You’ll appreciate hunting in the nighttime better if you have the right devices with you. There are many notable advanced technologies out there, but none can claim to beat IR Illuminators. IR illuminators can serve you well during the moonless and overcast night, something most of the other instruments lack.
They look very similar to flashlights; however, they emit invisible light (in the Infrared spectrum). That way, IR Illuminators lighten up images so that you can see every single detail. As a hunter, you can see your targets clearly while the target does not notice your light.
In this article, I have reviewed the top 8 best IR illuminators that will help maximize your night vision capabilities. Let’s get straight to it!
- What Are The Best IR Illuminators?
- IR Illuminator Comparison Table
- Top 8 IR Illuminator for Night Vision Reviews in 2021
- 1. LUMENSHOOTER A8S Scope Mounted Beam Adjustable IR Illuminator
- 2. WAYLLSHINE (E6) 850nm IR Illuminator Night Vision Flashlight
- 3. ATN IR850 Pro Long Range Infrared Illuminator
- 4. Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator
- 5. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR Illuminator
- 6. Nitecore CI6 850nm Long Range High Power LED Infrared IR Illuminator
- 7. Souyos IR Illuminator Flashlight
- 8. VASTFIRE Focusable Infrared Illuminator
- Important Factors To Consider Before Buying An IR Illuminator
- My Top Pick
What Are The Best IR Illuminators?
Compiling a list of the best IR scope mount wasn’t the easiest of tasks. There are many models out there, and there are several criteria to look out for. After thorough research and some active work, I have picked the best IR illuminators that will help with your night vision. The following IR illuminators will serve you well and offer you the best functionality!
- Best for Short Range: LUMENSHOOTER A8S Scope Mounted Beam Adjustable IR Illuminator
“Perfect for short-range focus, Clear images, withstand several conditions, reliable.”
- Best Budget: WAYLLSHINE (E6) 850nm IR Illuminator Night Vision Flashlight
“Durable, reliable, affordable, suitable for mid to long-range.”
- Best Overall: ATN IR850 Pro Long Range Infrared Illuminator
“Incredible light wavelength, good lens quality, long-range suitable, reliable.”
- Best for Long Range: Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator
“Most suitable for long-range, high-quality bright light, durable construction.”
- Best for Hunting: Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR Illuminator
“Inexpensive, lightweight, polymer construction, easy-to-operate.”
- Best Versatility: Nitecore CI6 850nm Long Range High Power LED Infrared IR Illuminator
“Reliable, highly versatile, durable, compatible with several firearms.”
- Best Value for Money: Souyos IR Illuminator Flashlight
“Durable construction, easy to use, good for long-range.”
- Best Durable: VASTFIRE Focusable Infrared Illuminator
“Water-resistant, reliable, versatile, easy to maintain.”
IR Illuminator Comparison Table
This table summarizes some of the best IR illuminators features I will be discussing in this review. This table, and the review that follows, will be your guide when you decide to buy an IR illuminator for night vision. Check it out!
|Best IR Illuminators||Product Weight||Light Wavelength||Range||Material||Battery||Manufacturer|
|LUMENSHOOTER A8S Scope Mounted Beam Adjustable IR Illuminator - Best for Short Range||Not specified||850nm||180 yards||Aircraft-grade Aluminum||2600mAh 18650 battery||LUMENSHOOTER|
|WAYLLSHINE (E6) 850nm IR Illuminator Night Vision Flashlight - Best Budget||4.41 ounces||850nm||Not specified||Aluminum||3 AAA batteries, or 1x18650 battery||WAYLLSHINE|
|ATN IR850 Pro Long Range Infrared Illuminator - Best Overall||2 pounds||850nm||300 meters||Aluminum||Not specified||ATN Corporation|
|Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator - Best for Long Range||7.1 ounces||850nm||346 meters||Anodized aluminum||CR123A batteries||Streamlight Inc|
|Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR Illuminator - Best for Hunting||Not specified||Not specified||100-200 yards||Plastic||4 x AA or lithium batteries||Night Owl Optics|
|Nitecore CI6 850nm Long Range High Power LED Infrared IR Illuminator - Best Versatile||4.07 ounces||850nm||208 yards (white output)||Not specified||1x 18650 or 2x CR123A CREE XP-G2 (R5) LED pro||NITECORE|
|Souyos IR Illuminator Flashlight - Best Value for Money||5.6 ounces||850nm||Not specified||Aluminum alloy||3 x AAA batteries or 1 x 18650 batteries||Souyos|
|VASTFIRE Focusable Infrared Illuminator - Best Durable||5.9 ounces||850nm||Spotlight: 200 yards; Flood light: 100 yards||Aluminum||18650 Rechargeable Lithium Battery (2400mAh)||VastFire|
Top 8 IR Illuminator for Night Vision Reviews in 2021
I have given you a list of my best IR illuminators and a table that summarizes their features. The next thing is to give you a complete review of these devices. It would be best if you offer me your complete attention here. The information in this review will be helpful!
