Reticle illumination is the possibility to illuminate the rifle scope reticle with light. Some rifle scopes use reticle with illumination possibilities. There are two main types of reticle illumination on the market:
- illuminated point in the middle of the reticle,
- illumination option to light up the whole reticle.
For hunting, the reticle with central light point (dot) is more recommended. Rifle scopes that use illumination of the whole reticle are more recommended for tactical and sports use. The power of illumination light can be either day strong or visible only in the lowest light situations (in dark). For the driven hunts, IPSC or tactical CQB daytime strong illumination is more usable. Illumination option only visible in low light conditions is better for hunting in low light conditions or even in the dark. Rifle scopes that use as many different intensity levels as possible are better because they offer more possibilities to find a perfect view of the reticle in different lighting conditions.
The most advanced rifle scopes use optical fibers built in the middle of the reticle as a light dot. In high quality rifle scopes, these illuminated dots are of the smallest size. For example, if the illumination is set to OFF, you don`t see this illuminated dot at all and when you turn the illumination ON, the light dot is visible. High quality rifle scopes enable the user to fine tune illumination intensity. This way the reticle is always illuminated just right in accordance with the ambient light condition. Very dim in low light and extremely bright in the daytime. Newer rifle scopes have built in automatic turn off electronics that turns off illumination of the reticle when you don’t use your rifle scope for some time the illumination of reticle goes automatically to OFF. Such scopes have built in motion sensor to determine when the scope is not in use. This preserves battery life.
Reticle illumination option provides you a better accuracy at night and in low light situations. With non-illuminated reticles, you could have problems in low light situations, when you can see the target but not the reticle. The type of illumination for low light usage only is mostly meant for raised hide hunting.
Daytime bright illumination is the best option for driven hunting, IPSC and tactical shooting.