The Streamlight TLR-7 weapon-mounted tactical light was first showcased at SHOT Show 2018 earlier this year and is now the latest addition to Streamlight’s celebrated TLR line. Though each TLR predecessor holds its own, the TLR-7 is by far the boldest of the pack. In fact, it is one of the best tactical lights available on the market.


  • 500 lumens: 4,300 candela
  • Beam distance: 131 meters
  • Runtime: 1.5 hours
  • Length: 2.15”
  • Width: 1.18”
  • Height: 1.27”
  • Weight: 2.40 oz with battery
  • CR123A lithium battery
  • Operating temperature: -40°F to +120°F
  • IPX7; waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes
  • Features
    -Constant-on operation and momentary operation.
    -“Safe off” feature on bezel
    -User-enabled strobe function
    -Ambidextrous operation

If you aren’t familiar with Streamlight, allow me to quickly get you acquainted. Streamlight offers an outstanding line of products from headlamps and handheld flashlights to weapon-mounted tactical lights. Each of their lights performs exceptionally well so you’ll often hear their lights being recommended as inexpensive alternatives to other reputable brands like Surefire. Though the comparisons instill good faith in new Streamlight customers, I and many others believe Streamlight has established itself as one of the most reputable light manufacturers on the market today.

Streamlight TLR-7: Setting a new standard for pistol lights
The TLR-7 is brighter and lighter as well as more compact than most of its predecessors.

A smaller, lighter, and brighter pistol light
On paper, the TLR-7 is the ideal weapon light for your handgun. Most pistol lights offer a range of 100-300 lumens, the TLR-7 boasts 500. Admittedly 500 lumens isn’t significantly brighter than 300 but will still do a better job lighting a bigger room. The TLR-7 sits right at the threshold between practical and overkill, it fills your average room but won’t leave you too disoriented if your light reflects back from any objects or a mirror. Though the TLR-7 is one of the brighter lights on the market, it wouldn’t have been apparent given its size and weight. The TLR-7 is one of the brightest of the TLR models, yet it’s also smaller and lighter. The lens of the TLR-7 doesn’t protrude past the muzzle of my Glock and although it still does collect carbon, I like how flush it sits on my handgun.

Streamlight TLR-7: Setting a new standard for pistol lights
Side-by-side comparison of the TLR-1 and the TLR-7

Using the TLR-7
The TLR-7 has a constant-on and momentary operation. To enable the constant-on function, the user just needs to tap the on/off button on either side of the light. To enable the momentary-on function, the user holds down the on/off button; upon releasing the on/off button, the light immediately shuts off. The momentary light function is one of the most important features in a weapon light, and TLR-7‘s on/off button is efficient and easy to manipulate. Having used both the on/off switch (such the ones on the older TLR models) and the on/off button on the TLR-7, I’m much fonder of the simpler on/off button. Additionally, the TLR-7 has a “safe off” feature located on the bezel of the light. A twist of the bezel will keep the light from turning on even if the on/off button was pressed.

Streamlight TLR-7: Setting a new standard for pistol lights
Older TLR models such as the TLR-1 featured an on/off switch. The on/off button on the TLR-7 is simpler and easier to operate.

The verdict

The good
-500 lumens
-Ease of use

The bad
-None so far

You’d be hard-pressed to find another weapon light that matches up to the TLR-7. Its 500 lumens output does a great job of lighting up every room of your house and offers a respective beam distance outdoors to identify targets. To recap, the TLR-7 is bright (but not too bright), more lightweight and compact than other lights, and is easy to manipulate. At the time of writing this article, the v sells for a little over a $100.

Join the discussion and let us know what you think.

All photos courtesy of the author, Matt Jin