Streamlight TRL-1 HL Light Review
The Streamlight TLR-1 HL (https://www.streamlight.com/) stands as a beacon of excellence in the realm of weapon-mounted light systems, delivering powerful illumination in a compact and durable design. Here’s our comprehensive review of this outstanding tactical light.
Illuminating Excellence: A Review of the Streamlight TLR-1 HL Light
We have been really excited to showcase the Streamlight TLR-1 HL (High Lumen – high output 1000 Lumen) weapon mounted Light.
The Streamlight competes against rivals like the SureFire X300 Ultra and the Olight PL-Pro Valkyrie Tactical Light.
The TRL-1 HL was first debuted at the 2013 SHOT Show and it was a game changer for many gun enthusiasts. The introduction of the TLR-1 HL at the 2013 SHOT Show marked a significant moment in the evolution of firearm illumination technology, as it brought high lumen output and advanced features to the forefront of weapon-mounted lights.
The Steamlight TRL-1 HL is a fantastic pistol light providing ample amount of both flood and distance. The light is easy to attach to the most common pistol rail systems including Glock, Picatinny 1913 and others. We found that light had the best gripping power out of the lights we tested thanks to the spring loaded screw.
While the On/Off switch is easy to use, we did feel that it may require more training for users who need to act instinctively when turning on the light. For Right handed individuals pushing the switch downward turns on the light and holding the switch in the upward position momentarily turns on the light. For people who are left handed, you do the opposite. Other lights we tested the on/off functionality was the same for either hand.
All in All, the TRL-1 HL is a fantastic light for pistol owners who need to light up an area such as a room or dark location.
TLR-1 switch assembly excels in offering an ambidextrous and intuitive design, along with tactical features that enhance its overall performance. While there are minor considerations regarding activation and customization, the switch assembly’s strengths outweigh these potential drawbacks, making the TLR-1 a reliable choice for those in need of a top-tier weapon-mounted light.
Of the many reviews we have seen pertaining to the switch design, most people praise ease of use and the intuitive design.
Pushing on down on the right side and pushing up on the left, turn the light on. Pushing up on the right or Pushing down on the left momentarily activates the light as long as pressure remains on the switch. A double tap activates the strobe flashing light.
Strong Points of the TLR-1 Switch Assembly:
- Ambidextrous Design: The TLR-1’s switch assembly boasts an ambidextrous design, accommodating both left and right-handed users. This thoughtful feature enhances accessibility and ensures a comfortable experience for a diverse range of shooters.
- Intuitive Momentary/Steady On-Off Switch: The momentary/steady on-off switch is a standout feature, offering an intuitive and responsive operation. Users can easily toggle between momentary activation and a steady-on mode, providing flexibility in adjusting the light output based on the situation.
- Strobe Mode for Tactical Advantage: The inclusion of a strobe mode enhances the tactical utility of the TLR-1. This feature adds a disorienting element, providing users with a strategic advantage in certain scenarios. The switch assembly’s ability to control this mode efficiently contributes to the light’s overall versatility.
- Reliable and Durable Construction: The switch assembly is built with durability in mind, utilizing robust materials that withstand the recoil and impacts associated with firearm use. Its reliability is crucial in high-stakes situations where consistent performance is non-negotiable.
Weak Points of the TLR-1 Switch Assembly:
- Potential Activation Challenges: Some users may find that the switch assembly, while ambidextrous, requires a deliberate press for activation. In high-stress situations, there might be a slight learning curve to ensure consistent and swift activation.
- Limited Customization Options: The switch assembly on the TLR-1 lacks extensive customization options. While the basic momentary, steady on, and strobe modes cover a broad range of needs, users seeking more advanced programmability may find the options limited compared to some competitors.
- May Not Accommodate All Grip Styles: The design of the switch assembly, while ergonomic, may not suit all grip styles. Users with specific preferences in grip placement might find that the switch location requires some adjustment to align with their natural hand position.
- Breakage – Some users have reported switch assembly breakage, which is most likely due to the trigger components being plastic. That said, Streamlight has excellent customer service and will work with customers to make things right.
- Coming from a cycling background and using lights like the Night Rider it would be nice to have some sort of battery indicator allowing the user to know how much charge is left for the light.
Battery Life Indicator
One of the biggest shortcomings from all the pistol lights we have tested is the lack of a battery indicator providing vital information on how much charge is left in the battery. Considering clearing out a large complex at night where overhead lights aren’t an option knowing how much battery juice is left can be super important.
The TRL-1 HL is powered by two (2) 3-volt CR123A lithium batteries. Streamlight recommends the use of Streamlight Battery No. CR123A, Panasonic Battery No. CR123A or Duracell Battery No.123 with these products.
