Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 21, 2008

IR LEDs used to defeat Security Cameras

at 5:46 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks

I have seen lasers used to "dazzle" security cameras before but they normally use visible light and need pinpoint accuracy to be effective. I had never thought about using an array of IR LEDs (infrared light emitting diodes) to create a permanent result that would not be noticeable to anyone else around.

Original Version, Translated version

"IR.ASC is an infrared light – to the device before Divining infrared surveillance cameras.  There is no special technical knowledge of each reconstructed.  The device emits infrared light from the infrared images from surveillance cameras disturbs. The face of the person is monitored by a light ball over. Since the whole interaction in a non-visible spectrum (at frequencies between 780nm and 1mm), the man noticed nothing of it and he sees neither the infrared emission of radiation surveillance camera nor by the IR.ASC "

Via: Boing Boing


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100 Responses to “IR LEDs used to defeat Security Cameras”

  1. Viper Says:

    I have to ask how well would these work against those traffic light camera’s the ones that take your picture for running red lights and the like. And will it also block the license plate from them.

    I notice some people saying that IRLED’s are directional. Not true. I have a few on a couple computer components. I saw this and tested the theory. I found that they are omni directional at 360 degree’s. It creates a globe of white in the picture about 1.5 feet in diameter. Until you shut it off of course. Everyone down at the gas station knows me so I tested it there too. It does work. I worked with a few forensics programs meant to cut through things like this and only managed to only reveal that I did indeed have eye’s and a mouth.

    I also looked around about the satellite imagery part. It is not 100% false. An extremely high powered laser can block the picture that the camera takes. It whites the entire picture out. The laser itself must be perfectly aimed at the camera lense however.

  2. Melissa Says:

    Do the LED cameras and infrared cameras work the same way? These two systems for example? http://www.flir-b60.com or http://www.fluketir1.com Not that these would be used in security applications I am just wondering the vast price difference.


  3. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Melissa,

    These cameras should be more sensitive to the IR light than a normal camera.

  4. Bleh Says:

    gomer148 Says:
    Wavelength and frequency are 2 different ways to describe a base in time, or timebase of an action, or wave. Same result, different ways of describing it.

    Frequency and wavelength are inversely proportional, and different measures. With one, you know the other, but they’re different. Wavelength is the measure of distance between two peaks of a wave. Frequency is the measure of time it takes for the waves to alternate.
    The reason it’s misused here is that the article tries to measure frequency in distance (nm). Frequency is measured in hertz, which just means alternations/second.

  5. Shran Says:

    Besides trying to avoid speed-tickets one could also use it for fun…
    Use some 3watt high power IR leds, add a modified “TVbgone” circuit and drive through town or park in front of an electronics store. All TVs will turn off.

    Anyway… I guess police will be using the cameras of their phones a lot more once people start using this technique to avoid tickets. Just hold your TV-remote in front of your digital camera and push a button to see what I mean. IR may not be visible to human eyes, but it’s detectable easily with very cheap equipment.

    “Chief… about that speeding IR-Toyota, model A, built in 2003. It showed up on surveillance cameras 15 times in area A, only twice in area B and it hasn’t been detected somewhere else yet. I really don’t know where to look for this guy, do you have any suggestions ?”

    No Sherlock Holmes needed here…

  6. km Says:

    They certainly will block whatever is in the Aura of IR Light. Some IR Cameras that are filtered will not be blocked by this method and other methods are used. But for your off the shelf cctv camera they will block most cameras. If someone were to wear a necklace and maybe a hat with 3 or 4 on the brim it would look like a ball of light from the shoulders up. Scary when you think of the ways their are to get by security systems

  7. Grace Says:

    As a New comer, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  8. Erasmus Says:

    One thing which might of concern is the fact that powerful IR-leds may harm eyes. This is also a radiation safety issue.

  9. Brian Says:

    So what would be need to block red light cameras. I am just interested in this.

  10. km Says:

    Red blocks white light,blue blocks red-light. Visible red light not infrared light. Some IR LED’s used to illuminate have red visible light emissions visible by human eye.
    Not very effective in covert surveillance settings. Same frequency IR LED’s are made to produce no visible light but are very expensive to purchase and sometimes illuminators are
    difficult to disassemble and change out LED’s. So filtering the apature with dark blue filter will mask red light from being visible to human eye without reducing ir illum for camera
    I use different IR LED’s for different applications but find this to be a very inexpensive solution

  11. Patty Says:

    Its seems to me that with a simple relay one could wire a couple of high out put IR bulbs along side the licensee plate bulbs are right now and just switch it over when those scumbags at the expressway authority try and photograph you while you commute through there toll lanes. or just run some new wiring with a fuse and leave them on all the time

  12. justinb Says:

    anyone interested in doing some research and developing a ir led license plate surround that will block red light cameras please contact me at riobrown26@yahoo.com. Lets find a free market solution to this infringment of privacy

  13. Bear Says:

    JustinB – How can you consider red light cameras an “infringment of privacy” if you are driving on a public roadway when photographed by the camera?

  14. tr Says:

    You’d have to have quite an array sitting on your head…not really feasible

  15. Markus Says:

    IR-LED flashlights with 6,12,24,48 etc LED’s are available from Chinese sellers like Dealextreme.com for small change (six bucks for the 12-LED version) [I rip out the LED bit and do some soldering] They do emit a faint red glow, security cams see nothing except a bright saturation. Equally effective day or night. Tested on Hitachi CCD and CMOS and JVC CCD. My verdict 10/10 – The surveillance cams are blinded completely by 12 LEDS or more.

  16. John Says:

    I love it when people say “it’s not legal”, like they KNOW for a fact it isn’t. I wonder how many of those are actually lawyers… just a curiosity. It is totally LEGAL.

  17. Shran Says:

    I don’t know what you know about laws John, I know little about ‘m. But…. the internet is world wide and I can imagine some countries may have some very clever laws making stuff like this illegal in certain settings, maybe even in your country. Are you a lawyer/working in justice ?

  18. adrian Says:

    I own a private security company and do farm patrols for clients with sheep and cattle.I would like advice on attaching 1 or 2 bright ir led’s that flash, onto sheep or cows, that would be visible from as far as possible when viewed through my nvg’s.Where can I order these from pre-made with battery and water- proof housing.?Thanks

  19. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi adrian,

    Don’t think I have ever seen that before. I think a collar with IR LEDs on it and a solar charger would work quite well for this application.

    You would be able to use a typical night vision camcorder to see them.

  20. Bear Says:

    If you go with a solar charger, keep in mind that the charger module will have to face up and the way cattle and sheep both move, the collar must have a counter-weight to keep the collar oriented. What about integrating an IR flasher into the ear tags (one on each side with the LED facing out, a small coin battery and the solar panel on the face)?

  21. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Bear,

    That is a good suggestion I wonder how long a coin cell would last?

  22. Bear Says:

    Don’t know, but I would look at balancing a solar charging panel against the power requirments for the modules to achieve the best life. I know that the flasher on my bike runs 5 red visible LEDs for in excess of 40 hours continiously on two AAA cells. Most of the lithium coin batteries are 3V and commonly rated over 1000 mAH. Have you looked for any IR LEDS with the flasher circuit built in? Might check on that and find out what their current consumption is.
    Another thought; what about a flat pack battery like the ones used in cell phones or in some electronic cameras? Finding a socket to match the battery would be the trick for these, but the batteries are usually Lithium Ion and rechargable, so battery rotation would be fairly easy and their capacity would probably last for weeks on such a small load (I’d bet the internal leakage would be greater than the load!).

