New from Streamlight: TLR-2 with Green Laser

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To paraphrase Gordon Gekko, green is good. Especially if you’re shooting in the dark at night, green is a much easier color to see than red. In fact, red is such a crappy color in the dark that the armed forces usually use red filters on their flashlights and such so the enemy won’t see them. Good for OPSEC, not so good if you’re trying to make sure your gun is on target at zero dark thirty. That’s where the green laser really shines. Our eyes are just about perfectly adjusted to see green light clearly at night, as it’s exactly in the middle of our visible light spectrum (unlike red which is way over at one end). That’s why it makes sense that Streamlight is introducing a light ‘n laser system with a green laser . . .

From their press release:

EAGLEVILLE, PA, – Streamlight® Inc., a leading provider of high-performance lighting equipment and weapon light/laser sighting devices, introduced the TLR-2® G, a lightweight, gun-mounted tactical light featuring a green aiming laser for high visibility, long-range targeting. The new light is designed to add increased versatility to a variety of tactical, hunting and home defense applications.

The TLR-2 G delivers extreme brightness to a broad range of weapons through the latest in C4® LED technology. It features an integrated green laser, which appears brighter to the human eye than other colored lasers, particularly in daylight, to improve users’ ability to focus on targets. The new model also is equipped with a strobe function.

“With its targeted bright light and powerful green laser, the new TLR-2 G is the ideal weapons light for a wide range of first responder and hunting uses,” said Streamlight President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Sharrah. “The light is easily mounted to most standard rail guns using Streamlight’s one-handed, snap-on-and-tighten interface, which allows it to be attached safely in seconds. It also can be stored on a handgun, so that should the situation arise, you can more readily identify a potential threat before taking any action.”

The TLR-2 G delivers 200 lumens and 6,300 candela peak beam intensity. It features a shock-proof C4 LED, and a textured parabolic reflector that produces a concentrated beam with optimum peripheral illumination to assist with navigation. It includes a 522-542 nm green laser integrated in the light’s reflector.

The light can be deployed in Laser-Only mode to keep the gun on target, in LED-Only mode to provide bright, focused light, or in dual mode, which uses both light sources.

It provides a run time of 1.5 continuous hours to the 10% output level when used in the LED Only mode, 1.25 hours when using the LED and Laser modes simultaneously, and nine hours in the Laser Only mode. A double tap of the light’s momentary paddle activates the strobe, which also can be disabled.

Powered by a single 3 Volt CR123A lithium battery, with a storage life of 10 years, the TLR-2 G weighs 4.58 ounces and measures 3.39 inches in length. The main body is constructed from 6000 Series machined aircraft aluminum with a black anodized finish, and the housing is fabricated from high impact, chemically resistant engineering polymer.

The TLR-2 G mounts directly to handguns with Glock-style rails and to all MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails. A key kit with five interchangeable keys is included to securely fit the light to a broad array of weapons. The TLR-2 G fits all existing TLR-2® holsters.

The new light features an IXP4-rated design for water-resistant operation, and its impact-resistant construction also has been extensively live-fired tested. The operating temperature range of the green laser is 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

The TLR-2 G has an MSRP of $550.00 and comes with Streamlight’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

29 Responses to New from Streamlight: TLR-2 with Green Laser

  1. avatarIn Memphis says:

    Nice. I like streamlights products and as a firefighter have trusted my life to them. Im not keen on mounted lights on my handgun though, I would much rather be able to use my light and not muzzel what I want to check.

    • avatartravis m. says:

      I’m of the opinion that I would like to have a light there should I need it, though I would personally use a hand held light if possible. As for the TLR, I’m not a huge fan of green lasers in the night, since they are so bright it draws an obvious line back to you. (maybe I have too much dust floating around?) They are great in daylight though.

  2. avatarInBox485 says:

    Slight correction. Red is not used to avoid being seen. Blue is used for that. Red is used because your eyes ignore it the most when adjusting your eyes to brightness levels. Red is one of the most visible colors at night across distance. Green trumps red at night by a fair amount, but it blows it away during daylight hours.

    • avatar16V says:

      Red affects rhodopsin levels the slowest in the rods and instead gets ‘seen’ by the cones. Eventually though, it all normalizes.

      Bottom line, a good deal of military and automotive hardware got away from ‘red light’ instruments. The most visible stuff is backlit or classic white on black with proper full-spectrum ‘white’ light illumination.

      • avatarBruce says:

        My understanding is red does not ruin your night sight. You can go from a room that has red lighting to outside and your eyes don’t have to adjust for you to see.

        • avatar16V says:

          True up to a point, which is a few paragraphs all by itself. I could crank out a thousand words on this and only maybe give you an overview.

          If you’re interested, I’m sure there’s basic stuff on wiki. I know NavyLabs and some others have whitepapers out there if you want to delve deeper into the subject.

    • avatarTexanHawk says:

      Sorry. Red light – is – (actually was) used for two simple reasons.

      (1) Physiology, we have two types of photoreceptors, Rods and Cones. Cones are used for day vision and perceive colors. There are multiple lengths of Cones which correspond to sensitivity to different wavelengths of light. But Rods, which become more in use during periods of low illumination are pretty much in the blue green spectrum. So, if you want to allow your rods to refill with Rhodopsin, or Visual Purple, the bio-chemical which allows night vision, you must avoid exposure to full spectrum light for 30-45 minutes. But, that not being possible, a red light will not saturate the Rods and night vision will be retained. So, night vision is veritably blind to red light, but day vision almost doesn’t mind the color. (But) 2. We are less sensitive to Red as InBox states because it is at the end of the visible spectrum (ROYGBIV)

      A more detailed explanation from Wiki: on Purkinje effect :
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purkinje_effect

      Physiology — The effect occurs because the color-sensitive cones in the retina are most sensitive to yellow light, whereas the rods, which are more light-sensitive (and thus more important in low light) but which do not distinguish colors, respond best to green-blue light.

      However, since the advent of Night Vision Goggles, NVGs are very sensitive to red lights while most vehicle NVGs have a “minus blue” filter to eliminate interference from Blue to Violet light which is now used to aviation and armored vehicles because it interferred with the NVGs less even without the filter. Prior to 1980 or so when NVG flying in Army aircraft was new, cockpit lights were red for the first reason. When we changed over to Blue Green lights, we had to reduce the voltage by half because of the increased sensitivity to those lights.

      Red lasers (and InfraRed), BTW show up very well under NVGs while the greens are invisible.

      • avatarJason Lynch says:

        TexanHawk,

        You probably knew it anyway, but decent NVGs are happy with naked-eye invisible near-IR lasers and lights – handy for everything from weapon aiming to map reading (though as usual you need practice to find out which features don’t show – back in my day, using a filtered Maglite under a poncho to read maps, red meant you didn’t see contour lines, green lost you woods, and blue hid the water features – so you planned ahead for where you were and where you were going).

        However, these days night-vision is cheap and easy to get now, and even a lot of digital cameras (even in cheapish smartphones) are sensitive in that near-IR, which makes lots of handy kit less useful when the enemy starts seeing them too.

        I’ve never been that convinced that “coloured light saves your night vision” but that may be because – using a decent torch at close quarters – it was just too bright regardless of filter. I do notice, aboard ship, that the Royal Navy still uses dim red lighting during “quiet hours” – might just be habit, might be because it works. I’m usually only riding for a week here and there and not watchkeeping, so I don’t test it properly.

        Out of interest, given the enthusiasm and research put into home defence by many posters here (and I mean that as a complement), does anyone admit to using any form of night vision gear other than flashlights and lasers as part of their anti-intruder plan? NVGs with a near-IR illuminator have some advantages, though some serious issues as well – anyone considered it or tried it? (Gut feeling is “too many extra things to add to the to-do list when you’re already on the back foot”, but then it’s not a problem where I am, and if it becomes one then my tactical letter-opener is ready to hand)

        • avatarTexanHawk says:

          You’re correct in the near IR lasers being visible using NVGs… hell that’s why we have them as aiming devices in the first place. As a simple survival tool, I carry a cheap pencil tube shaped red laser pointer in my aircrew vest which I can use as a long range signalling device to anyone searching for me while they use NVGs. Not very tactical, but neither is not being found.

          As to your other points, again, red lights in hallways, briefing rooms and the like preserve night vision because they do not bleach out the rods’ rhodopsin (wrong wavelength) so I have a newly renovated hangar I work in which has red hallway lights to this day. But, in a tank, an aircraft, or any vehicle where NVGs will be worn the lights were slowly changed over to BlueGreen beginning in the 1980s because the red light interferes with the NVGs.

          NVG rifle scopes can be had in the US (non-export) for as little as $400. That might be on my SHTF list but NVGs in general would not. IMHO they would not be as useful in an interior home defense scenario as a good powerful weapon mounted light.

      • avatar16V says:

        You have some good data in there, but as I noted, it’s far too complicated for a few simple paras. There’s lots of conditionalities which don’t reduce.

        Here’s a pretty straight-forward piece from the American Optometric Association, which is a simplification of a USAF report “Night Vision Manual for the Flight Surgeon”. Written by 2 USAF Cols. Simple read, but it’s about 10 pages long.

        http://www.aoa.org/x5352.xml

        And that wiki article on Purkinje still states subs using red illumination. There may be some limited areas, but according to every source I’ve ever seen, they quit doing that years ago. Especially in the con.

        • avatarTexanHawk says:

          The con? Yeah one of the other problems with using red lights in cockpits is that as the longest wavelength of visible light it exacerbates the focal problem of hyperopia or farsightedness. Red light tends to naturally fall beyond the retina wall. Of course, using blue green light has a similar if opposite effect, myopia; but it is not as pronounced as it is much nearer the center of the ROYGBIV scale.

        • avatarTexanHawk says:

          Good link BTW.

