I think I'm a little light FOC. ST 100's probably would make the difference needed... But I shoot plenty-good at 25yds and have never shot at a deer beyond that...And since my nice tight groups at 40 don't always happen every day anyways...
Lighted nocks have helped me recover arrows in thick marsh grass. That glow showed the start of a sparse blood trail helping me recover the animal... They've also made the exact point of impact obvious - perfect shot placement - so I could begin tracking sooner. Recover the deer sooner. And be home showered and eating dinner sooner.
As an aside...I was shocked (and kind'a pissed) when I spun the arrows I'd bought from a couple different local shops. The inserts were not square in roughly 10 out of 12 arrows. When I started buying bare shafts and putting them together myself - including squaring the ends - that ratio flipped. There were still roughly 2 out of each dozen that were NOT perfectly square.
There's a source on ebay where I could get the GT XT hunter 5575/400 for about $65/doz tyd (with loose inserts and nocks separate) as opposed for about $95 fletched and inserts glued not-quite square.
This year I was looking for a new nock, tried Nock Outs. The design looked odd as they sit outside the arrow. they shot well with field tips, perfectly actually. once I spun on a Fixed broadhead they would shoot 2 inches to the right. I took off the nock and put on a regular Xnock and Broadhead had the same POI as field tip.
So this year I didn't shoot lighted nocks. If you can't get them to fly perfect, it's not worth it.
Still waiting on a good lighted nock that isn't $75 for one.
I've never hear of any "blowing up" of any of the brands.
I tried Luminocks and preferred the Nockturnals.
So...I bought a dozen from some archery shop in Sheboygan Falls (TGB Archery). Online. A dozen for about $50.
Like I said,I practice with them. They DO alter arrow flight somewhat. Slightly at 30yds,more noticeably at 40....I used them when tuning my bow. I use them when sighting in.tarting in early August I used them when practicing with both BHs and field points. I even used them when shooting 3D.
One didn't work right out of the package from TGB,the rest worked great.
But between all three brands and hours of shooting them I have not had one "blow up" when shooting.
Downfalls are that they're kind of pricey. Some can be fussy. You really ought'a practice with them especially if you plan on shots past 20yds....If you're someone who takes that 70yd "Hail Mary" shot it'll give you something to blame when you miss...
At the distance I typically shoot deer I see nothing but positives. I can find the start of that blood trail without searching because I find the arrow immediately....Seeing that little red light disappear into the crease behind the front leg gives me the confidence to start tracking as soon as I have my stand and climbing sticks put away.
In the marshes I hunt a pass thru could mean I'm looking for the arrow for a while. Once it gets under the marsh hay it's tough to see....When I take a doe it's usually the last few minutes of legal shooting and I know there's not time for a buck to wander by. It's dark by the time I hit the ground with my stand/sticks packed up....But my arrow - and the start of the blood - is right "there".
If you're going to use them,the time to try them is not "in elk camp" it's 6 weeks BEFORE the trip....Or 6 weeks before deer season.