    Sheep and Cattle, huh. What exactly are you trying to do and toward what end? Can you tag a few select animals to find the group (herd animals are easier for that). Give some specifics and maybe we can help better…

  23. Linda Says:

    I am a single 65 year old female. I have been broken into for over 16 years. A man and his wife moved next to me in 1994 and I have had problems ever since. I have spent many many dollars on camera equipment and never caught them. My cameras would be all mixed up or the tapes in the vcr would be gone. also my house would always be locked back up. They have taken every plant in my yard, even zoysia grass out of my yard. I find the zoysia and flowers in my neighbors yard. everything gone or torn up. My tools, christmas, dishes, sheets , blankets and even sheets right off of my bed. I so so tird of this. Still going on. I am so afraid, I don’t even leave my home, not even to go get food. I only leave when I have a good neighbor down. I live on a lake and my good neighbor will not be back till spring. On my cameras I was rerunning them and looking at them because of stealing in my yard again as usual. also they keep still my firewood. It is right under the camera. I still can’t get a picture of them. I have some days , about 3 and 4am, that my whole yard to bright white light. It looks like this picture on this man, but my whole yard looks like this. I have called the sheriff department so many time since 1994 to current , that they will not even come out and make any reports. No one will belive this about the light. I have search so many times trying to fine out what they are doing to block my cameras. This man was a high officer in the service as in security. I have try so much to get them caught. I even quit my job 6 years to soon to watch my home. Is there something I can buy, that will keep them from blocking my cameras? If any one of you can help me, I trudy could use your help. Thank you.

  24. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Linda,

    Sorry to hear your troubles. Install some motion lights outside your house, if you have some existing exterior lights you can just replace them with some motion lights that turn on as soon as someone enters your yard. This will allow the camera to turn from night mode to day mode which will prevent this issue. It also sounds like the problem you are having is that the tapes are in your house. If you use a product like dropcam https://www.dropcam.com/ you can have the video stored off site so that the crooks can’t ever take the evidence.

  25. Stephen Says:

    Hi Linda
    what I would do is use sound to scare them and highlight the fact the are there, get an infra red sensor to turn on a LOUD siren or screacher, use a garage door opener to turn it off and on so you don’t set it off yourself, they will get sick of a VERY LOUD SCREECH when they are sneaking around in your yard…
    if you are out the SCREECH will continue inside and out, when you are at home send the screech to only the yard..
    This will make a good statement and also let the neigbours know whats happening..
    Regards Stephen

  26. Zeph Says:

    I had a friend once with problems remarkably similar to Lindas – it brings back memories. I tried to help with some simple alarms. However, I found that even while I was visiting and we were walking around the hoouse and yard, it would turn out that her stalker had slipped into the house and moved the washing machine and done various other things, slipping in and out of her house and yard, as they had sometimes many times a day, for years – without ever once being seen or caught in the act. After a while it became painfully obvious that the stalker was not going to show up on a camera, and that my friend had what might be called an impedance mismatch with what we sometimes call consensus reality. My electronic skills were not the ones she needed. She was a nice person tho.

  27. Jamie Says:

    My neighbor installed very expensive cctv cameras which video tape my back yard. At night there is a red glow from the camera. When I look up nightvision cameras it says they use IR light to take the pics in the dark.
    Would the IR LED’s help to block them video taping my yard in the day and at night?

  28. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    It wouldn’t help during the day but it would work at night. It would work as in the article picture though. Where ever the IR light source is located that is the small area that would be obscured.

  29. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey Jamie,

    Just had another thought. If this guy is so in your face with a camera pointed directly at your yard and not at his property why not just point a laser directly at the camera lens, this would completely knock out the entire video signal. It would need to be mounted to a secure tripod or something similar so it can be adjusted and locked into position once the optimal adjustment has been made.

  30. Linda Says:

    I want to thank all of you for your help with this. I’m on very limited income now, so can’t buy anything else, but when I can I will ask for your help again. Stephen can you tell me where to go for the infra red sensor and how to I attact the garage door opener to it? This is all new to me. I just ordered the cameras and then paid to have them installed. Can’t do that now as no money.

