Build your own DIY night vision camera with a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Night Vision

One of the great things about a lot of small sensor cameras is that they’re available in multiple flavours. Most webcams, for example, see both visible light and infrared at night. The Raspberry Pi cameras are the same.

In this video, John Irvin takes one of those small infrared camera modules and a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ (buy here) and bundles them up into a night vision camera. It sports a 5″ display and has a compact wireless keyboard.

YouTube video

An older but smaller Raspberry Pi

John chose to use the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ inside the camera. It’s quite a bit slower than the Raspberry Pi 4 (buy here) and new Raspberry Pi 5 (buy here) models out there. But it’s the most recent model bearing the A+ form factor. This is significantly smaller than the standard Model B form factor of the Pi 4 and 5.

It uses the official Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3, released earlier this year. He’s using the NOIR version, which allows it to see infrared light. With the help of “invisible” infrared lights, it can see at night. He used a low-power, off-the-shelf infrared LED module as this light source.

Download and make your own

While there are a number of off-the-shelf electronic parts, they all need to be housed in an enclosure. And for something like this, you need a custom enclosure. So, that means 3D printing. John has made the STL files available to download at Thingiverse.

The video above explains the construction of a prototype version after the parts were all printed. It is quite an in-depth video, lasting for fifteen minutes. He talks about what he learned from the first prototype and shows the improvements he’s made to the current version available to download.

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