In dark, it becomes a headache to search some objects or carry out some significant activities like hunting. To enhance the viewing capability in dark, IR illuminators are the best devices. The best IR illuminator will significantly enhance the vision of anybody wearing night vision devices. These illuminators emit light in the infrared spectrum. Therefore, the individual wearing night vision devices can accurately see the surroundings though it is dark.

IR illuminators can be used as active devices to emit infrared light on different objects or passive devices to replicate the light which falls on them. Typically, they are used for a broad assortment of applications like hunting, outdoor activities, surveillance, photography, home or office security, etc. When hunters use these devices, they can accurately watch their targets; targets will not notice the light. It turns out to be extremely easy to pick the best IR illuminator in 2021 with the following reviews.

List of The Best IR Illuminator

Check out the thorough reviews of the best IR illuminator in 2021 below.

1. Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X IR Illuminator

Best IR Illuminator In 2021: The Ultimate Review-10TechPro

In terms of powerful illumination and durability, this is the best IR Illuminator on this list from Streamlight. Wonderful brightness from this illuminator makes sure it can accurately illuminate even the darkest place. Essentially, it comes as a complete rechargeable system with two USB rechargeable batteries and a charge cord. Illumination is always outstanding with the latest LED technology that provides 3500 lumens of brightness.

The light output from the C4 LED makes sure this product is one of the brightest tactical lights in the market. To make sure the user always attains a perfect grip, the illuminator comes with a rubber sleeve and a wrist lanyard. No chances of the illuminator slipping off your hands.

Solid-state power regulation offers maximum light output all through the battery life. Moreover, optimized electronics offer efficient thermal management and controlled intensity.

Key Features

  • 3 operating modes available are high/strobe/low, low/medium/high, and high only.
  • The illuminator comes with TEN-TAP programming.
  • The reason behind why it is called a multi-fuel illuminator is it can accept two rechargeable USB lithium-ion batteries (2600 mAh) or four CR123A lithium batteries.
  • Durability is excellent with the anodized aluminum construction.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • Extremely durable and shock-resistant
  • Does not get too hot
  • The brightness of this light is tremendously powerful
  • Comes with reliable and high-performance rechargeable batteries
  • The programmable feature offers an intuitive interface
Cons
  • Not safe for cops working patrol
  • Expensive price

2. Tendelux 80ft IR Illuminator

Best IR Illuminator In 2021: The Ultimate Review-10TechPro

If you are looking for an efficient IR illuminator that can provide stable light output for hours then you can consider this Tendelux product. It offers steady power output for the lamp with equipped short circuit protection. The conversion efficiency is up to 85%. Whenever you want to secure any place, this IR illuminator proves to be reliable. Not just for illumination but this product can also be used with several other home appliances.

Unlike the traditional illuminators, this one is upgraded with the use of quality materials. The black coating protects its structure from external damage. With wide-angle support, you can conveniently mount this illuminator in a safe place. Overall design is such that it can improve the night vision of any IR-sensitive IP camera. Thus, the corresponding IR camera can be used for surveillance images throughout the day and night.

After the lamp is installed correctly, the included photocell sensor would turn on at night and turn off in the daytime. Being energy-saving, it does not need maintenance. Accessories present in the box are a plug & play 12V DC /0.5A power adapter, user manual, and installation screws.

Key Features

  • This 4W infrared illuminator offers up to 80 feet of illumination range.
  • Each of the 4 LEDs conveys 850 nm of wavelength.
  • It supports 90° angle support to make sure the light output covers the most area in the surrounding.
  • There is the inclusion of an IR bandpass filter to control hot spots and prevent excessive exposure of foreground objects.
  • To work well in outdoor conditions, it is IP65 waterproof rated.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • Built-in short circuit protection
  • Excellent build quality
  • Perfect size –not too small, not too big
  • Uniformly spreads light
  • Minimal hot-spotting
Cons
  • Some heat coming from the metal chassis and red lights

3. LONNKY LED IR Illuminator

Best IR Illuminator In 2021: The Ultimate Review-10TechPro

When it comes to versatility, this LED IR illuminator can be a decent choice. It can be used for IP cameras, dome cameras, CCTV security cameras, bullet cameras, etc. Irrespective of the outdoor applications, it works well.  All the included 8 LEDs contribute to intense light output.

For ease of installation, the pack contains installing screws and a user manual.  Included power supply has a length of 6 feet.

