Streamlight PROTAC 1L Review: Compact EDC Light With Punch
EDC Flashlight selection will always depend on your everyday requirements. For those who want minimalist design and generally don’t require a flashlight for work or routine tasks, the Streamlight PROTAC 1L provides a well constructed multifunction package that fits snug in the palm of your hand or in your pocket. For well under $40, Streamlight has built a value added mini light offering almost 2 full hours of high brightness, 14 hours of low setting, and a self defense strobe light.
Construction & Size – Solid black anodized aluminum body provides a nice feel and weight to it. It measures exactly 3 1/4″ and fits just right in a medium size palm. Although perfectly fine for larger hands, some may find their thumb may overextend, preventing them from easily using the on/off tail switch. If you’re purchasing as a backup light to your main carry light, you probably won’t see this as a showstopping issue. At the end of the day it is small yet workable. The 1L easily slips into any pocket or even the change pocket of your jeans.
Brightness – The 110 LED lumen high setting gives one a clear and bright line of sight within the manufacturer’s suggested distance of 95 meters. In backyard woods with no light available, the PROTAC 1L is no spotlight but definitely makes itself known in the dark. We were able to distinguish man made features on trees from a distance of 25/50/100 meters, illuminate dark blind spots, and view wooded paths clearly on the high setting. The 12 lumen setting packs a small punch up to 30 meters and does its job well for a quick light on dark areas. You can easily get by with this setting in dark woods – especially if you wanted to preserve battery life.
Strobe – Don’t expect the included strobe feature to fully decimate one’s vision but it is formidable for a light of this size and brightness level. Imagine staring a disco strobe light that is set at a slightly faster and brighter intensity. You can get away with staring or glaring at it, albeit for a very uncomfortable price. The longer you stare, the worst it gets (duh). We don’t often stare at strobe lights here at GunSpec, but this one left a nice giant O ring light impression burned into our retinas in short time. In a life or death situation, the PROTAC 1L will do the job required to give you the precious time you need to make a move.
Operation - Operation comes from the tail cap and we have to note here it’s nice to have a light that gives you “constant on” for all three settings and not just this ability for the high setting. By slightly pressing the tail cap inward, you can momentarily activate the PROTAC 1L on high brightness. A full click through of the tail cap while still on the high setting gives you a constant on setting. Similarly, you can do this with the strobe and low setting. Momentarily double pressing the tail cap gives you the temporary strobe feature. While the strobe is still activated, press the tail cap in further to keep the light set to constant strobe. For the low setting, it is a slight triple press of the tail cap. To keep the low setting constant, activate your momentary low setting, then press the cap inward for constant on. One concern was the strobe operation – you could, possibly, under stress slip up and activate the low setting instead of the strobe. However, with practice this should not be a problem.
Battery Life – We found battery life to be in accordance with the manufacturer’s information. In fact, we actually were able to squeeze another 30 minutes into the low setting for a total of 14.5 hours on contant low. It was insignificant in terms of brightness but enough to read in the dark. For high setting, we came in just under 1 hour, 47 minutes. Of course, battery quality can mean different results but we were impressed. For the record, we did not test the strobe duration for battery life.
Ingenuity – Overall the PROTAC 1L is a mini package carrying considerable punch. You could easily use this as a go-to light or backup light. The included belt clip is solid and does not slip or loosen. The light end and tail cap end both have a low profile machined crown on either end for added protection or perhaps to act as a “last ditch” strike bezel. We especially like the weight – solid yet unnoticeable in your pocket.The light is also water resistant to 1 meter in depth.
Accessories - PROTAC 1L includes one DuracellCR-123A lithium battery as well as a small nylon velcro belt pouch. The pouch is not first class, but works fine and is a nice value add included with your light.
Streamlight’s PROTAC 1L provides micro light feel with formidable performance in the palm of your hand. For EDC, you have a self defense tool and everyday light that will serve you well. For some, hand sizes may affect operation, but at the end of the day the PROTAC is sized exactly where it should be for most. It offers itself as a compact backup or primary light designed to be unobtrusive but still powerful.
Streamlight PROTAC 1L AT-A-Glance
High Setting – 110 Lumens, 1 hour 45 minutes
Low Setting – 12 Lumens, 14 hours
Range – High 95m, Low 30m
Anodized Aluminum Construction
Tempered Glass Face
Removable Pocket Clip
Anti-Roll Face Cap
CR-123A 3-volt lithium battery
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