Every day, I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience, and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Streamlight ProTac 1L Dual Fuel Tactical Light. As many of you know, when it comes to compact EDC lights, I have always avoided lights that use CR123 Batteries. Not because I hated them per se. Certainly not because I didn’t think they actually worked better from a pure performance standpoint. No, only because they are what I consider non-standard.
Here is what I mean: I have tons of rechargeable AA batteries, and I know many of you do as well. All my remote controls use AA; lawn lights with little solar panels use rechargeable AA. Every store that sells batteries, down to a 7-11, has AAs. I mean, you get it, right? I have often said if batteries were shotgun shells, the AA would be a 12 gauge, and AAA would be the 20. You can get the darn things anywhere, and they are both used in the most common devices. Heck, even my automatic window shades are powered by, you guessed it, AA batteries.
This has led me to standardize on AA and AAA batteries for most things, along with D-Cells for larger lights like the MagLite Flashlights I recommend. Now, yes, I can buy 123s, and yes, I can store extras, but I can’t just scavenge or get them anywhere. So when this light came on my radar, bells went off.
“What if I Told You, Neo, that Your Compact Light Could Have an Either-Or Option?”
Say what? That’s right, the Streamlight ProTac 1L Dual Fuel Tactical Light can use both CR123 or AAs. I know this sounds like crazy talk, but the solution was pretty simple. Streamlight simply made the case of the light large enough to fit a CR123, then they put a lip on it to hold it at the shorter length. To accommodate the AA past the lip, there is a smaller diameter where a spring below the negative contact allows the AA to go in further.
The result? With the CR123 battery installed, you get beyond exceptional performance with 350 lumens; 6,400 candela; 160-meter beam; runs 1.5 hours. This is just not possible with a single AA, but AA is no slouch, offering the following performance specs: 150 lumens; 2,750 candela; 105-meter beam; runs 1 hour 20 minutes (alkaline); runs 4.25 hours (lithium).
So you get the option to use the higher-end CR123 but can always default back to an AA if you need to. And with that, I am sold. I have been carrying this light for a while to put it through its paces and now am happy to recommend it. It does have more bulk than the Streamlight MicroStream, but it has, even with an AA, a lot more power. Both have a place, and I show the difference in the video in the PS.
Let’s finish up with some features and benefits of the Streamlight ProTac 1L Dual Fuel Tactical Light. First, you don’t have to use it on full power; a simple double push of the switch will get you to a lower light mode. In that mode, the CR123 will give you 40 lumens; 720 candela; 53-meter beam; runs 14 hours. That is almost as bright as the MicroStream at full power. AA on low power mode has almost the same performance.
The strobe effect is great, and everyone realizes that it is a very disorienting thing to have a 350-lumen light strobing in your eyes, so it is a good self-defense option in the dark. Have you ever thought, though, that it can help you be found? Whether lost in the woods or in a large crowd in contact, say by phone with a counterparty, that strobe is very visible even at a considerable distance. For fun, video creators can even use it for a strobe effect, or heck, play some techno music, kill the main lights at your next party, and set it on the table.
As always with StreamLight, though, it is to me about value for the money. I have sold literally thousands of various StreamLight models over the years; no one ever complains about them. They are just quality through and through. So much so that this specific light is often counterfeited. In other words, don’t buy one on eBay or from any unknown seller. There is info on this in the Amazon reviews on the product page listing about this.
My point is StreamLight is top quality. Similar products that don’t take both CR123s and AAs force you into the 123 platform and cost 2-4X the cost of the Streamlight ProTac 1L, which comes in at only 35 bucks. Finally, one thing I absolutely love about the MicroStream is the dual clip, allowing you to carry the light as typically clipped in a pocket. It also allows you to attach it to the brim of a cap and have a hands-free headlight. I am happy to report the Streamlight ProTac 1L also does this.
So if, like me, you appreciate the performance of the CR123 but don’t like being locked into a non-standard battery, check out the Streamlight ProTac 1L Dual Fuel Tactical Light. At 30 bucks for this level of quality and performance, you simply can’t go wrong.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
P.S. – This little light is bad ass, I really love it and I bet you will too. I also bet someone you know would love it and the Holidays are coming hard and fast. Also check out this video showing the ProTac and the MicroStream side by side to see how the Dual Fuel works and get a good comparison of the two.