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Streamlight Protac

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  • Streamlight Protac

    Suddenly my old Inova T2 which has sat by my bedside and served me faithfully for over 10 years died the other day. Yes it has a lifetime guarantee, but I also know that sending it in to Inova would simply result in them sending me back a new version of the light, and I wanted something with a new updated user interface, meaning I could decide what mode it come on and stays in. Thus began the search for the “perfect” new bedside things go bump in the night, light. There are a few things I like in a so called “tactical” light.

    First off, I want a personal sized light that can be dropped in a pocket and pretty much forgotten about until needed, this means a one cell light. And while I tend to prefer the form factor of single and double AAA lights for most uses, they simply do not have enough output for a fairly long term usage personal “tactical” type light. This means either CR123 or AA lights are candidates as both C and D lights are too big for comfortable pocket carry.

    Next, I want bright, but not too bright. I know that 1, and 2 thousand lumen tac lights are all the rage. But, they are not for me. I want a light in the 300 lumen range, bright enough to dazzle an opponents eyes temporarily, and to light up the contents of a decent sized room, but not enough to cause damage to myself. I have found that in enclosed spaces, like rooms, hallways and even in areas where there is thick dense foliage that a too bright light tends to reflect and cause almost as much blindness to me and it does to anyone else, especially in rooms and hallways with light colored walls. Maybe it is my natural light sensitivity, I have excellent night vision but at the expense of an extreme aversion to bright outdoor sunlight and other light sources.

    Lastly in this type of light I want a click switch which allows for temporary on use by pressing the button partially in, or constant on by pressing the button totally on. And I want the light to have ONE, read one setting available to use, not high low and medium, or high low and strobe, or any of the other multi mode user interface settings. I want a light to come on in high and off in high with no messy interfaces to fumble with at night or under stress.

    So after a lot of looking I found the Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA flashlight. This light is very unique, at least so far in my experience. It allows the use of a cR123, AA, or AA lithium battery with no changes in the light itself. I have seen convertible lights before, in fact I own one, which allows using either a CR123 or AA by swapping out the body of the light. This one however is built to use either. Yes, this means it is a slight bit bigger in diameter than a normal AA light, and a bit longer in body that a normal single cell CR123 light. But in both cases it is not enough to make a big difference. This ProTac has an output of 350 max lumens in CR123, and 150 in AA mode. It also has the ability to be used in three different modes, high/strobe/low, high only, and high/low, and the interface is easy to switch between. So my high only light is how I keep it.

    I have had it now for a couple of weeks and so far it has been completely satisfactory. The clip is strong and does not deform easily. It also has a very unique design which allows it to be clipped normally bezel down in a pocket, or clipped to something like the bill of a baseball cap and used in headlamp mode. I am currently using it with a CR123 battery for maximum output, but have tested it in the house with the AA battery and it was perfectly acceptable also. This makes it a very useful pocket light for this times where you have to scrounge batteries.

    I will give it 5 stars so far. Sorry guys, the photo wont seem to upload with the new software, will try and figure it out.


    sigpic Let the music be your Master, will you heed the Master's call?

  • #2
    I have to say that the 'button' type don't last. I've had a number of them and am 'done' with those kind. I like 'twist' on/off lights personally.
    TKite,
    Hydronaut

    I need a new watch

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    • #3
      I use twisty head lights for the vast majority of my light uses with this exception. For a light used for this particular purpose, which could include home clearing or use with a handgun using the Harries technique, A twist switch for those uses is harder if not impossible to manipulate properly, at least I find them so.
      sigpic Let the music be your Master, will you heed the Master's call?

