To weapon light, or not to weapon light. That is the question many gun owners ask themselves. Perhaps the most frequent use of pistol-mounded lights is in the service of home defense. Many a nightstand gun has one at the ready for the dreaded bump-in-the-night situation.
However, most of them are large and relatively expensive. But those are two drawbacks the Olight PL-MINI Valkyrie doesn’t suffer from.
This tiny rail-mounted light packs an impressive 400 lumens in a very small package.
The PL-MINI Valkyrie uses a USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery and comes with all the hardware (and even a tool) to ensure it will mount on your pistol (as long as your pistol is big enough…more on that later).
The Valkyrie coms with a GLOCK rail spacer installed. It also includes a slightly wider 1913-size spacer, along with two screws and a tool for installation.
The PL-MIN Valkyrie charges via a magnetic attachment point on the bottom of the light. Simply plug the charging cord into a power source…
And attach it to the light. It fully recharges in about 45 minutes.
Once you get a green indicator, you’re good to go.
Mounting the light couldn’t be quicker or easier thanks to the quick-release lever, a welcome change screw-mounted lights.
The Valkyrie actuates through two toggle switches, one on either side of the light. Rock the switch down momentarily to turn it on. Hit it again to turn it off. If you hold the switch down for any length of time, it goes into momentary mode and will turn off as soon as you release it. There’s no strobe option.
While the PL-MINI is small, it won’t mount on just any pistol with a rail. Here you can see it on a full-size Beretta APX with a four-inch barrel. Anything shorter is problematic. While it clamped onto my FNS-9c the spacer wasn’t in one of the rail gaps and the unit extended past the muzzle. It won’t mount at all on smaller guns such as a Springfield XDs, Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield or similar short-barrel pistols.
Those 400 lumens are generated by a Cree XP-L HI emitter. The light is rated at 70 minutes of run time, but I was only able to get about 60 minutes out of it. That said, that’s a lot of time to run any pistol light, particularly one used on a home defense gun.
You’ll only get the full 400 lumens of power for about the first five minutes of continuous run time. After that, the Valkyrie gradually powers down to about 70 lumens, still enough for plenty of illumination. That’s to protect the unit from overheating and to give you more total run time.
If at any time after five minutes you need more candlepower, simply cycle the light off and on again to jump back up to the full 400 lumens of output.
When the light is almost drained, a small red LED on the side (above) tells you it’s time to plug it back in.
Four hundred lumens is a lot of luminosity. That’s a 50 foot distance in the photo above, more than enough to illuminate any distance in your house in a home defense situation. And if you need to take it out in the elements, the Valkyrie is IPX6 rated for water resistance. That means it’ll stand up to a very stiff thunderstorm and keep on going. Just don’t totally submerge it in water, OK?
One of the biggest plusses the PL-MINI Valkyrie has going for it besides its performance is its price tag. At only $79.95, it’s downright cheap. Given its size and output, it’s directly comparable to the Surefire XC1. The Surefire isn’t rechargeable (that may be a plus or a minus, depending on your POV) and puts out only 300 lumens. But the XC1 costs almost three times the price of a Valkyrie.
With its 400 lumens and affordable price, the Olight PL-MINI Valkyrie is a very attractive option for your full size home defense gun. Plus, it’s easy to move from pistol to pistol, should you want to. Just don’t expect it to mount on your smaller guns.
Specifications: Olight PL-MINI Valkyrie LED Weaponlight
Beam Distance: 246 feet
Max. Performance: 400 lumens
Charge type: Magnetic USB charge base
Battery: Customised Li-Ion
Head Diameter: 1.23
Body Diameter: 1.06
LED: Cree XP-L HI
Ratings (out of five stars):
Brightness * * * * *
Four hundred lumens from such a small package is impressive. That’s more than enough to handle any situation you’re likely to find yourself in.
Ergonomics * * * *
The two rocker switches mount at the end of your pistol’s trigger guard and are easily accessible to anyone with average to large hands. Smaller-handed shooters will have to reach a little, but it’s very do-able.
Mounting * * * *
The built-in quick-release lever and GLOCK/1913 compatibility are excellent. Attaching or removing the PL-MINI Valkyrie is a snap and and it stays securely mounted even when knocking it around. Just don’t buy one expecting to use it on a compact pistol.
