Make an infrared webcam

IR webcam hack

First off — don’t go getting all Silence of the lambs on us, aight? But if you’ve got some legitimate, non-creepy reason you want to record video in infrared, Geoff Johnson’s gonna show you how to do it. He’s gutting a fairly generic USB camera made by Sweex, and is careful to note which steps are Sweex-specific and which are not. You should be able to get this working with any ol’ USB cam you’ve got lying around with possible slight modifications.


  1. Scarabdrowner says:

    For those people out there who are like me and can’t seem to find any negatives around the house, a small piece of your least-favorite vhs tape will work too. The image is very dark, though I’m not sure if that’s because of the vhs tape or the camera.

  2. Glod says:

    The heating elements in toasters are basicly just like light bulbs for infra red ( ), so a possible light source, might be warm though.

  3. James says:

    Try looking on the back of the $5-$10-$20-$50-$100. Get an infrared Heat Lamp (lots of infrared)Kinda warm…..would be nice in winter :) Without infrared filter added(exposed negative)The sky and clouds look cool….colors are a mix of VISIBLE & INFRARED. Did someone mention Bikini’s (shame on you) :)

  4. Dave says:

    If you have a Logitech Quickcam Express, as I have, there is no need to modify it, since it already shows IR light. Just point your TV remote or any kind of remote at the camera and you will see a white light that isn’t visible to our eyes. Magical!

  5. joe says:

    i’ve tried all the remotes i have in my house for ir light it works cause i can see on the cam. is there anything that will be brighter?

  6. rufus says:

    Can anyone confirm whether this works with “Logitech ClickSmart 420″ or “Logitech USB ClickSmart 310 Dual Cam” ??

  7. gamex_ultra says:

    hi everyone. this is a great hack.
    before i tried removing the ir filter, i tried to catch the remote control ir light. and i was successfull.
    next i opened the camera (mustek gsmart mini 3), and checked out for the ir filter. but i didnt found that. the camera has a red lens without any green like filter. it looks like this camera hasnt the ir filter. any comment?

  8. do somebody had done images with the visible light filter (exposed film)? I need a vision system that allow me to only see the objects illuminated by the IR light in a day light ambient.

  9. Kibiyama says:

    This is being featured on Attack of the Show right now!

  10. yoshimitsu says:

    Does anyone know how to do this hack w/ a creative webcam pro? The IR filter is circular and between two other lenses…
    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  11. Shane says:

    useful application???
    I have a gas station and am trying to video license plates. the biggest problem is glare in the camera. wide dynamic camera’s are expensive and still only partially effective. if i set up an IR camera with IR lights for night and a visible light filter would this eliminate the glare problem and give a clear picture of the license plate? any help in this area would be appreciated>

  12. Ben says:

    Sounds really cool, I tried it and I ruined one webcam I think a stupid Qcam which I found in the garbage and while trying to separate the lens and a rubber ring with a knife I cut my finger and I can see the bone…
    So I’ll call it a day and I’ll retry it tomorrow

  13. TBG says:

    Does this work because of the circuitry of cameras? is there a way to magnify infrared enough to not need anything other than the filtered lens?

  14. tbg says:

    i mean is there a way to do it without an image intensifier? i can afford one, but am just wondering if i need to spend the money/time

  15. cmann125 says:

    hello every one. i did this hack with a video camera and it whent really wel except its really blury and i was wondering why i mean when i zoom in its ok but i really dont want to zom in becouse then i only see really zoomed in things so please help if you know whats wrong becouse i have no clue so please help thank you :)

  16. John says:

    ok ok ok…how about instead of bothering with all this crap…you take a camcorder…and put it in night shot…ooo wow look you can see infrared….how amazing

  17. Justin Bell says:

    Dave: Most digital cameras let a bit of IR through, but not very much. The idea with removing IR-blocking lens is to increase the amount of light, so you get a much better picture.

    gamex_ultra: That red lens is probably the IR filter. They’re not always blue/green. But they’re probably always something other than clear.

    john: You’re missing the point completely. Perhaps you forgot what site you were browsing?

    I took the IR-blocking filter out of my Fiji 6900z. I had to get a custom peice of glass cut to replace the filter. Most people probably will if you want correct focusing. I found the best place to get it cut was at a watch repairer.

    I have some photos in the Infra-red section of my photo gallery:

  18. John says:

    Ok well….Great point actually

  19. agaz says:

    it’s worked with quickcam express! though i didn’t put film in it, i just removed ir filter

  20. Liz says:

    Excellent and all that.
    But im an idiot and somehow managed to do this by ACCIDENT.
    my webcams really cheap and doesnt even have the brand written on it.
    anyway, one day i was using it and noticed that half was kinda, doubled up and light in the corner. thought something was stuck behind the lense and took it off.
    the IR filter mustve fallen off because when i shoved it back on my camera is now IR all the time!
    Took me a week to figure out what happened heheh. anyone know how to get some sort of filter back on so i dont look like a scary albino all the time?
    if anyone knows.

  21. mahada says:

    I removed the ir-filter of my Logitech Quickcam Express this way

    Everything can be repaired later.

  22. levinel says:

    Bought a cheap ClickSmart 310 dual cam just to see what it was. It worked ok with QC Express drivers – so go figure.

    But image quality was worse than expected – soft focus and flare. Disassembled and discovered that one side of the IR filter had a fine-textured pebbled surface (excess glue?) After replacing with black film squares, the images are … strange … but much sharper.

    The 310 is fixed-focus, however, it looks like the designers provided an option to assemble it as adjustable-focus. If you can break through the locking glue without damaging the lens barrel, and if you then snip off a tang and add a drop of glue to another location, it still looks stock, but is adjustable.

  23. The web site has moved (or is moving) the more up to date version is at

  24. jason says:

    You can also use the metal-coated plastic that is used inside a floppy disk.

  25. charlie says:

    All cam are sensitive IR, with an apropiate Filter? I’m thiking to use Eye toy Cam to transform to Ir Cam Toy.. with 026 Bright Red .

  26. Albert says:

    I used a microcamera( & with a hole punch i cuted film to create the filter. Isn’t necesary to glue the filter because it fits perfect apliyng a little pressure (like it were a rubber plug). only takes 4 min.

  27. ginger says:

    Could something like this be used to capture light from IR LED’s ?

    I need some sort of camera for that to capture movement.

  28. But i cant see it working :)

  29. Saulius says:

    Also, there is another good way converting great Logitech C920 to infrared. Everything you need custom case to fit CS-type lens. Check it here:

  30. khashmeshab says:

    I’m from future! I invented the time machine to come to 2005 and comment under this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,357 other followers