Which Streamlight TLR Weapon Light is Right for You?January 31, 2011
The Streamlight TLR family of weapon lights is one of the most popular series of weapon accessories in the Tactical and Law Enforcement product market. TLR gun lights are nearly indestructible, amazingly bright for their size and easily mountable on an incredibly wide range of firearms. Choosing to buy a TLR weapon light is easy. Choosing which Streamlight TLR to buy can be a little more complicated, which is why we're going to lay out your options here.
Let's start with the Streamlight TLR-1. This is the baseline product in the series. An amazingly bright little light that mounts easily on most firearms and sells for just over $100 currently at OpticsPlanet (a savings of 46% off list price!). There is also the TLR-1s. The "s" in this case stands for "strobe" - the TLR-1s comes with a strobe function that can be very disorienting to anyone on the other end of it. The 1s also has a slightly higher light output. There is no difference in price between the TLR-1 and the TLR-1s, so if you think the strobe function is something you might ever want to use, go ahead and get it. There is also a Streamlight TLR-1 IR which comes with an IR illuminator for use with night vision devices.
The next product in the series is the Streamlight TLR-2 (and TLR-2s). The TLR-2 is the TLR-1 with a laser sight added. This is a good thing. If you can add a laser sight to the TLR-1 while only adding half an ounce of weight, and less than 0.4 inches in height, it's a pretty easy choice to make, unless cost is an issue for you. The TLR-2 runs about $140 more than the TLR-1. It's an incredible value, and less than the cost of many laser sights alone, but if you can't swing it, the TLR-1 and TLR-3 (which we'll get to next) are still great options. Just as with the TLR-1s, the TLR-2s has a strobe light option and costs the same as the TLR-2. There is also a Streamlight TLR-2 IR version, but it is available only to law enforcement and military personnel.
The Streamlight TLR-3 is the ultra-compact weapon light in the series. It's perfect for compact guns and concealed carry. The light is a little less powerful than the TLR-1, but still very bright, as the C4 technology gives an output 2-3 times brighter than high flux LEDs. At only 2.32 oz and 2.7" x 1.2" x 1.8" this is probably the most compact and light-weight rail mounted light as you will find.
The last light in the series is the Streamlight TLR-VIR. The TLR-VIR features an infrared illuminator for use with night vision devices. It's heavier than the other models at 6 oz and pricier as well, but has a greater light and IR output than the TLR-1 IR and TLR-2 IR.
All in all, if you're looking for a great value on a weapon light, the Streamlight TLR family of products is as good as it gets. If you still have any questions about which TLR light is right for you, as always, getting answers is as easy as picking up the phone and calling OpticsPlanet!