Sony's old handycams used to have "super night shot" which allows you to flip off the IR filter and shoot at 0LUX and has a small illuminator. The model I have will even allow you to take photos, video albeit a low resolution, but hey it works!
When I finally got my hands on one of these to try, this system works. It just needs a larger illuminator. So thats what I will build.
Illuminator test bed:
48LED CCTV ir illuminator
homemade 12v battery pack (10AA NIMH)
mounting plate to above
48 IR LED CCTV Illuminator
4 AA battery box with switch
DC-DC buck converter
project box for above
4x 14500 1200mah Lithium batteries
super mini voltmeter with on/off switch, possible pushbutton (to monitor battery voltage)
DIY Night Vision on the cheap