Great two-battery option, but...........
April 26, 2019
I got this torch because I liked the idea of being able to use one CR123 or 1AA battery. It is definitely brighter with a CR123, but cheaper and more convenient to use a 1AA. The 1AA is still bright enough for an EDC though. The LOW mode is decent for close-up tasks. I found the finish to be on the slippery side. It could use some knurling around the center of the body and bezel. The overall shape and the pocket clip help in getting a firm grip, but additional knurling would be nice. The tailcap can be removed with less than two complete turns, whether you're using a CR123 or 1AA battery. It would be more secure to have more turns before the tailcap comes off. For comparison, my SL 2AA Protac takes over three complete turns and my SL 1AAA Protac takes over five complete turns. The tint is on the warm side. There is a not-so prominent hot-spot with good spill light. The tailcap clickie has a strange feel because there is some space underneath the rubber cap and the actual clickie switch. If the rubber cap had less freeplay between it and the clickie button, it would give a better feel. This freeplay is very noticeable when you're using a half-press to cycle through the modes. (Same thing with the SL 2AA Protac, whereas the SL 1AAA Protac has a very positive feel with no freeplay.) Changing the modes is easy with the Ten Tap. The dual pocket clip is useful but the light is a little heavy to wear on your BB cap. The pocket clip is removable, but not without leaving scratches on the body of the light. I read some online forums that said you cannot use RCR batteries in the 1L 1AA. I have a friend with the same light and he tried using Nitecore, Olight and Tenergy RCRs and the light did not work correctly. It would either cycle through the modes once and then shut down or it would only go into the LOW mode. He would then go back to using primary batteries and everything was fine with no sign of damage to the circuitry. I will choose to only use primaries. It's not worth it to me to risk the potential damage. Runtimes were less than advertised with Surefire CR123s (by about 20%) and even less with AA Eneloops (about 30%) on HIGH. The nylon holster is a tight fit. The velcro flap and velcro belt loop work fine.
After a week with the 1L 1AA, I noticed the brand new Surefire CR123 battery I had in it was showing an unusually low reading on my multi-tester with very little use. I decided to run a daily test for a few days and closely monitor the battery level. I found the 1L 1AA showed definite signs of parasitic battery drain. On day-1, a brand new Surefire CR123 read 3.25v and by day-4, it read 3.02v with no use. I really like the light, but the fact that it drains the battery while off is a deal-breaker to me. It had been over 7 days from my date of purchase so I no longer had the option of returning the light to Battery Junction. I will keep it and just deal with the obvious flaw by using Eneloop AAs most of the time. Had I discovered the problem sooner, I would have still had to go through the hassle of returning the light, paying for postage and the 15% restocking fee. Backing off the tailcap as a lock-out is not a good option either, since the tailcap comes completely off after less than two turns. I have several other Streamlight LED lights (Protac 1AAA, Protac 2AA, Trident headlamp and two 4AA Polymer models) and they do not drain the batteries while off. Very disappointed.
I contacted Streamlight and told them of them the battery drain issue. They confirmed it most likely had to do with a faulty tailcap switch that was not shutting off completely, consequently, allowing a small amount of electricity to continue flowing even when the light is off. Streamlight also told me, they do not recommend using RCR CR123 batteries. Using them should not damage the light, but it could possibly result in it not performing correctly. I sent in the light to be inspected, repaired or replaced under their lifetime warranty. After twenty-two days, I finally received a brand new 1L 1AA from Streamlight and ran another test. I found the light worked fine this time. I guess I got one with a bad tailcap switch the first time.
Overall, I like the light because of its battery options, but a much brighter torch with more features could be had powered by an 18650 battery if you're willing to spend a few bucks more and a little more length is not a deal breaker. But if you're looking for the two-battery option, the 1L 1AA is a fine choice, as long as you get one with a good tailcap switch. Knowing what I know now, I would not buy this light again though.