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10 Best IR Lasers & Illuminators for Night Vision Scopes in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Steiner eOptics on a rifle

We’ve all been there: You get out in the field with all your gear and switch on the IR laser or illuminator, only to have it not work as effectively as it needs to.

That’s why we tracked down and reviewed 10 of the best IR laser and illuminators out there. There’s also a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help walk you through anything else that you need to know to get the perfect product the first time.

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 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Streamlight TLR-VIR II Rail Mounted Illuminator Streamlight TLR-VIR II Rail Mounted Illuminator
  • Durable design
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Includes both an LED and IR light
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Accufire Technology IR300 Illuminator Accufire Technology IR300 Illuminator
  • Adjustable output
  • Easy to install and use
  • Uses a rechargeable battery
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Steiner eOptics Laser Device Steiner eOptics Laser Device
  • Low-profile design
  • Easy to mount and use
  • Has both a laser and illuminator
  • Best IR Illuminator for Hunting
    Beamshot Compact IR Laser Aimer Beamshot Compact IR Laser Aimer
  • Durable construction
  • Multiple mounting options
  • Good mix of price and performance
  • Holosun CA Visible Red Laser w/IR Holosun CA Visible Red Laser w/IR
  • Decent battery life
  • Water resistant, with an IP67 rating
  • Includes both a laser and illuminator
  • The 10 Best IR Lasers & Illuminators for Night Vision Scopes

    1. Streamlight TLR-VIR II Rail Mounted Illuminator — Best Overall

    Streamlight TLR-VIR II Rail Mounted Illuminator

    Battery life: 12 hours
    Weight: 3.82 ounces
    Style: 1913 rail mount

    If you’re shopping for the best deal on an IR laser and illuminator, what you want is the Streamlight TLR-VIR II Rail Mounted Illuminator. It’s an outstanding mix of price and performance, and it includes both an IR laser and illuminator.

    Furthermore, it has a traditional LED light that you can use, making this an extremely versatile tool. The on-off switch has an ambidextrous design, so it works great on both right- and left-handed weapons, and the 3.82-ounce design makes it a lightweight addition to any rig.

    This VR illuminator also has a rugged and durable design that can handle inclement weather with ease. With so many great features, it’s not hard to see why it’s the best overall IR laser and & illuminator for night vision scopes.

    A drawback is that the mount only works with a 1913 rail mount system, and if that isn’t what you have, this mount won’t work for you.

    Pros
    • Good mix of price and performance
    • Includes both an LED and IR light
    • Durable design
    • Works well in inclement weather
    • Ambidextrous on-off switch
    • Long-lasting battery life
    • Lightweight design
    Cons
    • Limited mounting options

    2. Accufire Technology IR300 Illuminator — Best Value

    Accufire Technology IR300 Illuminator

    Battery life: 5.5 hours
    Weight: 13 ounces
    Style: Picatinny rail mount

    If you’re looking for a low-priced option, consider the Accufire Technology IR300 Illuminator. It’s affordable, and with all the features that it offers, it easily earns our nod as the best IR laser & illuminator for night vision scopes for the money.

    It uses a rechargeable battery so you don’t have to spend more money to keep using it. The illuminator itself has an adjustable output, so you get exactly what you need without overpowering a location.

    The entire setup is easy to install and use, but compared to most other mounts, it is a bit heavy. The 5.5-hour battery life also isn’t great, but it’s not a deal-breaker. For the price, you’re not going to find a better option out there.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Uses a rechargeable battery
    • Adjustable output
    • Easy to install and use
    Cons
    • Heavy
    • Short battery life

    3. Steiner eOptics Laser Device — Premium Choice

    Steiner eOptics Laser Device

    Battery life: 100 hours
    Weight: 8 ounces
    Style: Picatinny rail

    If you have extra money to spend and want the best of the best, the Steiner eOptics Laser Device is what you’re looking for. This device has both an IR laser and an illuminator, and the low-profile design makes it a great tactical choice.

    Additionally, it’s easy to install and use, durable, and completely waterproof. Steiner also offers a 2-year warranty to help protect your investment.

    You can go 100 hours between battery changes, so this device lets you focus on your time in the field, instead of worrying if your equipment is going to die on you.

    However, this is expensive, and at 8 ounces, it’s not the heaviest option out there, but for a product at this price point, we’d like it to be a bit lighter.

