Introduction: 10$ Night Vision FlashLight Hack

Transform a hand cranked flashlight in a cool Infra Red Night Vision Flashlight , and never run out of batteries, u can all ways hand crank it ! WATCH THE VIDEO for more...


frontier (author)2008-07-18

great instructable, i have a slight question though.
this is how it works? the infrared led's send out infra red light. which the naked eye cant see. however the night vision state on the videocamera can pick up IR, and then use that to generate the image, instead of regular light?

my question is this then, what if you used normal infrared googles? like theese!-For-Under-%2410/ <---. shouldent you in theory then, be able to see in a completely dark room, lit only by infrared, since theese googles will allow you to see the ir?

somerockenguy (author)frontier2008-08-13

you can try it out just don't look directly in to the leds. i don't think it would work because i don't conciter those true infer red goggles. heck if they would work y would the millatary use big expencive ones when they could use moded welders goggles and leds.

frontier (author)somerockenguy2008-08-14

well im confused, are you sure the military ones have lcd screens inside the googles? i dont see why it shouldent work :S maby a reason to use a digital screen is that then no matter how much infrared bombardment there is your eyes wont take any damage as their only exposed to the screen? if anyone can explain please do.

benwade (author)frontier2012-06-10

Human eyes cannot detect IR. Using an IR filter gets rid of the visible light and leaves only the IR light that we cannot see (detect). If there is enough IR light, our eyes can still be damaged by the IR light, even though we cannot see it. That is why IR lasers are so dangerous. You don't "see" the light until you are already blinded by it. Think about ultrasonic whistles for dogs. Human ears cannot hear the sound, but dog ears can. It doesn't matter if there is absolute silence and the ultrasonic whistle is the only sound, we still cannot hear it. Same with IR. even if there is no other light (because the IR filter got rid of all the other light) we still cannot see it. The light energy is still there however and can still damage our eyes.

well, damage to your eyes depends on the brightness of the screen. also, if there too much infrared, you can fry the camera sensor.

somerockenguy (author)frontier2008-08-14

im asuming thay have lcd screens because they cost thousands but i have never checked i got to play with a pair 4 years ago but naver thought to look at how they worked just put them on my head and flicked a switch

Hi, Sorry for digging up an old post here, but i spose its good for when other people read through this...
it wouldnt work, those goggles filter out most visable light and give an infa red effect and allow some form of IR, BUT  infared is invisible to the naked eye, wether the rest of the spectrum is blocked out or not.  the way the military do it is using a small CCD camera, these can detec IR and will show it up on screen as a light source,  it would be awsome if we could see IR and use things like that though :(

positr_n (author)2011-01-27

Can't see the video but I DID THE SAME HACK. You beat me to the post - good job. haha

looks sick on my night vision goggles

bluelantern (author)2010-03-29

great vid! +5!!!

hornysasquatch (author)2010-03-21

 am i the only one thinkin of that episode of "it's always sunny in Philadelphia" ?!

XOIIO (author)2009-12-19

Do you know how short the range is on that? It's virtually useless unless you get a lot of high power LED's and a large power source.

cris1133 (author)2008-03-15

i can use a disposable camcorder right?

peach_fart (author)cris11332008-12-31

theres no such thing as a disposable camcorder.

apr1694 (author)peach_fart2009-09-03

yea there is there are some at the CVS store

I've got to admit, I'd never heard of them before I saw KipKay on YT talking about them - so I guess they're more of an American thing than UK..

guydie5 (author)davethescubarock2009-07-30

really, because my mother works at cvs and they have been around since the beginning of 08

davethescubarock (author)guydie52009-08-16

Yeah, I wasn't disputing the fact you can probably get them here I've just never seen them :].

guydie5 (author)davethescubarock2009-08-23

yeah i know but i thought that would help you :)

somerockenguy (author)peach_fart2009-01-05

ya there is they sell them at places like cvs. kipkay has a video on it on youtube its called like disposable camcorder hack or something.

covey12 (author)cris11332009-05-31

yea there is, there like 20 dollars at walmart they look like those flip video cameras they work really good

Doodls-Stuff (author)2009-08-19

Hey! before actually trying this, i've tried using a remote and a camera but i have to put the remote at least an inch to the object. so when putting the leds into a torch, whould the output be the same? or would i need to buy a specialized torch?

seattled (author)2009-05-09

I wonder how far can you see with this hacked flashlight

BlessedWrath (author)2008-12-30

You can actually purchase IR laser diodes of varying intensities from various online businesses. Aixiz comes to mind immediately: The site from which the diodes used in the infamous "laser flashlight hack" come. With a proper setup, the collimating lens in the diode housing can be calibrated to a narrow-divergence, allowing the camcorder to register intense IR light from long distances. It would be the same as adjusting a MagLite from flood to spot. The collimating lens is located inside the front of the diode housing, and can be adjusted via screwdriver, as it is mounted inside a screw mechanism. Depending on how far away your target is, you can adjust to your preferences. Wide-divergence would be best for close-range viewing, and narrow for long-distance. Also, for what it's worth, I actually tried my own experiment with a non-modified remote and digital camera today, to see if I could record the reflections of the IR signals on various objects. The light appeared as a bright white with a very slight blue tint. I propose that color variations will occur from brand to brand, wavelength to wavelength, and camera to camera. A word of warning: Do NOT use IR diodes over 10mW. Even a standard 5mW laser pointer is surprisingly dangerous to the human eye. If you stare into the sun itself, you're getting about 3mW of light input, and even that can damage your retina. Once you get into the 100mW range (or anything above Class IIIa laser rating), you can damage your sight just by viewing the scatter from the dot on any object. LASER LIGHT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS IF NOT UNDERSTOOD AND USED CORRECTLY! If you wish to know more about lasers, I suggest running a search for "laser" on The site will tell you all you need to know. I hope this helps.

