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Giving Your Raspberry Pi Night Vision

Charlie in San Jose, California asked us about cameras for his Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Charlie asked: “I want to add a camera to my robotic sprinkler. It is Raspberry Pi based and I want to expand the features set. I found at least two cameras available for the raspberry Pi. The documentation I found didn’t indicate which would be best for low light applications. I think that “No IR is the best for low light, though “No IR” would seem to indicate other wise. As we go “Into Tomorrow”, could you shed some light on the options available? Also, could a Kanex GoPower Plus be used to power a Raspberry Pi? I would be happy to put one to use.”


Charlie, NoIR cameras have a confusing name. It kind of means the opposite of what it sounds like.

Regular digital cameras like the ones you find on phones, have filters that get rid of infrared light in an attempt to give you realistic pictures. Our eyes can’t see in IR, so pictures that capture visible light and light that goes into the infrared spectrum look strange to us.

These NoIR cameras for Raspberry Pi are not cameras without IR sensitivity

These NoIR cameras for Raspberry Pi are not cameras without IR sensitivity, they are cameras without IR filters.

That means that the cameras can see better in infrared light, and that is what makes the more capable night vision cameras. Given your options, one of those seems like you best bet,or one of the cameras that specifically claim to be night vision capable. They all cost around the same, but the cameras like the RPi Camera w/night vision might do better in the daytime, if they’re using some kind of filter.

The GoPower Plus comes with a micro USB connector, so it should be able to power a Raspberry Pi easily, Charlie.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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