At SHOT this past January, Insight Technologies rolled out a new set of weapon lights – the WL1-AA weapon mounted tactical light. With a brightness of 150Lumens and an “on” time of 90 minutes, you might just walk right by. . .  There was no fanfare, no parade, just the humble presentation of a low profile weapon light and its sister variant which sports a laser for aim assistance. No big deal right? Been there, done that? Well, not exactly. . . This little guy’s different – and guess what? It’s for anyone.

Insight has just gone into full production with this model, and it’s definitely an excellent offering into an already saturated market. I say that because in order to compensate for being late to the game, you’ve got to toss in a little innovation – or at least something a little different. It’s not the strobe function, that’s definitely been done. Included momentary pressure switch for use with a rifle or shotgun? Nah,  nothing new there either. “Quick Release Rail Grabber?” Still not standing out.

Alright, so why are we paying attention to the WL1-AA? Turns out, it’s all in the name. The WL1-AA is powered by two AA batteries; average every day Copper-Tops. On those remote-powering, R/C car revving nuggets the WL1-AA will run continuously for 90 minutes at 150 Lumens. Not bad at all; especially when half of little-Johnny’s toys will provide you with an endless supply of replacement power sources.

The model I’ve gotten my grubby paws on is the non-lasered variant pictured above. It’s going to ride on a few different weapons during evaluation. I’ll report back as testing progresses. My “out of the box” impression is guarded optimism. Insight might have something here – Joe Everybody might finally be getting taken care of in the  accessories department.

For more information on L-3’s Warrior Systems branch and Insight products (specifically the WL1-AA), visit their commercial products website.

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7 Responses to Gear Preview: Insight WL1-AA Weapon Light

  1. AA’s will not work that well in a “The Road” type SHTF scenario since the cold weather performance and longevity is not good. As that is the SHTF scenario that I am currently primarily concerned about I will give this light a pass. If the SHTF scenario that I am fantasizing about changes to “Resident Evil” or Katrina maybe I will give it a look.

    • AA is just a size and voltage format – you can buy lithium AA’s as well.

      I’d be interested to see how it stands-up to the repeated shock of shooting and if it has a option for a support-hand pressure switch.

    • AA may not be optimum, but they’d be easy to scrounge up replacements for. There’s always tradeoffs.

    • thats only true if you use alkalines. lithium aa’s are available way more than cr123a and have the same capabilities etc. nice to have that goto alkaline option though

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  3. Yeah, there’s no downside to using AA’s instead of proprietary batteries. A true moron can figure that out.
    It’s all just drivel now though, because as of late 2014 Insight no longer makes either model of these. It might have something to do with L-3 buying Insight (I have work experience at L-3), or maybe it just wasn’t competitive enough with Streamlight. I gladly paid a “premium” for this WML. I still paid right at $300 when list was $420 or so, but good luck finding one in early 2015. I own Streamlight and Surefire WML’s, and this Insight unit is my favorite. If anyone reads this before they all vanish from the shelves, and you’re trying make your mind up, my advice is to go for it.

  4. Late to the party, but I saw this and wanted to respond……

    I’ve had one of these lights for a few years now. I had the bright idea to buy some rechargeable AA batteries and a small solar charger on Amazon.com, thinking “hey, if the SHTF, I can have a running gun light for a pretty long time”. Wrong. I didn’t even make it TO a SHTF. I popped a pair of freshly charged up AAs into the light, turned it on, and it lasted about 10 seconds before turning off for good. Those batteries fried something inside the unit, and neither fresh non-rechargeable batteries, wishful thinking, or holding my tongue just so will get it to turn on again.

    Upon examination, it looks like the front of the light, where the diode/reflector/lens resides, is removable by means of using a small allen wrench on the screws which retain it, but I know bupkis about electronic circuitry, so I wouldn’t even begin to know how to fix it.

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