Flashlight Review: Streamlight ProTac HL Headlamp

    Headlamps have been around for a long time and have evolved from the large and helmet mounted lights used in mines, etc., to small and sleek headlights used today for sports, caving, hiking as well as being used in occupations.

    Compared to many recent lights, this Streamlight Headlight is on the large side physically and it makes the most of it in output.  It uses two CR123 cells to produce a rated 540/95/18 lumen output.  Specs from the Streamlight web site:











    In my sphere with the supplied Duracell CR123 batteries, I measured 500/80/20 lumen output.  Since I was unable to fully insert the body of the light into my sphere receiving tube, I have to believe that the differences are my error, not Streamlight’s.  This is VERY bright for a headlamp!

    The specs indicate the use of a CREE C4 LED.  It is a large LED that looks like an XML to me.  A beauty of a larger device like this light is that the physical size allows for a larger reflector and more heat sinking.




    The light is activated through a familiar “clicky” switch, mound on one side of the battery tube.  That switch/cap is removed to insert or remove the batteries, the aforementioned CR123.  The instructions say NOT to use rechargeable (3.7V) cells.  I did not try the 3.2V LiFeP04 cells, but if this light is like all the others I’ve used, those LiFeP04 cells should probably be okay.

    A nice added feature is a small level of programmability.  Through a simple 10 taps on the tail switch, you can change the light from the default “High/Medium/Low” to either High only or “Low/Medium/High”.  The light can also be operated in ‘momentary’ by simply pressing the switch without fully depressing it.



    The light is supplied with 2 different straps – one to wear on your head and one to use with a helmet.   The light also swivels up and down so you can adjust the angle relative to where you are facing.  In spite of the size of the light, it is actually quite comfortable to wear.  It  has a felt covered, large piece that fits against your forehead and covers enough area to avoid any pressure points.

    On head

    on helmet

    The beam is a nice combination of spot and spill – more spot made possible by the larger reflector:


    Like many LEDs I have seen, this one has a slight greenish tint.  It shows against a white surface, but in real use it typically is not an issue.  And the great news is that this light is very affordable.  It has a MSRP of $99.99, but I have seen it online for under $60.  The light comes packaged in a plastic blister pack with both straps, 2 Duracell CR123 batteries and instructions.

    in package


    Dan M

    Love firearms and flashlights – and they go well together. I’ve been admiring and writing about quality flashlights for about 10 years…built my own integrating sphere….done a few mods. Proof positive that a 60 year old can still love toys!