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I'm making a consumer camera prototype and want to make the front look as clean as possible. Right now I use a completely transparent material and the camera and the IR Lights (with their red hue) are clearly visible. I'd like to move to a dark (as black as possible) material that makes the cover look flush and hides the sensors as much as possible.

What materials should I consider, if I want to minimize the impact on what the sensors perceive?

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  • $\begingroup$ what do you mean by sensors? ... you only mentioned an RGB camera ... what else is there? $\endgroup$ – jsotola Apr 17 '18 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ @jsotola RGB camera and IR LED floodlights $\endgroup$ – megashigger Apr 17 '18 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ the LEDs are not sensors. .... you have only one sensor, the camera ... do you want to cover that also? ... or do you want to cover only the LEDs? $\endgroup$ – jsotola Apr 17 '18 at 6:36
  • $\begingroup$ camera and the LEDs. i want to make both as least visible as possible. the IR leds are the bigger problem because they give off a red hue. $\endgroup$ – megashigger Apr 17 '18 at 16:54
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this it's possible to meet all your constraints then. If you need to let visible light in but provide your illumination from inside the enclosure, then visible light needs also be able to get out (making the contents visible), no? $\endgroup$ – surtur Apr 28 '18 at 4:23
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How about a cloth mesh. It won't cover up things as well as a dark plastic would, but it might be a good compromise between hiding things and still allowing the camera to work.

It will, however, block some of the light.

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You probably want a plastic cover that is opaque to visible light but transparent to IR, like is used over the LEDs in many TV remote controls. Then the lights will not be visible, but the relevant illumination can still get in and out.

The camera will also see much less visible light that's not coming from your own illumination, but that may be a pro or a con depending on whether you care about seeing anything besides returned IR.

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  • $\begingroup$ The camera needs to see both visible light and IR, at least as much as possible. $\endgroup$ – megashigger Apr 19 '18 at 19:10

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