Public Lab Research note

This is an attempt to replicate an activity.

Env+Tech_neu_2014 - Thermal Flashlight

by hklebs | November 17, 2014 16:00 17 Nov 16:00 | #11353 | #11353

Hudson, Emil, and Taylor

What we did

We used an arduino thermal flashlight to map sources of different amounts of heat in our household. We built a housing for the flashlight using a post box with a hole for the thermometer and the led. Since the box was too tall, we stacked index cards underneath the arduino allowing the LED to reach the hole and poke through the top of the box.




We were able to see the difference between hot and cold waters running together, freezers and stoves, and residual heat left on a light bulb that had been turned off. Changing the temperature threshold for the thermometer was effective at being able to visualize different heat situations.

This shows the temperature differences between hot and cold tap water running out of two faucets in a sink, with the different temperature waters meeting in the middle.


Here is the heat left on the lightbulb of a lamp just after it was turned off and the surrounding area.


Finally, a stabilized image of the transition between and open freezer and a recently turned off stove top.



  • Having to take pictures with long exposure caused any movement of the camera to cause blur and distortion
  • A single LED light was not enough to create a flashlight effect, you couldn't shine it to effectively light up areas


Login to comment.