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How To Hide a Marijuana Grow Room From Infrared & Thermal Imaging Detection Cameras

Posted by: Samuel Thomasino Category: Articles Comments: 0

How To Hide a Marijuana Grow Room From Infrared & Thermal Imaging Detection Cameras

Many people do not realise how infrared & thermal imaging work. We all hear news headlines about how police helicopters have busted yet another grow thanks to infrared & thermal cameras. There are wild rumors about these cameras being able to see directly into your house, but this is simply not true. Whilst these cameras have taken out many large crops they can be easily defeated with some simple tips and tricks listed below. Keep on reading below to learn how growers have been effectively hiding their cannabis crop from both of these technologies.

How to block out Infrared & Thermal Imaging Camaras

Infrared cameras can not penetrate any material. They can not see through walls, thin wood, plastic, a piece of paper, or even water. They work purely by detecting heat so to avoid these cameras detecting something all someone would have to do is make sure the object is not hotter than other objects around it. For example, if there were two bedrooms located next to each other and one of them had a cannabis grow inside, the walls would be much warmer than the walls of the bedroom that did not contain a grow.

So there are two options. A person could either make the neighboring rooms all the same temperature (impossible without a detached building) or they could use a grow tent as mentioned directly below. This would keep the extra heat contained away from exterior walls and windows.

Do Grow Tents Stop A Helicopter From Detecting Heat?

Yes, grow tents help massively to avoid detection from infrared thermal cameras. Looking at the image below you will see that this flat contained a cannabis grow. As they did not use a grow tent the walls of the house were much warmer than the surrounding walls. This is what alerted the police and bust the grower. If they had used a grow tent with adequate extraction then the cameras would not have shown warm walls.

thermal image of house with a grow

Does Mylar block Infrared & Thermal Imaging Detection Cameras?

Plastic mylar sheeting blocks thermal imaging as the cameras can not penetrate it. It will also reflect some of the rays back. Whilst this works to avoid detection it is important to note that if there is any heat escaping around the mylar this would still show up on the cameras.

Does aluminum foil block Infrared & Thermal Imaging Detection Cameras?

Infrared thermal imaging can not see through aluminum foil. Not only does foil block infrared but it reflects 95% of the rays that hit it. Whilst this works to avoid detection it is important to note that if there is any heat escaping around the mylar this would still show up on the cameras.

How does Infrared detect cannabis plants grown outdoors

IR (infrared) is used by police helicopters at night time to detect cannabis plants that are in the later stages of their flowering cycle. During the day time heat from the sun is stored in the plants and buds. Once the sun goes down the heat is still held inside the buds whilst the rest of the plant, along with any other plants around it used to camouflage them, lose all this heat.
The shape of the buds along with the heat makes them stick out like a sore thumb on an infrared camera, making them very easy to spot from the chopper.

Whilst other plants such as tomatoes will also hold heat in their fruits, the shape is just too different to allow any kind of disguise so placing these around a crop does not help much against IR. However, it does help hide them from other people on foot.

infrared outside cannabis grow

How does Thermal Imaging detect cannabis plants grown indoors

Contrary to the rumors, thermal imaging can not see through your walls or even underneath your bed. When helicopters fly over your house they use a technology called FLIR which stands for Forward Looking Infra-Red.

This tech works by detecting and measuring the infrared energy of an object. All objects emit infrared energy in different amounts. FLIR cameras convert these findings into an electronic image that will show all of the object’s shapes and heat signatures.

FLIR can not penetrate through walls, so you may be wondering how this technology has had growers busted so many times. Back in the past all growers pretty much used HPS bulbs which ran incredibly hot and produced huge amounts of heat. All of this heat has to go somewhere and this is where FLIR picks up the trail of a grow. When FLIR looks at a house it will be able to detect if one bedroom is much warmer than another. It will also be able to detect if the attic space is much hotter than all of the surrounding buildings. On the electronic image, these warmer areas will be much brighter in colour. Another common telltale sign is a vent coming outside the house that pours hot air out. The police have been known to make mistakes when it comes to these signs and raid houses that were doing no wrong, but it has also led them to many illegal cannabis grows.


Asides from defeating thermal imaging, there are many things people can do to make their grow more stealthy and subtle. Such as opting for low odour strains that barely kick off any stench even in the final weeks of flowering.

Here is some extra information.

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