Cheap DIY babycam with night vision


When I did this project in 2012 babycams cost from NOK 2000 and up, so I decided to see if I could build one using a Raspberry Pi, an IR light and a very cheap webcam.

This will of course only be a level 0 night vision (active).


  • IR LEDs with a 12V PSU.
  • Raspberry Pi with a 5V PSU.
  • Webcam. I don’t have a link to it, but pretty much any webcam will do.
IR LED Raspberry Pi, from

Hardware setup

I set up a test and was disappointed that the IR setup hardly gave any visible picture at all, so I threw it in the trash. Then I rememberd that all digital cameras have an IR filter to sharpen daylight pictures. To remove it I did this:

  • Unscrew any lense or cover.
  • Look for a small, slightly colored piece of glass covering the CMOS chip, and remove it by force.
  • Reassemble.

Now the IR seemed to light up objects several meters away. As IR light can hurt eyes, I have the light pointed towards the ceiling, so only reflected light is ever hitting people.


  • Installed raspbian.
  • Installed motion.
  • Webcam is now available to local network for PCs (browser, VLC) and phones (VLC, video streaming apps).


IR LED Webcam, stripped and attached to wall. Baby in nightvision viewed on a phone.