Review Guide – Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount HL X Weapon Light

streamlight protac hl x on IWI X95

In this review guide, let's check out the Streamlight Rail Mount ProTac HL X. This light is Streamlight's offering to compete among other long gun scout lights on the market.

Streamlight products are all duty grade products that can withstand rough handling, and the ProTac series weapon lights are no exception.

At the time of writing this review in 2021, the ProTac HL X has been on the market since Feb 2019 while other competing lights have hit the market afterward, and it's still a damn good light.

If you are a big Streamlight fan and wanting to know if the ProTac is the one to pick up over others, we will cover all the features of this high output light to give you as much information as possible include pros and cons.

Let's check it out.


Streamlight protac hl x light top view
  • Lumen - 1000 lm
  • Candela - 27600 cd
  • Beam distance - 332 meters
  • Mode - High, Low & Strobe (Programmable via TEN-TAP)
  • Battery - CR123A or B26 protected rechargeable battery
  • Waterproof - IPX7
  • Weight - 6.4 - 6.9 oz
  • Length - 5.43"

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What's Included In The Packaging

streamlight protac hl x rail mount packaging
streamlight protac hl x included items

The light comes in traditional Streamlight packaging with clear plastic box nothing fancy.

You get:


ProTac HL X Is Best Used For:

The Streamlight ProTac HL X is great for rifle based applications for indoor and outdoor (up to 80 yard of useful light)

  • Any subgun & long gun based applications
  • Vehicle stops and searches
  • Wide flood for large area illumination
  • Force on Force Training
  • Any low light applications

The ProTac HL X is Streamlight's competition entry to the long gun weapon light market with increased lumen and candela as the industry is pushing for more light output performance.


Core Performance Features

Lumen & Throw Performance

Pointing from 87 ft above down

streamlight protac hl x long range throw

ProTac HL X (~440ft) from elevated vantage point (87 ft up) 

The ProTact HL X has up to 1000 lumens intensity measured at the LED bulb, and the C4 LED provides plenty of brightness to see what you need to see indoor and outdoor, but that's not the most important spec.

Horizontal beam direction

streamlight protac HL X throw outdoor close up tree


The more important spec we care about is the 27,600 candela rating that has the ability to throw the light beam far for long-distance target ID in the dark.

So how many candela (cd) is a lot? Based on years of experience, cd ratings over 16,000 is great, and lights with candela ratings over 50k - 70k are undeniably amazing for long-range applications where the light hot spot stays tight, stays bright, and punches very far for threat control and for PID (Positive Identification)

As the tactical shooting community emphasizes more on candela performance over lumen, it's important to understand that lumen intensity is one part of the equation, but having more candela in the range between 20K to 90K is the current trend.

Light Beam Pattern

streamlight protac hl x warehouse alley throw
streamlight protac HL X vehicle search wide flood
streamlight protac hl x indoor throw and flood

The beam pattern of the ProTac HL X is a major spec that we paid attention to in order to decide if the light is good for CQB and long-range applications.

What's unique about it - The ProTac HL X has a similar beam pattern as the Surefire M600DF, which is more of a balanced beam between throw and flood for indoor and mid-range low light applications.

Generally speaking, a tactical light can't serve all functions at its peak without compromising in some aspects just like anything else.

streamlight protac HL X throw outdoor

~ 136 ft

Where does it fall short - The HL beam delivers a great close up performance, but the hot spot intensity fades off at a distance roughly past 120 yards, the target silhouette is visible but the details and the scene behind are very difficult to see in the dark if tree lines and other ambient lights in the environment get in the way.

Tail Cap & Light Activation

The ProTac HL X works with the tail cap switch or remote control pressure pad.

streamlight protac hl x pressure switch tail cap activation

In addition, the TEN-TAP® Programming system allows the selection of three different operating programs:

  • high/strobe
  • high only 
  • low/high

The user has to tap the tail button 9 times & hold on the 10th tap to switch to cycle the mode to the preferred setting. 

The Streamlight ProTac HL X comes with a push-button tail switch and a pressure switch tail end.

It works just like other Scout lights on the market, simply just screw or unscrew the desired tail end on and off the light.

streamlight protac hl x on mk18 angled cord management

What we love about the tail cap is that Streamlight has implemented a angled wiring tail end so that the wire tucks in closer to the handguard to prevent snag hazard.

What we wish Streamlight did was add dual switch feature so the light can be activated via tail switch or pressure switch on guns that don't have mirror gripping ergonomics. 

There are also aftermarket light switch accessories you can buy from Ariska and Unity Tactical to make whatever modular/slick light configurations you desire possible, which you can check in the next section.

Strobe Mode

The ProTac HL X does feature a unique strobe mode that isn't available on other high-end Scout type weapon lights. This feature is designed for signaling and disorientation for tactical applications.

When ever you get the light, you can program the control switch to cycle modes via the TEN TAP system.

Battery

streamlight protac hl x battery access

The Streamlight ProTac HL X uses a single SL-B26 (18650) Protected Li-Ion USB rechargeable battery with 3.7v performance and 2600 mAh capacity.

