Looking for a white weapon light to attach to my AR-15, I started researching my options. As with other AR-15 attachments, the quantity of options available to consumers is virtually limitless. I am no expert when it comes to AR-15 attachments, let alone ARs. So, if you’re like me, trying to sort through those available options becomes a little overwhelming.
by Derrick James, SHTFblog founder and blogger at Prepper Press
The whole decision-making process went something like this…
I finally got my Aimpoint PRO. Now I need a light. But I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars. But I also don’t want to buy junk. I want something that isn’t too heavy. But I also want plenty of power. Actually, how many lumens do I need? Small is good, but what do I sacrifice with smaller size? Should I focus more on spill or throw? I see some have strobe features. Do I need strobe? Where should I even attach this thing should I get one? Do I need other accessories? Where do I even start? ARGH!?
Faced with analysis paralysis, I sat on the debate for a while. Then the folks over at Olight contacted me about giving away one of their lights to a lucky SHTFblog reader (more on that at the end). That’s when I figured I should review one of their lights in advance of a giveaway so I’m at least a bit more educated on what it is we’re giving away. I was “forced” to decide (tough, I know). In the end, of all the products they have available, I opted to get their PL-PRO Valkyrie weapon light.
Why the Olight PL-PRO Valkyrie?
Was it because the “PRO” in the name matched my Aimpoint “PRO”? No. Was it because of the Valkyrie name, derived from Norse mythology, denoting a female figure who chose those that died and those that lived in battle, taking the dead on to Valhalla? No.
I chose the PL-PRO Valkyrie for a few reasons:
- The light had the two most important features I wanted: compact and lightweight.
- It came with a rail adapter allowing easy attachment to both MIL-STD-1913 and Glock rails.
- It has a built-in rechargeable battery.
- The light can be turned on from two different sides.
- The $129.95 price seemed reasonable when compared to others.
Olight offers many other choices, but the PL-PRO fit the bill, and online reviews were strong.
More than a Weapon Light – A Flashlight
The single, biggest driving factor behind my choice in light was actual use of the light. By that I mean, I wanted a light I would use in everyday life first and foremost. The “weapon” application was secondary. If I’m spending over $100 on a light, I don’t want it just sitting on a rifle in my gun safe when I don’t really shoot at night anyway. I didn’t want a weapon light per se, I wanted a small flashlight that could double as a weapon light. The distinction is subtle, but for me, important.
Olight’s PL-PRO was the flashlight I wanted for that “general use first” role. I could toss it in my pocket when I’m out walking the dog at dusk. I could toss it in my hiking pack without adding much weight or taking up much space. I could use it as an EDC light. I could use it around the house.
Looking for Light Throw Over Spill
The other thing I wanted in a light was “throw.” Lumens are one thing, and the PL-PRO has plenty at 1,500, but I wanted that light to be focused in a beam, like a garden house on stream. I didn’t need anything spread out (spill) like a garden house on spray. Different lights have different applications. The PL-PRO throw is listed at 280 meters, which gives a focused light that reaches out.
If, by comparison, I wanted a light that spread out more closely, I’d look for more spill and less throw. Back to my primary objective of having a flashlight to use, throw is what I needed. I have plenty of smaller lights with spill.
Unboxing the PL-PRO Valkyrie
The light comes in “lockout mode” to prevent the battery from accidentally draining during shipping. The battery arrives fully-charged and ready to use.
The box contains the following components:
- The PL-PRO Valkyrie
- Magnetic Charging Cable
- Two Rail Adapters (Glock and 1913)
- Allen Wrench for Adapters
- User Manual
The rail adapters are small; the screws are even smaller. I swapped out the Glock adapter for the 1913 and had to be very careful not to drop the screws. I’ve stored all of the components in the original package to make sure they’re not lost should I want to change the adapter at some future date. Each adapter is clearly labeled: “GL” for Glock and “1913” for 1913.
Charging the Olight PL-PRO
I appreciate the rechargeable battery on this light. It has a USB charging cable, so it can plug in almost anywhere: your PC, home, vehicle, etc. Once plugged in, the charging cable lights up green.
The magnet fits snugly onto the charging spot and the light goes from green to red when charging.
At 3.25 ounces and 3.27″ long, I knew the light was small. Still, I didn’t realize how small until it was in my hand. When I say you can toss it in your pocket, I’m not kidding. You’ll barely notice it’s there!
(As a side note, Olight even sells a smaller version, the PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie.)
The quick-release arm on the side of the PL-PRO is very convenient, particularly where I intend to use the light regularly. If I want it mounted on a weapon, I can mount it in seconds. No fumbling with screw drivers or Allen wrenches. I just flip the arm and take it off or put it on – easy!
The size and weight were also ideal for the actual mounting of it on a gun rail. It takes up very little real estate, doesn’t make the front end abnormally heavy, and it stays out of the way.
The light has two buttons on the back end. Either button will turn the light on. Push one of them quickly twice and it will switch between light intensity levels. Push both buttons at once and the light will pulsate with a strobe effect.
Make no doubt about it, the PL-PRO Valkyrie has plenty of power. The picture below was taken in full darkness. The tree is about 50 yards away. No filter or editing of the photo. I took the picture with my phone.
The light, in particular the throw, may be more than some people are looking for. You can see in the above picture how focused the light is. It’s almost a spotlight! This is good when you’re outside and want to see something specific in the distance. If, however, you want to light up your tent or maybe even sweep a building, you might a light with less power and/or more spread (spill). Like any good tool, it is designed for specific purposes.
What I Don’t Like
Nothing is perfect, and the PL-PRO is no different. That said, there are only two things I didn’t really care for, and they’re minor. Both involve its appearance. The first is the magnetic charging circle pictured below.
Maybe I’m being nit-picky, but I would prefer if there was some way to make the charging area all black, not the shiny metal that’s there now. Maybe this can’t be done, I don’t know.
On a related note, I don’t like the bold, white lettering on the side of the light (see a few pics up). I get people need to label and market their product, but for the same reason I don’t like car dealership stickers on the back of a new car, I don’t like bold labels on my flashlights (or anything else). Toning back the white lettering and making it light gray would have been a good middle-ground between labeling it and being more subtle.
Would I Recommend the PL-PRO Valkyrie?
Yes. Really, without hesitation. There are many lights out there to choose from, but this one is about half the cost of some comparable lights by more well-known brands. That means I could get two of these Olight lights for one competing brand. That’s really where this comes down to for me – value. The PL-PRO Valkyrie has all of the attributes I was looking for at a reasonable price. What more could I want?
Thinking about getting one? Always check Olight’s sales first. You might get lucky with additional savings.