Infrared Night Vision Camera for $15

About: I love soccer, snowboarding, running, playing guitar, but I really love inventing, tinkering and hacking!!

This is my first instructable and I'm 13 so be kind! Ok, so i wanted to make a cheap DIY night vision camera for cheap and I watched a couple of videos on how to do it on a cell phone, then made it with my camera. It uses infrared light from the LEDs which is part of the light spectrum that our eyes can't see, but the camera will pick it up as light and illuminate the camera screen after you take out the IR (infrared) filter. HERE WE GO!

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Step 1: Gathering Tools and Materials

Materials: camera (digital, I got mine for $10 at my local pawn shop), infrared LED I used 6(I found mine online at a robotics shop. Your local robotics/ electronics shop will most likely sell them), resistor( my LEDs work best with 390ohm, these will vary), 9 volt or other battery pack, snap clip ( if using 9 volt), switch( optional, I didn't use one). Now the tools: hot glue gun, solder iron and solder, screw drivers, needle nose pliers (optional). That about sums it up!

Step 2: Opening the Camera

Now to remove the filter we need to tear through the camera, taking careful pictures so we can put it back together. When you start, there might be some hidden screws on the camera, so make sure to lift up any stickers and look under rubber protectors for ports.

Step 3: Removing the Mother Board

To remove the mother board so we can reach the IR filter, we need to take out 5 or 6 screws. Be careful because some of the screws in the camera may vary by legnth.

Step 4: Removing the IR Filter

Now is the delicate part. Removing the camera IR filter module and taking the tiny piece of glass out. The glass will be in a gasket on the back of the housing. You can pry it out easily with a flat headTake your time. Don't get dust on the exposed camera exposure chip. The IR filter will be about .5cm in diameter and will be most likely square.

Step 5: Putting the Camera Back Together

Just place everything back the way you took it out. Then we can move on. Once you put it back together and turn it on, it should see in a odd black and white ish color

Step 6: Assembling the IR LEDs

I assembled mine in series circuit, but you can do parallel. I used series so it can fit around the round lens nicely. I assembled them twisting the legs, then soldered.

Step 7: Using the Camera

Here I am in my bathroom (darkest room in my house) using my camera with 11 LEDs (improved version) in the dark. The first picture is in the mirror to show the illumination of the LEDs. These aren't the best pictures, but they work!

Step 8: Final Product

This is what my final product it can see about 1 foot in front, but I added 5 more LEDs and it sees 3 feet in front of it, the second photo is the improved version with 11 LEDs. Now it's your turn! Good luck!

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    13 Discussions


    3 years ago

    If you can get a IR LED array for a security camera with 24+ LED's for about $6. Mount to one side from the tripod socket and you will get much more light and have a far neater setup. These IR arrays run on 12v and there are 12v Li-ion battery packs for that purpose. The light should give you a far greater range as well.

    ir light.JPG

    4 years ago

    Pretty neat! Check out my diy for a wiring time saver. I bet it would help you, and feel free to vote?

    black vader

    4 years ago

    Thats so cool Im going to try it


    4 years ago

    that is very good! Could you post some of the IR pictures to see what they look like?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Step 1

    yeah you should probably solder or at least bend and shrink tube those together.

    No, at first i used my bread board to make sure with the resistor 6 LEDs will shine brightley, then i twisted the LEDs legs together in the circuit, soldered then glued them to the camera.