Best Low Light Scopes – 2019 Top Picks Reviewed

Hunting at night or in dimly-lit areas is a challenge in itself since it’s nearly impossible to spot the target. This is where low light scopes come in. This helps provide a clearer image of your target in poor light conditions. So, before you plan your next hunting trip at night-time, it’s essential to get your hands on the best low-light scope. To help you out, we’ve laid all that you must know, along with our top picks. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Low Light Scopes

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Riflescope

  • ¼-inch precise Hand-Turn that can be adjusted by a click
  • Contains sealed O-ring for better performance and visibility
  • Best overall because of the optical system, which is fully multicoated
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ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart

  • Contains a ballistic calculator and stream video maker
  • Can also work on the night vision mode (enhanced HD mode)
  • Ultra HD optics and Ultra HD night and day sensor make it the runner-up
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BARSKA 3-12x50 IR Huntmaster Pro 30/30 IR Cross Riflescope

  • Best for the money that has all the features and is affordable too
  • Illuminated Red Cross 30/30 reticles and an objective lens of 500mm
  • Shock-free, waterproof, and fog proof, ensuring durability and low weight
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Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12x56 AO Hog Hunter, Second Focal Plane Riflescope

  • Completely multi-coated lens and capped turrets for resetting
  • Best low light hunting scope that comes with an ultra-forgiving eye box
  • Users can focus on the image and remove parallax by using the adjustable objective
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Athlon Optics, Helos BTR, Riflescope

  • Illuminated reticle and argon purging
  • Best lowlight scope under $500 that is rich in features
  • First-ever focal plane (reticle) that remains valid at every single power setting
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TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4X32

  • Best crossbow scope for low light
  • Has a dual-color illuminated reticle
  • Scratch-resistant, durable and non-reflective matte finishing
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What is a Low Light Scope?

Low light scopes are equipment that hunters use while targeting their prey. These riflescopes are known for their performance at night when the stars and moon are the only sources of light. Manufacturers make them in such a way that they can give maximum feasibility, and comfort during dawn, and dusk.

Using a riflescope is very simple. Shooters who don’t have any knowledge regarding engineering and physics can also use these after a little training. They help in pinpoint targeting and aiming your prey without any difficulty. You won’t lose your shot. So if any of you like to go hunting at night, these scopes are the best weapon for you. Just a little bit of training, and you are all ready to shoot!

When Would I Use a Low Light Scope?

People use a low light scope in hunting when there is not enough light to shoot and catch their prey. The majority of the animals come alive at night or early morning. A rifle using low light scope is a great tool to begin your hunting by collecting maximum surrounding light. It is mainly used for:

Varmint Hunting

It is good for targeting small mammals. Varmint hunting eliminates pests and animals like rodents, crows, feral cats, groundhogs, coyotes, foxes, and feral hogs. The use of a low light scope rifle will help you target with ease.

Big Game Hunting

Big game hunting is preying for large animals, and this typically takes place at night. As this includes wild animals too, the hunter needs to be cautious. It is best if he uses a low light scope rifle to kick off chances of mistake.

Target Shooting

You can use a low light scope in target shooting too. The light it gathers will help in making a perfectly accurate shot. 

Tactical Use

When all things have failed, and there is no way to save lives, tactical rifles with a low light scope are the best tool to use it at that time. As people use tactical rifles in the short-range, the low light scope will quickly help them to target without any mistake.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Low Light Scope?

Buying a low light scope requires a lot of technical skills. You should know what features and specifications it should have. We have described some of the main requirements you should observe before making a final choice.

Picture Quality

One of the most important aspects is seeing the quality of the image produced by the lowlight scope. One which can produce a bright, rich, and vivid picture is good to use. It will make it possible for the user to record photographs and videos with 100% accuracy. Secondly, it will also help in pinpoint targeting.

Hunting at Dawn or Dusk

If you are using a scope for hunting purposes, make sure that it gives excellent performance in every condition. Whether it is day or night, you should be able to aim for your target easily. Preferable scopes are the ones that can give sharp and amazing results in the lowest light conditions, as well.

Price and Magnification

Even a single penny should not be wasted; you should purchase a scope that is affordable and good too. A good model helps the user to see the prey at all distances, especially in low light. Select a unit whose features are worth praising and shouldn’t be a burden on your pocket.

