Night Vision Maintaining Goggles

Introduction: Night Vision Maintaining Goggles

About: I am a student, photographer, graphic art photo manipulation editor, and a boy (if you couldn't already tell).


One day I was watching Myth Busters and I came across an episode where they raced around a Go-Kart track in the dark. Their objective was to see if it was possible to smuggle "pancake mix" across the U.S. border at night when no one is looking. First, each of them waited in a dark room for about 20 minutes, then one by one, they went through the pitch-black course in Go-Karts. They found out that you can finish, but only with hard work. But they realized that they were missing something. They went through again, but this time they had a "cop" on a Go-Kart chasing them. They had to chose to turn left or right depending on which way the correct sign was pointing. Getting through the course without being caught was noticeable more difficult due to the pressure from the cop. Then they did the test one last time. This time they had a robotic RC car built to flash a very bright light at them while they were driving to simulate a car passing by. This bright light ruined their "night vision", and they immediately could not see where they were going.

In that episode they explained how the night vision worked. Your eyes contain a chemical protein called rhodopsin, and what that does is help your eyes see in the dark. But when you go outside or see light, the rhodopsin is bleached out. So in order to get it back, you must wait in a completely dark room for 20-30 minutes. This waiting period also widens your pupils so that more light is allowed into your eyeball. Light = small pupil; Dark = wide pupil. That is why your pupils get really small when you come out of a dark room.

When I saw how this worked I remembered something that I had seen some time ago, and that was red light. Red light could help you maintain your night vision when being exposed to light. This is because the rhodopsin is less sensitive to the color red, which has a longer wave-length than other colors. At first I thought, red windshields for when headlights pass by you, then I realized that those weren't very practical. The thought stayed in my mind for the longest time. But when I came across the Colors of the Rainbow contest, I knew exactly what to enter.

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Step 1: What Are We Making, and What Are They Used For?

Goggles! Well technically red tinted goggles that help your eyes see in the dark. Here's a scenario for you. You have been waiting in a completely dark room for about 27 minutes, and you want to look at your phone, but you know it will ruin your night vision. What do you do? I know, you put on your handy red tinted night vision goggles! Now you can look at your phone and you don't have to wait a long time to get your vision back.

Step 2: Supplies

These are the materials you need to make this Instructable.
  1. Welders goggles with screw on lenses
  2. Red tint spray paint
  3. Something to spray paint on

Step 3: Disassembly

I would encourage you to purchase the goggles in the supplies list just so you have the same features as I do. Yes I am aware that you will look really weird with these goggles on. But all visible light must be red, so these are pretty much the only option. Twist off the lens frames from the goggles and take off the lenses (If your lenses can not be taken off, use painters tape to protect the rest of the goggle body). Set the lenses on your spray painting area.

Step 4: How to Spray Paint

  • If you are spray painting indoors, make sure the room you are in is well ventilated
  • Keep the bottle 8-10 inches away from the lenses
  • Spray 2-4 coats of paint
  • Spray each coat at 15 minute intervals
  • If the humidity is above 60% wait for a drier day to do this step
  • Make sure the nozzle is facing away from you ;)
  • After your last coat, wait at least an hour for the paint to cure

(you can spray the tint on one side of each lens or both sides, I just did it on one side)

(these methods can also be used for other gadgets similar to this. Such as flashlights)

Now that you understand all of that, it's time to spray paint!

Step 5: Assembly

After you have coated the lenses 2-4 times, and waited at least an hour after, you can adjust the nose bead length to fit you. Then put the lenses in the goggles and twist on the lens frames. And there you have it, night vision maintaining goggles.

Step 6: End.

I hope you enjoyed this, and if you have any comments, tips, or questions, just click below.

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    3 Discussions


    1 year ago

    This is a very fun project and I enjoyed helping make them! These are very good for seeing at night and looking at bright lights at night. Great Job!! (also, when you are making these, don't forget to have the spray bottle pointed in the right direction) ;)

    Fun project. These are also really good for low light star gazing. They can help you keep your night vision to see fainter stars.

    Zay the Builder
    Zay the Builder

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you, that is very good to know.