Nightmaster NM1 Long Range Hunting Light
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- Last updated: 05/10/2020
The Night Master NM1 range of lamps forms a modular system whereby the front lens and coloured LED’s can be exchanged to modify the lamp type, illumination colour and intensity to suit your style of shooting and quarry species you control.
The new NM1 range is available in three sizes. The CL has a wider beam for close up vermin, and the SL is a great all-rounder, while the XL is for maximum range. You can select coloured LED’s to maximise the effectiveness against differing species. You can also opt for the stealthy IR mode, like the Trident which makes the NM1 an instant IR illuminator for night vision scopes, very handy. There is a choice of white, red, amber, green, IR 850NM, IR 940NM, blue, and UV LED’S.
The NM1 XL is the most powerful version, and was the primary model I was testing, although I had the other options to try as well. Its ultra-clear convex lens and improved LED performance allows detection from eyeshine on quarry up to 1200m! It offers good target identification through a scope with the white LED up to 500m. It is one hell of a versatile lamp that crosses the borders between traditional lamping and NV use, that can be instantly modified to your specifications.
The NM1 XL hunting light comes with a high powered LED, 2 x 18650 Li-ion rechargeable batteries, dualbay intelligent USB charger, user manual and 3-year warranty, all in a carry case. It only uses one battery at a time, and charging takes about 5 hours.
The lamp is not too big, and as a result, does not dominate the rifle it sits on. It measures 67.5 x 30 x 175mm (190.5mm max length when fully focussed) and weighs 342-grams. It has an aluminium shell which is tough enough to repel bumps and knocks. It shows a hardanodised black finish, and it’s IP65 water-resistant rating shrugs off the British weather. I had it out in downpours with no problems, just be sensible.
The objective lens on this XL model is 68mm wide with a 65mm large convex glass lens. You can unscrew the forward section, sealed with an O-ring to reveal the LED with its brass knurled surround. It can be easily unscrewed and replaced when necessary, with the whole operation taking 30 seconds.
The NM1 is specifically designed for night use, so all of the controls are at the back of the lamp. The main tube shows a longer knurled section which can be used to attach the twin clamped mounting bracket, which is an optional extra. This leaves the rear section of the tube free to rotate, adjusting the beam from spot to flood. Behind this is the end cap, again sealed with an O-ring. The cap can be unscrewed to fit the battery but also houses all the controls.
Push to turn on with the quiet switch operation and then use a rotary dimmer switch to adjust the brightness. There is a handy lock-out function, like the Trident model which prevents accidental switching on and a soft-glow indicator pulsates when the battery power reaches 10%. I have done this and wondered why my pocket was glowing!
I also like the orange indicator light that can be set to activate when the beam is on or show you that you have left the IR LED on, all been there! There is also a lanyard loop for a strap to go around the wrist.
The XL is the most powerful and brightest of the NM1 hunting lamp range, and the large convex lens gives the tightest beam width at full focus which is great for long-range use. The white LED has the greatest reach and provides a natural colour, helping to spot game at a distance. It has a runtime of 1hr 30mins on full brightness or 2hr 45mins total. The runtime is the same as the red LED, which does not spook quarry and gives a good eyeshine.
My favourite is the Amber LED with 2hr 15mins on full brightness and 2hrs 30mins total runtime. It provides good illumination like a white light but with the non-spooking game abilities of red. The other LEDs are more specialised for over stubble work, wild boar with green and blue is good for following a blood trail as it almost glows in this light.
What is also impressive to me is that each NM1 model can also be used as an infrared (IR) illuminator in conjunction with any night vision device. You have a choice of 850nm and 940nm wavelengths. The latter has about 30% less range than the 850nm, but it is totally invisible. There is no red glow from the LED, making it ideal for skittish game, and up-close still gives a very good image.
Night Master supplied all three heads, CL, SL and XL. I fitted the CL to the NM1 and attached it to a Sako Finnfire .22 LR and several airguns for a spot of ratting. I was impressed at the clean edge, light intensity and purity of the beam. It allowed a good spread of light without overpowering the target in white light. When fitted with the amber LED, it is a real treat, a great all-round airgun and .22 rimfire vermin tool.
The SL gives a more powerful and narrower beam and therefore more range. Again, very good intensity for a clear image with all of the LED colours. A good choice for your foxing rifle at normal ranges.
Best of all was the XL, at the maximum range, it was good at detecting eye shine and indicating something is out there. Simply switch it off, stalk a bit closer and then take the shot. Yes, it is bigger and a bit heavier, but you can turn the beam strength down to match the other models, but the beam is narrower overall. I used the red, amber and green LED’s and actually found the green quite interesting when calling foxes in that bit closer as they seemed a bit more curious than alarmed. Overall performance was very impressive. I did not have a night vision scope to hand so that will be another article as I have probably gone over my limit here anyway!
I have to say I was mightily impressed with the performance from all the differing LED modules and front lens attachments. There is something there for any type of quarry or calibre used for after-hours pest control.
The NM1 is durable, reliable and well made with simple but practical controls. It has a good battery life with a spare supplied as standard. You can buy optional accessories that include, easy-swap LED modules, universal pistol grip, high scope mount, and a fully adjustable rail mount or scope mount set. The units are competitively priced, starting at £119.95 for the smaller CL model and extra LED colour modules are only £29.95. Overall a total bargain and a must-have piece of kit in my view.