How-To Geek

DIY Project Turns Flashlight into Thermal Imaging Tool

The problem with thermal cameras is that even the low end ones can cost over $10,000. This clever DIY hack, however, makes it easy to create detailed thermal photographs with your digital camera and some inexpensive parts.

Courtesy of Max Justicz, we’re treated to a really novel solution to a very expensive problem. Max wanted to take high resolution thermal photographs but he didn’t have the pile of cash you’d need to purchase a high-resolution thermal camera. His solution was to use a camera he already had and build a flashlight that displayed the readout of a cheap thermal sensor via color LEDs. To thermal image the room above, for example, all he had to do was dim the lights, set the camera for a long exposure, and walk around shining his temperature-as-color flashlight along the walls.

Light Painting with Temperature [via Hack A Day]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/3/13

Comments (1)

  1. Enthusiast

    I would be interested in seeing a side-by-side comparison with an actual thermal imaging system, to verify that the image produced by this DIY correctly displays the thermal image.

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