A Simple Guide for Lighting Options for Night Hunting

red hunting light

Anyone who’s ever hunted at night knows that while a lot of prey animals move around after dark, you’re not likely to see any of them if you don’t have a spotlight. Moreover, they’re also useful for other outdoor activities like weekend fishing or just sitting around a campfire, as they make everything into less of a challenge and just plain safer all around.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great choices in portable lighting available to take hunting with you. And not only will you be surprised by how much powerful they are, but by how much of a role aerodynamics and compact design play in making them easier to transport too.

The Perfect Lights To Go Hunting With

Source: huntingmark.com

Let’s face it: although most hunting equipment hasn’t changed much over the years, lights and lighting technologies have been consistently evolving for a long time. Today’s high performance halogen, HID, and LED hunting lights have very little in common with the bulky torchlights and oversized sportsman-style flashlights that hunters were accustomed to only a generation ago. Modern spotlights are more reliable and illuminate better than anything that was previously possible, and they’re available in more flexible carrying styles than ever, including:

  • Handheld. With Fresnel composite lenses, lightweight polycarbonate construction, and built-in batteries, high powered halogen and LEDs lights rated up to IP-69K against intrusion from moisture are perfectly portable.
  • Roof or window mounted. With a full selection of halogen, HID, and LED globes to choose from, these fully sealed and water-resistant spotlights have effective ranges up to 660m, manual or remote roof and window controls, and come in an assortment of colour ranges and temperatures.
  • Firearm mounted. Boasting an output of 220 lumens over an effective range of 80m, these compact, rifle mounted LED lights are crafted from 6061 aluminium billet and weigh only 180g with batteries.

With their ability to go anywhere at any time, this new generation of durable hunting lights is as suitable for hiking and home emergencies as it is for hunting. They’re smaller and more dependable than they’ve ever been; and their charging options are the perfect complement to their compact design.

Superior Spotlight Charging Alternatives

Quick charging and long battery life are characteristics that every hunting light needs to have. Lights that use oversized 6V batteries, or burn through entire packs of C and D dry cells by the hour aren’t an option anymore: they’re too heavy to be portable, and they take up too much space to be practical.

Today’s lights offer adaptable powering and charging options which, depending on your carrying style, can be comprised of:

  • A rechargeable internal or external lithium-ion battery power;
  • Power from a portable USB battery;
  • A coil cord to your vehicle’s cigarette plug;
  • An alligator clip to a separate power source; or,
  • An inline fuse link to your vehicle’s battery.

Crucially, when you’re hiking or tracking an animal with a portable spotlight, you can still expect 90 – 160 minutes of maximum light intensity on a manufacturer-supplied lithium-ion battery. Keeping a few lightweight spare batteries in your backpack or toolkit, however, will let you confidently stay on your prey, or keep your campsite lit all night long.

Regardless of whether you’re using a spotlight that’s running on vehicle or lithium-ion power though, the type of light technology you’re utilizing is what makes the biggest difference in how much light intensity you’ll have at your disposal. Classic krypton-type globes have given way to the need of more advanced-designed lights, and it’s helpful to be aware of those differences when you’re looking at spotlight options.

Choosing the Right Globes for the Job

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It may come as a surprise, but the type of globes your hunting light uses makes a difference.

Modern hunting products depend mainly on 3 types of globes for illumination:

  • LEDs. With up to 50,000 hours lifespan and 80% operating efficiency, a Light Emitting Diode, or LED hunting light uses less energy, won’t overheat, and is going to give you instant full intensity, regardless of the weather.
  • HIDs. Unlike LED lights for hunting, High Intensity Discharge, or HID spotlights don’t come on instantly and only have roughly half the lifespan. Their abundance of high range luminosity for up to 1km is considered to be the tradeoff.
  • Halogens. Halogen spotlights project a characteristically warmer beam than either LEDs or HIDs and are less likely to frighten or surprise your prey during a hunt, but they generate lots of heat and last only a 1/10th as long as HIDs.

Which one is best, however, depends entirely on how you intend to use them. The light that you’d use to slowly approach your prey isn’t the same light you’d use for legal spotlighting, or for trying to see what’s moving through the bushes behind your campsite.

Where hunting is concerned, the colour of your light is going to have a greater impact on the outcome than your ability to simply flood an area with as much light as possible. That’s why when you’re shopping for hunting spotlights, you also want to pay attention to whether they have colour filters.

Hunting with Coloured Light Filters

Source: adventurelight.ro

Although light filters may not be the first thing that comes to mind for hunting at night, the advantages of using colour filters have been known for a long time.

Make no mistake: the easiest way to spook prey animals at night is by shining bright lights on them. And that’s especially true with animals that have become accustomed to seeing spotlights combing the horizon.

Coloured filters reduce the startling intensity that spotlights have without obscuring visibility of the target. Animals can still see the light, but they won’t be panic-stricken by it, allowing you to move in to take the most advantageous shot.

With either handheld, or roof or window mounted options available, you can buy hunting lights with any of these interchangeable coloured filters:

  • Green filters. Green coloured filters provide a well-balanced, low-level light that animals with poorer eyesight won’t be disturbed by, and won’t adversely affect your night vision either.
  • Amber filters. Amber filters are good for long distance observations, as well as for increasing visibility in hazy or foggy conditions just like the fog lights on a car.
  • Red filters. Red filters are the darkest and most restrictive when it comes to hunting at night, but they’re also the least likely for prey animals to detect or be spooked by.

Suffice it to say, for fox and boar hunters looking for the best selection of coloured filter kits for hunting lights Australia has everything you need.

The final word

High performance halogen, HID, and LED hunting lights have all the qualities you need to take them on the trail with you, and to keep your path and target lit for as long as you need. Before you take your next nighttime hunting trip, ask yourself whether now might be the time to update your equipment.

At the end of the day, while spotlights aren’t anything new for being outdoors at night, the expectations people have from them have changed. When you’re out hunting, fishing, camping or hiking, you need illumination that’s just as easy to handle, as it is bright.