HDS Systems        
Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    So I have been getting into incandescent lights a little bit again and got a great deal on a few of these. Wow. Old old school but damn things are bright, throw a ton and are way better then I thought they would be. Not really going anywhere with this post just wanted to voice my opinion 😁
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Does it have the adjustable beam? I bought an early version of the TL2 that was adjustable. Much like vintage lights adjusting to flood put out a donut hole in the beam and filament shadow but it was a cool idea anyway. To me the coolest idea was a Burgess that had a sliding collar that slid beside the bulb and blocked light from beside the bulb. That was until Tonys famous cam'd reflector.

    The TL3 was pretty dawg gone bright for such a small light. Those 3 extra volts looked like a lot more than that.
    John 3:16

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Ya it will adjust lol but if used with it not focused itís a pretty nasty looking beam.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Beamhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    gone "Squatchin" :p
    Posts
    4,183

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    One of my favorite old school lights. I had the Carley bulb in one what a monster.
    Quando Omni Flunkis Moritati

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    I have two of them. One has what looks like the standard bulb and itís bright as hell very little spill all throw. My other has a longer frosted bulb and that thing is fantastic! Totally different beam. Lots of spill and still a ton of throw. Not sure what bulb is in there but wouldnít mind getting a few more.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,982

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome
    Many people powered it by pair of 17500 and upgrade the bulb with CL1499
    but I went with
    2x18650 version and FM1794

  7. #7

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    I always wanted to like the TL-3, but never could because the bi-pin bulbs on mine would always pull out of the socket when I adjusted the focus. I'm not very trusting of bi-pin bulbs to begin with so that always kept me from hanging on to any TL-3's for long. They are really nice looking lights though.
    ampdude

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Really? Havenít had that happen to me yet. I know some take the small O-ring out of the reflector to help stop that from happening
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,982

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    the bi-pin bulbs on mine would always pull out of the socket
    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    some take the small O-ring out of the reflector to help stop that from happening
    Orange o'ring on reflector is designed for centering the bulb which is too tight and grabbing it with too much force causing the problem.
    If you remove it then you should manually center the bulb for best possible beam shape.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    I should mention that protected button top P17500's made by AW worked really well in the TL-3. They fit good and not too snug from what I remember. One of the reasons I hated getting rid of the TL-3's I had. Cool light with a nice deep reflector and decent throw if not for that (IMO serious) problem.
    ampdude

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Iím sorry, What serious problem?
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    Iím sorry, What serious problem?
    thermal guy, read the thread dude! Haha
    ampdude

  13. #13

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Regarding that "serious problem"...

    He is referring to the bi-pin bulb in the TL-3 that would on occasion pull out of the socket when you adjusted the focus. I had this happen to me many times. I even started a post about it on 10-28-2005. I just learned to adjust the beam the way I wanted it, made sure the bi-pin was seated well and then left it alone! But that didn't always take care of the problem. Sometimes the bi-pin would come loose through movement or a medium jolt. Really had to check it if you dropped it. At least with mine.

    I didn't rely on it in the field but I still have today. I still like it and would not consider getting rid of it. It is a good example of a throwy incandescent.

    I use rechargeable li-on's. I found that not all 17500's worked in the light at the time. I still am using two AW flat top 1100 mAh 17500's (the old ones in the blue wrappers) purchased in 2005 with a stock TL-3 bulb. I had tried Pila 150's that were used in my Surefire 9P but I couldn't get them to work in the TL-3.




  14. #14

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    NotRegulated,

    Yea, I just tried to stop adjusting it as well, but it still would pop out from time to time.. easily. It was a long time ago, but I seem to recall possibly the threads not being super tight so the head could jostle a little and after taking it out of a holster two or three times the lamp would be loose or fall out entirely. Maybe I'm overstating the problem on the ones I had, but it was enough to make me not use them and get rid of them. And I'm sure I never dropped one because I didn't feel they were reliable enough to take out of the basement of the house. I potted lamp assembly and a fixed focus head would have solved most of that light's problems. But now we're basically talking about a cheaper SF M3. Of which I already had plenty. So why bother with the TL-3 and its problems? At least that's how I thought about it back then, and still do.

    I used the button top AW's with no issues. I never tried the flat tops in the TL-3, but I would imagine having the same result as you of no issues with those either.
    Last edited by ampdude; 11-05-2020 at 11:42 PM.
    ampdude

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,982

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Bending bulb pins are exaggerated in picture to see and underestand how to do.
    You can slightly bend the pins without stress to glass. This will hold the bulb better.




    After installing clean bulb (with no finger touching) just put the head with single clockwise turn. (Not all the way)
    Turn light on and very slowely turn the head clockwise till see best focus. Do not turn counter clockwise.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Its funny how all those years I used an Incandescent Streamlight Stinger with no problems like I had with the TL-3. That also had bi-pin bulbs. I had both early model Stinger bezel with no rubber O-ring as well as the later versions with an O-ring.

    I too relied on my Surefires for everyday use along with the Stingers. And of course, an SL-20.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by fivemega View Post
    Bending bulb pins are exaggerated in picture to see and underestand how to do.
    You can slightly bend the pins without stress to glass. This will hold the bulb better.




    After installing clean bulb (with no finger touching) just put the head with single clockwise turn. (Not all the way)
    Turn light on and very slowely turn the head clockwise till see best focus. Do not turn counter clockwise.
    I have this FM custom 2x18650 TL-3 setup with CL1499 installed, from a >12-year-old purchase. When properly focused the setup yields a very throwy (albeit not clean) hotspot. Nevertheless, the problem with the bi-pin bulb being pulled off from the lamp base still persists (even with some leg bending). So my advice would be to slowly install the frontal reflector assy while focusing the beam. Once the beam is focused, do NOT go pass that point and leave it as is.

    On separate note, it turns out this LF tower module is compatible with the original stock incan TL-3 setup
    https://lumensfactory.com/en/product_detail.php?pid=380

    Just replace the stock bulb socket with the said module, and make sure the module sits properly on the head base (above the battery tube). The result is a very focused beam profile.

    Unfortunately, this tower module is NOT compatible with FM's TL-3 setup due to the inability of the tower module to sit properly. This has been repeatedly tested and verified by LF.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Stream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    I've had a TL-3 since probably around 2005, and with a pair of AW 17500s from the same year (they still work great after 16 years lol). I don't use it much anymore, but back in the day I would use it lots. I even dropped it on concrete a few times, the bulb never fell out, and I've never had the problem with the o-ring pulling out the bulb. But I do know that this is a lottery issue, one out of two SL Scorpions that I bought around the same time has this issue. Best solution is probably to remove the O-ring. Bending the pins doesn't work very well, and it's annoying not being able to focus the beam.

    Anyway, this light still sits on my shelf, and I take it out to play with it every now and then. It can't hold a candle compared to the brightness of modern LED lights, but it was the first really bright flashlight that I ever bought. I don't plan on ever getting rid of it, nor will I upgrade it to LED; LEDs just don't have the same magic and excitement as a quality incan. Bright lights are a dime a dozen these days, and I can get a 10x brighter light in any big box store with a cold white beam. But back in 2005 there was a world of difference between the average D-cell grocery store lights (which were about as bright as a match) and one of these lithium powered xenon monsters lol. It really takes me back.

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Sheís a great light. In fact itís damn near as bright as my surefire M4 with Tadís customs 400 lumen bi pin installed. Not sure whatís up with that.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    N. SD County
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Also have a TL3, with focusing feature (also a TL2, NF2, Scorpion, and Polytac incans, all NOS, have focusing beams).

    I run it on 2x16500 IMRs. A really nice incan light.

    I've also tried a Tad Customs 7212 bulb and works just fine. I even run a Tad 3718 bulb in my Scorpion, but limit it due to plastic lens.

    FM, that TL3 2x18650 looks very nice.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    The incan TL-3 had so much potential. I feel like a little more QC would have put it on a pedestal. The larger than average reflector for the light size was really nice as well.
    ampdude

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Absolutely. As I say itís very close to output and throw as my M4. The M4 is brighter with longer reach but not by much. It shocked me when I compared the two.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Stream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    Absolutely. As I say itís very close to output and throw as my M4. The M4 is brighter with longer reach but not by much. It shocked me when I compared the two.
    The TL-3 with the stock xenon bulb is supposed to be about 200 lumens, so the M4 should be twice as bright.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Stream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by rrego View Post

    I've also tried a Tad Customs 7212 bulb and works just fine. I even run a Tad 3718 bulb in my Scorpion, but limit it due to plastic lens.
    I happily ran my Scorpion with a TL-3 bulb and two RCR123s until I remembered that the lens is plastic LOL. Luckily it survived, and it was only slightly warped. This is why I wish I had a TL-2 with a glass lens, but they are so rare these days and I can't possibly justify paying $80 to $150 for one of the few that sometimes pop up on eBay. I guess I'll try to get a Strion bulb for the Scorpion, while also seeing if it's possible to get my hands on a 17670 battery -- difficult these days since li-ion batteries can't be shipped via airmail anymore.

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by Stream View Post
    The TL-3 with the stock xenon bulb is supposed to be about 200 lumens, so the M4 should be twice as bright.
    It aint. Trust me. Side by side the M4 is brighter but itís not that much of a difference.I know itís crazy but thatís what Iím seeing.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Stream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Does it have the stock bulb? Also, twice as bright usually won't look twice as bright to the naked eye.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    7,482

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Yes stock bulb in the TL3. 400 lumen in the M4. Yes double the output will not look twice as bright I get that what Iím saying is thereís just not enough difference to really matter. The M4 is a great light more then likely much better quality etc but honestly I was a little disappointed that it didnít blow my TL3 away.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,982

    Default Re: Streamlight TL3 is pretty awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by Stream View Post
    I guess I'll try Strion bulb for the Scorpion,
    These days, single 18650 can run Strion bulb twice longer time per charge than 17670 18650 Scorpion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stream View Post
    I happily ran my Scorpion with a TL-3 bulb and two RCR123s until I remembered that the lens is plastic LOL.
    Run time of RCR123s are too short. What about 2x17670


    Quote Originally Posted by Stream View Post
    I wish I had a TL-2 with a glass lens,
    Like these with pair of 18500 cells?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •