New: Streamlight TLR-7 X USB Rechargeable Light

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

Streamlight makes flashlights for just about any task you can think of. They make it all, from weapon-mounted to handheld lights, and even camping lanterns.

The TLR-7 is a light many of us are familiar with and use often. Now, Streamlight has introduced the TLR-7 X USB, a sub-compact light with a rechargeable battery and USB charging cable.

Streamlight TLR-7 X USB
The TLR-7 X is a 500-lumen light with a 1-hour run time. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Weapon-mounted lights are becoming more common for concealed carry purposes and home defense. For home defense, the size of the light may not matter as much. But people often want a compact gun for concealment, and a compact light is the perfect match to go along with it.

Having a rechargeable battery is a great feature because many don’t want to mess with purchasing batteries. If you have other lights, red dots, lasers, etc. it’s frustrating to try and keep every type of battery on hand. And that doesn’t include all the other gadgets we use that also require batteries.

With the SL-B9 USB-C rechargeable battery, I don’t have to worry about battery replacements.     

TLR-7 X with rechargeable battery

When you glance at the TLR-7 X it appears to be a smaller version of the popular TLR-1 full-size weapon-mounted light. While both are great lights, they are quite different.

First, the battery on the TLR-7 X loads from the front and not the back. With the TLR-1, the light must be removed from the gun to open the back compartment and access the batteries. With the TLR-7 X, the light head unscrews, allowing a single battery to be loaded from the front.

The second major difference is the activation switches. Unlike the toggle switch on the TLR-1, the TLR-7 X buttons push forward, towards the front of the light. There are buttons on both sides, so the light is fully ambidextrous.

Streamlight TLR-7 X USB
The TLR-7 X comes with multiple rail keys, low-cut activation paddles, an installation key, and a USB-C charging cable. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

The SL-B9 battery that comes with the light has a USB-C charging port on the top for charging the battery. This means it does need to be removed from the light to charge it. At 2.5 hours, the battery does charge quickly and provides one hour of constant run time.

Rechargeable batteries are convenient and save on buying new ones, and my only concern is being able to keep the light running if I’m in the field and can’t charge it. Streamlight solved this problem by making the rechargeable battery the same size as CR123. So, if I don’t have time to charge it, I can swap it out with a CR123 battery until I have time to charge the other one.    

What features does it offer?

Streamlight provides five additional rail keys besides the one that comes installed on the light. A rail key changes the distance of the notch that fits into the Picatinny rail on your gun. This basically changes how far the back of the light is from your trigger guard.

Having the correct rail key ensures the activation switch is close enough that you can use it without issue. For a proper fit, the light should sit up against the front of the trigger guard. A small tool is provided for changing the rail key.

Streamlight TLR-7 X USB
One great feature of the TLR-7 X is its dual fuel capability. It can run on a CR123 battery or the included rechargeable battery. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

It’s also important for the light to fit on the gun properly so it fits in holsters made specifically for it. One example is the Safariland Incog X IWB holster made for a Glock 19 (gen 5) with the TLR-7 and standard-size optic. This holster is also available for other firearms with the TLR-7 light.

Another interesting part that can be swapped out is the activation buttons on both sides of the light. Out of the box, the light comes with what are called “high and low switch” activation buttons. The high switch buttons come on the light and the low switch buttons can be swapped out. I preferred the high switch that comes installed on it.

Using the Streamlight TLR-7 X light

Once you have the rail key and activation switch set to your desired preference, the light is ready to use. When it’s in the correct position, the trigger guard should fit between the activation switches (or paddles). When pressed and held, the light will turn on and back off when released. To keep the light on, press the button and release it quickly.

Streamlight included their Ten-Tap programing with the TLR-7 X so you can program the light to function with strobe or without. My light came with the strobe feature turned off. To turn it on, press the activation switch 10 times and hold down on the tenth time. The light will change from Constant On to Strobe.

Streamlight TLR-7 X USB
When installed correctly, the trigger guard will fit between the activation buttons/paddles. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

When this feature is activated, the light will function as normal until you push the activation switch twice. At that point, the strobe will turn on until you turn the light back off. To remove the strobe feature, repeat the programming process.

When storing or transporting the light, you can turn the head of the light counterclockwise to keep it off. The easiest way is to turn the light on and then turn the head of the light until it shuts off. This will save your battery in case the activation switch is accidentally pushed when being transported.

How does it handle on the range?

Because I work in law enforcement, I am used to the full-size TLR-1 light which has a toggle switch. When I’m holding a gun, my thumb naturally wants to push down on the toggle switch to activate the light. The buttons on the TLR-7 are different from the TLR-1 and push in, not down. So, this made me wonder if the TLR-7 X would take some getting used to.

I mounted my light on a Gen 5 Glock 19 and headed to the range. Thanks to for providing some 115gr 9mm Sellier & Bellot ammunition for the review.   

Streamlight TLR-7 X USB on Glock 19 Gen 5
Activating the TLR-7 X was easy to do while shooting. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Because I was trying to test the functionality of the light and not its visibility, I headed to the range during the day. My goal was to see if I could quickly raise the gun, activate the light, and fire it. I also wanted to push and hold down on the button, creating momentary light while firing.

On some models, the light blinks off when I fire because of the recoil from the gun.

I found the motion of activating the light was not much different than the TLR-1. When my thumb pushed down, the shape of the button on the TLR-7 caused it to go forward and activate. When shooting while holding down the button, the light stayed on without issue.

Perfect light for compact to mid-size guns?

I like my TLR-1 weapon lights and I continue to use them on duty. But when you want to carry a mid-size gun, like the Glock 19, or smaller, the TLR-7 X is a great size light. On my G19 the light sits flush with the end of the muzzle, which I really like.

Streamlight TLR-7 X USB
Streamlight TLR-7 X has paddle switches that push in towards the front of the light. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

It’s waterproof, shockproof, and comes with a rechargeable battery. It’s hard to find a better bargain than this.

Streamlight offers the TLR-7 X in black or flat dark earth and comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. If you want a durable light for a reasonable price, check out the Streamlight TLR-7 X USB.


  • Multi-fuel: Uses one (1) Streamlight SL-B9 protected Li-Ion USB-C rechargeable battery pack or one (1) CR123A lithium battery
  • 500 lumens; 5,000 candela; 140m beam; runs 1.5 hours (CR123A), runs 1 hour (SL-B9)
  • Ambidextrous rear paddle switches with HIGH and LOW options
  • Safe-off feature prevents accidental activation; saves batteries

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