body heat sensor

hi everyone,

I’m an artist working with led lights. i recently completed project called “Shrodinger Cat”, where leds are controlled to fade with an arduino to show both the dead state and the alive state of the cat. (see pics. was hoping to upload vid but too large for this format. Basically the skeleton is revealed by lights turning on and off)

For the next project I’d like to do the same revealing and concealing of a skeleton, except I want the lights to come on when body heat is detected nearby, and by nearby I mean a few inches. Possible? I’ve been look at body heat sensors, but thought i’d throw this out here to see what you guys suggest.

Why not just use and ultra sonic sensor to just detect a person rather than heat

thanks for your reply.

i'm trying to use something that will be only able to switch on the lights when a person is in close proximity to the object, say 6" away. Was thinking heat sensor because of that.

sounds like the ultra sonic is pretty sensitive so in an environment where this work will be displayed thats a disadvantage.

Still considering a simple motion sensor where i can block out the sensing area to only a few inches from the object, but maybe theres something better?

These mini thermal cameras work very well for detecting warm objects, like people.

...sounds like the ultrasonic is pretty sensitive, so in an environment where this work will be displayed that's a disadvantage.

What do you mean?

Still considering a simple motion sensor...

Such as?

Ultrasound proximity sensor should work just fine.
It can measure distance of objects - so you can react if your object (person) is less than a certain distance away. Use a few such sensors if you have a larger area to cover.
IR beams may also work great.

But other than the 6" - it matters if it's from one direction, or multiple directions, etc.

You need a short range proximity sensor that reads reflected IR. Like automatic dispensers in modern restrooms.

Here are a couple of them:


You can find others on google.

Those Sharp sensors come in various ranges - not just the one in the link. That one does appear to be the range you need.