    Pros
    • Has both a laser and illuminator
    • Long-lasting battery life
    • Low-profile design
    • Includes a 2-year warranty
    • Easy to mount and use
    • Waterproof design
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Slightly heavy

    4. Beamshot Compact IR Laser Aimer — Best IR Illuminator for Hunting

    Beamshot Compact IR Laser Aimer

    Battery life: 2 hours
    Weight: 2.1 ounces
    Style: MIL-STD 1931, Picatinny, or Weaver

    One of the top-selling points of the Beamshot Compact IR Laser Aimer is that it has multiple mounting options.

     It’s also one of the lightest IR options on the market, but don’t let the lightweight design fool you. Beamshot created the right combination of price and performance with this product, which is why it’s near the top of the list.

    Our only complaint is the battery life, which is just 2 hours. Still, with everything else that this product offers, it’s worth considering — just keep extra batteries on hand!

    Pros
    • Multiple mounting options
    • Lightweight design
    • Good mix of price and performance
    • Easy to use
    • Durable construction
    Cons
    • Short battery life

    5. Holosun CA Visible Red Laser w/IR

    Holosun CA Visible Red Laser with IR

    Battery life: 8 hours
    Weight: 6.7 ounces
    Style: QD mount

    The Holosun CA Visible Red Laser with IR is a great device that works with your night-vision setup. It includes both a laser and an illuminator, and the laser works just fine during daylight conditions too.

     This means you’re getting even more out of this device. The battery life gives you 8 hours of use between charges, and you can use up to three laser beams at once!

    Moreover, it’s a product that you can take out in inclement weather with confidence because it boasts an IP67 waterproof rating. The tradeoff is that the aluminum casting isn’t the most durable and it’s expensive.

    Still, it’s not an option that you’ll regret.

    Pros
    • Includes both a laser and illuminator
    • Not heavy
    • Water resistant, with an IP67 rating
    • Decent battery life
    • Up to three laser beams at once
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Aluminum casing isn’t the most durable

    6. Steiner eOptics OTAL-C IR

    Steiner eOptics OTAL-C IR

    Battery life: 5 hours
    Weight: 4.9 ounces
    Style: NATO 1913 and Picatinny rails

    Steiner makes great optical devices, and this eOptics OTAL-C IR device is no exception. With both a NATO 1913 and Picatinny rail mount, it should fit on most rifles.

    It has a wide operating range that is easy to use, and since it only weighs 4.9 ounces, it’s not going to weigh down your setup. While we would like the battery life to be a bit longer than 5 hours, the AA batteries are easy to change.

    Like most Steiner products, it is a bit expensive, but it does come with a 2-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry about getting a dud right out of the box.

    Pros
    • Multiple mounting options
    • Lightweight design
    • Easy to change AA batteries
    • Wide operating range
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Slightly expensive
    • Short battery life

    7. EOTech ATPIAL-C Laser Aiming System with IR Illuminator

    EOTech ATPIAL-C Laser Aiming System with IR Illuminator

    Battery life: 6 hours
    Weight: 7.5 ounces
    Style: 1913 rail

    The EOTech ATPIAL-C Laser Aiming System with IR Illuminator is an expensive option, even if it does have great features.

    It has both a laser and an illuminator, and the low-profile design keeps it out of your way whether it’s in use or not. This device’s laser-aiming system works with or without night vision, and it’s one of the most precise devices out there.

    The entire setup is easy to use, but it is expensive. Also, the battery life is relatively short, it’s a bit heavy, and there’s only one mounting option, the 1913 rail system.

    None of these things are necessarily dealbreakers, but when you’re paying this much, you might expect more for your money.

    Pros
    • Has both a laser and illuminator
    • Low-profile design
    • Easy to use
    • Works with and without night vision
    • Precise laser operation
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Slightly heavy
    • Short battery life
    • Only one mounting option

    8. SureFire M640V Scout Light Pro IR/LED

    SureFire M640V Scout Light Pro IR LED

    Battery life: Up to 16.75 hours
    Weight: 4.8 ounces
    Style: M-LOK and Picatinny

    If you’re looking for an IR device that can do it all, the SureFire M640V Scout Light Pro IR/LED might be just what you want. Not only does it have an IR illuminator and laser, but it also has a super-bright LED light!

    Also, it can run for up to 16.75 hours before you’ll need to swap the batteries! Despite all the extra features, the SureFire M640V Scout Light Pro IR/LED only weighs 4.8 ounces.

     It not only works fine with a Picatinny rail system, but it also has an M-LOK mounting system.

