A Light Painting Infrared Ray Gun


[Noe] over at Adafruit has a really great build that combines the Internet’s love of blinkey LEDs and rayguns with the awesome technology behind extraordinarily expensive thermal imaging cameras. It’s a light painting infrared heat gun, used for taking long exposure photographs and ‘painting’ a scene red or blue, depending on the temperature of an object.

While this isn’t a proper FLIR camera, with a DSLR and a wide open shutter, it is possible to take pseudo-thermal images by simply ‘painting’ a scene with the light gun. This is an absurdly clever technique we’ve seen before and has the potential to be a useful tool if you’re looking for leaks around your windows, or just want to have a useful cosplay prop.

The circuit inside this raygun is based on a contactless infrared sensor connected to an Adafruit Gemma, with the LEDs provided by a NeoPixel ring. There are two 3D printable cases – your traditional raygun/blaster, and a more pragmatic wand enclosure. With either enclosure, it’s possible to take some pretty heat map pictures, as seen in the video below.


  1. notabena4us says:

    Way Cooooooooool…… ;^)
    Bring on the heat!

  2. FooDooBaggins says:

    PLUG n’ PLAY!

  3. k says:

    Dude that looks exactly like my kitchen, do you live in Terra Linda?

  4. Hirudinea says:

    Put a sensor and LED strip on a pair of glasses, get a whole new sense!

  5. Haku says:

    Another version of this ‘heat sensing torch’, will the next version someone makes use red & blue lasers instead?

    You could put those hologram lenses on them of a flame and a snowflake (or something close to those)

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