How To Make Night Vision Goggles With Cardboard

Have you ever wondered how night vision goggles work and wished you could experience the thrill of crafting your own? 

Well, look no further! In this guide, we will show you a creative way to make your very own night vision goggles using just cardboard.  Night vision goggles have long been associated with military and covert operations, but now you can bring a touch of espionage to your nighttime adventures without breaking the bank. 

How to make night vision goggles with cardboard? To create your night vision goggles, you’ll need some cardboard, infrared LED lights, a small camera module, a power source (like a battery pack), and a bit of creativity. By carefully assembling these components, you’ll be able to see in low-light conditions, just like the professionals!

Whether you’re a curious DIY enthusiast, a budding explorer, or simply seeking a fun project to tackle with friends or family, these homemade night vision goggles will open up a whole new world after the sun sets.

How to Make Cardboard Night Vision Goggles

How to Make Cardboard Night Vision Goggles

Night vision goggles can be a fun and educational DIY project that allows you to explore the wonders of night vision technology on a budget.  Before we begin, please note that these homemade goggles may not match the performance of professional night vision devices, but they can still provide an exciting and unique experience.

Materials Needed

1. Cardboard: Gather sturdy cardboard pieces, preferably from old boxes or packaging material.

2. Infrared (IR) LEDs: Purchase infrared LEDs from an electronics store or online. These LEDs emit light not visible to the human eye but can be detected by the goggles.

3. Battery Holder: Get a battery holder that matches the number of batteries needed to power the IR LEDs (typically 9V).

4. Switch: Obtain a small switch to easily turn the night vision goggles on and off.

5. Wires: Secure insulated wires to connect the IR LEDs to the battery holder and switch.

6. Transparent Red Film: Find a red film or cellophane that will allow you to see the infrared light emitted by the LEDs.

Step-by-Step Guide

Design the Goggle Frames

Using a pencil, draw the shape of the goggle frames on the cardboard. Ensure that the frames fit comfortably around your eyes and have enough space to accommodate the electronic components. Cut out the frames carefully using scissors or a craft knife.

Prepare the Eye Openings

Position the goggles against your eyes and mark where the openings should be. Cut out the eye openings with precision, ensuring they match your eyes’ positions for a comfortable fit.

Attach the IR LEDs

Place the IR LEDs evenly around the eye openings, ensuring they face inward towards your eyes. Secure them in position using hot glue or any non-toxic adhesive. Make sure the LEDs are aligned properly to prevent any light leakage.

Connect the Circuit

Solder the wires to the leads of the IR LEDs, creating a series circuit. Connect the other ends of the wires to the battery holder and the switch. Double-check the connections to ensure they are correctly wired.

Add the Battery Holder and Switch

Securely attach the battery holder and switch to the cardboard frame, preferably on the side or bottom of the goggles. This will allow easy access to turn the night vision goggles on and off.

Apply Red Film

Cut a piece of transparent red film to cover the eye openings completely. This film will allow only infrared light to pass through while blocking visible light. Secure the red film in place using tape or adhesive, ensuring no light leaks from the edges.

Test the Night Vision Goggles

Before using the goggles in complete darkness, test them in a dimly lit room. Turn on the switch and see if the IR LEDs emit a faint red glow through the red film. Adjust the circuit or connections if necessary.

Making Night Vision Goggles on a Budget

Making Night Vision Goggles on a Budget

Night vision goggles can be a valuable tool for various activities such as hiking, wildlife observation, or stargazing. While commercial night vision goggles can be expensive, there are budget-friendly DIY methods to create your own night vision goggles. 

Understanding Night Vision Technology

Before we delve into the construction process, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of night vision technology. Night vision goggles work by amplifying available light, including infrared light, to improve visibility in low-light conditions.

The most common type of night vision technology used in DIY projects is image intensification, which relies on ambient light sources to generate a visible image.

Gather Necessary Components

To begin your DIY project, you’ll need the following components:

– A regular pair of swimming goggles or safety glasses (for the frame)

– A small, high-resolution CMOS or CCD camera with night vision capabilities

– An infrared (IR) LED illuminator

– A power source for the camera and the IR illuminator (e.g., rechargeable batteries)

Disassembling the Camera

Start by disassembling the camera carefully. Remove the outer casing to expose the internal components. Locate the camera sensor, which is the critical component responsible for capturing images in low-light conditions. Make sure to handle the camera with care to avoid damaging any delicate parts.

Mounting the Camera on Goggles

Next, attach the camera’s sensor to the front of one lens of your swimming goggles or safety glasses. Secure it in place using a strong adhesive or by customizing a mounting bracket. This step is crucial to ensure the camera aligns with your eye’s viewpoint.

Adding the IR Illuminator

Position the IR LED illuminator on the other lens of the goggles. Align it in a way that it directly faces the camera sensor. The IR illuminator will emit infrared light, invisible to the naked eye, but detectable by the camera’s sensor, thus enhancing night vision capabilities.

Wiring and Powering

Carefully wire the camera and the IR illuminator to a power source, such as rechargeable batteries. Ensure proper connections and use insulating materials to avoid any short-circuits. Test the setup to verify that both the camera and the IR illuminator are functioning correctly.