Quick Take: 
Our Top 3 Choices

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best low light scopes:

Review of the Best Low Light Scopes

If you love going to the forest and jungles for the sake of hunting, you might need a riflescope. Selecting the best lowlight scope for your mission is a tough task. You need to look at its features, pros, cons, and much more.

We have listed down the best low light scopes, which are easily available everywhere. You just need to go and buy the most suitable one for yourself.

Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Rifle Scope

Pros

  • Parallax setting of 100 yards and Nikon’s BDC reticle
  • Allows optimum transmission of light from dawn to dusk
  • Optical system (completely multicoated) helps provide vivid and bright images
  • Provides generous eye relief and keeps your eyes safe in every type of condition
  • Sealed O-ring gives a complete fog-proof, shockproof and waterproof performance

Cons

  • Difficult to adjust the lens
  • Can cause problems while zooming in or out
  • Not easy to get the exact elevation for moving

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have highly recommended this to everyone. According to its users, this is the best scope available in the market place. The glass is very clear and sharp. It can easily let you see everything, whether it is very near or far. Primarily, they love it for its vivid images along with the eye relief it provides. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This tool stands out to us because of its amazing specifications. The parallax setting and the optical system provide intense and bright pictures. You won’t regret buying this low light scope at all. It allows you to locate the exact point for hunting, so you will never miss your target using this tool, which is precisely what we like about it.

Who Will Use This Most

This scope is known for its performance in lowlight conditions. It provides a clear and bright view while hunting. Hunters can also use it at night while trapping or killing the animals in the jungle. It is mostly used for deer stalking. Plus, its excellent quality glass makes it suitable for those wanting to stargaze.

Bottom Line

This riflescope is an outstanding unit. All hunters will find it to be great for hunting their target whenever they like. Whether it be dawn or dusk, it will help them to target the animal without any difficulties. It provides eye relief and comfort. So if you are looking for a low light scope, this one is the perfect choice for you.

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope 5-20x - Ultra HD 4K technology with Superb Optics, Full HD Video, 18+ hrs Battery, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder, WiFi, IOS&Android Apps

Pros

  • Possible to record video and take pictures 
  • Night vision mode helps in shooting in the dark
  • Ballistic calculator helps to aim and shoot the prey
  • Ultra HD sensor and optics provide sharp and vibrant pictures
  • Zoom wheel and tactile button make it easy to use and mount

Cons

  • Freezes after 20 minutes of use 
  • Difficult to hold the zero at 100 yards
  • Brightness might cause you to lose your vision temporarily

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, the company has improved the accuracy of its scope while hunting. People have given both positive and negative reviews, but the majority of them are very satisfied and happy with it. It is a great scope with an excellent stream video maker and night vision for clarity in the dark. Overall, users have highly recommended it to everyone.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The unit’s upgraded features make it stand out the most. It helps you to aim and shoot your target easily. You can even make videos of your hunting. It consumes very little power and works at high speed. It is the first-ever lowlight scope that can run for a continuous 18 hours. You can estimate the distance as well by the range finder. All of these features make it one of the best in the market. 

Who Will Use This Most

Predators who want to hunt for a longer period can use the above-mentioned lowlight scope because its battery lasts for almost 18 hours. It is very good for deer hunting. If you want to make a video and keep it for later use, then this scope will allow you to do as it comes with an HD video recorder.

Bottom Line

Summing it up, this riflescope deserves a five-star rating due to its high-quality performance. You will never regret buying it. It can work for continuous 18 hours, which will help you to go on a long trip for hunting. You can easily target your prey without even losing your shot, making a sure investment.

