Infrared LEDs for night vision

I’ve just put together a wifi camera using an ESP32, and I’m interested in adding IR LEDs to incorporate night vision. Is there any specific wavelength of IR LED that I should use? Or, will any 5mm IR LED do the trick? Anyone have any experience?

Hi Chris,

As far as I am aware the Frequency will not make that much difference though you probably want to choose them to be closer to the visible spectrum. A quick google tells me that 850 nm and 940 nm seem to be the common ranges. Digikey have a pretty in depth article all about this that you can have a look through if you want.

Thanks Clinton… much appreciated! I suspected this might be the case, but I’ll have a read of this article.

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Have tried this with varying intensity IR LED’s and it works well, but what they all don’t say is your illumination is limited to about 10m.
Even tried 20W IR LED’s in a reflector to focus the beam, 15m and it all fades out.
So anything under 10m works really well.

Thanks Michael. I have tried this using some IR LEDs I salvaged from some old remote controls. But, like you I found the range very limited. There must be a solution, as commercial security cameras do seem to use this technology (although I must admit, having never purchased one, I don’t know to how much success). I’m continuing my online research before making any purchases… will update this thread if I find a practical solution. Thanks for your response.

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I have a couple of board cameras I purchased some time ago that claim a sensitivity to 0.00001 Lux.
They were great at night and you could get great images with no more than starlight illumination.
But the frame rate drops too as little as 6s per frame in total blackness.
No good for the drone use I wanted them for.
So when you see these examples of IR illumination, take note of:
1: distance from camera
2: frame rate of video