There is no question that weapon mounted lights are not only popular with the military or Police Officers working the graveyard shift but civilian gun owners as well. I have seen more and more of them pop up on the guns of everyday concealed carriers because of their usefulness. I don't personally have one on my everyday carry gun (EDC) however I particularly like tactical lights for use on my home defense guns.
The vast majority of the reviews I publish are completely unsolicited by any company. While my reviews are always unbiased and filled with my honest opinion, whenever I am asked by a company to do one I like to make that clear up front. In this case, I was asked by Olight to evaluate and provide some honest feedback on their new light, the PL2 Valkyrie. They have not compensated me, or asked for a favorable review; I would refuse to review a product from any company that would not allow me to be completely straight forward and honest in my write up.
Whats in The Box?
The PL2 is an ultra-bright LED tactical light that can be mounted to your firearm via a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail, or the Glock sized accessory rail (both adapters are included.) The mounting system is simple and requires no tools to install on a firearm. The mount is activated by flipping a lever, which tightens or releases it around the rail. This method means you can quickly mount/unmount it to pretty much any handgun with a rail without the need for any tools.
The weight and dimensions of the PL2 are similar to many of the other popular weapon mounted lights on the market. For you guys and gals that like stats, here they are:
- Length – 3.25″ (82.5mm)
- Width – 1.44″ (36.5mm)
- Height – 2.82″ (32.5mm)
- Weight – 4.0 oz with batteries
Numbers aside, this one is just as compact and lightweight as other pistol lights in the same category.
The PL2 is powered by 2 CR123A batteries. Those familiar with higher end handheld and gun lights are aware of these powerful, compact batteries. They are a little more expensive compared to your traditional AA batteries, but manufacturers have almost exclusively gone to these types of batteries in most tactical lights. The PL2 comes with two batteries from the manufacturer, and the batteries are simple to change out.
While we are speaking of the PL2's batteries, one of its shortcomings comes to mind. The battery life of the PL2 is only 70 minutes. That is a little less than other similar lights; however, its short battery life is directly related to its high lumen output.
As mentioned above the PL2 has a short battery life. Unfortunately, this is the trade off, that comes with a tremendously bright output. The 1200 lumens that the PL2 emits is the highest of any pistol light currently being sold. If you want a light that is unbelievably bright, the PL2 is the obvious choice. As you can see in the photo, it has a good focus but still casts a wide enough angle to brighten a large room. One thing to note about the focus of the light is that it is not adjustable, which isn't surprising because most gun lights also do not allow this adjustment.
How Does It Perform?
Not surprisingly, the it is insanely bright. At 1200 lumens you are not only going to light the room up, but seriously diminish anyone's vision who happens to look into it. A side effect of all the brightness, is that the unit gets pretty hot under continuous use. Burning yourself isn't an issue because it really doesn't get that hot, and the part that heats up is in the front near the bulb, far away from the buttons that activate the light.
Speaking of the buttons, there are two, one on each side, making it good for lefties or righties. The big controls are textured and activate the unit's three modes: constant, press on and off, or when both buttons are pressed, strobe. I found the buttons were responsive and easy to operate.
I tested durability in the following ways: I dropped it several times, unmounted, on a wood floor surface from a height of 5 feet. I dropped it with the light turned on and with it off. While it was on, dropping it did not cause it to go out, and similarly, the light did not turn on when it struck the ground. I also ran the pistol light after leaving it in the freezer for 30 minutes. The cold temperature did not affect the output or operation. Also, dropping it repeatedly didn't cause the bulbs to break or otherwise adversely affect it.
As far as the lens protecting the bulb, there is a protective bezel around the lens, so this should help some with durability, but the lens seems to be pretty thick. And finally, the body of the unit is an aluminum material, and rated as “water resistant.”
Overall, this pistol light is a great value with an MSRP of around $100.00 dollars. The PL2 is the brightest light out there, however that does come with a shorter battery life. The size of the unit is right in line and actually a touch smaller than some other well-known gun lights.
This is important for you concealed carriers who want a kydex holster for your gun/light combo. Holster companies make kydex holsters for use with the major brands, but not always specifically for the PL2. The PL2 is close enough in size that it worked with a kydex holster set up for a Glock 19 and Surefire X300 light. I can't confirm this universal holster fit with every gun/light combination, but in this case, it worked just fine.
The PL2 is similar to many of the other quality tactical lights out there. The major difference is the amount of light the PL2 puts out. If having the brightest is what you want, the PL2 is the pistol light for you.
Do you use a weapon mounted light on your home defense gun, or do you have a flashlight nearby? How do you store it at night? Let us know in the comments below. Then …
You may be interested to see how others store their firearm at night and the amount of time it takes to access it.