Infrared camera trap illuminators

I have been asked to produce photographs of stray cats roaming around people’s backyards. I am presently using a Gerber trailcam. At night this only works with infrared light. I need to produce full colour photographs good enough to identify the cats. I am trying to use a Raspberry Pi connected to a HQ camera and telephoto lens with a PIR motion detector to replace the Gerber. I am looking for two LED kits to provide lighting. I need a kit with visible light and a kit with infrared light. The illuminators need to have a range of up to 10 metres. The illuminators must be battery powered with a battery life good enough for overnight use before recharging. The lights will only be on long enough to photograph the cat, which will be detected by the PIR sensor.


Hi Charles, welcome to the forum!

Why not use a DSLR? They have flash built-in and can take good, color-accurate photos. Adafruit have a great guide on using a microcontroller to emulate the IR remote most DSLRs can use to trigger capture.

Just another avenue for you to look down, there’s obviously the NoIR and Night Vision camera modules for a Pi that will work well as well
Good luck with your project!

Edit: There’s a few more ways to interface with a camera, some have a shutter release port as well, here’s a guide on using that
Some can be triggered and have images pulled over USB as well, I’m looking for the guide I found a while back on this one…
Edit 2: Here it is: Hello Raspberry Pi: Python on Raspberry Pi to control DSLR with python-piggyphoto and libgphoto2


I had a few questions about Pi IR cameras that includes the lens mounts as people really like the picture quality of the HQ camera but wish it didn’t have an IR filter attached. I’ve found a procedure on the Pi foundations website that shows how to remove the filter, but be warned it will definitely void the warranty.

Thought that may be interesting and a potential option, the only other IR camera I know that as able to mount an external lens is the 5MP option.