your way.

What Drones Can See at Night?

What a drone sees at night depends on the specific drone. 

For instance, a drone with a night vision camera on it can see thermal imaging at night. The heat given off by human bodies can be imaged by the drone’s camera. However, most drones do not have thermal imaging cameras, especially recreational drones.

Recreational drones that have cameras can see at night, but need ideal lighting scenarios to take clear photos and videos.

How to Protect from a Drone Watching You at Night

Here are a few tips to protect you and your assets from being watched by a drone at night.

1. Close the Curtains

First of all, close your curtains. While a drone’s camera may be able to see movement through a curtain, it will not be able to get clear photos or imaging.

2. Check the Drone Laws in Your Area

You can check the requirements for drones flying at night on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website. You can also check with your local authorities for drone laws in your location and even in your neighborhood.

3. Try to Connect the Drone Operator

In many instances, communicating with the drone operator is a good option. Most drone pilots are happy to disclose the reason for their night flying. 

4. Collect the Evidence of Drone Spying on You

Take pictures of the drone that you see flying near you or your home at night. Be descriptive as possible about the drone. Note its approximate size, color, and location. 

Collect as much evidence as possible to aid in providing authorities with information about the drone activity.

5. Call the Police

Call the police if you feel that drone activity is illegal or being a nuisance. Your local authorities provide emergency first response and will help you with protecting yourself and your property.

For more helpful tips about protecting yourself and your assets from unwanted drone spying, check out this article.


Below are a few answers to some of the frequently asked questions about drone activity at night.

Can a Drone Camera See at Night?

Yes, drone cameras can see at night. But depending on the specific drone and its camera, what can be seen by the drone varies. 

What Do Drones Look Like at Night?

Drones are difficult to see clearly at night. You can always look for flashing strobe lights or for red and green lights to indicate that it is a drone. You can also listen for the sound of propellers which may also sound like swarming bees.

How Do You Tell If a Drone Is Nearby?

Drones give off a unique sound. Depending on how far away the drone is, the sound may be highly noticeable or it may be very faint. A high-pitched sound may indicate the drone is approaching or leaving if the sound is becoming weaker. A steady sound indicates that the drone is hovering somewhere nearby.

Is There an App to Detect Drones?

There are many apps to help with detecting drones. Some of the apps use microwave sensors, some use radar detection, and others may use motion or acoustic detection sensors. Check your app store for options.

Final Thoughts

Feeling that a drone is watching you at night is an unnerving experience. 

Today, we discussed several things you can do, to find out if a drone is watching you or your property. You can also let your local authorities know if you feel that you are being watched by a drone.

Have you ever experienced a drone watching you at night? How did you deal with this situation? Leave your tips in the comment section below.

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