Key Features

  • The illumination range is 100 feet.
  • Built-in photocell sensor automatically turns on and off this illuminator according to daytime and nighttime.
  • LEDs come with 850 nm of wavelength. This much wavelength enhances image quality in compatible cameras during dim light conditions or full darkness.
  • The viewing angle it supports is 90°.
  • Heavy-duty aluminum housing protects the internal structure from damage.
  • The illuminator is IP66 waterproof rated.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • Easy to install with the universal bracket
  • Efficient heat dissipation with thick heat sink
  • Allows installation at any angle
  • Resists various natural elements
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • May stop working after several months
  • Facial recognition in darkness is only limited up to 40 feet

4. UniqueFire UF1508 T67 (67MM) IR 850nm LED Flashlight

Best IR Illuminator In 2021: The Ultimate Review-10TechPro

For hunting and other outdoor activities, this product is the best IR Illuminator from the UF series of UniqueFire. It works as a superb companion to a digital night vision appliance. The beam focus from this illuminator works efficiently so that you can pick objects from up to 100 yards of distance. Since it is well-built, it continues to perform for years without any compromise in illumination power.

The adjustable torch delivers 5W power output. An interchangeable head system is included. You can power this IR illuminator with either a 18650 mAh battery or two 18650 Li-Ion rechargeable batteries.

Key Features

  • LEDs have a wavelength of 850 nm.
  • 3 modes available are low, mid, and high.
  • Beam focus is accurate with the 67 mm glass aspheric convex lens.
  • To resist external damaging elements, it contains an ‘O’ ring sealed waterproofing.
  • The illumination range is 50 m to 150 m.
  • LEDs have a lifespan of more than 10,0000 hours.
  • Quick-change type LED pill system allows the color of the LED to be modified from green, red, white, or infrared. No extra tools are needed.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • Broad range of illumination
  • Allows adding extra battery
  • Can work with a webcam nightscope
  • Powerful battery performance
  • Comes with a long lifespan
Cons
  • Slow installation process

5. Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Illuminator

Best IR Illuminator In 2021: The Ultimate Review-10TechPro

Obtain powerful light illumination across a long-range with the Streamlight 88704 illuminator. It delivers 160 lumens of brightness which seems enough to brighten up any dark place. Powered by two CR123A lithium batteries, this illuminator can also work as a flashlight. The latest LED technology offers maximum possible brightness.

For its operation, you can either use a push-button temporary switch or a constant ‘on’ tail cap switch (for one-handed operation). The use of quality aluminum makes the illuminator’s case durable. The anodized finish further enhances durability.

Key Features

  • Maximum runtime is 3.5 hours.
  • The peak beam intensity is 30,000 candela.
  • LEDs have a wavelength of 850 nm with a lifespan of 20,000 hours.
  • It is IPX7 rated waterproof illuminator.
  • Moisture is prevented with o-ring sealed openings.
  • Solid-state LED circuitry offers controlled light output.
  • The illuminator is compatible with Streamlight 75910 holster and Streamlight 69100 Rail Mount.
  • Deep-dish parabolic reflector generates a long-range beam. It also supports optimal peripheral illumination to help you in navigation.
  • Shockproof structure makes the illuminator body very durable.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • Optimized electronics offer controlled regulated intensity
  • Offers great runtime so the illuminator lasts long
  • Extremely intense light output
  • Perfect fit and finish
Cons
  • Excess light may produce glare

6. Univivi 8-LEDs IR Illuminator

Best IR Illuminator In 2021: The Ultimate Review-10TechPro

Illuminate up to 85 feet of space with this best IR illuminator from Univivi. The ability to illuminate a broad area makes this illuminator versatile. You can install it in any extreme outdoor condition without worrying about damage. There is no compromise to its light intensity.

The incorporated photocell sensor automatically turns this IR illuminator on and off. It does this based on whether it’s daytime or nighttime. Being energy-saving, there will be minimal power consumption. The 850 nm wavelength of the LED is invisible to the naked eye; however, it presents a red glow. Accessories in the pack are a 12V/1A adapter, a user manual, and installing screws.

Key Features

  • Support for a 90° wide-angle makes sure this illuminator can be used as a floodlight or spotlight. The support for wide viewing angles lets you use this illuminator for wide-angle security cameras.
  • It is IP67 waterproof rated to resist damage due to water and moisture.
  • A thick heat sink efficiently dissipates heat.
  • The stability of its structure is maintained with stainless steel screws and a durable glass window.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Great camera visibility
  • Durably built for years of use
  • Resists outdoor elements with durable aluminum housing
  • Energy-saving feature
Cons
  • Not so bright

7. ATN IR850-Supernova IR Illuminator with Adjustable Mount

Best IR Illuminator In 2021: The Ultimate Review-10TechPro

ATN IR850 Supernova is a reliable IR illuminator for fulfilling your infrared lighting needs across long-range. Although the place is the darkest, this illuminator precisely illuminates all objects around with great intensity. The long-range illumination boosts visibility in dim light conditions or total darkness.

A rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a charger are included. Weaver Mount offers ease of mounting. So, this illuminator can be used for frequent hunting activities; no wastage of time.

Key Features

  • The brightness control ring offers rapid access to 4 stages of output. These stages are 5%, 30%, 70% and 100%.
  • It is built from premium quality aircraft-grade aluminum with a hard-anodized surface.
  • To resist damage due to moisture and water, the illuminator comes with an IPX8 waterproof rating.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • No waste of light power
  • Easy to view the full scope even at 500 yards
  • The adjustable mount offers quick attachment and release
  • Powerful lithium-ion battery included
  • The scopes can be swapped quickly
Cons
  • The screws are poorly machined
  • The rail mount is poorly built

How To Pick The Best IR Illuminator?

Proper illumination in dark is not just the only aspect to consider when choosing an IR illuminator. You need to keep in mind several other aspects to end up with the best IR illuminator. The following section depicts the important aspects to consider for the same.

1. Illumination range

The prominent factor that affects the night vision of your device is the amount of available light. Having some kind of ambient light source can prominently influence how bright and clear your image would be. For IR illuminators, the range of illumination is how far the device can illuminate. Some of these illuminators are uniquely designed to offer an extended range. Choose the one based on the type of activities.

Generally, small versions of IR illuminators are suitable for illuminating an area up to 75 yards. On the other hand, to obtain short to long-distance illumination, choose a versatile IR illuminator supporting Low and High beams. Those IR illuminators which support long-range use advanced infrared LED along with low thermal resistance. Such illuminators can illuminate an area up to 165 yards (equivalent to 150 meters).

2. LED’s wavelength

Every IR illuminator is equipped with multiple LEDs for emission of the infrared light. The particular wavelength at which these LEDs emit the light within the infrared spectrum decides illumination power. Generally, the wavelength of IR illuminators falls in the range of 720 to 950 nm.

3. Resistance to natural elements

Since IR illuminators are designed to work in a wide range of outdoor conditions, you need to check whether they can resist natural elements or not. At this point, weather rating and resistance become vital aspects to consider.

Choose an IR illuminator that can be used during rainy nights without worrying about damage. It is important to look at the Ingress Protection (IP) rating prior to purchasing. Generally, IP6 rating or above is recommended for IR illuminators.

4. Rugged construction

As said above, IR illuminators are designed to work in outdoor conditions. Therefore, they should be durably built to work reliably irrespective of the weather. Mostly, durability is determined by the material utilized in construction. It is usually observed that topmost quality IR illuminators are built from aircraft-grade aluminum. Also, it is better t choose an IR illuminator that is weatherproof and shockproof because these aspects also contribute to durability.

5. Energy saving

Some topmost IR illuminators support automatic mode. This mode lets the device turn on and off automatically according to the amount of light available. Whenever the sunlight falls below a certain level, the device will become active and vice versa.

This feature offers plenty of benefits that includes saving in energy which ultimately saves money. Also, this feature leads to longevity of the lifespan of LED lights since they are continuously on.  If you want to have an IR illuminator with a long lifespan then you need to consider this feature.

Frequently Asked Questions When Picking The Best IR Illuminator

Before getting the best IR Illuminator, it is better to clear any confusion around. So, the below section will help you the most.

1. Can the human eye see IR light?

Infrared light is practically invisible to the human eye. However, night vision applications that support an IR wavelength of 850 nm can generate a red glow while directly looking into the devices’ light source.

2. Is it possible to protect our eyes from infrared light?

Yes, by wearing safe eyewear equipped with a suitable lens, we can protect our eyes.

3. What is the typical lifespan of an IR illuminator?

LED bulbs in an IR illuminator do not last forever. But there is no need to concern much because many IR illuminators come with hours of lifespan, for example, 50,000 hours of lifespan. This much lifespan lets the IR illuminator work for more than 5 years of constant use.

4. What is the difference between night vision and infrared scopes?

Infrared scopes are typically recognized as thermal scopes. These devices sense infrared heat signatures emerging from different objects to ultimately depict an image of the field. They use ambient light either visible or the one emerging from laser or an IR illuminator to see the surroundings. During complete darkness or absence of light, night vision scopes cannot work automatically. But they can work through glass if the light is available.

On the other hand, infrared scopes don’t require ambient light and they can work in full darkness. But, they could not work through glass. 

Final Thoughts

Infrared (IR) illuminators are designed to accompany your night vision device for providing enhanced illumination. Whether you wish to accomplish outdoor activities or want to find something, the best infrared illuminator helps you a lot. Powerful illumination, wide illumination range, clear image output, and durability are the important traits of top-quality IR illuminators.

Enjoyed this? Then be sure to check out our other guide of the best night vision scope.