        • avatar16V says:

          Thanks for typing all that. I’m just one of those guys who wants to cover every weird exception and ‘if/then’ scenario, and most readers will find it very tiresome. You obviously understand it far better than most folks.

          I guess my meta-point is that a lot of this was rendered rather moot by the introduction of multi-color monitors (not to mention the multi-color HUDs). Muted/dim full-spectrum and/or backlighting is the only thing that works in that environment.

          Don’t get me wrong, red light can be very effective in certain scenarios with a particular set of constraints.

  3. avatarBrian S says:

    I have a TLR3, and it’s nice you can activate it while holding the gun ready for use, the controls are right in front of the trigger guard.

    My complaint with their combo system is that they SHOULD have put the laser up above the flashlight (closer to the bore). That way the laser’s angle would be less severe to get it lined up with the sights and wouldn’t be off as much between short and long range engagements.

    • avatarJim says:

      For that, see the Viridian X5L Gen 2. I have one and I’m a big fan. Plus it can be had for around $300 if you look hard enough.

    • avatarRoot C says:

      I agree, the laser offset on my TLR-4 is severe, and would be more helpful if it were moved above the white light, if that were possible.

  4. avatarRoot C says:

    “Especially if you’re shooting in the dark at night, green is a much easier color to see than red”

    As much as I appreciate a green laser, I disagree with the above statement, and the premise behind the post. The visibility benefits of a green laser over a red laser don’t present themselves at night. The strength of a green laser over a red laser is during the day.

    Anyone who says they can’t pick up a red laser at night has never used a red laser at night. Again, the weakness of a red laser is during the day.

    • avatarTexanHawk says:

      I have both a strong red and a green. You’re right in that the red has very limited range in full daylight illum. But, I used to take my green out on dark nights and be able to illuminate the reflective material on stop signs from over a half mile away, something my red laser cannot do.

      But, the point of that is we are taking about a PISTOL, so your point is well taken, the strength of a green (viridian) laser is how bright it is and thus very easy to distinguish even in full daylight.

  5. avatarDave S says:

    colored flashlights protect night vision, different deal.

  6. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    I won’t buy this for one reason: unregulated LED lights suck. I want a light with a DC-DC converter which will drive the LED at full brightness for as long as the battery lasts, with some warning that input voltage is dropping to critical levels.

    I don’t want a light that’s 10% as bright when the battery gets low. That 200 lumen claim is probably good for the first 5 minutes of the 1.5 hour runtime, and based on my experience with unregulated LED lights, will plummet by 50% or more in the first 20 minutes.

    • avatar16V says:

      Here, here. I like Streamlight product, really I do. It’s a decent state-of-the-shelf piece of kit. Usually well-designed and properly assembled.

      That said, $550? For an unregulated LED? That isn’t at least as bright the sun? That isn’t delivered to my house personally by a naked runway-quality model?

      $550 gets me 3 NIGHTCORES with more output, with a few hundred left over to convert another 6D Maglite housing from the bad old days into a HID flashlight. Including the delivery pizza and scotch while I built it.

    • avatarChuck in IL says:

      I’ll bet you guys hangout over at candlepowerforums.com. And 16v, I like the way you build flashlights.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        I have most carefully avoided getting too involved with the flashlight-modding community. It’s like I can feel the tug of that time-eating gravity well from across the Internet, and I already have too little time available as it is.

        I’m not above scanning the forums for the best deals or fully-proven-out mods for my Maglites, though.

        • avatarBrian S says:

          One of my co-workers likes to make fun of me for my flashlight habit, it’s good to know there are people worse than me out there!

          Honestly I’ve really only done a little research and listened to some reviews, bought a couple things. I had no idea you could mod & build them yourself lol!

      • avatar16V says:

        I’ve done a few, but I’m kinda in the same boat as AlphaGeek, getting hardcore in that hobby could be a huge time eater.

        I’ve seen candlepowerforums, some of those guys are really dedicated. And build some just off-the-wall insane stuff.

        Modding flashlights can be a gateway hobby. You’ll be hooking the toaster to a Rasperry Pi and optical sensors in no time if you’re not careful…

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          If anyone thinks 16V is joking about the Raspberry Pi and the toaster, I have a friend who’s gone over to the dark side on that stuff. It wouldn’t be so bad if he’d stopped with the toaster, or with a single Raspberry Pi…

  7. avatarAsh says:

    Is the green laser LED used in this one of the new ‘true green’ lasers, or the old DPSS green laser LED’s (which are infrared lasers that use a crystal to double the frequency to get to green).

    DPSS lasers are (1) less rugged due to the crystal and (2) use twice the power. This is why Crimson Trace and others haven’t done a green laser until now.

  8. avatarconceal7 says:

    oh yes!….our district streamlight rep came out to show us sum new gadgets.

    their HL series of lights coming out is very ,shall we say, luminous ha ha

  9. avatarJimD says:

    Man, before I squeeze the trigger, the BG is going to be bathed in white light, so I can make sure I’m not shooting a drunken buddy etc. I don’t honestly see a need for a laser at night. (And I own both a TLR-1 & TLR-4.)

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