Flashlight Applications and Beam Patterns

Having the right flashlight that meets your lighting needs is important. That's one of the reasons Streamlight developed three series of lights: Tradition, High Lumen (HL) and High Performance, High Lumen (HPL). Each series offers a different balance of features and can be used for a variety of applications.


In addition to the information on this page, Streamlight has an interactive, online beam demonstration to help you determine the right light for you. Check it out by clicking here. For a video tutorial of our beam patterns, please click here. For a PDF of this page, click here.

We understand it can sometimes be difficult to determine which lights work best for a variety of applications. When choosing a flashlight, keep the following in mind:

  • Tradition Series: Meant for general, multi-purpose use, these lights are designed for the broadest range of lighting applications at the best value.
    Performance Characteristics Typical Uses Examples of Available Products
    • Optimal balance of candela and lumens
    • Longest regulated run times
    • The best value
    • Day-to-day industrial use
    • Law enforcement duty light
    • Maintaining vehicles
    • General contracting work
    • PolyStinger® LED/DS® LED
    • Stinger® LED/DS® LED
    • Strion® LED
    • TLR-1®/TLR-1®s (weapon-mount light)
    • TLR-2®/TLR-2®s (weapon-mount light)
  • High Lumen (HL): Gives you maximum illumination, providing full situational awareness by delivering extraordinary brightness in a wide beam pattern. These lights are ideal for smaller areas where you need a lot of light, but not an exceptionally long reach.
    Performance Characteristics Typical Uses Examples of Available Products
    • High lumen beam
    • Delivers maximum illumination
    • Provides a good level of candela
    • Clearing a dark scene or searching an alley
    • Lighting a campsite
    • Vehicle stops or searches
    • Wherever you want wide scene illumination, while
      still being small enough to fit in your pocket
    • ProTac HL®/ProTac HL® 3/ProTac HL® 4
    • Scorpion® HL
    • Stinger LED HL®/DS LED HL®
    • Strion LED HL®
    • TLR-1 HL® (weapon-mount light)
    • TLR-2 HL® (weapon-mount light)
  • High Performance, High Lumen (HPL): A good choice for down-range applications requiring optimal beam distance, as these flashlights throw light a long distance and feature an enhanced lumen output.
    Performance Characteristics Typical Uses Examples of Available Products
    • High-candela beam
    • Delivers long-range lighting
    • Sheds a bright peripheral beam
    • More light on your target at a distance
    • See all the way to the end of a dark alley or down
      a wooded path
    • Inspecting utility lines from the ground
    • Search and rescue missions
    • Down-range illumination
    • Stinger® HPL™/DS® HPL™
    • Strion® HPL™
    • TLR-1® HPL™ (weapon-mounted light)
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