How to make a decent IR Flashlight

Discussion for SureFire, HDS, and NightOps Flash Lights.

Moderator: Michael

How to make a decent IR Flashlight

Postby Homestar_ » Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:34 pm

Here's a design I made trying to save some money. (7 easy steps)

My budget was < or = $20.00 (however I did it for only $13.00)

Time consumption: 1 hour

Supplies needed
- 7 IR LEDs (Radio Shack's LEDs)
- styrofoam plate (possibly extra for mess-ups)
- Hot Glue Gun
- 9Volt or any battery adapter
- an existing flashlight frame, or* a tube, lens, and switch. (*existing frame recommended)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- a drill bit just smaller than the LEDs (3/16" worked for me)
- a Soldering kit

Step 1) Take the styrofoam plate and drill 7 holes in a hexagonshape.*
(*note: punching holes makes imperfect circles and doesn't create a seal with the LED)

Step 2) Push in LEDs putting them in +,-,+,- (short end, long end short end, long end)
Make sure to straighten them so they aren't at an angle.
(*note: they should be firmly in place and with a perfect seal.)

Step 3) Cut out the hexagon leaving a lot of extra space for you to hold on to.
making sure the LEDs stay straight hot glue them in place*
(*note: make sure the hot glue gun isn't too hot, as it will melt the styrofoam)

Step 4) Bend terminals close together and clip 5mm above where they cross.
Solder the crossing ends together making sure they make a curuit.*
(*note: leave the two remaining terminals un clipped, so-as to solder to the flashlight)

Step 5) Take fuly soldered LED pad and cut it out
into a circle and fit it into your flashlight frame/tube* Epoxy into place.
(*note: the hot glue works as a plastic insert, cut it so it fits smoothly, but tightly into the frame.)

Step 6) Solder the LEDs onto the metal conductors,
(or switch if using a tube). Then solder the 9volt or other battery adapter
onto the switch (or switch to LEDs if using a tube).*
(*note: be very sure you solder the correct terminals together or the LEDs won't work correctly.)

Step 7) Assemble flashlight and make sure it works.

Alright, that's it, I'll be sure to upload some night vision pictures when my goggles arrive.

Post your versions or home made IR Lights.

(here's another design)
Image Image Image Image
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Postby Michael » Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:52 pm

I would be interested to hear the results, but I see a few problems:

1. The wavelength of the diodes is 940 nm. The only equipment this would be effective with is Gen 3 (Gen 2 might see some of it, and I doubt that Gen 1 will see anything). Again, that is the "peak" output, so there will be some spill, but the intensity will be very little.

2. Those looked like unfocused diodes. There is no reflector in the ligh, nor is there a focusing lens. Chances are that will mean a flood beam with a range of about 20 feet.

3. In my experience, LED flashlights put out quite a bit of heat (depending on how hard they are driven of course). I do not think that will be a problem in this case, but something to check....
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Postby Guest » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:12 am

about the 940 nm, I looked at it using a camera that had 'quote-unquote "night vision"
and It was a pretty nice spot light at 30 feet; but gets a little too wide after that.
(I think the beam angle is 45 degrees). I never thought about the 940 nm not being fully within my range.
Do you know of a place to get a better nm? and if so will a whole lot more light spill into the visible spectrum?

These LEDs don't put out hardly any heat. I have known some that do, but these are relatively 'heatless'.

Postby Homestar_ » Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:11 am

Ok, I was able to try out my flashlight with my ATN Viper.

:x ... well the 940 nm Leds didn't work at any distance. Image

I was suprised at this, because the The flashlight worked great
on a camera I borrowed that supposedly had 'night vision'. But with my
Viper, the light didn't even show up unless I pointed the light at
something within inches. Image

... So, I'm going to try again, this time with 850 nm LEDs. I'm hoping this
will show a bunch more light, due to the frenquency being much
closer to the visible spectrum.

(I didn't take any pictures because there weren't any worth taking, the 940nm
Leds were a total flop Image )

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Postby Michael » Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:29 pm

I would suggest looking for 805 nm LEDs.
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Postby scottyt » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:29 pm

i made a single led light. i used a dorcy led aaa light from wally world, it has a driver circuit in it to prevent over driving the led. i used a high out put led ( 940 ) from RS, for 2 bucks. i just desoldered the factory white led and soldered in the ir one. the light also has a lense to focus the light.

using my gen 2 d300 i can clearly see a spot at 15 foot, it is more then enough to navigate a room, or id a person at 10 feet with no other light source. the spot has a few flaws in the pattern but it works well for bringing a little more light when needed to light up an object with out using the d300 ir light.

the only problem i have is when i screw the tail cap down all the way it gets dimmer, when left a little loose it is brighter. btw the tail cap works like a surefire g2 , screw down a little and press for on, screw down more and it stays on
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