TLR-1 HL Weapon Light: Challenging the Competition

Introduced in 2013 as the High Lumen (HL) variant to Streamlight’s TLR-1, the HL model remains one of the more popular and practical lights in the TLR line. Adaptable to both a handgun or carbine, the TLR-1 HL can fit a variety of personal, competitive, or professional roles to shed light in an otherwise dark environment.

The TLR-1 HL is a full-sized, Weapon Mounted Light (WML) and part of Streamlight’s “Tradition” line. It has a higher lumen output over its predecessor the TLR-1, improving beam length with minimal impact to overall battery life.


Its 6000 Series, aircraft-grade aluminum housing ensures the TLR-1 HL has a robust ability to withstand heavy usage. It features ambidextrous butterfly-type switch control allowing the operator to select between momentary, steady ON/OFF, or the pre-programmed strobe light control (if activated). A remote switch and pressure pad are also available for the TLR-1 models (sold separately)

The light optic in the HL model produces 800 lumens (or 15,000 candela) in a narrow beam with peripheral illumination that reaches 245 meters before dispersal. When compared to the initial TLR-1’s 300 lumens (or 12,000 candela) the HL is a notable improvement while keeping the same dimensions and mounting system. LED technology gives the HL’s light element a 50,000-hour lifetime, and impervious to shock. In front of the optic, the TLR-1 HL has a high temperature Borofloat glass designed to with a high degree of heat and impact/abrasion resistance.

The TLR-1 HL is powered by two CR123A lithium batteries that provide the unit 1.75 hours of continuous runtime. This is a minor reduction in the initial TLR-1 runtime of 2.50 hours due directly to the HL’s higher light output requiring more power in either operational mode.


Different mounting keys are provided with the TLR-1 HL that give the platform compatibility with a wide variety of handguns. The principle mounting system is a Picatinny/MIL-STD-1913 tool less rail clamp that enables the user to mount/remove the WML without placing the hand in front of the muzzle.

The TLR-1 HL has an overall measurement of 3.39” (L) x 1.47” (W) x 1.44” (H) and an operating range between -40 degrees Fahrenheit, to 120 degrees. It has passed the Immersion Water Test (IPX7) and is rated waterproof up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

The TLR-1 HL is available in the standard colors of Black (featured), FDE Tan (featured), and FDE Brown.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): Between $109 to $165 (color dependent) the variance in price is due to differing secondary vendors and coupon availability. If the consumer can wait for peak savings (usually Independence Day, Labor Day, or Black Friday) they can maximize their potential deals. Past monitoring has shown the TLR-1 HL for as low as $99 during special promotional events. The most direct competitor to the TLR-1 HL would be Surefire’s X300 WML ($299-$429). But the X300’s higher price point reflects its higher lumen output (1000) and slightly larger body. Another close competitor would be Olight’s PL-Pro Valkyrie ($129) that is closer in size comparison to the X300 body but still has a higher lumen output (1500). Consumers should be aware, in research it was identified counterfeits being sold via third-party sites like Amazon and Ebay, and individuals should exercise caution when choosing a vendor. While not the brightest WML of its size, the TLR-1 HL was one of the more affordable, giving it a good scoring.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): The overall size of the TLR-1 HL made it more comfortable on a full-sized handgun, such as the P226, leaving it near flush with the handgun’s muzzle. When matched with a G19 however, the TLR-1 HL protruded the length of the lens cap beyond the muzzle, so that consideration will need to be made by the consumer when matching the WML to its platform. The butterfly switch was easily within reach of the support hand and comfortable. Obviously with the added rail space, mounting it on a carbine allowed its position to be customized.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): The durability of the TLR-1 lay in its aircraft-grade body, and sealed battery compartment/light element. Because of its base material (6000 Series aluminum) this had a direct negative effect to the overall weight of the WML, making it one of the heavier WMLs in comparison to the X300 or PL-Pro. That said, it also added to the durability and made the housing and enclosed electronics nearly crush/shock proof. Internet research showed a number of owners putting the TLR-1 series through various torture tests; freezing, submerging, thawing, dropping, and driving over the modules. The course of fire selected for testing the TLR-1 HL involved five rifle and five pistol magazines, each fully loaded, at a 15-meter target. Between magazine changes the light was struck a number of times on the housing and lens cap with the ejected magazine before a new one was loaded. The process repeated itself until all rounds were fired. At no point did the TLR-1 HL light flicker or fail in the firing process, nor drift from center mass. The testing did result in some minor (cosmetic) surface scratches, mainly due to holstering, but nothing that would impact the functionality of the light.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): From a functional aspect, the TLR-1 (regardless of model) was designed to fit handguns; but when mounted on the top rail of a carbine, had the added flexibility to work on rifles as well. The important aspect was to ensure the butterfly switch was within reach of the support hand regardless of configuration (something that if mounted on the side of a rifle, rather than the top, was a little more difficult without the remote switch). Employing the butterfly switch allowed for easy selection between momentary ON and STROBE, or to flip the switch in the opposite direction for continual ON—all without any accidental emission when manipulating the firearm. The TLR-1 HL itself threw an intense wide-area beam with an intense focal point that light up the room, hallways, and just about anything nearby when indoors or out. The array of rail keys accommodated a large variety of platforms, including the available Sig, Glock, Springfield 1911, and an AR-15.
  • Weight Fair (2/5): At 4.18 ounces the TLR-1 HL is heavier than either the PL-Pro (3.25 ounces) or X300 (4.0 ounces) WMLs. Thus, while the weight was more than either of its direct competitors, its weight was still neither detracting nor placed the weapon off-balance significantly. Its weight was more notable when mounted on a handgun rather than a carbine, and the TLR-1 HL did pull the recoil action forward slightly (as other WMLs do) when mounted as such. Streamlight has expanded its WML line to include lighter, more compact WMLs such as its TLR-7 HL and other models.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

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IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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