How To: Make infrared goggles

Make infrared goggles

How to Make infrared goggles

Kip Kay of Make Magazine will teach you how to turn welding goggles into infrared goggles with the hack he outlines in this how-to video. The entire project only costs $10. To replicate this hack at home and build your own pair of steampunk infrared goggles, follow along with the steps in this video tutorial. Just don't look at the sun!

44 Comments

Lol, the beginning of the video. The goggles looked cool and so did the effect

DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN OR YOU'LL BURN YOUR CORNEAS IN A SECOND! ~ XTREAAAMMMMMM

MY EYES.. THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING!!!!

The goggles just cause a lighted environment become dark, but without blocking IR wavelengths. This allows any extremely bright IR light become visible. For info, check out my original project article: amasci.com/amateur/irgoggl.html

Humans can see IR light if it's bright enough. For example, near-IR light at 730 nanometers has to be about 1000x brighter than the visible wavelength which humans best can see (which is visible greenish, 550nM.) At 800nM infrared, the light has to be nearly a million times brighter. An 800nM IR laser shining on a white surface will appear to human eyes as a dull red dot.

As for safety ...the hazard w/these goggles isn't huge, but then again they aren't a toy for kids. If you used them to stare directly at the sun for many minutes, you'd certainly damage your retinas.

This seems like a neat little project but I find it's claims that it allows view of infra-red light a bit dubious.

As they mention in the video infra-red light is, by it's nature, invisible. The low pass filter they talk about constructing would certainly block out a large portion of the visible spectrum, but I do not see how it would bring infrared light up into the visible portion of the spectrum for your eyes to detect.

I suspect this project just lets through some narrow set of wavelengths in the visible spectrum that your eye isn't normally able to pick out from the broad spectrum it typically receives.

- Peter K.

Thanks for your scientific expertise, good comment.

> infra-red light is, by it's nature, invisible.

That's an oversimplification. See the project FAQ. On a log-log graph, the sensitivity curve for human eyes rolls off in a flat slope. There are no kinks dividing "visible" from "IR." The usual dividing line is taken to be 700nM. Out in the NIR at 800nM the sensitivity is down by five orders of magnitude. If your eyes can see some microwatts of dim orange light, well, just use IR light that's 10,000X brighter, and you'll see it as dim red light. Sharp-cutoff IR-pass filters, if used with goggles in bright sunlight, allow you to see the "infrared world." Expensive glass filters would be best, but I tested many theatrical gels and discovered that three layers of cheap Congo Blue works fine.

But don't believe me, and don't trust unattributed vids found on youtube. Go check out the linked research papers on the actual project article on Science Hobbyist site. Or just build the things yourself and take a look. When wearing congo blue filters, the sensitivity peak for human eyes is moved from 550 out to 720nM.

This looks cool, I'm going to try it.

You try it and see if you can find your computer to tell us about it.

wow. really cool thing!

Can it be used to look during the night with some light on the street?

yeh that whole sun issue....not gonna try this....id be WAYYYY too tempted to look at the sun....no self control...this is the same resaon i stay away from heights...the jump is just too enticing to resist... lol

cool look my avarter is a maple story bandit

Unfortunately kipkay kinda failed us on this one. For one thing he has the hookup on gels cause I had to pay 7 bucks a sheet! But this #$%@ is sooo bogus!! 4 gels thick is just too thick! It blurs everything out! If you are going to do this buy just the blue not the red!!! The first part he showed with the blue works decent. But that last clip is FRICKIN BOGUS!!! You definitely DO NOT see anything like what he showed!! I would be royally pissed off about this one but fortunately I made some killer 3D glasses! Thanks but no thanks kippitykay!!

Loaf thinks da sun is pretty when looking through these glasses!!

can see through clothes?

what if i cut this into thin strips and took the strips ad glue them forming a pattern of the material vs open area on the surface of the glasses like this IiIiIiIiIiIiI pa tern to let normal light through without risks of sun frying my eyes would it work?

i hope you could see through clothes by using them!!!!!!

