Wanting to add night vision to my cheap Rpi cameras for video surveillance and recording. I ordered these from aliexpress,here Will these provide that functionality sufficiently? Or will I need to add additional software to enable it? Appreciate anyone’s experience with this setup.

4 Answers 4


Yes it should work with the NoIR filter module.

In essence you need infrared light to shine onto your subject or viewing area for your camera to see in the dark.

These IR (infrared) LEDs provide such light when hooked up properly to your RPi Camera Module.

One thing you need with these is a camera module that does NOT have an IR filter lens (NoIR). There are generally two types of RPi Camera modules. Ones with IR filter and ones without.

The ones with IR filter allow for a more colorized view, but when trying to view Night Vision, it will filter the IR, and you won't be able to easily see the night vision on the camera.

The ones without IR filter (NoIR) allow the IR light wavelength to pass through the lens, and the camera module then is able to see the IR light to pass through the lens to the camera module. These will have a slight discoloration, because the lens is picking up and sensing IR with all the other visible colors.

Your IR LEDS you ordered may or may not be enough IR light to illuminate your subject area you want to light. You can get other IR "Lights" that can provide a lot more IR "brightness".

Infra red is simply a lower frequency, longer wavelength of light that humans cannot see with their eyes. But cameras can detect and "see" such lightwaves.

Light is a form of energy, and when in range of a particular spectrum, it becomes visible to our eyes. Keep in mind that its energy still and looking at the IR directly could possibly be damaging to your eyes.

The LED have a light sensor that can detect light levels, and when they are low should provide power to the LED.

Theses are the pink circle things next to the main LED, one on each module.

The power is provided basically where the screws are used to harness the LED modules to the RPi Camera Module.

  • The "Pink" sensor is only pink in the main photo of the LED, this is not really pink, but only a reflection of light when the picture was taken.
    – mrSidX
    Dec 31, 2018 at 19:06

Merely having a NoIR camera isn't enough to film in no/low light conditions- you require infrared light source to work with it. This is the light source I use: it floods IR light up to 50 meters so I can actually monitor my back and front yards from Pi NoIR cams inside my house (which without waterproof cases is the only way to setup security cams covering outside spaces). There are cheaper models with fewer IR lights, but I went with this 15 light unit which you can buy from amazon.co.uk here IR Light

  • Thanks - I was wondering how the NoIR pi camera would do on its own. This answered my question. Mar 25, 2019 at 17:59
  • 1
    No prob! BTW, if you're using the Pi for a security cam and there are no power outlets within 1.5 meters, I explain POE options in the following link to get around that issue: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/50682/…
    – F1Linux
    Mar 25, 2019 at 19:48
  • I just ran across the Pi POE boards on Adafruit today. Great solution. Mar 25, 2019 at 21:09

Just be aware that those IR LEDs have copper contacts on them for power and many of the stock RPi cameras don't have the contacts to mate with the LEDs:

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This camera has the correct copper contacts on it for those IR LEDs: enter image description here

  • Could you explain what contacts you're talking about? May 6, 2019 at 13:51

I'm guessing this works for RPIs too.

In one of DDElctrotech's Videos, he turned his smartphone camera into a night vision camera by removing some filter on the lens. It depends on if you are willing to take it apart since it involves handle small fragile part which could potentially break.

Here is the video if you are interested: $1 Only - How I have Converted My Phone Into Night Vision Camera

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