So i received a new LASERLUCHS 5000 LED IR ILLUMINATOR from Paul at Scott Country International for a test. Getting a box with the Scott Country International parcel tape on is always exciting, but this promised to be something a bit special!
Opening the box, the first thing that struck me was that this illuminator is a good looking bit of kit! Understated looks with a single green ring around the head, it looks the part…and I don’t excited about torches!
Having removed it from the box, I instantly noticed how light this lamp is. I thought perhaps that the batteries might add a bit of bulk, but having then seen that this lamp takes the small CR123 batteries, and popping two in, it added negligible weight to the lamp. Having used a Nightmaster X-Searcher and ATN X-Sight combination for a few months, I have come to appreciate any weight-loss on my rifle that I can find, and this is really going to help.
The lamp is a nice straightforward design. The LED is installed permanently so there is no lamp head to twist off, and the battery tube is fixed too so no future modifications to worry about.
The lamp has three moving parts: A focus collar just behind the head, a switch and a tailcap which unscrews to install batteries.
Speaking of unscrewing bits, one thing that really impressed me on this lamp was the quality of the engineering. The tailcap screw threads are perfect. My Nightmaster squeaks when I tighten the tailcap and lamp head, but this thing is silent. The focus ring is buttery smooth and effortless to turn.
This lamp is genuinely a simple device which, well it just works!
Mounting the lamp onto my ATN X-Sight, the weight (or lack of) made installing it easy using an adjustable weaver mount, the overall profile of the lamp and X-Sight make this a really nice pairing.
The first night after receiving the scope, I had a quick test out in the field. Fired the X-Sight up on night vision, switched the Laserluchs on and….what power! This lamp really has got some reach. It focusses really easily and quickly, and I could see the detail in the trees some 500yds away.
I couldn’t wait for the following night to really put the Laserluchs through its paces, and wanted to get some comparison testing done between my current stable of Nightmasters and the new kid on the block.
For the test, I compared the Laserluchs to the Nightmaster 800 and its variants, with turbo kit installed and the X-Searcher head.
Its worth mentioning at this stage that for the last few months, I’ve used the Nightmaster X-Searcher with the battery extension on with my X-Sight. Its been creating a really decent picture allowing me to see my quarry well beyond my comfortable shooting range at night. However, the big downside I found was that the X-Searcher is a heavy beast and when coupled with the weight of a 5-12 X-Sight, starts making the rifle a bit unwieldy. If my rifle wasn’t on a stable base when I put it down, the weight of the X-Searcher has been known to pull the rifle over.
The other issue I found was that with the battery extension tube on, the length of the X-Searcher just a bit too long to be comfortable with the X-sight. It extended back to being directly next to my eye which was distracting at best!
The good news for the Laserluchs is that none of the above is a problem. Its profile on the side of my X-Sight is a touch longer than a standard NM800, but not much and far shorter than one with the turbo extension tube installed.
Weight-wise, its a world of difference, just how ancillary devices should be on rifles, lightweight and unobtrusive.
So, on to the night testing and comparison:
If I was impressed by the illuminator when I opened the box, I was just not prepared for how good it was the second I flicked it on! The picture had immediate clarity, a millisecond of adjustment from the scope and the image was clear, stable and not a hint of graininess. the range of the lamp was an easy 500 yards. I spotted a rabbit at around 200 yards away clear as day.
I did experience a touch of glare, and this showed more in the videos than in the scope but did nothing to detract from the usability of the scope/illuminator combination.
Holding up a the various Nightmasters to the Laserluchs, the only one that even came close was the X-Searcher. However, I still experienced a grainier picture from the X-Searcher than I did the Laserluchs. I hadn’t noticed it until now, but with such a clear IR picture, I found myself asking, ‘where has this lamp been all this time!’
The other big difference between the two, weight and size accepted, is that when full focussed, the Laserluchs beam is still large whereas the X-Searcher tightens right down to a small square.
Having completed the tests, I put together a side by side video comparison of the two and it just confirmed what I was seeing in the scope.
In a nutshell, this IR Illuminator is the best I have used with digital night vision to date. Clarity, usability and great design place this illuminator head and shoulders above the competition.
All thats left now is to sadly wave this one goodbye and give Scott Country International my credit card details….again - I have got to have one of these illuminators!
Thanks to Paul at Scott Country for sending the test equipment.
The Shotgun Training Company
You can see James independent test review videos below