2,558 Brands 529 Categories All Departments

BMW Night Assist Project

Having a hard time selecting a Night Vision scope, goggle or monocular from our huge selection? Need to know the difference between Gen 1, 2, 3 and 4? Just ask!

BMW Night Assist Project

Postby Guest on Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:16 am

Hello everyone, noob here on this forum. I am in process of researching and ultimately installing a Night Vision/Assist system on my BMW 840 as part of a wider Car PC install project. IR images to be shown on 8" LCD screen mounted OEM style on centre console. I have done a bit of reading around and so far have found a variety of products which might meet my needs. On a seperate BMW Forum Work Log I posted this :

Just thought I'd post the current status of the project. I intend to implement a 'night assist' feature into my car, similar to those described here ... view.shtml

By mounting an IR sensitive camera in the front bumper, and having IR floodlights in the pop up headlight units, I can then view the image on the 8" screen when required. Since the installation of my HID lamps I have never even considered using the Fog Lights, so these are to be sacrificed and IR lamps placed there instead. Should even be able to power them from the light circuit, and have them pop up even with just sidelights on as is currently available with the Fogs, using the switch on the dashboard - subtle :D

I have found the camera I want ... h-sunhood/

but for the flood lights, something further searching is needed. LED IR clusters/cameras are used in many nightvision CCTV systems, and can be found cheaply all over the internet, but their range is low, often less than 30m. Standalone higher power LED clusters are also available, and I had considered 2 of these 850nm IR70s mounted upfront with 10' angle - giving 70m range. Plus they glow red which might have been cool....

but having read more about the Mercedes/BMW systems, it is clear that something more powerful is required. I'd say 150m is a fair target to aim for in this case.

This leaves a few more options, but so far not as neat and tidy as I'd want. Many higher power IR LED Floods are bulky rectangular units, which I am not keen on.

There is the possibility of making a bespoke lamp out of a high power flash light, and covering the lense with a IR Pass filter, the lamp would then appear black to the naked eye, but flood the foreground with IR light.

Ideally there would be a compact but high power IR flood available, and I am currently searching the depths of the web for something suitable. As with everything, if you look hard enough something will turn up :D


so this morning I find myself looking at Hunting/rifle websites :lol:

and now ... ars-k3.htm ... ator_irk6/

either of these would fit nicely in the headlight unit. Question is though, do I need two, one in each unit ?

The angle stated is 3' and since the IR needs to work beyond the scope of the headlights the beam will be quite wide past 70m or so as seen here


One in each would be better though I'm sure. Firstly for practical reason of widening the scope of illumination, and also appearing like Headlight beams on the LCD screen, which would look good too IMHO.

Could some of you more experienced bods in here have a look at what I propose so far and give me pointers as to whether it would/should work, or whether I am way off target with the hardware suggested. Please bear in mind budget etc. The hardware suggested is well within my price range, but I dont really want to be spending twice that amount in the end if you get my meaning !


Postby Ryan_W on Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:29 pm

Here's what I see happening with this. You're using this night vision system and an oncoming car's headlights flare the display and render it temporarily useless. You would be well to make sure you are using digital CMOS imagers for the system to keep from being damaged under brighter light conditions. You also don't necessarily need a superpowered IR light. Your headlights should provide plenty of light for this purpose. Even beyond where your headlights reach, light is there that you cannot see with your eyes. A night vision viewer or camera should still be able to pick up this light and give you a reading. Depending on how much this setup might run the consumer, it will be cheaper than an IR system from FLIR. I believe BMW is using the FLIR system which is a Thermal camera.
Best regards,

Ryan W.


Phone: (800) 504-5897
Fax: (847) 919-3003
Site Admin
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:50 am