BARSKA 3-12x50 IR Huntmaster Pro 30/30 IR Cross Riflescope

Pros

  • Comes with a lithium battery, scope caps, turret caps, and lens cloth
  • Lightweight and durable, making it best for target practice and hunting
  • Fast-focused eyeball helps in focusing on the target with 100% accuracy
  • Zoom adjustment feature helps the user to focus on the target from afar 
  • Reticle allows the hunter to adjust the scope according to the brightness level in low light condition

Cons

  • After a few uses, it doesn’t stay as effective
  • Sometimes the lens becomes unclear and blurry

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers are very satisfied with this lowlight scope. They have mentioned that with this, you spend less and get more. It holds zero perfectly and helps you to focus on the animal easily. According to them, it is worth buying. Recent buyers have also written that it is a great product with spectacular features. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love this lowlight scope due to its performance at both dusk and dawn. It provides all the amazing features required by any hunter at a low cost. It is not a burden on your pocket at all. It holds zero settings without any error. The unit also stands out because it comes with additional accessories, which other units don’t come with. It is also very light, which means it will not make you feel tired or stressed.

Who Will Use This Most

The scope is best for plinking, hunting and, pinpoint shooting. Its zoom adjustment and illuminated reticle make it suitable for aiming and targeting in lowlight situations. People can also use it for practicing shooting. It is also good for mid to short-range aiming while hunting. Thus, it is an ideal option for all kinds of shooting and hunting.

Bottom Line

This is an ideal choice for hunters or shooters who are searching for a scope with the best features at an affordable price. It is perfect for general reason shooting and plinking. Barska is one of the leading names in scope manufacturing. The company offers you accessories along with the scope, which is free of cost. It helps you to zoom in and adjust your scope accordingly. All in all, this can be a sound investment. 

Best Low Light Hunting Scope:
 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12x56

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12x56 Adjustable Objective Hog Hunter, Second Focal Plane, 30mm Tube Riflescope - V-Brite Illuminated Reticle

Pros

  • Resistant to fog, shock, and water.
  • Company provides lifetime warranty for any sort of damage
  • Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, making it rugged and strong
  • Provides an excellent and clear picture due to the multicoated lens
  • Variety of functions and options for example; adjusting the magnification levels

Cons

  • Lens gets a little blurry at night
  • Can only be adjusted to six magnification levels

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers are very glad after using this riflescope for hunting. They have given it a positive response. According to them, it is a fantastic model compared to the price and features. They are very happy with the lifetime warranty given by the company. Recent buyers have also written that it is very easy to use and handle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This scope particularly caught our eye because it gives a lot of options to the customer for customizing it as per their need. It comes with a 9.45-inch eye relief, which is very easy to access. Meanwhile, the capped reset turrets permit you to set the zero quickly. Not to forget, its durable build also makes it stand out from others. 

Who Will Use This Most

Hunters who want to have a customized scope so that they can use it according to their wish and need will find this to be the most useful. It will provide them with a lot of ease and options. Due to its material, it can be used in places that have fog. Hunters can also use it for hunting in different conditions since it is water and fog proof.

Bottom Line

Vortex Optics gives the best alternative that is durable, dependable, and also not so expensive. The best thing about this model is that it gives different choices to fulfill your requirements. It comes with a lifetime warranty, which means you will also get peace of mind. Therefore, hunters can use it anywhere without any tension and stress.

Best Low Light Scope Under $500:
 Athlon Optics, Helos BTR

Athlon Optics , Helos BTR , Riflescope , 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle ,

Pros

  • Reticle can work at any power
  • You can simply push the turrets and pull them for locking
  • Waterproof and thermally stable due to the argon purging
  • Gives better visibility during the day, night and other environments where light is low
  • Multicoated lens reduces the reflection of light and increases the light transmission that gives a bright image

Cons

  • Eye relief is not so good
  • Turrets are mushy and not so easy to use
  • For adjusting the reticle, you need to calculate mentally, which may take some time

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have written that it is a ‘must-have’ scope, going as far as naming it the best scope available in the market. The lockdown and lift-up features of the turret are awesome. According to some customers, the quality of glass is worth praising compared to the price. The overall consensus for this is that it is an excellent product available at an affordable price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like the reticle feature a lot. This scope is the best one available in the market, that too at an affordable amount. The user can adjust the focal plane reticle depending upon the distance. We also like that it can work on six types of optic power. The lock feature of turrets also deserves a lot of appreciation. To put it simply, we’re fond of almost all its features. 

Who Will Use This Most

This scope can be used by hunters who want to hunt at different distances. Moreover, it is quite versatile to use and promises excellent accuracy, making it great for target practice too. Therefore, apart from hunters who can use this at night, it is also suitable for law enforcement personnel wanting to improve their accuracy of hitting the target. 

