Personally I do not seem to need it for my use day or night. If you turn it on it often ruins your night vision if too bright.
I also don’t turn my magnification low very often which would make it more useful on a FFP scope.
From the answers above you should be able to decide if you have use for it.
The folks who report use in daylight make a lot of sense.
For night shooting illuminating your reticule will not make your target show up better. It will make your reticule show up better of course.
I use it for driven hunts on hogs during daylight as well as at night when hunting hogs in the woods . Even with NV it helps a lot especially the NV setup on my ZCO has an edge over standard Illumination. With SFP scopes hunting at night, illumination, specifically a dimmable red dot helps on hogs to determine where exactly you are aiming at. But I used to hunt thirty years or so without illumination and had nothing to complain about. My grandfather was hunting very successfully with iron sights, didn´t even own a scope. You do not necessarily need illumination, but it can at times help a lot and is comfortable.
Fascinating topic. I am mostly an LPVO carbine guy, but do a little bit of the long-range thing with my bolt guns when I can spare time for a run to PNTC. The answer is, yes, I use it, especially on 1x.
The necessity of illumination sometimes depends on reticle design. You see this a lot with "floating" FFP reticle paradigms like horseshoes where having a bright red point in the middle of your scope is a huge help in quickly locating the reticle on 1x. The Razor Gen3 gets away with doing this (albeit it's not exactly a horseshoe) because it has nuclear bright illumination capability; the competition largely doesn't, which makes them less great to use on 50yd target arrays in multi-gun.
But if were talking something like an SFP LPVO with a duplex-based reticle, you can design reticles that are not so illumination dependent. C-More's TJ1I reticle, for example, is one of my favorites because it combines the duplex reticle with a 1.5 MOA dot in the middle. It illuminates pretty well, but if it starts getting overpowered by ambient light on a glinting target, you still have a very well-defined aiming point to use. Vortex's JM-1 reticle, on the other hand, skips the larger dot because it can fall back on its super bright FO-illuminated .5 MOA dot (Sig uses a similar paradigm for their Hellfire reticles). It's still very usable without illumination, but I don't think it's as good in certain circumstances.
But beyond a hundred yards, unless ambient light is inadequate or the target is dark / on a dark background and I need assistance finding my reticle, there's not a lot of need for illumination in my usage. A scope like the XTR III lacking illumination wouldn't make much of a difference in my decision to buy it, especially since I don't hunt. YMMV, etc.
Use mine all the time.
Spotlighting foxes at night, target shooting at night, shooting at sunset and after sunset, when I’m in the bush hunting deer I’ll run it all day, I run it all the time.
Normal daytime shooting, no, never use it.
That’s also why I run the SKMR reticle. On x5 with the illumination on just looks like a red crosshair with faint hash marks. Perfect for stalking deer anytime of the day and spotlighting foxes at night.
Had taken a friend out who wanted to get into learning how to be a shooter/spotter team and have him to the point of figuring ranges via the reticle because hes not allowed to use the LRF yet. Have been using the 22LR and him on the Spotter 60.
Was out a bit later than anticipated because he was really doing a great job and we just kept going. Had him put a few small 22LR gongs out as well as a clay on a clay holder; told him to put it out past the gongs a bit. Gongs were at 160-205ish scattered around and he put the clay on a rise on the side of a hill much further than I thought he would.
Ended up being 288 yards away and we could barely see it as it was silhouetted against the larger cliff behind it, in the shadow of both the cliff and the sun which was setting 90 degrees of it. Put the optic on it and I'd basically lose the reticle half the time, or it would do that thing where you could see part of the reticle but it looked like you were missing some of it.
Turned the illum on and no problem.
2nd round hit because someone didn't know you could use smaller fractions (hundreths) of MILS for the calculation
I use an illuminated reticle on my bear guns, it helps a lot otherwise you are trying to see a black reticle against a black backgroung in a low light situation, for applications like this shot placement is much easier. Better shot placement on a bear late in the shooting day is a good thing, because it will proabbly lead to a shorter track.
I recently got a BUSHNELL ELITE LRTS 4.5 - 18 x 44 with an illuminated G3 reticle. I love it for dark backgrounds and for times i need to turn the magnification down to 4.5x because I have an FFP reticle that gets smaller (and can get "lost") at lower settings.
If you have an FFP reticle for hunting you need an illuminated reticle - and even if you have an SFP reticle.
Same for me. My eyes, and me, are getting old and under green light I need the illumination to get get the shot. I am using a Leupold MK6 and wish the illumination had a finer adjustment. One click is too bright, the lower is almost not enough.