The following is our review of the Wildgame Innovations Moonshine Generation 2 solar-powered feeder light. Many Texas hunters find that much of the animal activity around feeders takes place at night. For game species such as hogs, predators, and exotics that can legally be hunted at night, a feeder light can be a great help in spotting nocturnal targets. At the Rack & Range test ranch, hogs and Axis deer specifically are always on our game cameras at night. While we’ve got so called “hog lights” on our AR rifle set ups, having to turn the light on every few minutes and otherwise sit blind while waiting and guessing if animals were present didn’t yield the success we were looking for. A feeder light seemed like a good choice for alerting us when animals are present and lighting up the night for better visibility. Since we run a shoestring operation here, we didn’t want to sink a lot of money into a light to test. Enter the Moonshine light, which we found at Academy Sports for $29.99.
The Moonshine 2 light is a self-contained solar-powered and motion-activated light that is meant to be mounted directly to a feeder (more on that below). The box contains the light unit, a bag of 6 self-tapping screws, and a basic instruction manual. The unit has a built-in solar panel that charges a lithium-ion battery, and the light is powered by 16 green LEDs. The information on the box claims the light to be “full weather proof and water resistant”. There is an on-off switch to activate the light. Since the light is self-contained, really the only thing to do is mount it and turn it on.
The box the light comes in claims to include “universal mounting hardware”, which may be technically correct, but seems like an overstatement for six screws. The brief instruction booklet does not provide any photographs, diagrams, or actual instructions for mounting the light, and we were a bit baffled at first, but came up with two different attachment options.
The first was to use the screws to attach the light to a piece of 2×4 block, and mount the block to a U-post that was pounded into the ground. The idea was to have the light and motion detector pointing at the ground underneath the feeder from about 10 yards away.
While this set up seemed to work, we were concerned about animals knocking the post down or at least loosening it the point that it wouldn’t be effective. So our second mounting option was to attach the light and block directly to the feeder. This particular feeder barrel was made of heavy plastic, and was easy to drill into with a couple of screws from the outside, to which we threaded washers and nuts on the inside to hold them in place. Caulk was added around the block to ensure the screw holes didn’t leak moisture into the feeder.
Now the light was securely attached to the feeder, with the motion detector and LEDs shining directly down at the ground beneath it. Other than mounting the light and flipping the switch to “on”, there was nothing else to do except wait for it to get dark and see how it worked. The solar panel charged the light in just a few hours, and the first night the light was ready to shine.
So how did it do? The box states that the light “illuminates for hunting up to 100 yards”. Now, you might read this and think that the light will light up an animal from 100 yards away, and this simply is not true. The light is certainly visible from 100 yards away, but with the way we mounted it to the feeder pointing at the ground (which seems like the standards way to mount the light), it illuminates an area about 10-15 yards in diameter around the feeder. In the game camera photo below you can get a good idea of the intensity and area that is lit up. The motion detection is fairly sensitive, but seems to range to about 8-10 yards – any movement further away than that does not trip the light. Once the light is turned on by motion, it stays on for 20 seconds before turning off. This saves the battery, and allows it to turn on many times all night.
Our blind is about 75 yards from this particular feeder, and the feeder light alone does not supply enough light to make positive animal identifications. But for our purposes, the Moonshine 2 feeder light does what we need it to do. It acts as a visual alarm, turning on when animals are at the feeder, alerting us to the activity and allowing us to switch on our rifle lights to further illuminate the target area.
Overall, it works as advertised, and while the list price on the Wildgame Innovations website is $59.99, we’ve found them at Academy Sports for $29.99, which makes it a good buy. We’ve had the light up for about a month now, and so far it continues to work as expected; we will report the longevity of the light as we have more time with it. There are definitely more expensive and more powerful feeder lights available on the market today, some costing up to 10 times the price of this light. But The Moonshine Generation 2 feeder light combined with rifle-mounted lights works well, and we’d recommend it to anyone who wants to get into nighttime hunting with a minimal investment.