Using CR123A 

On high lumen setting (1000 lumens), the battery lasts about 1.25 hrs as the intensity drops overtime.

On low lumen setting (60 lumens), the battery lasts about 22 hrs.

On strobe mode, the battery lasts about 2.5 hrs 

Using 18650

On high lumen setting (1000 lumens), the battery lasts about 1.5 hrs as the intensity drops overtime.

On low lumen setting (60 lumens), the battery lasts about 23 hrs.

On strobe mode, the battery lasts about 3.25 hrs 

Mounting Footprint

streamlight protac hl x scout mounting footprint

The Streamlight ProTac HL X rail mount comes with an fixed M1913 Picatinny screw rail mount, and it can also be removed to expose the Scout mount footprint.

Since the Scout mount footprint is very common and popular among tactical weapon lights, the ProTac HL X is compatible with scout mounts from Arisaka, Magpul, IWC and many more.

streamlight protac hl x using arisaka offset mount

Tons of mounts are available especially those offset Scout light mounts, which you can check out here.

Overall Durability

The Streamlight ProTac HL X is made to endure most of the rough handling such as drop, kick, sharp recoil impulse, water submersion as long as it's not being intentionally destroyed.

The light is made with 6000 series aircraft aluminum, which is generally the 6061 T6 aluminum, and its coated with Durable, anodized aluminum construction with impact-resistant tempered glass lens that is serviceable without replacing the entire light bezel.

streamlight protac hl x serviceable lens
streamlight protac hl x lens

The body is IPX7 rated when using standard button switch (water proof 1 meter for 30 mins), and it's IPX4 rated when using the remote pressure switch. 

We didn't do a torture test ourselves, instead we found a video on YouTube that torture tested the ProTac HL X and the Olight Odin Mini side by side way harder than what we planned on doing.

The ProTac HL X comes on top after going through some tests that 90% of normal users wouldn't put the light through, please check out the video below and decide for yourself.

Price Point

The Streamlight ProTac HL X weapon mounted light runs only about $140, and you can get better deals on Amazon or else where by checking out provided links below.

After all the light comes with pretty much everything you needed right off the bat without having to purchase any additional parts like the Surefire Scout, which can easily add up over $300.


Side By Side Beam Comparsion

In this section, we are going to put the Streamlight ProTac HL X against other competing lights on the market to give you an quick snap shot and let you can make a decision on which one to get.

Streamlight ProTac HL X

streamlight protac hl x indoor throw and flood
streamlight protac hl x warehouse alley throw


Surefire M600DF (default head)

surefire m600df TIR lens wide spill
Surefire M600DF light beam pattern

Much Brighter Flood Close Up & Down Range

Cloud Defensive (default head)

Cloud Defensive REIN light beam and throw
Cloud Defensive REIN light pattern 18650

Available Accessories For ProTac HL X Rail Mount

There are aftermarket pressure switches and mounts available for the Streamlight ProTac HL X for those who want to integrate it with a laser device or to improve the control ergonomics.

Here are a few products that we recommend you check out:

streamlight protac hl x cloud defensive LCS pressure switch mount
  • Unity Tactical TAPS (MIL-STD Crane Lead and Streamlight HL-X Lead for Streamlight PROTAC and HL-X Series Weapon Lights)
  • Arisaka Defense Tailcap Adapter for Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount HL-X
  • Cloud Defensive LCS Pressure Switch Retainer Mount

Final Verdict

Pros

  • New battery technology that pushes for higher outputs
  • 2X the candela rating than Surefire M600DF
  • Included pressure switch
  • Accepts Scout light mounting accessories
  • Can use CR123A & 18650 batteries
  • Added programmable strobe mode that isn't available on other scout lights
  • Super durable body
  • Serviceable bezel lens
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Lacks throw performance compared to what's out there now
  • Streamlight plastic packaging cuts people's finger
  • TEN Tap programming a bit confusing to operate
  • 18650 battery NOT included
  • Can't accept any replacement light head
Streamlight protac hl x dual fuel

The Streamlight ProTac HL X Rail Mount full-size model is the upgraded model from the handheld ProTac series light with scout mounting points. It's a great light for a great price that comes with everything right off the bat without additional purchases.

As far as durability goes, the light survives the day to day rough handling like a king without any problem as long as you don't try to intentionally destroy it in any unpractical ways.

With the increased lumen & candela, the light works well just like the Surefire M600DF as far as lumen and candela performance for indoor and mid-range low light applications.

Regardless of how many newer lights with almost 50-60K candela are released after 2019, the ProTac HL X is still a great light with that super overwhelmingly bright LED for close up personal defense applications.

The only downside is that it lacks the long range throw performance past 90 yards for positively identify targets in the dark, and it doesn't come with a 18650 rechargeable battery

At the time of writing this review in 2020, the Streamlight ProTac HL X is still one hell of light for long gun applications and if you would like to check out lights that feature significantly improved throw performance, please check out our Review of Cloud Defensive REIN.