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Lighted nocks are looked at by some archers as a novelty. In fact, the Pope & Young Club disqualifies animals taken with lighted nocks from being entered in their record book. That being said, lighted nocks can be incredibly valuable to a bow hunter. When shooting in low light conditions, lighted nocks make seeing the impact of the arrow much easier. Knowing where the arrow hit an animal is crucial when making a determination about tracking. In the event of a pass through, lighted nocks make finding your arrow a snap. If the arrow stays in, a lighted nock can literally lead you to the animal.
Lighted nocks offer big advantages for archers in the stand and on the practice range. They make following the flight of your arrow much easier. This aids in tuning since archers are able to follow the arrow from release to impact. Lighted nocks make any flight discrepancy easy to spot.
In this video A1 Archery’s Dan Ellyson explains why lighted nocks are valuable and how they work. Dan breaks down three of the most popular lighted nocks; Lumenok, Nockturnal, and Tracer. All three create a light signature to aid archers. However, the way they engage is different. Tracer lighted nocks use a magnet to switch the light on. As the arrow travels over the rest, a magnet clicks the light on. Nocturnal lighted nocks use the force of your bowstring to click an internal switch on. Lumenok lighted nocks have two very small exposed electrical contacts. When the arrow is released the power of the bow string pushes the contacts to the end of the arrow and clicks the light on..
When buying lighted nocks, Ellyson says you must know what nock you are looking for. Every manufacturer has their own nocks, some have multiple nocks within their product line. Matching up the right lighted nock to fit your arrow is vital for maximum performance. Ellyson suggests taking your arrows in to a pro shop and asking them to help you find the proper lighted nock.
One thing to be aware of with lighted nocks is the weight. Lighted nocks can weight twice as much as regular nocks. This can have an effect on velocity and FOC(front over center). Ellyson says most archers won’t notice a difference at 15 to 20 yards. But at longer distances an adjustment may be necessary. A quick trip to the range may be in order after placing lighted nocks on your arrows.