# Let's talk IR Illuminators!

#### Mike33

Joined Feb 4, 2005
349
Hi,

Here's an interesting request for information!

My buddy is....ok, don't laugh....a ghost hunter. Yup, for real! He has a lot of fun with it with friends, and they do catch some interesting "data" at times.

He's asking me to come up with a better IR illuminator for use with his digital NV cam. He has seen a cheap one with a few bulbs on it....he'd like me to figure out how to make two of these with 12 bulbs instead of the 8. We can't lay hands on the thing (he just has a pic...yeah, I know....).

I've used IR LEDs in the past but never bulbs....we'd like to power this off 1 or 2 9V batteries per unit. Does anyone have ANY info on where I can find individual bulbs that would be appropriate for this use? The bulbs are about the size of old=fashioned christmas tree lights, not big heat lamps or anything.

Guy's talking about throwing light out 100' with a DIY thing...I've tried to tell him about inverse squares and the like, but he's pretty adamant, LOL....thanks for any suggestions!

#### doller

Joined Sep 28, 2012
14
Gotta love infrared. Go for LEDs, bulbs are an overkill for hunting imo.

I sometimes leave a camera in the basement. There is... stuff happening. But not always. Next will be a wireless cam in certain buildings with certain history. The nice thing is nobody can see and snatch your camera and illuminators.

Best to use the 940 nm wavelength variety, they will never visibly glow.

There are already some cheap hardcore infrared high power leds for the same price as normal ones. Best thing is, since they are far red, the Uf is very low, as low as 1.2V. Several AA rechargeables in parallel will feed a 5W star for a whole night.

#### Mike33

Joined Feb 4, 2005
349

#### Mike33

Joined Feb 4, 2005
349
Looks like this one might be our guy, eh? http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-5W-Infr...143?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5669a19b1f

As with any LED, I can adjust the current as appropriate, right? I.E., the 1400mA is the MAX rating, you set what you like with a dropping resistor....I have to decide on what to use to power these with, and come up with a reasonable life expectancy. I like the idea of using one unit like this, tho, rather than having to make a box with 20 indiv. LEDs that have no reflector!

#### doller

Joined Sep 28, 2012
14
Yes, the same principles apply.

#### Mike33

Joined Feb 4, 2005
349
Thanks for the idea, Richard, but I think power could be a constraint with those. He just wants me to make something "ghetto" for him, rough & dirty. The 5W units are about \$6 on Ebay, so we'll try them, but if they aren't good enough he's going to have to fork over the dough for something nice like one of those!

#### ronv

Joined Nov 12, 2008
3,770
Don't give up on the smaller (say 100 ma) ones. If you use a 5 watt one the current will lead you away from a resistor and into a current source. It will also need a heat sink.