  31. Jamie Says:

    Yes, but how would I know when the optimal angle had been made?

  32. Jamie Says:

    I still don’t understand how The IR light would abscure the video. It seems like it would just make my yard more visible.

  33. Alan Parekh Says:

    At night the camera has IR LED that it turns on to light the field of view. In night mode the camera is sensitive to IR light, if you shine IR light directly at the camera it would blind the camera.

    For example if you were looking at someone at night who was shining a high power flashlight in your direction you would be blinded by the light and would not be able to see them even if you also had a flashlight pointing at them.

  34. Jamie Says:

    Okay. Thank you. I think I understand that part now.
    Please tell me more about how a laser could work.

  35. Stephen Says:

    the problem isn’t them seeing you, it’s them coming into your yard, installing camera’s at your place isn’t really going to solve the problem, playing with their phyc will, an example of this is our 7/11 owner was robbed and beaten, so he installed cameras, I talked him into putting a big monitor of the cameras on the shelf behind the till and next to the cigarettes, all the lowlifes that came in to the shop to check it out got a big look at themselves on camera, all the hasstling went away as they knew they were already recorded. (this is letting their imagination do the hard work).

    Now that you have the cameras installed, I would “brag to them how awesome your system is and that it is being monitored “off site” don’t say by who etc.. let them imagine that bit..

    Also what I would do in your situ is scare the shit out of them when they came into your house by having a burglar alarm sensor set off a screecher.. lets put one in your front yard and one in your back, when you are in the house if someone comes to those spaces they scream loudly alerting you of their presence. If you think someone is coming inside the house put one in the living room so you can turn it on when you go to bed.. you don’t have to record them, just give them the message they are being watched.
    The garage door opener is a cheap reliable way of arming or disarming the system, it turns on or off a relay that controls the power or the siren connection. A flashing red light out front would help Police find you in a hurry..
    As I said “playing with their phyc” is probally the best way as this avoids confrontation, you could try, asking one of the local gangs to come around one day and stand in front of the camera’s pointing at the cameras and the house and have a discussion. Leave them with that image ??? Gang members are way more powerful in people’s imagination’s than police.. even if it costs $50 it would be worth it and do it at a time when you are sure they will be watching.. pay the gang member in front of the camera then point to the cameras.

    If I wasn’t poor I’d come over there and do it for you..


  36. Fuming Solder Says:

    Well, if IR LED is so good, imagine what a 1W IR laser diode can do. Since this article was first posted they came down in price something like 10 times and with all the info on the Net it’s a trivial matter to make one that fits nicely in a flashlight. With collimating lens slightly out of focus, you can easily create a fiercely intense light spot just about the size of the camera.

    That said, however, you have to admit: if all you are doing during a robbery is aiming (carefully) a flashlight at the security camera (and what if they have several?), you’re not available to do much of anything else, so at least in this sense the cameras are still effective.

  37. nate Says:

    Well i did up my truck with high quality ir’s in the head lights back up lights, tag marker lights, under carriage and even flooded the cab. i was pulled over not for speeding but the cop could not get a picture of my truck with the on dash cam. even with him inspecting my truck he still could not give me a ticket cause there was nothing to disrupt other drivers. all i show up as on any camera, traffic cams included, is a ball of light.

  38. Linda Says:

    This is Linda again and still having problems. I put driveway sensors in my drive and my yard. Can they get these down also? Now if they go off, I can go and look out and see if they are in yard and tearing up and spraying to kill everything in yard. Really need help with this. The sheriff dept. will not even come out any longer. Like I said many many times, this man was a security office in the service and I can’t get him caught. My camera’s at night you can’t even see anything. They are wired in and some nights, it looks like lighening out there and it is a normal night. It usually starts about 9:30 to 10:30 at night. I really wish they was someone GOOD that would come out and help me put in the right equipment to catch them.