    That said, it does have a long design, so it’s better for mid- to long-range applications.

    Pros
    • Long-lasting battery life
    • Lightweight design
    • Multiple mounting options
    • Good mix of price and performance
    • Has both an LED and IR light
    Cons
    • Long design

    9. Nitecore CI7 White and Infrared IR LED Flashlight

    Nitecore CI7 White and Infrared IR LED Flashlight

    Battery life: 130 hours
    Weight: 5.57 ounces
    Style: Flashlight

    If you don’t need something that attaches to a weapon, the Nitecore CI7 White and Infrared IR LED Flashlight is worth checking out. It doesn’t mount to anything because it’s just a flashlight, but it does offer plenty of infrared illuminating properties.

    It also has a traditional LED light, so it’s useful in that way too. The battery life can last an impressive 130 hours, and it comes with a built-in battery life indicator. Finally, it’s IP68 waterproof rated, so even if you’re out in inclement weather, it’ll work just fine.

    Still, you can’t mount it to anything, so if you’re looking for something that works while hunting, this isn’t for you.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Long battery life
    • Has a rechargeable battery
    • IP68 waterproof rated
    • Has a battery life indicator
    Cons
    • Can’t mount it to anything

    10. Steiner eOptics TOR Mini-IR

    Steiner eOptics TOR Mini-IR

    Battery life: 7 hours
    Weight: 1.6 ounces
    Style: Picatinny

    The Steiner eOptics TOR Mini-IR is an excellent combination of price and performance, and like all the Steiner products on this list, it comes with a 2-year warranty. The range on this product works for up to 270 yards out, and the entire setup is easy to use.

    The biggest drawback of this option is the fact that it doesn’t have an IR illuminator. There’s also only one mounting option, but since it’s a Picatinny rail mount, it will fit most rifles out there. Still, if your rifle has any other rail, it won’t work for you.

    Pros
    • Good mix of price and performance
    • Lightweight option
    • Decent battery life
    • Easy to use
    • Good range, up to 270 yards
    Cons
    • No IR illuminator
    • Only one mounting option

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    Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best IR Lasers & Illuminators for Night Vision Scopes  

    There are so many great IR products out there, it can be overwhelming trying to narrow it down to just one choice. That’s why we developed this comprehensive buyer’s guide, to walk you through everything that you need to know to get the right product the first time.

    man in uniform holding a rifle with Steiner eOptics

    Mounting Options

    The most important thing that you need to look at when considering IR devices is the mounting options. If you plan on mounting your IR laser or illuminator to a weapon, you need to ensure that it actually fits.

    We highlighted the mounting capabilities of each of the IR products on this list, and you need to double-check that your choice works for your setup before you order it. If you are unsure what your weapon uses, check a guide that breaks down the most common options.

    Considering Battery Life

    Battery life is a big deal because the last thing that you want when you’re out in the field is to have your equipment die on you. Just keep in mind that for each option on the list, the given battery life is how long it’ll last on a single charge.

    So, get what you need, but don’t overpay for a slightly longer battery life when you know that you can just change it before you head out again, anyway!

    How Much Does Weight Matter?

    It depends on you and your setup, but the more accessories that you add to your rig, the more it’s going to weigh. By going with a bunch of lightweight options, you can put more accessories on your weapon without weighing it down too much.

    How much this matter is up to you and how much weight you’re comfortable lugging around from place to place.

    IR Laser vs. IR Illuminator

    When you’re looking at IR lasers and illuminators, it’s important to realize that they’re two different things. IR lasers emit a laser pointer-like light that you can only see on the IR or night-vision spectrum.

    This essentially gives you a laser sight, but no one else can see it unless they’re wearing a night-vision setup too. IR illuminators, on the other hand, make it easier to see things when you’re using night vision.

    Once again, you can only see what it’s doing when you’re wearing night vision, but it does make it easier to see everything around you!

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    Conclusion

    If you’re still confused about what IR device to get after reading through the reviews and buyer’s guide, just know that as long as you have a 1913 rail mount, you can’t go wrong with the Streamlight TLR-VIR II Rail Mounted Illuminator — there’s a reason that it’s our top choice.

    Of course, if you’re looking for a more affordable option or have a Picatinny rail, the Accufire Technology IR300 Illuminator is perfect. What’s important is that you order the right gear sooner rather than later, so when you need it, you have it.


    Featured Image Credit: Optics Planet

    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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