Fenix GL19R Weapon Light (WML) Review
By Travis H
Disclaimer: Light was provided to us for this review.
I was recently given the opportunity to conduct a review of the Fenix Lighting USA, GL19R WML and was excited for the opportunity. Fenix lights may not be as commonly known as some of the other major light companies however, they have been in the flashlight business for quite some time and have been consistently improving and innovating their products throughout the years.
While there are other higher end flashlight companies out there, I have found that Fenix puts out a very good product at a fair price which can be ideal for someone looking for a good WML option without breaking the bank.
I wanted to give the GL19R an honest look over, and point out the pros, cons, and the in-betweens.
The specifications you want to know:
Weight = 3.53 oz including battery
LED Luminus SFT40 bulb
Made of A6061-T6 aluminum
Size = 3.04”L x 1.19”W x 1.35”H
1200 lumen output (high) with 11,000 candela, 350 lumen output (low) with 3000 candela
Two brightness setting as well as high output strobe
689 foot max beam distance
IP68 rating for dirt, debris, recoil, and water resistance (submersible 1.5 meters for 30+ minutes)
Max runtime of two hours on low setting, one hour on high
Uses one 18350 rechargeable li-ion battery (included)
Built in USB Type-C charging port
Operating the GL19R:
For constant on, press and release the button. For momentary on, press the button for one second or more and release. For strobe, press the button, release, and press and hold the button again. To cycle through the high and low output, simply press and hold either button then simultaneously press the other button. This will allow you to choose high or low output and the light’s Intelligent Memory Cricut will memorize the chosen setting and automatically go to that setting until changed.
Lastly, the light has a “lockout” option ideal for travel or long-term storage. To lock the light, simply press and hold both buttons at the same time for five seconds. The light will then flash several times and turn off and be locked. To unlock it, press and hold both buttons again for approximately one second and the light will unlock.
Each time you turn on the GL19R, a small battery status indicator light is activated on the side, which lasts for 3 seconds. Green = 100% – 85%. Flashing green = 85% – 50%. Red light = 50% – 25%. Flashing red = 25% – 1%.
Overview and Testing:
The GL19R was made with the Glock 19 in mind however, it will fit on a variety of full size and some compact pistols. It comes with the Glock 19 rail bar already installed and can also be mounted to STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails. The size of the GL19R is in between a full size WML like a Streamlight TLR-1 and a compact WML like a TLR-7.
If you’re worried about holster compatibility, no worries there are ample options available. While there are currently no known major holster manufactures that make a holster specifically for this light, I tested out several different common styles.
I am a Glock guy personally, so my pistol and holster compatibility will be based on the Glock platform. I was able to holster a Glock with the Fenix GL19R on the following holster types that are made to accommodate a Streamlight TLR-1 light: Safariland ALS and/or SLS holsters, T.Rex Arms Ragnarok, Bravo Concealment holsters, as well as Raven Concealment holsters. Based off these compatibilities I would guess there are a verity of other holsters that will properly secure a pistol equipped with the this light.
It should be noted that while using the Safariland duty holsters, there was a slight “wiggle” room, but the ALS was still activated and kept the pistol secured.
The GL19R offers some unique settings with simple ergonomic activation switches that are very similar to that of the Streamlight TLR-7.
Once I played around with the light it was time to take it to the range for some testing. I had the GL19R mounted to my Gen 5 Glock model 45 and fired a total of 500 rounds on two separate days. While shooting during the first day it was approximately 70 degrees out and during nighttime shooting the second time it was snowing and only 7 degrees outside. I am unsure of the manufactures stated operating temperature range, but was pleased to test the light in a decent temperature range and I plan to do some further testing as temperatures here in Montana will soon be in the negatives.
During testing the GL19R consistently put out an ample amount of light and at no point did I see any light flickering or issues while shooting.
The button/switches are easy to manipulate with either hand but not so easy to where you have to worry about accidental activation.
During the low light conditions, I did some side-by-side comparisons with the GL19R to the Streamlight TLR-1, TLR-1HL, and the TLR-7. I was pleasantly surprised with the GL19R’s performance. It hands down put out a brighter light, effective flood area, and more intense hot spot compared to the TLR-1 and the TLR-7, while having a very comparable performance to the TLR-1HL.
My overall opinion for the Fenix GL19R is that for the money, it is a great WML with the performance and features that are very suitable for use. While I do like the light, I believe there are other higher end lights that I will continue to carry on duty due to personal preferences of design, and trust without hesitation due to having used them for many years.
The GL19R has a good ergonomic design that allows you to manipulate the light switches with support side or firing hand without having to drastically adjust your grip.
The high (turbo) 1200 lumen output is great! The 1200 lumens provide an extremely bright beam with a great hotspot and very large effective flood area.
Quick Detach (QD) lever:
One of my favorite features unique to the GL19R is the QD lever. This allows for a quick and easy attach/detach of the light to your firearm without having to tighten down screws or knobs each time.
Having a rechargeable battery is a great feature, However, I would prefer a charge port in the battery not on the light itself (see cons section below).
Charging port cover:
Although the GL19R does have a IP68 rating, I would personally prefer the battery to have the charging port rather than the charging port being on the light itself. The rubber cover has the potential of becoming damaged through long-term use especially with constant drawing and holstering. This is largely a personal preference but due to the location of the charging port cover I have concerns for the effects long term use may have on the cover.
I personally prefer a WML that uses CR123A batteries as most other lights and equipment use the same batteries and I keep a stock of them handy. I don’t want to keep a special type of battery specifically for my WML and in the event of it dying I want to be able to be able to switch batteries easily.
The GL19R is backed with Fenix Lighting USA’s limited lifetime warranty. Fenix also offers their AER-06s Tactical Remote Switch (sold separately), which connects to the light allowing you to use this WML as a rifle mounted light with remote switch. The GL19R is readily available for sale between $100.00 and $129.00. I believe Fenix Lighting USA has developed some great lights and good prices and I look forward to seeing more products in the future. I plan to do some more extensive testing of the GL19R to see how it continues to stand against other light options.
Where to find it: