In this review guide, let's check out the Streamlight TLR 7 A Flex compact weapon light. One of the biggest difference between the original TLR 7 and the NEW TLR 7A Flex is the upgraded control ergonomics.
Due to popular demands from existing TLR 7 users to add toggle switches for better light activation instead of using the awkward thin side buttons. The TLR 7A Flex definitely feels much better in the hands, and it can be also be used on an rifle, but it's mainly optimized for pistol use.
So...Is the light actually a good light for practical use? Should you get the TLR 7A if you already own a TLR 7?
Before you decide to buy this light, we gonna go over all the features of this compact light to give you as much information as possible.
|Max Output — White Light||500 Lumens / 5000 Candela|
|Weight w/Batteries||2.4 oz|
Or Compare Deals:
What's Included In The Packaging
The Streamlight TLR 7A Flex comes in a standard Streamlight packaging that includes:
- Streamlight TLR 7A Flex
- 1 CR123A battery
- Streamlight sticker
- Mini Streamlight catalog
- Allen wrench
- Retainer clip remover
- Low & high control switch
What Is This Light Best Used For
The Streamlight TLR 7A Flex is the go-to compact pistol weapon light for compact size pistols with the front of the light bezel that sits flush with the muzzle. It's great for conceal carry, faster holstering, range use & low light personal defense.
Since the original TLR-7 suffered from an inferior switch design which made it difficult for most shooters to activate the light. The TLR 7A's upgrade toggle switch has made it very popular for Glock 19, Smith Wesson M&P compact, HK VP9, and many more.
TLR 7A Flex Core Features
Improved Control Switch
Streamlight has upgraded the TLR 7 with the new HIGH and LOW switch options, which come standard with the TLR-7A Flex, making it one of the easiest pistol lights to activate while shooting one-handed and without breaking a two-handed grip.
Problems From The Original TLR 7
Unlike the old TLR 7, which has poor light activation ergonomics that isn't very intuitive that requires the shooter to break the grip off the gun to activate the light from the side, which can also drive the gun to the off to the left or the right, which is why it's important to be able to drive the switch downward.
The Fix Is Here!
And now... the NEW TLR 7A Flex has completely fixed this issue! the upgraded toggle switch allows the shooter to have a better thumb placement on the light activation by pressing down and it also allows for better recoil management.
The user can switch between the two control modules based on preference or based on the type of handguns - Simply remove the three screws and install the one they want.
However, the old TLR-7 side switch model cannot be retrofitted to the TLR-7A rear switch models.
Based on testing, the high switch is our favorite as it sits higher for better finger reach & feels more tactile.
One thing Streamlight can make the switch better in a future product release would be to extend the paddle switch a bit out to increase the surface area for better contact.
Modes Of Operation
The TLR7 is a very effective compact light with easy ambidextrous activation.
- Single click - Constant on
- Press & Hold - Momentary
Size & Weight
The TLR 7A Flex is the same size as the TLR 7 as far as the overall size profile. With the interchangeable control module, the TLR 7A Flex stretches slightly longer so the user can reach the control toggle switches much easier with index fingers.
The light only weighs about 2.4 oz with a battery installed, and it's so light that it's almost unnoticeable, which makes carrying it hassle-free.
Overall it looks great and feels great for mounting on any compact size pistols
Lumen & Candela
The TLR 7A Flex can output up to 500 lumens & 5000 candela on a fully charged CR123A battery, and it's best used for illuminating targets of interest in low light up to 7-40 yards with maximum light beam brightness & hot spot.
The 500 lumens can lit up things nearby, but at a distance of up to 70 yards max the user wouldn't be able to clearly see besides the dimmed silhouette.
However, under ambient lights or fog, the most effective light can reach roughly about 16 - 20 yards
For personal defense use, it's absolutely important to see clearly what the target is, and if it's a person you need to see what he/she is holding in their hands to make the best judgement.
Lumen intensity is important, but Candela is king when it comes to identifying targets at longer distances.
Beam Pattern & Color Tint
The TLR 7A has a balanced focused hot spot & flood beam optimized for close-range applications up to 30 yards. It's effective to blind a threat with the hot spot, and use the flood beam to lit up the surrounding for max situational awareness without directly pointing the light at the subject.
The beam also has a warm tint for more neutral and accurate color rendition in low light, which is important for accurate target identification.
What you don't want is a bluish tint light that can skew the color perceptions in low light.
The light uses a single CR123A battery that lasts about 90 mins. Any CR123A batteries on the market will work.
To install the battery, the LED head has to be removed first, then insert the battery into the body.
What can be improved ? - As the weapon light technology advances for higher lumens & candela ratings, we are looking forward to seeing the Streamlight TLR 7 evolve into the use of a higher output rechargeable battery for higher lumen & candela output without increase in its overall size.
The TLR7A also features a safety mode on the LED lens bezel that allows the light to be completely shut off just like the original TLR7.
The purpose is to prevent accidental light discharge while carrying it in a holster to prevent battery loss, where the toggle switch can bump into clothing or other things without the user knowing.
The practical use of this feature is still under testing, but based on our initial impression, this feature can cause the user to forget to turn it back on and get surprised by it in an emergency situation. We highly recommend leaving the safety off at all times.
Mount & Rail Keys
The TLR 7A Flex comes with multiple mounting keys for various handgun frames including Glock rail & Universal.
The screw mount can be tightened using the back of a shell casing, a coin or a flat-head screwdriver. It is recessed so it doesn't stick out on the side of the gun for a flushed profile.
In addition, we like the fact that Streamlight also included multiple keys for fitting the TLR7 on rail slots with different specs.
The TLR 7A is made out of 6061 T6 aerospace aluminum. Under normal use the light will last you a long time.
If you use the light for airsoft or simunition training, the lens will crack upon direct impact.
The lens bezel head has built-in threads that goes onto the body of the light. So in the event that the lens break, the light head can be replaced via Streamlight's Limited lifetime warranty.
IPX7 waterproof to 1m for about 30 minutes, meaning the light can withstand water splashes, but not recommended for water submersion.
- Reduced overall size profile for conceal carry & faster holstering
- Significantly improved control ergonomics
- Includes multiple mounting keys for different rail systems
- Super lightweight
- Optimized beam pattern for close-range application
- The lumen & candela intensity is great for close-range use but not for beyond 30 - 40 yards. For that, we need to check out lights with candela rating in the 15,000 or more.
- Still uses CR123A battery
The Streamlight TLR 7A Flex is the best compact size light for compact pistols among others. Overall it's a better version of the original TLR 7 with a better control switch, and it has a great appearance on most compact pistols with that streamlined contour external body.
Overall, the TLR 7A provides the shooter effective illumination in low light situations to clearly identify the target for personal defense. It works well for range drills, conceal carry on compact & full-size handguns.
For under $140, this is absolutely the best compact light to buy for compact size handguns.
Or Compare Deals: