How to Make a Webcam Into an Infrared Camera

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This article describes how to modify an ordinary webcam to capture images in the near infrared wavelength. All that is needed are two very small pieces of completely black photographic negative. If you do not have any negatives, a smallpiece of the inside of a floppy-disk will do as well.


  1. Open the webcam casing.
  2. Unscrew the lens assembly from the camera PCB.
  3. Remove the small piece of glass that appears to reflect red light, on the back of the lens.
  4. Cut two pieces of black photographic negative the same size as the glass you just removed.
  5. Fit the negative pieces where the glass was.
  6. Re-assemble the camera. Be sure to use either daylight or incandescent lighting and the webcam will now see in infra red. If you leave the negative squares out the only color the camera will pick up is red black and white.



  • This is only near-infrared, meaning it is not going to be night vision as you might expect. What this allows you to do is capture pictures of things with wonky colors and maybe see some things not necessarily visible in the normal wavelengths of human vision. Bright lights will appear very red, because you have filtered out all light except for the very far red end of the spectrum. Night vision requires a sensor capable of seeing much farther into the infrared spectrum.
  • To avoid having to use an incandescent light, try illuminating the subject/object with infrared LEDs. This way you could "see" in a darkened room (at some limited distance, depending on the intensity of the IR LEDs). A common household source of infrared light by LED is a TV remote control which makes a great little flash light for your camera. If this is too dark to see, try removing the black photographic negative squares.
  • Use proper Screw drivers to unscrew because improper handling might break the camera.


  • This will invalidate your cameras warranty so be sure to use a webcam you do not need.
  • Never mess with electricity unless you know what you are doing.
  • This may not always work!
  • Make sure that this product is unplugged while doing this!

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • - Further information about this process and examples of pictures taken with modified webcam. Source of some images. Shared with permission.

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