  39. Linda Says:

    It has gotten so bad that I have to pay for someone to stay in my home to go to store or Kansas city when Mother is so sick. I’m single and on a very limited income and I just don’t know what else to do. Thank you all for any help you can give me. I’m so very very tired of this and I really want it to stop!!!!!

  40. Laughing at stupidity Says:

    The human brain, or lack thereof never ceases to amaze me. Ya dumb shits, why not just cover your fukin face. Maybe a black plastic garbage bag, just make sure there aren’t any breathing holes or the camera might just pick you up.
    Only black and white camera’s are sensitive to ir light, not “all digital camera’s” like some mook seems to think. Traffic camera’s are usually colour and have a flash of their own which would most likely compensate for any stupid little radio shack light you could throw at it.

    Here is a thought to any of you wannabe gangsta crackhead b&e dorks. Why not put that “genius” half witted brain to work on looking through the help wanted ads and get a real job instead of sucking on the crack pipe and coming up with stupid idea’s on how to steal shit from hardworking people who have to spend their hard earned money to replace the stuff you steal. Have you ever put yourself in their shoes? Imagine if you actually worked and could afford to maybe save up some money to buy something cool that you love. Then think about how you would feel if some ass stole that from you.

    Not nice eh!!!

  41. MyNeighborSpysOnMe Says:

    I have a neighbor that has a set up a wireless video surveilance camera that looks directly into my bedroom. Their excuse is they need to keep an eye on the side of their house. I have notified the police but they haven’t done anything. How can I block their camera from seeing into my room without having to have my curtains closed at all times? Is it possible to use ir led lights of some sort to completly blind the camera? I seen the hat with leds but that seems to only work with a small area. Please help me I feel violated amd unsafe.

  42. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Neighbor,

    You could try a Laser with a focus lens. I am thinking that if you aim the laser at the camera lens and focus it so that the laser spread is completely covering the lens the image should be non-usable.


  43. Jman Says:

    Would this also work for speed cameras? There is a company selling IR car license plate frames. Id like to know before spending the money.

  44. brian Says:

    Can you please post lunk to ir led license plate frame.

  45. Linda Says:

    Still having problems with the military guy. REad my messages above. Stealing and blocking camera’s. Now I don’t have any camera’s up. He has destroyed my home and yard so many many tmes. Why does he do this?

  46. juan m priego Says:

    My question if IR infrared ligths “blinds” a IR camera what happens if you TURN OFF or disconnect the IR function on the camera , meaning the IR camera is not longer IR capable of seeing such “invisible light” or ligth spectrum .

  47. luis Hernández Says:

    Hola sigo esperando tu respuesta

  48. John Says:

    Hoe can I block the view day and night of a neighbors sec cam focused on my driveway. This is how he,or anyone that has access to his system, can easily learn any pattern i have to determine when Im home or not. Planting trees etc wont work since his home is 40 ft higher than mine and only 200 ft from me.besides deserts dont grow plants that well. Apparently a lazer would work if his camera remained in one position. Once he sees Im blocking his camera,he would move his just enough to foil my lazer. I suppose a spotlight pointed at his cam might work at night,but not the day. Besides,my utility bill might get pretty high from keeping it on all night every day.

    So with all that background,how can i effectively block that camera,with some kind of electronics counter measure?

  49. Arlie Small Says:

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  50. tryduck Says:

    Just a bit of input on privacy here, not that means anything as laws are changed so easy so often based on what someone else deems privacy is. People use the oh its a car on public roadway so its no privacy. We then your home which is in a public city/town town limits could be used to allow no home privacy as well. Privacy about person not about where you are! Do you really have the right to privacy in a public restroom then or does the whole car on public roads apply there as well? If your in someone else home using their restroom are laws for privacy in effect then or because its someone else home do they get to watch/video you using the restroom?Some people just seem to only think in one direction and forget about all the other paths they have lost sight of…

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