IMPORTANT UPDATE: While this DIY does make some neat, but potentially dangerous NEAR Infrared vision goggles, it will not help you see at night. Check out my follow up article: Do DIY IR goggles work?
Editors note: Today’s DIY comes via Craig Pearson of www.nightvision4less.com. He contacted us about a diy IR night vision goggle project that we just had to share. I bought the items needed on Amazon and can’t wait to try it out myself! We’ll definitely be revisting this DIY in the future!
DISCLAIMER: This project deals with potentially harmful vision enhancement equipment and should be constructed and used at your own risk. Thoroughly test to make sure that you have adequate low-light or no light conditions when testing your equipment. Your eye safety comes first!
How to make your own Night Vision Rig
by Craig Pearson
As with many DIY projects, building your own night vision
device can be as simple or in depth as you want it to be, depending on how much you’re willing to pay. In this article I’ll outline what the basic fundamentals and requirements for night vision are, and ways you can scavenge or create the different components.
There are several different ways that night vision can work. Infrared, Light Intensification (often used in conjunction with Infrared) and Thermal Imaging. The easiest for DIY purposes is Infrared, so let’s explain a bit more about that.
Infrared light, is light on the low end of the spectrum just below the range visible to the human eye. With the right equipment you can view this light, (which is what we are going to make). This type of technology, when used with an Infrared light source will allow you to see but remain undetected.Now that we’ve covered a very basic overview of how night visions technology works, let’s talk about how you can put together your own Infrared viewing device. Without special technology, the best we can create at home is NIR (Near Infrared), which is what many night vision systems use.
The basic components for an NIR night vision setup include:
- A way to see infrared light
- A way to illuminate unsing infrared light
For this DIY we’re going to make our own IR goggles and use an IR light source to illuminate the night.
- goggles, welding glasses, or glasses – to mount the IR filters onto… and your IR illuminator if you want to.
- IR filters - these will be placed in or on the goggles to allow you to see the IR light.
- Craig Recommends Gel filters that are used in studio lighting.
- You’ll need enough material to cut out 8 red lenses and 4 blue ones.
- IR light source or Light Illuminator – For extremely low-light or no visible light conditions when extra illumination is necessary. (i.e. at night)
How to make the IR goggles
WARNING! DO NOT look at the sun with or without these glasses on. This can potentially make you go blind!
- Remove all existing filters from the goggles.
- Using the original lenses as a model, cut out 8 red lenses and 4 blue lenses from the gel filter sheet.
- Insert 4 red and 2 blue lenses into or in front of EACH eye piece of the goggles (depending on if they fit or not).
That’s it! All you need to do now is go outside at night and test your new night vision setup! Either attach the light to your head or glasses or simply hold it like a flashlight and voila, you can see at night!
Good luck, and happy night adventures! As this is only Near Infrared, it won’t be nearly as bright as a proper setup, but you will get to experiment with the infrared spectrum.
Craig Pearson is an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and adventurist. His main passions are hog hunting in Texas and writing about his many adventures. He currently blogs for nightvision4less.com, a supplier of high quality night vision equipment.