1. LUMENSHOOTER A8S Scope Mounted Beam Adjustable IR Illuminator
(Best for Short Range)
This night vision light will be a great addition to your already incredible collection, making your hunting more fruitful. LUMENSHOOTER A8S Scope Mounted Beam Adjustable IR Illuminator is an affordable option that improves your night vision device. It comes with an Osram Oslon Infrared LED light that emits an 850nm beam.
It performs perfectly even in the darkest of nights and can offer you beams that can extend to 180 yards. This IR illuminator is durable equipment that ensures you can use it for a long period, thanks to its aviation-grade aluminum construction. Its well-built body is resistant to impact and scratches.
It has an IPX-6 waterproof rating that further ensures the durability of this illuminator.
You can use it in the rain without fear of it getting spoilt. The LUMENSHOOTER IR illuminator pack comes in a small lanyard case to allow you to carry it about easily. A rechargeable 2600mAh 18650 battery, a single bay charger, a remote switch, and a universal scope mount is also included in the pack. Surely, this IR illuminator is one that you should get.
- 850nm beam of light allows for effective long-range vision
- Features an Adjustable beam
- Aircraft-grade aluminum for durability
- A perfect complement for NV scopes
- Focuses the beam enough to see your target properly while maximizing range
- Can serve as both long-range and short-range light
- Sturdy and waterproof construction for long-term use
- Only compatible with a 18650 battery and not CR123A
|Product Weight||Not specified|
|Battery||2600mAh, 18650 battery|
2. WAYLLSHINE (E6) 850nm IR Illuminator Night Vision Flashlight
This IR illuminator is another incredible option that emits invisible high power 850nm of infrared light. It is compatible with a wide range of night vision devices that allows you to see infrared light. You’ll get better night vision for your hunting and other activities when you combine this flashlight with night vision devices. These devices include night vision scopes, monoculars and goggles, infrared cameras, and others.
It comes with a single switch mode, a tail button, which you can press to switch the IR illuminator on and off. Although the light beam is not visible to the naked eyes, there is a led bulb showing red when the IR illuminator is turned on. You can also easily adjust the WAYLLSHINE 850nm IR illuminator’s light focus by just sliding its head back and forth to zoom the light in and out. The focus of this adjustable LED light can range from a wide flood to a spot beam.
This 850nm IR Illuminator uses one 18650 rechargeable battery or three AAA batteries. The 18650 battery will offer you a long period of continuous use. The AAA batteries are also convenient to use with the flashlight.
- Adjustable light focus
- 850nm Infrared Light wavelength
- Single switch mode IR flashlight
- Sturdy aluminum construction
- Suitable for long-range focus
- Easy to operate
- Compatible with several night vision devices
- Not built to be waterproof
|Product Weight||4.41 ounces|
|Battery||3 AAA batteries, or 1×18650 battery|
3. ATN IR850 Pro Long Range Infrared Illuminator
This ATN Infrared illuminator is also a reliable choice when you need long-range infrared light, especially in very dark situations. It comes with an adjustable LED light that is fit for a wide range of use. This IR illuminator can offer you an incredible field of vision that extends up to 300 meters.
The ATN IR850 Infrared Illuminator’s design is a user-friendly one, thanks to its quality materials and high-end engineering. Its long-range capabilities ensure that you can view your target from long distances without letting them notice. It also features an adjustable mount designed to work with any standard weaver rail or ATN Smart Scope.
This IR illuminator’s body is made with quality aircraft-grade aluminum, the lens is completely glass, and comes with a powerful IR diode. Suppose you want a top IR illuminator with heavy-duty features. In that case, you should try out the ATN IR850 Pro Long Range Infrared Illuminator.
- Extremely powerful 850nm light
- Features an adjustable mount
- Quality construction for durability and long-term use
- Great for long-range focus
- Enhances the effectiveness of a digital scope
- Comes with heavy-duty features
- Includes an IR battery and a mounted battery charger
- It is not waterproof
|Product Weight||2 pounds|
4. Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator
(Best for Long Range)
Only a few other products come close to the Streamlight 88704 Super TAC when it comes to the features offered when combined with night vision devices. It is a very high-performing battery-powered IR illuminator featuring the latest Infrared LED technology for maximum range illumination.