Most recommendations are to replace the batteries every 3 or 4 months, If they haven’t been used
For those that often do low light training with lights, it’s recommended to change them after every session.
If you’ve ever had a light crap out on you in a low light session or IRL, you’ll never want it to happen again, so make sure you keep a handle on your batteries.
The TLR-1 HL is designed for roughed use and limited submersion. With an IPX7-rated design it will hold up to most situations where bad weather and diverse terrain, including situations where water might be present.
XPX7 rating for products states that it provides protection in water up to 3 feet (1 meter). Obviously you wouldn’t want to go diving with the light, but if it drops into a stream or shallow pond, it should still work.
Many handguns today come with accessory rails located on their frames below the barrel. These rails are mostly used to attach lights to the lower part of the gun. Depending on the pistol frame manufacture, Steamlight has created several rail keys allowing compatibility between rail type and the mounting the light.
The following keys are available
- GLOCK®-style rails
- MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails
- Beretta® 90two
- Smith & Wesson®
- Smith & Wesson®
- SIG SAUER® P320® rails
To switch the TRL-1 HL light between 2 pistols that have different rail types, you will need to swap out the rail key with one that is compatible with the other rail type.
We tested out the GLOCK rail key on both the Sig Sauser 320 MK and the Walter PDP Pro CD and found we could swap between pistols without having to change the rail keys. Both those guns contain the MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails, but seem to work work without issue with the GLOCK key.
Important NOTE: You will not be able to mount the light to pistols that don’t have accessory rails and rails that aren’t compatible with the existing Streamlight keys.
Design and Build:
The TLR-1 HL showcases a robust and well-crafted design, fashioned from aircraft-grade aluminum with a durable anodized finish. Its sleek and compact profile seamlessly integrates onto various firearms, making it an ideal choice for handguns and long guns alike. The rugged build ensures durability in demanding conditions, and its water-resistant construction adds a layer of reliability.
At the heart of the TLR-1 HL’s appeal is its exceptional brightness. Emitting a blinding 1,000 lumens of white light, this weapon light is designed to cut through darkness with remarkable clarity. The high lumen output, combined with a concentrated beam, provides users with a significant advantage in low-light situations, whether for home defense or tactical operations.
The TLR-1 HL features an ambidextrous switch, allowing for easy activation and mode selection. Its momentary/steady on-off switch is intuitive and responsive, ensuring quick and reliable access to light when needed. The light also offers a strobe mode, adding a disorienting element for potential threats.
One of the standout features is the TLR-1 HL’s versatility in mounting. The adjustable mounting system accommodates a wide range of firearms, providing a secure fit without compromising ease of installation. This adaptability makes it a go-to choice for users with multiple firearms in their arsenal.
Longevity and Power Efficiency:
Powered by two CR123A lithium batteries, the TLR-1 HL strikes a balance between powerful performance and efficient power usage. The batteries contribute to a commendable runtime, ensuring that the light remains reliable in extended use scenarios. The light’s LED technology also adds to its longevity, minimizing the need for frequent bulb replacements.
- 1,000 lumens; 1.5 hour run time; 20,000 candela; 283m beam distance
- Powered by two (2) 3-volt CR123A lithium batteries
- Rail grip clamp system securely attaches/detaches quickly and safely with no tools and without putting your hands in front of the muzzle
- Includes keys for GLOCK®-style rails, MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails, Beretta® 90two, Smith & Wesson® SW99, Smith & Wesson® TSW, and SIG SAUER® P320® rails
- 6,000 Series machined aircraft aluminum with black anodized finish
- User-programmable strobe
- Ambidextrous momentary/constant on operation
- Fits most existing light bearing holsters
- IPX7-rated design for waterproof operation
- 3.39 in (8.61 cm); 4.32 oz (122.5g)
- Remote switches available as optional accessories (must be used in conjunction with 69130 or 69161 remote door switch)
- Available in black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE), and Flat Dark Earth Brown
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Assembled in the USA
What brand CR123 Lithium Batteries can I use with Streamlight flashlights?
Streamlight recommends the use of Streamlight Battery No. CR123A, Panasonic Battery No. CR123A or Duracell Battery No.123 with these products.
In the realm of weapon-mounted lights, the Streamlight TLR-1 HL stands tall as a beacon of reliability and performance. Its combination of blinding brightness, durable construction, user-friendly operation, and versatile mounting options make it an indispensable accessory for those who prioritize top-tier illumination on their firearms. Whether for law enforcement, self-defense, or outdoor enthusiasts, the TLR-1 HL light from Streamlight earns its reputation as a trusted and formidable companion in low-light situations.