Bottom Line

This scope offers great features which are rarely seen in any other models at a low price without compromising on the quality at all. Summarizing this product, you will never regret buying it. For satisfaction, you can go through the customer reviews as well. What makes it an even greater investment is that it is highly versatile, so you shouldn’t miss out on this one!

Best Cross Bow Scope for Low Light:
 TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4X32

TRUGLO Crossbow Scope 4X32 with Rings APG

Pros

  • Comes along with a battery 
  • Has a generous 4-inch eye relief
  • Rubber eye guard protects your eye and gives relief
  • You can also use the reticle without any illumination
  • Provides maximum clarity, contrast, and vividness due to the fully coated glass 

Cons

  • Picture is affected by fog at times
  • Insertion of nuts and screws is not properly done

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are quite pleased with the product as they report that it can to bring the maximum light together and aim perfectly. They also state that it helps in providing a clear picture of the target and makes it easy for them to shoot. Even far away targets could be seen clearly, said one of the customers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is one of the best crossbow scopes as it is completely covered. We love it because it provides maximum clarity, even in low light conditions. It is an affordable option as the user does not have to buy batteries; they already along with the scope. We also like that the rubber eye protects the eye and guards it against excessive light being captured.

Who Will Use This Most

This low light scope can be given as a gift to those who love hunting. People who are looking for big game hunting can also use this as the reticle does not need any illumination. In addition, those who keep rifles for protecting themselves for an emergency can also use it to avoid any chances of mistake.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this product is an all-in-one tool for perfect hunting after the sun has gone down. With adjustable windage and elevation, there is no need to go closer to the target. It has a dual color reticle, which is a plus point. All in all, it will make hunting at night considerably easier and better.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Scope

It is a rule that if you invest in something good, you get excellent results. The same is the case with a high-quality scope. Some of the benefits that the best unit will provide are:

Enhancement in the Digital Field

Today’s upgraded low light scopes have wonderful digital features. They have ultra HD sensors, HD video streaming, and ultra HD optics. These specifications allow the user to take pictures and videos. The digital enhancement provides a clear and bright view of the target.

Hunting in the Dark

If you buy a good scope, it will help you to hunt in the dark also. If you want to hunt in the evening or dawn, you will need a scope that works well in the available light. It gives a worthy and amazing performance and utilizes whatever light is available.

Quality of Images Produced

A lowlight scope can give high-quality pictures. It provides the best results in bright and dark conditions. Buying a quality scope can help you target your prey easily. It helps in pinpoint targeting and hunting. The sharp images make it possible for the hunter to locate the animal and shoot it without any difficulty.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Low Light Scope?

From adjusting the diopter of the scope to selecting the appropriate reticle, opting for a riflescope needs knowledge of how each part works and affects the performance.

Optical Power

Optical power is also known as magnification power. The distance at which the target is present tells the amount of optical power required for hunting. For example, a 4x scope can shoot at a distance of 1000 yards. For shorter distances, one with less optical power will work. However, for a longer distance, 16x optical power is more than enough.

Size of Lens

The second most important aspect to consider is the size of the lens. The lens acts as a transmitter of the scope. It allows ambient light to pass and focus on the target rather than your eyes. If the size of the lens is large, it will allow more light to focus on the prey. Thus the size of the lens matters a lot in hunting.

Reticles

Reticles are available in various types like center dots and complex grid. They help you to aim for the point properly. Specifically for hunting, three reticles are the most important, which include BDC, Duplex Reticle, and Mil-dot reticle. You need to decide which one you want, depending on your use. 

MOA and MRAD

MOA stands for “minute for angle,” while MRAD means “Milradian.” Both are interlinked with each other. Both are used for adjusting the scope measurements. MOA sets the standard zero, and Milradian represents a part of the angle.

1 MRAD measures 3.6” at 1-yard

Conclusion

Concluding everything, a low light scope is necessary for hunting and targeting in low light conditions. But it can also be used for different types of purposes. Go through the products which we have highlighted not only for their performance in dark places but also for their specifications that will help you a lot in hunting. Next, narrow down your options and purchase the one which fits in your budget while meeting your requirements.