LMAO (reply to usernamesarereallyreallygay) i is very tempted to look at the sun and i mean WITHOUT the goggles hahahaha just joking

Errrrrr, pretty cool video, the person talking sounds kinda over excited sometimes

how to copy these videos to my computer

download and install realplayer software is free then when this video appears theres a mesagge that will ask you if you want to download this video in your computer and that it

If you have a flashlight with infrared leds would it then be possible to use these goggles as night vision goggles?

will it work the same if you use them with the night vission camera hack?

This is phuckin stupid. Don't waste my time claiming these are infared.....Save arts and crafts for another site....

This works! I used 6 layers of blue and one of red. Use a set of goggles that fits snug on your face so you cannot see daylight sneeking in. I had some coming in around the nose/chain hole so a bit of duct tape was in order. Wear a hoodie and a ball cap to also help cut down any stray light. Wait about 10 minuets for the best effect. Your eyes will need this long to relax from broad daylight to the new dark world you will be seeing. Use the hard plastic googles not the flexable rubbery ones. THe rubber/vinyl is not opaque enough to block the sunlight and will look green which will ruin the effect. Take care not to crumple scratch or get fingerprints on the gels when cutting or inserting. They will blur anyway and you do not want any extra.

ok first of all.. this is retarded there are 3 primary colours, red, blue and green.. blocking red and green means u can still see blue and colours near it!!! adding red to the filter means red gets filterd too which would leave nothing, blue filter absorbs red and green, red filter absorbs green and blue.. IR light can still pass thru but why would you all of a sudden be able too see it if it if that frequency of light is invisble to the eye? filters dont change frequency..

Do not confuse transmitted color with reflected color. Calling the "blue" filter blue is just slang. It is really just a very effective IR filter that happens to look blue. It will not block 100% of all non IR light but it is as close as we can get on a budget. Adding the red filter is blocking more blue light not red light. Our eyes can see IR light but not that well. It is like a dog whistle, you can hear it if you are in a quiet room but not so much at the bus station at rush hour. You are correct, filters will not change the frequency, they only choke out the un wanted light leaving the IR.

what will this help u with

Understanding how filters work? Understanding how our eyes work? Getting a first hand experience of alternate reality without electronics? Most definitely will help you elevate your geek status!

it wont help us with basic skills like spying or ewt though will it

Where do you get the gel/filters? I have no idea where you would get them. My best guess is like a hobby shop, but I dont have any idea. Anyone wanna help me?

I'm not sure of any local shops or chains, but if you're in the Los Angeles area, there are a ton of grip/lighting shops that sell them, like Studio Depot. If not, online stores like Amazon and B&H Photo carry Lee Gels. Not sure if regular hobby shops will carry them... maybe.

No I don't live in the LA area, but I did locate a photography shop. Very soon I will have nightvision!

I used a similar method, welding goggles, and replaced the lenses in the goggles with a special filter material from Polaroid or Kodak, about 1970. Allowed me to see the heat flow of metal particles in a sputtering system, by blocking all but the near infrared. Helped solve an uneven sputtering result that was making scrap memory substrates. Helped solve problems that would have caused my employer to lose a long term government contract.

Where is the video?

I bought a 52mm IR720 filter for my camara(under $6 with free shipping on Ebay.) I was playing with it on the beach this weekend after taking some cool shots of the lakefront, holding it to my eye and looking around. I turned to my freind and, much to my suprize, I saw right thru her bikini! I guesse IR goes thru thin sinthetics rather easily and, yes, we can see IR if our pupils dialate enough.

The disc from the inside of most 3 1/2" floppy discs also filter out most visible light and let thru IR. So does exposed and developed film like the end piece of a roll of 35mm.

Good video. I got the goggles for under $6, but I'd like to know where he got the two sheets of colored filters for 50 cents each. Everywhere I looked , including his web site, it was about $6.50 each. That comes up to "infrared goggles for just under $20" as far as I can tell. But it's still worth it.

will this goggles work at night together with with several IR light lamps? I guess it will not .. :/ but is there any other option of passive IR goggles which can see IR light from IR lamp without using camera?

thanks for any hints or help

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