Overall * * * *
The Olight PL-MINI Valkyrie is an excellent option for a full-size home defense gun. It’s relatively small, light weight and more than bright enough to handle virtually any situation. Just keep in mind that it’s made for pistols with a minimum barrel length of four inches.
In my non-humble opinion, rechargeables have no place on an item that must work when you pick it up, even if it hasn’t been a few years before you pick it up.
Used daily, carried daily, rechargeables have their place. The same thing goes for aviation handheld radios used as a backup for an aircraft’s radio. You don’t want to have to guess if it’s gonna work when you pick it up.
That light would have been interesting to me if it used lithium coin cells for power, or similar…
I think your humble opinion may need to be tempered by reality, or at least updated to current reality.
I’ve been using 18650s for a while. They seem to keep a functional charge for quite some time. In the end I think circuitry design matters WAY more overall. If it is a li-ion rechargeable it is probably good.
I have one light, single 18650, with full power cut out. I got a matched pair and one went in the safe. Two years later it still turned on just fine and was usable for longer than you might need to see what went bump in the night. On a similar note I recently dug out my old nintendo DS for my kid to play with. The thing had been turned off for about 6 years. Powered up just fine.
On the other side, I have several lights with “negligible parasitic draw, less than the natural discharge rate of the battery” that wok on primary 123s or AA. I can’t trust them in a drawer for 90 days and 30 days respectively.
I use 18650 lights in several emergency kits. I swap in topped up ones every year, or after any significant use.
For a weapon light, my biggest concern would be circuit design followed up by cell geometry and design to ensure you aren’t going to beat the snot out of it in ways it shouldn’t be. My guess is this sucker uses a folded cell and hopefully potted or otherwise reinforced contacts not in line with the force of recoil.
“My guess is this sucker uses a folded cell and hopefully potted or otherwise reinforced contacts not in line with the force of recoil.”
The last I heard, ‘potted’ cells aren’t easily user replaceable. What makes it nice and stable, makes it a real bitch to remove.
So if that cell ever dies, in the trash it goes…
It is essentially disposable. I also don’t like that you are tied into a specific charger. I didn’t say the light was good, just that having no confidence in li-ion rechargeable being inherently problematic with holding a charge over a long duration is without merit.
I don’t like the qd lever either.
I have one on my bedside gun, and I love it. I will admit to checking the output with a quick activation a couple of times a month, and before that gun goes to the range with me.
FYI, I checked out the Olight store after reading this article and they are having a sale this Friday for 40% off the reviewed model. They also have another model that runs on 123 batteries for you recharge-averse folks. The 123 model is 1200 lumens and only $20 more.
I have one on my Sig P320 Carry and it is a freaking outstanding light. With their 40% off starting Friday, I am buying one for every handgun I own. Fierce Defender already makesa kydex IWB holster for the light and a slew of handguns.
Ditto, have one on my bedside 19x, couple more to come.
FYI – If you take out the two front and two rear screws on the light, you can slide out the whole quick release system and reverse it. This moves the rail lug to the back of the light and allows it to fit on smaller guns. I did this, and it fits my FNS 9C like it was custom made for it. It’s a great little light, and I love the quick release because I can pocket the light and not have to buy all new holsters.
Y’all ought to update the review with this information.
Check out the newer PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie with an adjustable rail which the user can adjust to match the distance between rail slot and trigger guard. This makes it compatible with more compact and full size pistols than the original PL-MINI. The PL-Mini 2 also delivers a maximum output of 600 lumens compared to 400 lumens on the PL-MINI.
Yep, however that solution wasn’t available at the time of my first post. The mini light 2 is very nice and I have one on my P365.
I have an aluminum and copper Manker E14 that takes a 18350 rechargeable, waterproof etc. Up to 1400 lumens in 7 steps, I paid about $35 for it and put it in a $12 Jetstream QR picatinny weapon mount and use it upside down on my pistol rail when I need it. It doesn’t weigh much, but is a little bigger than this olight – it sticks out about even with my 5″ barrel. My EDC pocket light is a stainless steel version of the same light with a longer tube that fits an 18650 battery. I use it all the time and have to change batteries about once a month. Just FYI.
