A light for every occasion
The world of tactical lights has evolved a great deal in recent years. Tactical lights were once expensive tools with short run times and relatively weak output compared to today’s lights. Today, high output lights are made by a variety of manufacturers. Many of them use LEDs to produce very bright light and achieve remarkable run times.
Here are four recent additions to the Streamlight line that can help you shed some light on every situation. Two are handheld, while two are weapon mounted. I’ve used all of them, and they have all met expectation. Two of them, the ProTac HL and TLR-1s HP far exceeded my expectations.
Streamlight ProTac HL
The Streamlight ProTac HL is likely the brightest flashlight I’ve ever held. It puts out 600 lumens of blinding white light, yet is shorter than a ball point pen. It is unbelievable how bright this light is.
Due to the way the flashlight is configured, the ProTac HL is great for room clearing as it floods an area with bright light. However, it does have a reasonable amount of reach with a useable beam of more than 250 yards and a candela rating of 16,000.
The ProTac HL runs on two CR123A batteries and is rated to run at 1.25 hours on the high output setting. A low output setting makes this flashlight better suited as a task light, and extends battery life to 18 hours. There is also a strobe setting.
I have been using the ProTac HL as my primary flashlight at work as a police officer. It has proven to be reliable, and the battery life has been very good. The original set of batteries has lasted me for a month now, and I work at night.
The ProTac HL is compact enough to keep in a cargo pocket when heading out to a movie or other activities after dark.
Street price on the ProTac HL is around $75.
Streamlight ProTac 2AAA
When discreet flashlight carry is a must, the ProTac 2AAA might suit your needs. This flashlight is slightly longer than the ProTac HL, but is much thinner and lighter. As the name suggests, the flashlight runs on the slim AAA batteries, making the overall package about the size of a Sharpie marker.
While the flashlight would not pass as a pen in your shirt pocket, it is still very concealable when you are dressed in more formal attire. The ProTac 2AAA includes a pocket clip so you can secure it in a jacket or pants pocket if you like.
Light output is generally the casualty in flashlight size reduction, and it is true for the ProTac 2AAA. Total light output is rated at 80 lumens with 1550 candela. Run time for one set of batteries is 1.5 hours.
A low output mode is also available on the ProTac 2AAA, which puts out a mere 10 lumens. The low output mode is fine for navigating through a dark house, but not acceptable for identifying a threat in low light conditions.
Street price is about $35.
Streamlight TLR-1s HP
Looking for a white light to attach to your AR15 rifle? The Streamlight TLR-1s HP deserves your consideration. With 200 lumens of total output and 46,000 candela of peak beam intensity, the TLR-1s HP can light up targets past 400 yards.
It mounts to any standard Picatinny rail and connects quickly and easily without the need for tools. The user pushes the spring loaded mounting screw on one side of the light, pivots the light onto the rail and lets go of the screw. Then hand tighten the screw and the light is securely mounted. I suggest using a quarter to snug down the screw another 1/4-turn.
The TLR-1s HP uses an ambidextrous switch to allow for momentary or constant on function. Additionally, the light has a disorienting strobe mode which is activated by double tapping the switch. A remote switch is available.
The light uses two CR123A batteries, and even at the light’s very bright output, run time is rated at 1.75 hours. Strobe use will extend life even more.
Street price on the TLR-1s HP is about $115 without the remote switch. I can’t call it cheap, but for what you get I believe it is a great value.
Adding a white light to your self defense pistol is a good idea for many people. A laser sighting device also is desirable for many folks. With the TLR-4, you can do both in one package.
The light throws a total of 110 lumens and has a 5,000 candela peak beam intensity. This light output is very bright at close distances, and can help you identify targets at pistol ranges. The light uses a single CR2 battery and will run for 1.5 hours using the light only or the light and laser at the same time.
The laser unit uses a red laser which is adjustable for windage and elevation. Using the laser alone, the unit will run for about 11 hours.
There are two switches on the TLR-4. One switch allows the user to select the mode: laser only, light only or laser and light simultaneously. The second switch is an activation switch allowing for momentary or constant on.
The TLR-4 mounts to the accessory rail on a pistol in a manner similar to the TLR-1s HP above. No tools are required: just pivot it into place and tighten it down. Weight is just over 2.8 ounces, which should not be a big deal for most people.
Street price is about $120.