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How to Make Night Vision Goggles at Home

How to Make Night Vision Goggles at Home

Interested in nocturnal sleuthing? Learn how to make night vision goggles at home and make yourself a pair for some exciting, hi-tech moments!
HobbyZeal Staff
Spell out night vision goggles and a procession of sci-fi action movie scenes start rolling in your mind! I know, it just can't be helped - more so if you happen to be a young teenager or a tech-enthusiast adult who is obsessed with video games, sci-fi and action movies that revolve around military and apocalyptic themes. You know the best part about night vision goggles? You can make them yourself - that too, using regular stuff that you will probably find in your store-room or barn shed! If you happen to be the parent of a hyperactive kid who is super enthusiastic about action heroes and detective work, here's all you need to know about how to make night vision goggles at home for kids using regular sunglasses using a few simple trimmings!

Getting Started

Ok, so if you're all set to get ranked among the coolest parents at your kid's school ('coz that's where your kid will be boasting about your techno skills in front of his peers!), follow the instructions for making night vision goggles that are given below and get ready to surprise everyone with your penchant for mechanics and gadgetry!

Things You'll Need...
  • A pair of regular goggles with a strong, preferably broad frame;
  • Blue and red theatrical lighting gels, preferably Congo blue and primary red;
  • SuperGlue or Krazy Glue (any cyanoacrylate based glue);
  • Precision knife;
  • 8 high intensity infrared LED screens;
  • 2 3-volt button cell batteries (the kind used in watches, in case you're wondering);
  • Soldering iron and welding eye shields.
Getting it Done...
  • Detach the lenses from the goggle frame and trace two outlines of each lens on each lighting gel sheet;
  • Make gel lighting cutouts of the lens' shapes using your precision knife;
  • Fix the blue cutouts to the lens frames first, followed by the red cutouts using the glue so that the blue cutouts form the inner layer and the red ones become the outer layer of the night vision lenses;
  • Very carefully, replace the goggle lenses from the inner side of the lens frames, taking heed not to disturb the gel lenses and let the goggles be for sometime so that the adhesive gets enough time to dry out;
  • Once the adhesive has dried out, fixing the gel lenses firmly to the lens frames, attach four LED screens to each lens frame such that they outline the periphery of each frame, making each lens frame look like a front-open box;
  • Now, provide the power supply by attaching one watch battery on the inner side of either the lens frame or the part of the frame that goes over the ears on both sides of the goggle;
  • Wire the batteries to the LED screens, wiring a switch on the wire so that the lights on the goggles can be turned on and off at will.
Tweak the final look of the goggle by taping in any extra length of wire so that it looks compact and professional. Take your newly manufactured night vision goggles out to test when it's dark outside and see if the images are clear enough. If not, then you may have to add more layers of gel lighting or LED illumination.

That was the part you were looking for. Since at HobbyZeal we always give you a little something extra, I'll give you a quick briefing with regards to how night vision goggles work. To put it simply, the assembly of various paraphernalia that make up a night vision goggle work together to amplify whatever little light is reflected off objects in the dark or in conditions of extremely low illumination. This amplification is done by the specially designed lenses that gather all the light they can from their dim surroundings and multiply the electrons by a thousand times, making the obscure objects appear sharper and brighter than they would if seen through naked eyes or through regular optical devices. I'm sure you enjoyed learning how to make night vision goggles at home as well as getting a simple explanation on how they work. Trust me, you'll enjoy making these goggles even more. The best part is that the reward - that gleam of joy lighting up your kid's face when you give him/ her these goggles - would be priceless!