I may be a bit of an Olight fan boy… I probably have about 10 of their flashlights in various sizes and I also managed to pick up 2 of these when they were offering them in a burnt bronze color a while back and I love them. I have 2 other weapon lights from Olight and a bunch I use for work and will say I do like their rechargeable lights.
what color is the laser bean?
i’m trying to think of anything in my world that has a rail for this. nope. nuttin’. how do i even operate?
i’d like it to have an adjustable start up luminosity. 400 seems pretty outdoorsy. and who makes one with a few second interval flash so one could keep moving after broadcasting your locale?
This is a white light and not a laser. 400 lumens seems to be fine inside especially because there don’t seem to be any hot spots in the thrown beam.
This does have a momentary action on the switch as well. There are companies that make strobing lights, but nothing like the slow flash you are suggesting.
Hey Dan, do you know of any lights that fit the Fns9c? I bought this in the hopes it would fit and now it lives on my 229.
Please see my comment above regarding smaller handguns and in particular the FNS 9C
good beginner option i guess. size and price is nice but it dimming so fast ain’t cool, that means it won’t hold the charge long in storage. probably have to charge it once a week if its a bedside gun.
They seem to hold a charge just fine; the ramp down in lumens is to protect from overheating, and not battery capacity related.
I have a backup AR pistol in the closet that doesn’t see much use, and this light can sit for months without discharging.
Mines been in my safe for over a year on the first charge. It’s been to the range a few times and I pull it out every once in a while to function check. It’s GTG!
It lives on a dedicated home defense g19 that lives in a little safe jobber near my bed.
I don’t carry a WML equipped pistol but if you went that route it’s small enough to not intrude too much. Hopefully more holster makers start providing it as an option.
At the range I switch it off and on after I am done with it. At home I check with the Momentary switch.
Neato trick with the reversion I’ll need to try that as it won’t work on my 320 subcompact grip module with the the standard setup.
I’ve been looking at these lights for a while and when they ran the recent 40% off flash sale , it was game on. Unit arrived 2 says later and after the initial 1 hr charge it was ready to go.
Mounted it on my Ruger Security 9 and the fit is perfect. I reach the right side paddle with my trigger finger with no effort for quick on/off.
Light is extremely bright and more than ample for home security use. As for reliability of rechargeable lights, time will tell but I’ll certainly check the light frequently and occasionally run it empty and recharge to keep it fresh.
Great light at a great price.
The price of high lumen quality lights was a deterrent for me until this Olight came along. Fits perfectly on my bedside Canik SF Elite. The light does not extend beyond the barrel. I was really impressed with beam spread being able to light up a single room or a larger open floor plan area. Just bought a second one at the great sale price.
Good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!
Can you sheath it with the light mounted using your everyday sheath?
If this is a “mini” pistol light… should it fit the smaller sized compact pistols? Like the Springfield XD sub compact or S&W M&P Shield?
I think so. Maybe 5 years from now surefire will release a $400 version…
It would not be the unit for long stints in the field. But for home or car defense, nothing at all wrong with it. I keep one on a 1911 near the bed, and every month or so top off the charge without worrying about busting the mini-usb connector (because there isn’t one). If needed I can grab it and use it while charging as the magnet will break away freer than a hard connection. I don’t have dead hard-to-find (at Dollar General or gas station) batteries to worry about. I keep one in my car, for my M9 road piece and occasionally charge it like I do my phone and vape anyway. I would think an hour long gun battle is about all you need- as at some point a light is a clear detriment anyway when outside- they see you coming.
The sole reason I refuse to invest in O-Light WML’s is their stupid tab style mounting. I just plain ol dislike it.
Oh well. Their website says they’re sold out. Try again later.
Imagine reviewing this without shooting with it mounted. Absolutely worthless review.
These are the smartest comments I’ve seen after a TTAG article in years. Not one single dummy in the whole lot…what a refreshing change! Thank you, guys!
Why doesn’t this article also show up under What’s New? Not having a central location for new content is a huge failing of the new format.
because it’s from 2018. this is the only reply so far that wasn’t necronomnomnomicon.