Calibration and Adjustment

With the DIY night vision goggles assembled, it’s time to calibrate and adjust the system. Test the goggles in various low-light conditions to evaluate image quality and visibility range. Make necessary adjustments to the camera’s focus and positioning to optimize night vision performance.

Safety Precautions

While using your DIY night vision goggles, prioritize safety. Avoid using the goggles in situations that require sharp vision, such as driving or operating heavy machinery. These homemade goggles may not provide the same level of clarity and accuracy as commercial devices, so use them responsibly and with caution.

Unveiling the Secrets of Night Vision Goggles

Unveiling the Secrets of Night Vision Goggles

Night vision goggles have long captured the imagination of people, often depicted as essential gear for covert operations or exciting spy missions. These sophisticated devices allow users to see in the dark, revealing a world that remains hidden from the naked eye. But how exactly do night vision goggles work, and what are the secrets behind their remarkable abilities? 

Understanding Night Vision Technology

Night vision goggles employ cutting-edge technology to amplify the ambient light available in low-light conditions. Unlike conventional cameras, which rely on visible light, night vision goggles utilize various forms of non-visible light, such as infrared. 

They work on the principle of photon capture, where photons, tiny particles of light, are collected and then converted into electronic signals that create the visible image.

Generations of Night Vision Goggles

Night vision goggles have evolved through generations, with each iteration improving upon the previous one. The most commonly known generations are Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3, and Gen 4.

 As technology advanced, each generation witnessed significant enhancements in resolution, sensitivity, and overall performance. Gen 4, the latest and most advanced generation, provides users with exceptional image clarity and minimizes image distortion.

Key Components

To better understand how night vision goggles function, it’s essential to identify their key components. These include an objective lens, an image intensifier tube, a power supply, and an eyepiece. 

The objective lens gathers light and passes it onto the image intensifier tube, where the real magic happens. The image intensifier tube amplifies the photons and translates them into visible light. The amplified image is then presented to the user through the eyepiece.

Applications of Night Vision Goggles

Night vision goggles have found diverse applications beyond their popular portrayal in movies. Military personnel extensively use them for reconnaissance, navigation, and targeting during night operations.

Law enforcement agencies employ these goggles for surveillance, search and rescue missions, and tactical operations. Additionally, night vision goggles have proven invaluable in wildlife observation, night-time photography, and even recreational activities like camping and hiking.

Limitations and Challenges

While night vision goggles are impressive tools, they do have limitations. They rely heavily on ambient light, which can be scarce in pitch-dark environments. As a result, their effectiveness is reduced in total darkness. 

Moreover, bright light sources, such as spotlights or flashlights, can overwhelm the goggles, causing temporary blindness. Additionally, the cost of more advanced generations can be prohibitive, limiting access to certain users.

Future Developments

As technology continues to advance, night vision goggles are expected to undergo further improvements. Researchers are exploring the potential of incorporating thermal imaging and digital technologies into night vision goggles to enhance performance and reduce costs. 

Furthermore, efforts are underway to improve the portability and comfort of these devices, making them even more user-friendly and accessible.


In conclusion, crafting night vision goggles using simple materials like cardboard opens up a world of possibilities for both fun and practical use. This ingenious DIY project allows enthusiasts of all ages to experience a glimpse into the nocturnal realm with their own handcrafted creations. 

While not comparable to professional-grade equipment, these homemade goggles can still provide a unique and exciting perspective on nighttime adventures. Remember, the key lies in precision and creativity during the construction process. 

Frequently Asked Questions(How To Make Night Vision Goggles With Cardboard)

Is it possible to make your own night vision goggles?

Certainly! Making your own night vision goggles is an exciting and achievable project for those with a keen interest in DIY electronics. While it may require some technical knowledge and skills, it’s not an impossible task. There are various online resources, guides, and even kits available that can help you in this endeavour.

What is used to make night vision goggles?

Night vision goggles are constructed using advanced technology and specialized components. The primary elements used to make them include an image intensifier tube, an objective lens, an eyepiece, a power source (usually batteries), and a housing to hold all the components together. The image intensifier tube is the crucial part that allows the capturing and amplification of faint light from the surroundings.

How is night vision made?

Night vision technology operates on the principle of capturing and amplifying existing ambient light or infrared radiation emitted by objects. The image intensifier tube plays a vital role in this process. It contains a photocathode that converts incoming photons of light into electrons. These electrons are then accelerated and passed through a microchannel plate, where they strike the phosphor screen, causing it to emit a visible greenish image.

How do night vision goggles work for kids?

Night vision goggles for kids work similarly to regular night vision goggles, but they are designed with a more user-friendly interface and safety features suitable for children. They are often made with lightweight materials to ensure comfort during use.

Just like adult versions, kids’ night vision goggles use image intensifier tubes to amplify light, making objects in low-light conditions or darkness visible to the young adventurers. This allows kids to explore the world around them in a fun and educational way, fostering their curiosity about the nocturnal environment.