Streamlight TL-3

The TL-3 is a 3xCR213A xenon light. It isn't too spectacular at first glance, but it really is a nice light. It's really bright, it's focusable, and it's tough. It's all wrapped up in an attractive, durable package that can easily fit in a pocket. Another benefit of this light is that it's easily customizable.

The included lanyard has a pair of adjustable stops, and it attaches to the light's belt clip (not visible in the above picture).

The TL-3 has really nice output with few rings or dark spots, as the textured reflector blends it into a reasonably even spot, with a noticable hotspot at tight focus and a slightly darker center at wide focus.

That orange ring around the bulb is part of the light, not an illusion.

The TL-3 uses a tactical-type twist-constant/push-momentary tailswitch, but it can't be locked out. Untwisting the tailcap just makes for a longer throw with momentary and more required twisting for constant. Oh well.

The light consists of a bezel assembly, bezel spring, LA, body, belt clip, cells, and tailcap. In the following picture, you can see how the lanyard's split ring connects to a raised attachment point on the belt clip.

Below is the bezel and LA. To disassemble:

  1. Remove the head by untwisting.
  2. Separate the bezel spring from the bezel and/or LA by twisting CLOCKWISE. It's a spring, not a thread, and springs are weird that way.
  3. Grasp the bulb's glass envelope with gloved hands or a clean, dry cloth, and pull it straight out of the bulb holder. If you touch the bulb with your bare hands, lightly clean it with some rubbing alcohol.
  4. Reverse these instructions to reassemble.

You can replace your bulb when it has burned out, or you can use a Carley 1499 xenon bulb or halogen-filled H1499 for much more output (keep in mind, though, that the human eye is logarithmic!). My TL-3 pictured here has a standard 1499, not a halogen H1499 nor a stock TL-3 bulb.

If you want, you can power this light with a pair of 17500 Li-Ions for guilt-free lumens. You'll get pretty much the same brightness as with 3xCR123A.

This light (with a 1499, remember) pulls 1.77A at 8.8V on primaries, for 15.576W of power consumption. On Li-Ions, it pulls 1.9A at 8.3V, for 15.77W of power consumption.

All in all, this is a really nice light. It's one of only three incandescents I own, and the only one I'd actually consider carrying and using. If you want a small, tough, no-frills hotwire for about $50, this is the light for you.