Its usage is also very easy, thanks to its momentary push button and the constant “on” tail switch. These features allow for stress-free one-handed use. With its body designed with machined aircraft aluminum with an anodized finish, durability is ensured with this model.
The light source of this incredible IR is a high power 850nm infrared LED light, which is shock-proof and can serve you for up to 3.5 hours of continuous use. The advanced technologies regulate light intensity to ensure long-term battery use.
It comes with a deep-dish parabolic reflector, which helps you produce long-range beams with optimum illumination that aids targeting. The Streamlight Super TAC IR illuminator fits most Streamlight rail mounts, including the 69100 and 75910.
- 346 meters long-range illumination
- 6000 series machined Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
- Deep-dish parabolic reflector
- Compatible with pressure switches to optimize use on rifles
- Can be mounted to Stream Light 69100 rail mount and 75910 holsters
- Operates with remote switches
- All openings sealed to resist moisture
- Works with only CR123A batteries
|Product Weight||7.1 ounces|
5. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR Illuminator
(Best for Hunting)
The shooting world has constant yearnings for affordable and high-quality night vision devices. Night Owl Optics seeks to end these yearnings with this incredible Nightshot night vision riflescope.
The most impressive thing about this device is that it comes with a high performing IR illuminator.
The Nighshot Riflescope with IR illuminator is the ideal night vision device for hunters and shooting enthusiasts who need to view their targets in the dark. The performance of this night vision device beats those of other devices within its range. It is lightweight and easy-to-use, making it a perfect choice for you.
It comes with a flat spot on one of its cross-bolts that can be reversed to allow for compatibility with different mount options. This product can work perfectly with rifles, shotguns, airsoft, crossbows, pellet guns, and more! The NightShot uses 4 AA or lithium batteries, so you can expect a battery life of 4.5 to 17.5 hours per set of batteries, depending on how you use the scope.
- Built-in infrared illuminator with 850nm light wavelength
- 100-200 yards range of illumination
- A flat spot on cross-bolts for use on several mounts
- 640 x 480 high-resolution display
- Suitable for hunting
- Daytime use will not damage the device
- Waterproof and durable
- Lightweight and easy to operate
- Plastic material not strong enough
|Product Weight||Not specified|
|Light Wavelength||Not specified|
|Battery||4 x AA or lithium batteries|
|Manufacturer||Night Owl Optics|
6. Nitecore CI6 850nm Long Range High Power LED Infrared IR Illuminator
Nitecore C16 IR illuminator is another multi-use device that offers you a 440-lumen white light together with secondary red, green, and blue LED lights. These different LED lights make it a versatile flashlight. The white light is perfect for a range of traditional flashlight tasks.
The green light is good for hunting, the red light is great for photography, map reading, and hunting, while the blue light works well for inspecting oil and grease stains. It provides an 850nm beam of light that extends to hundreds of yards in the darkest of nights. You are sure to get a significant night vision enhancement when you combine it with any night vision devices.
It also features an integrated Precision Digital Optics Technology which optimizes its reflector performance. This performance further improves with Crystal Coating Technology. The Nitecore C16 IR illuminator’s versatility allows it to be used with a rifle, a crossbow, or a shotgun.
It also comes with a lot of helpful accessories that make its usage a lot easier. Some of them include a holster, tactical ring, clip, lanyard, and O-ring.
- 850nm 1500mW IR light output
- Tactical tail cap switch
- Dual button side controls
- Five outputs for hunting and tactical operations
- A versatile option for various activities
- Bright light for long-range use
- Easy to use
- Compatible with several firearms
- Not waterproof
|Product Weight||4.07 ounces|
|Range||208 yards (white output)|
|Battery||1x 18650 or 2x CR123A CREE XP-G2 (R5) LED pro|
7. Souyos IR Illuminator Flashlight
(Best Value for Money)
Soyous IR Illuminator Flashlight is not the regular flashlight you employ for daily lighting purposes. This flashlight emits infrared light that you cannot see with your naked eyes. Neither can your target see it (if you’re hunting). It comes with an adjustable focus, which you can zoom in or out for larger area illumination. The zoom-out will also stretch the light body to offer you long-distance illumination.
This IR illuminator emits an 850nm wavelength of light, which you can combine with a night vision scope, camera phones, goggles, or monocular. Being compatible with several night vision devices, you can apply it for various activities such as hunting, map reading, and adventures.
Its use is very easy. All you need to do is press the tail-button to switch the flashlight on or off. Since it emits an infrared light which you can’t see with your bare eyes, a faint red glow will show on the LED to inform you that the flashlight is on. It works on 3 x AAA batteries or 1 x 18650 batteries.
- IR infrared led bulb emits 850nm wavelength
- Aluminum alloy material construction
- Tail-button switch control
- Adjustable focus for improved illumination
- Aluminum alloy material resists water and corrosion
- Easy to operate
- Compatible with a wide range of night vision devices
- Durable construction for long-term use
- Batteries are not included in the package
|Product Weight||5.6 ounces|
|Battery||3 x AAA batteries or 1 x 18650 batteries|
8. VASTFIRE Focusable Infrared Illuminator
Finally, on my review of top IR illuminators to maximize your night vision capabilities, you have the VASTFIRE Focusable Infrared Illuminator. This 850nm wavelength infrared light illuminator is perfect for night hunting. It is compatible with 1-inch scope rails that attach to rifles, crossbows, and shotguns.
Thus, IR illuminator also comes with pressure switches that help with its optimization with rifles. As a hardcore night hunter or night adventure enthusiast, this product will come in handy for you.
With pressure switches to optimize use with rifles.
That IR illuminator is perfect for the hardcore hunter and night adventure enthusiast. You can use it with most night vision devices, including 1st generation night vision scopes and monoculars.
It comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum construction that ensures durability and long-term use. The lens is also made completely with glass to enhance its clarity. VASTFIRE Focusable Infrared Illuminator is a reliable product that you should not ignore!
- 850nm infrared light wavelength
- Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
- Remote pressure switches for optimized use with rifles
- O-ring seals for use on rainy nights
- Versatile use for various firearms
- Durable and reliable
- Easy to use and maintain
- Good for long-range focusing
- Uses only 18650 Lithium batteries
|Product Weight||5.9 ounces|
|Range||Spotlight: 200 yards; Floodlight: 100 yards|
|Battery||18650 Rechargeable Lithium Battery (2400mAh)|
Important Factors To Consider Before Buying An IR Illuminator
Making the best decision while choosing an IR illuminator depends on several factors. You’ve learnt about the several features, specifications, and benefits of the best IR illuminators available.
Therefore, I must offer you information about the essential factors that will help you choose the best IR illuminators. Let’s dive right into it!
The wavelength at which the LED lights in IR illuminators emit light determines how visible the light will be. The standard wavelength for quality IR illuminators is 850nm, which produces completely invisible light. Although there are others with wavelengths between 720 and 950nm, IR illuminators with 850nm wavelength are what you should be looking to buy.
This simply means the length at which the device can illuminate. Several versions are designed to work perfectly for short distance illumination. At the same time, others can illuminate for longer distances. The IR illuminator you must choose should depend on the activity you plan to use it for. The best choices are usually those that can offer the best for long and short distances.
Durability is an important factor to consider for every firearm accessory. You don’t want to buy AN IR illuminator that will spoil within a few months of use. You must buy top quality devices that are made from Aircraft-grade aluminum. Such products are usually built to last for a very long time. Also, shock-proof and weatherproof designs contribute to durability.
Some IR illuminators use AAA batteries, while others use CR123A lithium batteries. Some have rechargeable batteries. These sets of batteries can provide consistent power for an average of 3.5 hours, and they are replaceable. It is often advisable to buy an IR illuminator with quality rechargeable batteries that can last for up to 6 hours of continuous use.
Having given you the buying guide for top IR illuminators, I have included the FAQ section. This section answers frequently asked questions about IR illuminators. This section will assist you while making your decision!
My Top Pick
If you’ve followed my review of the best IR illuminators carefully, then you must have gotten all the information you need to buy the best one for you. You don’t know when you might get into a dark situation and need an IR illuminator, so getting one now might make all the difference. Ensure that you use the information in this review to make the best decision.
My top pick for the best IR illuminators to maximize your night vision capabilities is the ATN IR850 Pro Long Range Infrared Illuminator. It has all the features of a great IR illuminator and offers you the best value for money.
It features a powerful 850nm light wavelength, which offers you an incredible field of vision that extends up to 300 meters. Its quality materials and high-end engineering ensure durability and long-term use. It comes with an adjustable mount designed to work with any standard weaver rail or ATN Smart Scope.
Do you have questions about any IR illuminators? Or you have something to add to the reviews? I’ll be looking forward to seeing them in the comment section.