Ksp3cialK (author)2008-10-11

the US military uses a series of lenses that capture the litlest light to see outside, thats y you see a green tint because of the lenses, and thay use IR LEDs to see inside buildings where thier isen't light fron the moon

R4Man18 (author)2008-08-15

i have a mod like this, I found out my cell phone can actually see the light from my remotes so after seeing things like these I can use the cell for night vision but its bad quality (vids in 3gp so I need to get a cheap cam for things like this) but is fun to play with.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-12-19

thats sweet, but to most ppl this isnt helpful cause us normal ppl dont have Night Vision Goggles :-P, cause there hundreds of dollars!

PKM (author)!Andrew_Modder!2007-12-20

You don't need night vision goggles- most consumer camcorders (you do need one of these, sadly) can see IR so have a feature called something like Night Mode which turns on a weak IR light on the front of the camera- when you see videos taken in complete darkness a la Blair Witch Project (did anyone outside of the UK get that film?) with a greenish-looking illumination, it's probably using that setting. This hack just supplements the camera's IR light with an external crank-powered one.

bustedit (author)PKM2008-06-23

yeah, Blair Witch came out in the US, notice the lack of that wacky Brit accent?

PKM (author)bustedit2008-06-23

Well you live here long enough, you get used to only hollywood villains ever having British accents, but you do have a good point. I just make a point of asking about any possible non-international things in case I make some passing reference to marmite or something and it goes over heads...

bustedit (author)PKM2008-06-23

Why do most British singers (in classic rock anyway) always sound more American than Brit when singing? Someone told me the other day the Beatles were actually from England! Go fig? Marmite? is that like vegamite, or a type of flooring? Or perhaps both? a dessert topping AND a floor wax!

PKM (author)bustedit2008-06-24

Someone told me the other day the Beatles were actually from England!
Please, please tell me you are kidding.

Classic rock isn't my thing (I'm too young :P) so I couldn't really tell you why. Marmite is not a dessert topping (eughh.. marmite on dessert) or floor wax, it's a type of yeast extract much like Vegemite. If you use Vegemite as a dessert topping.... I'm very curious.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)PKM2007-12-20


merseyless (author)2008-04-25

lol add this to your copter and you have a night vision spy copter!

ac1D (author)merseyless2008-05-28

yeah, the mega powerfull picooz can lift both the spycamera and the infrared light! AAGAGAHAHAHAHAHH

cris1133 (author)2008-03-15

can i use the IR filter in sam noyoun

marcolinux (author)2008-03-08

Nice instructable, but IMHO instructables in video are a major no-no because: It is hard on people with slow connection(me at home :-); It is impossible with corporate fast connection (proxy blocks YouTube/ others video servers); It is hard to remake it in case you forgot some step (not that hard, but harder than just inserting a step); You have to watch the entire video just to see the results ( we can seek, but with some guess. In this case, the final result was the very last frames!); But Hey , what do I know? I don't even made my first yet :-) Nice work, very inspiring. MarcoLinux-BR

T3h_Muffinator (author)2007-12-19

When you shined the "finished product" back at the camera, the camera recorded white light; it should have picked up the infrared and display the LEDs as outputting red light. Are you sure you actually did this?

alexsolex (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-12-19

I think it is because camera are using an infrared filter or something. Human can't see but camera can see such wave length light

Notbob (author)alexsolex2008-01-08

Most digital cameras have an ir filter, only high quality(and expensive) cameras have a option to turn it off.

mossDboss (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-12-19

Yes, he is really doing this, in that Remote LED's appear as "white light" when viewed through a digital camera. You can test this out yourself. Take any remote controller you have, a digital camera (a cell phone camera will also work), turn on the camera and look at the LED on the Remote through the camera and press buttons on the remote, you will see that the "light" from the LED is whitish or blueish, the LED on most remotes do not appear as red light when viewed by a digital camera.

Notbob (author)mossDboss2008-01-08

the ir LEDs in my TV remote appear slightly orange, while the ones in a WII sensor bar have a purpleish glow around them.

T3h_Muffinator (author)mossDboss2007-12-19

Hmm... odd. They appear red to my camera....

mossDboss (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-12-19

They are white in my camera so I don't know what to tell you then. IR LED show up white in my camera, and most others that I have seen. What this person has done is not fake. However, from the video you can tell he was about 4-6 inches from the page being read at the very end, so unless one knows of an amplification technique, this is really cool and fun but impracticle.

you silly goose ir leds show up as a blueish white NOT red

PKM (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-12-19

Every time I've tried it, camera CCDs appear to pick up IR as slightly bluish white light- I guess it excites all three sensors. My phone camera, old HP M307, my current Olympus C770 and two Sony MiniDV camera I've seen it done on all see IR as white. My questionto aKaMaKaVeLy is how are you meant to crank the flashlight after you've taped it to the camera? It's not particularly clear in the video, which is one of many reasons I'm not a great fan of Instructables that are just a video with no explanation. There's a reason for the standard format of steps, text and multiple high-res images. This isn't a direct criticism as you seem to be good enough at editing to make the video clear and easy to follow, but I'd still rather see some text.

aKaMaKaVeLy (author)PKM2007-12-19

well, i didn't show that in the video and i am sorry, but after u place electrical tape u can cut electrical tape around the hand crank , then cranck it :) im sorry for not putting that in the video. thank you all for feedback !

I'm suspicious, too, T3h. Something's fishy.

Tropicana (author)2007-12-30

Awesome. Too bad I didn't have two cameras and lots of IR LEDs to make a set of goggles :P Thanks for the cool instructable.

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