'SHOT SHOW Special' Review: Streamlight ProTac HL3 rubber grip (3xCR123)

subwoofer

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
2,498
Location
Hove, UK
SubwooferShotShowSpecial-fromVector-RGB%20copy.jpg


'SHOT SHOW Specials' are a series of reviews inspired by, or as a consequence of, my visit to the SHOT SHOW 2015.
These may contain photos taken while travelling, and may be of a slightly different format.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Streamlight have entered the compact 1000+ lumens market with the ProTac HL3, which also featuring their TEN-TAP Programming, to allow you choose which modes are available. With this SHOT Show sample you can see the forthcoming rubber grip, making the HL3 more comfortable to hold, especially in colder climates and better grip.

02%20Protac%20HL3%20angle%20P1050842.jpg




Taking a more detailed look:

This ProTac HL3 is wearing its new rubber overcoat.

01%20Protac%20HL3%20angle%20P1050838.jpg



The moulding in the rubber is crisp.

03%20Protac%20HL3%20rubber%20grip%20P1050841.jpg



With one side having the model, and the other having Streamlight's logo and the TEN-TAP Programming legend.

04%20Protac%20HL3%20rubber%20grip%20P1050844.jpg



The HL3 next to the three CR123s that power it.

05%20Protac%20HL3%20cells%20P1050847.jpg



Here are the contacts inside the tailcap.

06%20Protac%20tailcap%20P1050850.jpg



The threads are fully anodised and cleanly cut truncated standard threads.

07%20Protac%20HL3%20threads%20P1050853.jpg



A good sized and deep reflector give the HL3's beam its power.

09%20Protac%20HL3%20reflector%20P1050867.jpg



With an XM-L2 LED

10%20Protac%20HL3%20LED%20P1050868.jpg



Semi-recessed, the soft rubber switch boot features the Streamlight logo.

11%20Protac%20HL3%20tailcap%20switch%20P1050878.jpg



For an idea of size, here is the HL3 amongst a batch of lights on test.

From left to right these are: Olight S10R, Olight S15R, Olight S30R, FOURSEVENS Bolt-Action, FOURSEVENS Preon P2, FOURSEVENS MMU-X3R, Streamlight ProTac HL3, MAG-LITE XL200, NITECORE TM06, Lumintop ED20-T, V54 DC25Cvn and the Streamlight Siege AA.

Size%20lineup%20batch%201%20P1060483.jpg




The beam

The good-sized deep reflector of the ProTac HL3 provides a well-focussed beam, though this narrows the spill.

HL3%20indoor%20beam.jpg

Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball "Off-White", and the walls are a light sandy colour called 'String' again by Farrow & Ball. I don't actually have a 'white wall' in the house to use for this, and the wife won't have one!



Taking a known comparison, first we can see the Fenix TK41.

22%20TK41%20outdoor%20comparison%20P1060537.jpg



At exactly the same exposure the HL3 proves itself to be very capable.

HL3%20outdoor%20beam.jpg




Modes and User Interface:

Keeping things simple, the HL3 has a total of three modes available, High, Low and Strobe.

With a forward-click switch the HL3 has momentary operation. There is no memory.

TEN-TAP programming allows the user to pre-select the mode set that is available. These are:

High-Strobe-Low (Factory Default)
High Only
Low-High

To choose the mode set, from OFF, tap the switch rapidly 9 times (within 0.4 seconds per tap) and hold it down the 10th time. Continue holding the switch until the light turns off (after approximately 1 second), then release the switch.

Whatever the first mode of the chosen mode set is what the HL3 will always first come on with. To use the next mode, you need to use a rapid multi-tap on the switch.

For example with the default mode set, one tap gives High, a rapid double tap gives Strobe, and a rapid triple tap gives Low.

Personally I prefer the HL3 with the Low-High mode set.



Batteries and output:

The ProTac HL3 takes 3 x CR123. No alternatives are specificed.

To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.

Streamlight ProTac HL3I.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
High11400
Low39285
Strobe61611.9

Peak beam intensity/beam range measures at – 37100lux – 385m

After the initial drop from the maximum output at switch on, the HL3 then gradually reduces output from the 1140 ANSI output down to 650 lumens over a period of 7 minutes. There is then a 29 minute regulated output phase, maintaining the 650 lumens, until the CR123s start to weaken. Output then trails off approaching ANSI cut-off at around 1 hour and 4 minutes.

Streamlight%20HL3%20runtime%20CR123.jpg




Troubleshooting

This is a new section I am adding to mention any minor niggles I came across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

Nothing to report so far.

As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.



The HL3 in use

Stepping up from the most common 2 x CR123 to 3 x CR123 gives the HL3 extra punch. The additional length combined with the rubber sleeved battery tube provides a more substantial feel to this light while still remaining relatively compact.

I may have a particular sensitivity of PWM, and I do notice PWM effects using the Low mode.

Being able to easily choose the set of available modes using the TEN-TAP programming makes a big difference to usability. As mentioned earlier I have the HL3 set on Low-High, but also use High only from time to time.

Streamlight's ProTac HL3 also uses one of my favourite interfaces for mode selection. No memory means you always know what it will start on. Requiring rapid taps to change modes means that you have to positively try to change mode, rather than having instances where you accidentally change mode when turning the light on and off a few times.



Review Summary
Things I likeWhat doesn't work so well
TEN-TAP ProgrammingPWM noticeable in low
1140 lumen maximum outputLimited number of output modes
Excellent 'rapid tap' mode selectionOnly runs on 3 x CR123
Good power and throw
Comfortable rubber grip



If you enjoyed the review, please remember to 'Like' me on Facebook

SubwooferAnimationV3.gif
 
Last edited:

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
Thanks for the review.

I ran into a fellow "Newbie" flashaholic on the trail a few months ago. He was more than amazed w/ my modded throwers! The next time I saw him with excitement originating from the inspiration of my lights[that is what he said!] he was sporting a similar version of this light? His[maybe the revised version?] takes CR123 or RCR123's[16340's].Another difference[cosmetic] is his is ALL Aluminum w/ no rubber grip.I am guessing the shot show version was pre production?

It is a nice light,but a HUGE negative are the batteries. The website states 2 hours on max. He told me he gets 25 minutes,,,,30 minutes at most.Too bad they did not make it an 18650 light or alternative.

The company that makes these is 7 miles from my house in Eagleville, Pa. Most of the cops in my area use Streamlights.

Unlike the general public, A Cop told me they can actually go to the plant for replacement or repair!

EDIT: I just noticed the manual says DO NOT use RCR123's!!! That makes this light even more unattractive! Short run times and throw away/recycleable batteries! Next time I see him I think I will mention that to him,,,,,,,,,,his torch might be fried!
 
Last edited:

musket3

Member
Joined
May 20, 2009
Messages
5
Location
new jersey
Why can't it run on 2- 17500 cells?
My Surefire M3LT-S normally uses 3-123 batteries. I have 2- 17500's in it now and it works fine.
 

subwoofer

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
2,498
Location
Hove, UK
EDIT: I just noticed the manual says DO NOT use RCR123's!!! That makes this light even more unattractive! Short run times and throw away/recycleable batteries! Next time I see him I think I will mention that to him,,,,,,,,,,his torch might be fried!

Protected RCRs won't even fit in the tube. They stick out so you can't get the tailcap on properly.

Why can't it run on 2- 17500 cells?
My Surefire M3LT-S normally uses 3-123 batteries. I have 2- 17500's in it now and it works fine.

It probably can. I don't have any 17500 cells to try it. They are not officially supported, but with all the Streamlights I've tested prior to this light I've found an alternative even if it is to use one or two RCR123s and a spacer to keep the voltage in the supported range.

I was considering a 17670 with CR123 spacer, but with the High output a 17670 will struggle to keep 1100 lumens running and might trip the protection.
 

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
subwoofer:

Protected RCRs won't even fit in the tube. They stick out so you can't get the tailcap on properly.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Well,somehow he got them in,,,,,,,,,,,he took them out and showed them to me. I do not recall the brand,maybe IMR flat tops?
 

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
Maybe LiPo's?

I don't know. I am waiting for him to call me back! I do not know much about LiPo's either! I googled it and they say they come in a pouch not in cylinder form?!! These looked liked cr123/16340 batteries,,3 individual batteries he pulled out and said that they were rechargeable?! :thinking:
 

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
Last edited:

RI Chevy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
3,600
Location
Ocean State
I think they are basically the same type of cell, but I am a little confused as to the link referring to the 3.2v's, as well as the 4.2v's. They should be totally different battery chemistries.
 

bladesmith3

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
565
Location
colorado springs
I have used the k2 batteries safely in lights made for cr123a batteries. I charge them in the tenergy charger. they work fine but do not have much capacity IMHO
 

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
I have used the k2 batteries safely in lights made for cr123a batteries. I charge them in the tenergy charger. they work fine but do not have much capacity IMHO

So you think this guy is ok using these? His light won't blow up will it??!! I printed out the instructions and warranty for him.

This is what it says in the beginning of the warranty:

STREAMLIGHT PROTAC HL
®
3
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


Note:
This product is not designed to use rechargeable CR123 cells.:eek:
 
Last edited:

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
I think they are basically the same type of cell, but I am a little confused as to the link referring to the 3.2v's, as well as the 4.2v's. They should be totally different battery chemistries.


It just says charge them from 3.65v to 4.2v.:shrug:

K2 Energy 3.2V 600mAh LFP123A Li-Ion Battery batteries are made out of K2's patented LFP chemistry. LFP is a safer lithium that doesn't have thermal stability problems. Recharge it 1000's of times. Charge from 3.65 to 4.2 volts and discharged down to 1.0 volt. Average operating voltage is 3.2 volts.
 

RI Chevy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
3,600
Location
Ocean State
I think the manual was referring to Li Ion 4.2v cells as they are more common than the lifepo 3.2v cells. Lifepo cells should not be charged up to 4.2v's, or at least that was my assumption.
 

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
I think the manual was referring to Li Ion 4.2v cells as they are more common than the lifepo 3.2v cells. Lifepo cells should not be charged up to 4.2v's, or at least that was my assumption.

I don't believe the cells w/ the link I provided are LiPo 3.2v,they are 3.2V but a different chemistry I think,,,at least that is what it sounds like from their description. They do not mention LiPo.

I am meeting him at 8 tonight. His streamlight will look like a match compared to my TK75vn KT!!! I know it is not a fair comparison. I have met this guy 3 times on the trail. He is in AWE of my modded throwers.

Under chemistry it just says L.Ion

Output Voltage3.2V
SKULFP123A
UPC026190040138
Voltage3.2V
Amperage/Capacity600mAh
ChemistryLi-Ion, Lithium Ion
Approximate Length33.5mm
Approximate Diameter16.3mm
Product Weight (lbs)0.1
RechargeableYes
 
Last edited:

RI Chevy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
3,600
Location
Ocean State
Not sure. I just looked at them again. It shows LFP123A cell chemistry. That is what I know to be a Lifepo 3.2v cell. ???
Not sure why the link refers to them as Li Ion.
 

Capolini

Banned
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
5,947
Location
Valley Forge, Pa.
Not sure. I just looked at them again. It shows LFP123A cell chemistry. That is what I know to be a Lifepo 3.2v cell. ???
Not sure why the link refers to them as Li Ion.


Just got back. He showed me the batteries and they have Lithium Ion printed on them.

Who knows,all I know is he was in AWE of my TK75vn and wants a light like that!!
 
Top