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Here in Texas, hunting at night is a huge deal. If your weapon of choice is used with night vision optics rather than thermal optics, a good IR (infrared) illuminator is a must. These devices throw an adjustable beam of invisible (to you and the animals you’re hunting, but not to your night vision optics) infrared light to supplement whatever ambient light is available.

To help in this pursuit, Armasight has launched what looks like a nice, compact, powerful IR illuminator called the Watchman.

Armasight’s press release follows:

Armasight Announces Watchman IR Illuminator

For Immediate Release – Northbrook IL – Trailblazer and Category Leader in Thermal and Night Vision, Armasight announces the Watchman IR Illuminator. This handheld or weapon mounted IR illuminator is now available online and in-store through authorized Armasight dealers.

The Armasight Watchman IR Illuminator is a must-have for anyone using night vision devices in the field. The Watchman IR Illuminator is powered by 850nm, 600 mW Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology with three brightness settings to aid low light visibility. The Watchman can focus its beam to as low as 3 degrees and as wide as a 14-degree field of view to enhance target identification and track prey to beyond 500 yards.

The Watchman is constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum and is built to be shockproof with an IP67 waterproof rating. The push button tail cap can be swapped out with provided tape switch for weapon mounted applications. Since IR illuminations are invisible to the naked eye, a small red indicator light on the tail cap will light up when the unit is powered on. The Watchman comes with a single rechargable 18650 battery and will also work with 2x CR123, which provide 15 hrs or runtime on low output 175 mW and 5hrs on high 600 mW settings.

The Watchman works great as a handheld and can be mounted to your firearm or night vision device via the included 30mm ring.

Now through May, 31, 2023, get a free Watchman IR Illuminator with the purchase of eligible Armasight Night Vision products through authorized dealers.

● Three output levels
● Adjustable field of view
● Visible redlight power-on indicator
● Handheld or weapon mountable
● 30mm ring, tape switch and rechargeable 18650 battery included



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  1. What’s the cheapest IR imager available, without being total crap?

    Still over a thousand bucks?

  2. Only $229 MSRP? And why 30mm tube? 18650s fit fine in a 1″ tube. I’ll put my current IR up against it that I purchased from the interweb retailer A for about $70 (with mount) and buy a bunch of Panasonic 18650s to switch out during the night, and still be ahead.
    Also, 18650 is the problem as I have yet to find one from any manufacturer that lasts long enough to go more than a couple of hours at high lumens. Sure you can get more runtime but at a cost of lumen output.
    As for the 850nm I have quit using it and have gone to 940nm, 940 doesn’t have the glow like the 850.

    • Check out Streamlight SL-B26. Integral miniUSB charge port. Similar dimensions to 18650. I’ve used the SL-B26 extensively in FD lights. Very good battery.

    • 850s have more visible signature, but typically have WAY more throw at distance. I have a Modlite 940, and it’s a nice light with a great beam, but even my cheap 850 conversion bulbs can outpace it substantially.

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