Streamlight ProTac HL LED Flashlight Review

Streamlight’s ProTac HL “High Lumen” Tactical Light is a programmable high-output handheld light with 600 lumens of intense white light. In addition to leading-edge performance, the ProTac HL is also the first to feature Streamlight’s TEN-TAP Programming, which allows the user to customize the light by choosing between three different function sets. Powered by two 123A lithium batteries, the ProTac HL has a runtime of just over an hour on high and up to 18 hours on low mode.

Key Specifications

  • Output: 600 lumens high, 35 lumens low
  • Intensity: 16,000 candela
  • Runtime: 1h 15min high, 18h low
  • Battery: 2 x 123A
  • Length: 5.4″
  • Diameter: 1.5″ bezel, 1.0″ body
  • Weight with Batteries: 5.6 oz.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • MSRP: $130
  • Actual Pricing: ~$75

Pricing & Contents

MSRP for the ProTac HL is $130, and the light is only available in black.

Included in the box are: Streamlight ProTac HL, 2 x 123A lithium batteries, and nylon holster.

Batteries

As with many tactical lights, the ProTac HL uses two 123A lithium batteries.

Lithium batteries have higher energy density than regular batteries, so low-quality or counterfeit batteries can be dangerous to use. Streamlight recommends using only quality lithium batteries from Duracell, Energizer, Panasonic, or Streamlight.

The Light

With its two 123A form factor and a body diameter of one inch, the ProTac HL is easy to hold and grip. For durability, the aluminum body is type-II anodized and has a matte finish.

Head
Behind the crenelated bezel is a glass window and textured aluminum reflector.

Body
Smooth knurling along the body of the ProTac HL provides grip, and the forward-facing pocket clip is removable.

Tail Cap
Textured black rubber covers the forward click switch, which is shrouded to prevent accidental activation.

Function Sets

Streamlight’s new TEN-TAP Programming allows you to choose between three different function sets, making the ProTac HL suitable for both practical and tactical use. To change the function set, simply tap the switch nine times, each time within 0.4 seconds, and hold the switch on the tenth time until the light turns off.

High/Strobe/Low (Default)
Press once for high, press twice within 0.4 seconds for strobe, and press three times within 0.4 seconds for low.

High Only
Keeping things simple, this single-output function set is ideal for tactical use.

Low/High
Press once for low, or press twice within 0.4 seconds for high.

Modes

Up to three modes are available, depending on which function set is activated.

High
Maximum output of 600 lumens.

Strobe
With two clicks in the High/Strobe/Low function set, the 100% strobe mode is activated.

Low
Reduced power output of 33 lumens. In the High/Strobe/Low function set, the light will briefly strobe before low can be activated.

Performance

Using a Cree XM-L LED, the ProTac HL has a maximum output of 600 lumens. As efficient as LEDs are, they still produce heat, and the ProTac HL does get fairly warm after several minutes of use.

Beam profile is smooth and wide, as expected with a textured reflector.

Runtime

If you haven’t read our article about runtime graphs and the ANSI FL1 Standard, please click here.

When using lithium primary batteries, runtime is regulated for just over 30 minutes, with a total runtime of 1 hour 15 minutes. Rechargeable lithium-iron phosphate 123A’s can also be used, which provide approximately half the runtime of primary batteries.

Accessories

Bundled with the light is an expandable nylon holster, which is a little bit too small for the ProTac HL.

Conclusion

Programmability is slowly making its way into LED flashlights, and the ProTac HL is the first light from Streamlight to feature user-selectable function sets. Between these three function sets and an output of 600 lumens, the ProTac HL is a great choice for both tactical and non-tactical use. The ProTac HL is also priced competitively, below $80 at most retailers.

Our only complaint is with the included holster, which doesn’t keep its shape or fully close, making it difficult to holster the light quickly. If you are considering the ProTac HL for duty use, you may want to invest in purchasing a more rigid holster. Otherwise, we would not hesitate to recommend the Streamlight ProTac HL if you are looking for a light with the best price-performance ratio.


Pros Cons
  • Maximum output of 600 lumens
  • High, low, and strobe modes
  • User-programmable function sets
  • Smooth beam pattern
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Included holster is too small and soft

Related Links

Streamlight ProTac HL Product Page

Download the Streamlight ProTac HL Fact Sheet

Download the Streamlight ProTac HL Info Sheet

20 Responses to “Streamlight ProTac HL LED Flashlight Review”

  1. George says:

    Hi Robin, thanks a lot for your impressive review. Seems its ten-tap programming is not quite user-friendly.

  2. Robin Wang says:

    George,

    I’m curious as to why you don’t find it user-friendly?

    I would assume that amount of taps required would prevent users from accidentally changing the function set during use.

    Robin

  3. George says:

    Hi Robin, I agreed with you on this. May I also ask your recommendation between the SUREFIRE P2X and Streamlight ProTac HL? Thank you.

    George

  4. Robin Wang says:

    George,

    The ProTac HL is less expensive and also more flexible because of programmability, but it does use PWM (pulse width modulation) for low output. If you are bothered by PWM, SureFire uses current control.

    Furthermore, SureFire now offers multiple versions of the P2X Fury, including models where high output comes on first. Both are great lights, so ultimately it would depend on your preferences and requirements.

    Robin

  5. Aaron says:

    Robin you mention that new versions of the Fury have a high-THEN-low functionality but I can’t find any mention of that anywhere. Can you point me to where I could find one?

    Thanks,
    Aaron

  6. Robin Wang says:

    Aaron,

    Tactical, Defender, and CombatLight versions of the Fury are single-output 500 lumen lights. There aren’t any other dual-output versions of the Fury other than the original P2X. Sorry for the confusion.

    Robin

  7. Ghost says:

    Will this flashlight fit in the Blackhawk Mod-U-Lok Flashlight Holder?

  8. Aaron says:

    Bummer, but thanks for the info!

  9. Evan says:

    How do these things do in a super heated environment like a structure fire? The 600 lumens would be great in some smoky environments as well as the low beam for extrication at night.

  10. Robin Wang says:

    Evan,

    Actually, this light would not be a good choice for fire/rescue. Smoke reflects light, and the ProTac HL’s floody beam would not be able to penetrate, potentially blinding you with the reflection.

    Streamlight makes many lights specifically for fire/rescue, so I would recommend considering those products instead. If you want to be able to cut through smoke, you’ll need a higher peak beam intensity.

    Robin

  11. Doug says:

    Any recommendations on a holster for this light? I work in corrections and need something for a duty belt that will hold up to heavy use.

  12. steve says:

    can i use rechargeable battery with this
    flashlight or can be really dangerous

  13. Robin Wang says:

    Steve,

    Lithium-phosphate rechargeable batteries are safe to use. With lithium-ion rechargeables, you need to be aware of the risks involved.

    We do not recommend using lithium-ion rechargeables in any light that is not specifically designed for these types of batteries.

    Robin

  14. Drew says:

    Hello Robin,

    In reference to, “The ProTac HL is less expensive and also more flexible because of programmability, but it does use PWM (pulse width modulation) for low output. If you are bothered by PWM, SureFire uses current control.” What is PWM and why would anyone be bothered by it?

    Drew

  15. Robin Wang says:

    Drew,

    PWM is an easy method of getting multiple output levels. It basically flashes the light very rapidly at a fixed frequency, and the duration of these pulses determines “brightness” as we see it. Maximum output is always on, or 100% duty cycle, and output is reduced by decreasing duty cycle (less on-time compared to off-time). Most of us are unable to perceive the high speed flashing, but some people are sensitive to this, especially if the PWM frequency is too low.

    An alternative approach to PWM is by limiting current, which is what SureFire uses. The downside of current control is that at low currents, LED tint shifts to a yellow-green color. With PWM, tint is consistent as the LED is always driven at full power.

    Hope this helps.

    Robin

  16. bob says:

    will the protac hl fit in the blackhawk mod u lok?? if not, do you recommend a holster to use with duty belt?

    thanks,

    bob

  17. Andrew says:

    Hi Robin,

    In terms of brightness, how does this flashlight’s 600lm compared to surefire 500lm?
    Which one is brighter?

    Thanks

  18. Robin Wang says:

    Andrew,

    With higher output, as well as higher peak beam intensity, the ProTac HL is slightly brighter. However, the difference is really not all that significant, and you lose about 15 minutes of runtime.

    Robin

  19. Joe Ybarra says:

    Where can I get my light fixed at. I added newbatteries but won’t turn on I have always took care of it I just need to get it fixed

  20. Robin Wang says:

    Joe,

    Try shorting the back of the battery to the edge of the battery tube and see if that works. If so, the switch is bad. Otherwise, call Streamlight at 800-523-7488 and they will take care of it.

    Robin

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