Over the years I’ve always wanted to shoot a lighted nock so I decided to take the plunge and test the various models of lighted nocks on the market. Having been in the hunting video industry for over 6 years I know that a lighted nock can be a big plus in filming.
I decided to test 3 different lighted nocks. I ordered 2 of the nocks from Bass Pro and the third nock from the manufacturers website. The nocks I chose for this evaluation are:
1.) Lumenock Gt; $10.99 plus shipping.
2.) Carbon Express Lazereye; $9.99 plus shipping.
3.) Firenock “S” G series; $19.95 plus shipping
The bows that were used for the testing were the Mathews Monster and the Mathews Drenalin. The arrows used for the testing were Carbon Express cx300’s at 372 grains and 405 grains respectively. The Monster was set at 70 pounds and the Drenalin was at 64 pounds.
The testing was done on a sunny day with temperatures in the mid 70’s and no precipitation.
Bass Pro shipped the Carbon Express and Lumenock lighted nocks in a flimsy plastic mail pouch. There was no padding at all to protect the nocks in the package. The 2 nocks came in standard clamshell type packaging. The Firenock was shipped in heavy-duty padded envelope within a hermetically sealed plastic bag. I think the shipping method of Firenock was superior, but I didn’t like the sealed bag because once it was opened you could not reseal the bag to put the nock away if the need arises.
Upon examination the Lumenock and Lazereye were single units, already assembled, and ready to go. Initially the Firenock was intimidating as it was not preassembled, but after reading the directions I was able to assemble the nock in a matter of seconds. The Firenock came with so much more information than the other 2 nocks and even included 3 “practice” nocks with match-weighted metal stampings to practice with. I thought this was an excellent idea and I was able to place the practice nocks in my other arrows.
My nephew and I inserted the nocks into the arrows. The ironic thing is the Lazereye was the most difficult of the 3 different nocks to fit into the Carbon Express Arrow we used for testing. Later on this problem would come back to haunt us in our 2nd round of testing.
Conditions were bright and sunny. Our first 3 shots were taken at a McKenzie 3-D deer target from about 10 yards. All the nocks performed flawlessly the Firenock was the brightest, closely followed by the Lumenock. the Lazereye was poorly visible in the bright sunlight.
After the first 3 shots we pulled the arrows and deactivated the nocks. In the beginning, after the first 3 shots, the easiest to deactivate was the Lazereye. We just pulled the nock out until the light when out. The Lumenock was second in ease of use as you just move the nock back and forth until it deactivates. Initially the Firenock was the most difficult to turn off and I had to drop it several times until it went out.
We then proceeded to shoot the nocks another 30 times at the 3-D target under the bright sunlight. We also shot the arrows into a Block target. Interestingly enough I found out the best technique to turn off the Firenock was to stand next to a tree about a foot or less away, hold the arrow horizontally in my hand, flick my wrist, and let the arrow slide a few inches until it made contact with the nearby tree. It worked flawlessly every time and after I discovered this technique it became the easiest of the 3 to turn off. I used this technique against the wall of the barn, the supports for my deck, and numerous tress. It didn't damage the nock like dropping it on a rock did. I might make a Youtube video for this later.
The next 30 shots were taken at a block target at a distance of 20 yards and all the shots were taken in the shade. Again the Firenock was far brighter than the other 2. Even in the shade the Lazereye was not that bright. We had 4 spotters at different angles to observe the flights of the arrows upon release and the Firenock and Lumenock were the most visible in flight with a slight edge to the Firenock.
It was during the 2nd round of our testing that trouble happened. While pulling out the nock of the Lazereye, to turn it off, the nock broke off from the plunger. I was very disappointed. We were able to push the top part of the nock back into the arrow shaft and it would then light up, but now it could not be turned off. We continued to shoot the Lazereye, but it had failed our testing.
The next 50 shots were taken at a block target from distances of 30 to 60 yards. We were still shooting the Lazereye, but it quickly dimmed and soon became a $10 unlit nock. The Firenock and Lumenock preformed flawlessly. With the new turn off technique I was able to turn off the Firenock so much easier than the Lumenock. The Lumenock comes with a warning about breaking the nock so we were extra careful not to damage it, but this meant we had to spend more time until it went out and sometimes it would turn back on because it was not quite off.
At distances of 60 yards, shooting in the shade, the Firenock was really starting to dominate in the brightness category. Every observer was able to tell which arrow was which even from 60 yards away.
The next round of testing we experimented taking the nocks completely out of the arrows to see how easy it would be to remove then replace them. I also practiced taking the battery out of the Firenock. At first taking the battery out from the wire housing was difficult, but I soon got the hang of it. We then replaced the nocks and shot another 20 shots or so. The Firenock was still going strong, but the Lumenock appeared to be less bright than when our testing had begun earlier that day.
At the end of the day it was obvious to me that the Firenock was the superior product. The Lumenock was 2nd and the Lazereye was a distant 3rd place. On the surface the Lumenock might seem the wisest financial choice, but I could order 3 replacement batteries for less than $10, which would give me the battery life of 4 lighted nocks for less than $30.
As to shot ability, none of the nocks negatively impacted arrow flight and we were shooting as well as we did without the lighted nocks.
Come this fall my arrows will have a Firenock installed!!!!