With 600 lumens, that’s not a light…THIS is a light!
Streamlight ProTac HL
By: Tactical Response Staff
The very first thing that strikes you about the new Streamlight® ProTac® HL is how incredibly bright it is. LED flashlights for patrol use have typically been under 100 lumens. In fact, a mere 70 lumens was suggested as being enough for a tactical light. (No, that is not enough.)
Then some compact LED flashlights reached 120, then 160 and finally within the past year or so, they reached 200 lumens. More than 265 lumens was unheard of…or just a marketing claim. The ProTac (High Lumen) HL, while the same overall size as the competition, produces a totally legit 600 lumens!
To keep everyone honest in this horsepower race, a new voluntary compliance lighting standard was implemented: the ANSI/NEMA FL 1-2009 Standard. The various aspects of light output are now subjected to standardized tests. Light output, run time at various levels of light output, beam distance or range: everything is now measured the same way based on the FL-1 Standard. That means the ProTac HL’s 600 lumens, in apples to apples testing, really is a light output of 600 lumens. It also means the ProTac HL’s beam reach of 245 meters really means almost three football fields in length.
Getting a flashlight with both high lumens of light output and a long range of beam distance is rare. Either intense light or long distances is the rule. Not both together. The Streamlight ProTac HL is different. It has a higher light output than virtually any LED light its size. The ProTac HL also has a much longer beam distance than virtually any LED light its size, most of which have beam distances closer to 100 meters.
The one downside? Run time at maximum output. The ProTac HL is powered by two, CR 123A lithium batteries. The run time at 600 lumens is 1.25 hours. In comparison, many of the 200-lumen compact flashlights have run times between 2.0 and 2.5 hours. However, 600 lumens are not needed all the time. At the low setting of 35 lumens, which is plenty to read by, the ProTac HL has a run time of 18 hours.
The ProTac HL is Streamlight’s first programmable, handheld, lithium battery-powered flashlight. “With its extraordinary lumen light output, the ProTac HL is designed for flooding an area with light, such as when illuminating a dark alley, vehicle, job site, or outdoor path, while still delivering a strong, focused beam,” said Streamlight Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Michael F. Dineen. “The combination of its high lumen output and small size make it Streamlight’s brightest, most convenient, personal carry light.”
Featuring Streamlight’s new TEN-TAP™ programming, the ProTac HL enables users to select among three programs to suit their preference or operating needs: 1) high / strobe / low, which is the factory default setting; 2) high only; or 3) low / high. Of the six, compact LED patrol lights submitted for testing for a Tactical Response Field Test last year, (www.hendonpub.com, Resources, Article Archives), only half had a strobe function. Fewer than half had the option of a lower lumen setting. The ProTac HL has both the valuable strobe feature and the useful low lumen feature.
The ProTac HL features a Cree 4® LED that is impervious to shock with a 50,000-hour lifetime. The light is fabricated from 6000 series machined aircraft aluminum with an anodized finish, and includes a convenient multi-function, push-button, tactical tail switch. This tail switch provides easy, one-handed operation of the light’s momentary, variable intensity, or strobe modes.
The ProTac HL measures 5.40 inches in length and weighs 5.6 ounces. It features an anti-roll face cap and a removable pocket clip for attachment to a vest, belt or pocket. The light also has an IPX7 rated design for waterproof operation to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Available in black, the ProTac HL has an MSRP of $130, and Amazon has it for just $65.