How to Make Infared Night Vision

Making a homemade infrared night vision device is a practical way to see in dark surroundings and even in total darkness. Popular night vision devices include scopes and goggles. These require similar materials and steps for creating simple do-it-yourself projects. When making basic night vision devices like scopes, you'll need basic materials including blue and red gels or filters, infrared LED light and button batteries.

Things You'll Need

  • Infrared LED lights
  • Button battery
  • Congo blue gel
  • Primary red filter
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Pen
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Glue gun
  • Glue stick


    • 1

      Buy an infrared LED light and its batteries. You can choose from a wide selection of products that are popularly used for night vision gears. A practical choice is a small one with size ranging from 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. For your convenience, buy one that requires twisting the lamp cover to turn the light on or off.

    • 2

      Buy Congo blue and primary red gels. These are transparent colored filters that can come in varying sizes. Depending on the size of your intended night vision device, you may need at least about 5-by-5-inch squares of each one. Generally, buying them on retail provides you with larger sizes, which you can use as spare materials.

    • 3

      Cut the toilet paper tube into two equal parts. You may discard the other part as you only need one of the cut pieces.

    • 4

      Set the Congo blue gel on a flat surface and then place the toilet paper tube on top of it. Trace the hole on the gel.

    • 5

      Set the primary red gel on the same flat surface, then trace the toilet paper tube's hole on it as well. Use the tube end as the one used on the Congo blue gel as both gels are meant to cover the same hole.

    • 6

      Cut the traced pieces of Congo blue and primary red gels.

    • 7

      Attach the primary red gel cutout to the appropriate hole on the toilet paper tube using glue gun.

    • 8

      Attach the Congo blue gel cutout to the same hole on the toilet paper tube using glue gun as well. This should be set right on top of the red gel cutout with a small amount of glue around the perimeter.

    • 9

      Use glue gun to attach the bottom part of your infrared LED light on top of the toilet paper tube. The light should face the direction opposite the gel cutouts as it is meant to illuminate your subject when viewing it with your scope.

    • 10

      Go to a dark place where you can test your homemade night vision scope. Turn on the infrared LED light, then use the part of the scope with the blue-and-red gels as your lens.

Tips & Warnings

  • Aside from the popular and very practical infrared night vision scope, you can also make a night vision goggle, which requires very similar steps and materials with that of a scope. Instead of using an empty toilet paper tube, you need a pair of welding goggles or any other goggles that can conveniently allow altering the lenses.
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