Picture of Super Simple Night Vision
nighty nightfront.jpg
nighty nightthroughtheeyes.jpg
This project diagrams the build of cheap but effective night-vision "goggles" elsewhere sold at twice the price.  These pick up near-infrared light emmited from a bunch of IR LEDS.  All the parts can be bought from for about $50, minus the enclosure.  This thing is great for campouts, hunting, party tricks, night paintball and much more. 

Sorry, but I do not have any pictures of the real thing, as it broke in a 20 foot fall out of my window.  Suprisingly, the camera and LEDs survived, but the monitor and box did not. 

This is a submission to the "Make it Real" and "Spy" contests. 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials:

Picture of Materials:
First you need to buy or find the materials.  All are avaliable on 
1 x automotive backup camera (avaliable at $13.1

1 x automotive backup monitor (avaliable at $21.7 

1 x 9.6V RC car battery (avaliable at $8.75

1 x box, I used 6-1/2" x 5" x 3", but anything that fits all the components will work.  I made mine from leftover acrylic spray painted black, so cost is neligible.   

1 x power switch, avaliable on amazon, or radioshack.  $0.5

1 x IR led array (avaliable at $5.6 

total price: 49.65

Step 2: Cutting mustard

Picture of Cutting mustard
The first step is to cut the box. 
You will need to cut 2 eyeholes near one side.  Make sure they line up with the eyes of whoever will be using them. 
Make a nose cutout between and below the eyes.
Cut a hole for the power switch
Cut a 1/8" hole in the front and back of the box, one for the power to the camera and IR LEDS, and for the charging connector in the back. 
Wait nevermind that has a lot of 1 star reviews lol 3:
jduffy54 (author)  knexpert17001 year ago
Yeah, I've looked into those, but thay all seem to be unreliable or cheaply made. While it would reduce the price, this way generally works better.
I think you could just use this: but maybe add on that IR array for better viewing :P
The cover on the bottom of the monitor that you stick to the back of the box
jduffy54 (author)  chimthetim961 year ago
That's just a piece of laminated paper or plastic, of course you can throw it away.

Also, If you have any more questions, just send me a private message instead of commenting.
And do you have a video or pictures of connecting the wires together?
jduffy54 (author)  chimthetim961 year ago
No, I don't have a YouTube account, but the wires are simple. Red goes to red, blak to black, yellow connectors to yellow connectors, and what bottom cover?
Do you need the cover on the bottom of the monitor? Or can you just throw ut away?
K thanks
Cool thanks and have you figured any thing else to attach it all to like goggles or something?
jduffy54 (author)  chimthetim961 year ago
No, its pretty heavy to mount on something. I just hold it.
Does it project any light that gives away your position?
jduffy54 (author)  chimthetim961 year ago
No, unless they also have night vision. The LEDs are infrared, and therefore invisible to the naked eye. Depending on the LEDs, there may be an extremely dim red glow, but it is so dim as to be unnoticable unless you're looking directly at them from less than a few yards away.
These safety goggles are impossible to knock off. I have gotten stuck with them on multiple times. The steroscopic night vision is a good idea though.
jduffy54 (author)  BasementBuilder2 years ago
Okay. The other issue might be focal distance. You need a fairly uncommon lens (concave lens) to see the screen, plus you do have to consider the torque of pulling the very front straight down.
jduffy54 (author) 2 years ago
Not sure if safety goggles could support everything, but maybe a magnifying visor with the magnifier removed could.

Also, I recently took apart some disposable cameras, and noticed that the viewfinder lenses can be taken out, and allow you to focus on large objects close-up, which could allow you to reduce the size of the unit significantly. Also, maybe even use two small screens and two cameras for stereoscopic night vision.
I'm thinking about spray painting a pair of old safety goggles block and slapping this on it
jduffy54 (author) 2 years ago
I've had some questions about the connections. They're fairly simple, all red wires or wires marked + except the battery are connected to one end of the switch, all the black wires are connected together (including the battery), then the video (yellow or white) jack from the camera connects to the monitor.
Good project
,I,ve also tried building one but with lenses so as to reduce distance of lcd from eyes
suggestion-use video glasses for lcd,it will become compact
jduffy54 (author)  Suraj Grewal2 years ago
I have just looked said glasses up on, and the cheapest was $60, for ones which attach to an ipod. They may be modifiable, but I wouldn't risk it with such pricey shades. The cheapest ones that would work out-of-the-box are about $200, and the reviews don't make them seem very good. I would go with the screen and no lenses. I did originally tr to add lenses, but it didn't work well.
jduffy54 (author)  Suraj Grewal2 years ago
Yes, originally I wanted to do that, but they are harder to find and more expensive. I didn't use lenses just for simplicity, and because it works fine without them. Also, the glasses would be dificult to mount the camera, battery, and LCD on without them becoming way too heavy to wear.