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      • #4
        I understand the use dictates the 'button' type switch, but I have no faith in those switches after so many failures from several different brands. I look forward to you returning to us with your real world feedback on this flashlight after continued use.
        TKite,
        Hydronaut

        I need a new watch

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got a Streamlight on my nightstand next to the quick access gun vault. It has all of the same characteristics that you mentioned, except that it is 1000 lumens bright. It does, however, have a low intensity setting, if that means anything to you. You can set it up to turn on in any combination you desire. :-) Oh, and it has a strobe setting, as well. It is also supposedly water resistant. For rain, that is. I don't think you can take this one diving. I occasionally take it to the range to practice firing my pistol with it. In other words, if I have to engage an intruder at night in the dark hours, I'll have the Streamlight in my left hand and my gun in my right. Wrists crossed. Gun on top. Light on bottom. I have changed where I wear my watch from left wrist to right wrist, as a result of this. If I have the light clipped in my pocket, I make sure that it is in the left front pocket in case I need to access it along with my firearm. I don't mess around. Cell phone is also on the left in case I need to hold someone at gun point and make the call to 9-11.

          https://imgur.com/a/7oNJu

          Stay safe.
          Last edited by BA1970; 04-09-2018, 11:30 PM.
          sigpic
          Brandon (and Maddie, RIP)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TKite View Post
            I understand the use dictates the 'button' type switch, but I have no faith in those switches after so many failures from several different brands. I look forward to you returning to us with your real world feedback on this flashlight after continued use.
            I have never had a failure with Streamlight. I know several police officers who have personally recommended this brand to me. They took it right off of their vests and showed me. So, if it's good enough for the cops, it's good enough for me.
            sigpic
            Brandon (and Maddie, RIP)

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, I just had gotten done looking up this particular model online earlier - quite a few failures. That does not mean it's a dud, but I'd like to see some long term everyday carry type reports later on them. If they fail in a year, it's still no good. I have had several name brand push button flashlights fail on me - I'm not buying another in the forseeable future.


              Originally posted by BA1970 View Post

              I have never had a failure with Streamlight. I know several police officers who have personally recommended this brand to me. They took it right off of their vests and showed me. So, if it's good enough for the cops, it's good enough for me.
              TKite,
              Hydronaut

              I need a new watch

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TKite View Post
                Well, I just had gotten done looking up this particular model online earlier - quite a few failures. That does not mean it's a dud, but I'd like to see some long term everyday carry type reports later on them. If they fail in a year, it's still no good. I have had several name brand push button flashlights fail on me - I'm not buying another in the forseeable future.



                And these lights are expensive, too. Mine was $100 at Cabela's. You can get them for less on Amazon. I would definitely use their warranty program and send it back should there be a problem.
                Last edited by BA1970; 04-10-2018, 12:02 PM.
                sigpic
                Brandon (and Maddie, RIP)

                Comment


                • #9
                  TKite, wanted a long time review so here is a 3 month review so far. Have used this light at the very LEAST once a day at night charging up the lume on my watch at bed time. Other times it has been used for things go bump in the night outside quite a few times. It has also been carried extensively when going out at night, and even once ruined some guys night, not sure what he was up to but it was definitely no good.

                  So far after 3 months use I have had to replace one battery, and that's the extent of maintenance. It has performed every bit as well as I hoped when I bought it. No problems with switches, clips or any other component. Brightness is spot on for what I want. When I used to to highlight a lowlife he was blinded and somewhat disoriented, while my vison was not badly interfered with. I find there is a bit of a difference in brightness between AA alkaline and CR123 batteries with the CR123 being probably 25% brighter, but that is to be expected. I have yet to try out a AA lithium, but I would expect it to fall somewhere in between the other two battery types in both run time and brightness.

                  Overall, so far am very happy with tis performance. Will try to remember to revisit this thread at a later date.
                  sigpic Let the music be your Master, will you heed the Master's call?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the feedback, I look forward to hearing further updates. I bought a couple of cheap COAST brand lights at home depot for now - might invest if your light keeps shining (yes that was a joke, though bad haha).
                    TKite,
                    Hydronaut

                    I need a new watch

                    Comment

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