Today I have a review of the new Olight PL-2RL Baldr weapon light from Olight. This light takes the PL-2 which I reviewed last year and adds a red laser to the bottom of the light. A few things on the flashlight itself were improved upon and then the addition to the laser. Thanks to Olight for sending this to me to take a look at.
Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/l4MvtiC
YouTube Version of this Review:
Packaging is similar to Olight’s others from 2018. It’s a white cardboard box with texture, and a picture of the light printed on the outside. On the back it has stats about it and runtime specs. I prefer if Olight would relocate the SN/Barcode because when you pull the tab to open the package that piece comes loose.
Accessories include the light itself, 2x CR123A batteries, small Hex wrench, and a 1913 rail piece (The Glock is preinstalled). If you don’t know the Glock rail is slightly smaller, it will work on a 1913 rail but move around more than is desired.
This light is very similar in construction to the original PL-2 but with a laser module screwed on to the bottom. It’s built of aircraft grade aluminum and is pretty sturdy. The anodizing finish on the light looks the same but in my experience it and the lens clean up easier. I sprayed mine down with Ballistol, let it sit for about 15 minutes while cleaning other things and the powder residue on the front of the light and on the lens easily wiped off with a microfiber towel. My PL-2 was more difficult to clean.
The buttons appear to be the same, they click from the side, not from the back, have a rubberized texture and are ambidextrous. The battery door has a tab to pull up and then it hinges up. This means you most likely will need to remove it from your weapon to swap batteries. Not a huge deal with the toolless mounting system on the PL-2RL. It has visible springs in the front nearest the lens, but the rear terminals are also spring loaded, just not visible. Not much movement in them.
The mounting system has been improved on the PL-2RL. It still features a toolesss quick release lever which I really like. What’s new is this is now more spring loaded. In the unlocked position the light is very hard to shake off accidentally, if you push on it some you can get it to come off. To get it off you have to press in on the lever to expand the jaws a bit. This is definitely an improvement, the PL-2 would just drop free when the lever was in the unlock position, I could see if you were in a tactical situation how the lever may be caught on something and if that happened your light would fall free. With the new PL-2RL that is much less likely to occur.
The light does have a bright yellow warning sticker about the laser that also features as the indicator for the modes. I wish this was done differently. I understand there is probably import/legal regulations regarding the laser, but I wish the mode indicators were laser engraved into the light as a more permanent fix. I find the yellow a bit distracting and it’s not very tactical. I think i’ll either cut the sticker and remove the bulk of the yellow part or use a sharpie or paint marker to make it black.
Size and Weight
This isn’t a small weapon light. The addition to the laser adds quite a bit of bulk to the light. On a full size pistol it’s ok, but on anything much smaller it’s borderline too big in my opinion. Length of the PL-2RL is 83mm, width is 36.5mm, depth is 48mm. Depth of the PL-2 was 30.5mm.
Weight with batteries of the PL-2 is 116g.
Weight with batteries of the PL-2RL is 140g an increase of 24 grams.
It is IPX6 water rated so it should do fine in heavy rain or dropped in a puddle if removed quickly. It’s not a diving light.
Hold a zero?
In my testing the light held a zero pretty well. I tested the light on a couple of Glock’s chambered in .45 ACP, 10mm, and 9mm. I also tested it on an AR9 pistol. We didn’t zero it on every firearm but we did on 10mm and AR9 and after the first few shots it held its position well. I know Olight had some initial issues with the PL-2 and 10mm, we didn’t have any issue after running it through a variety of rounds.
To adjust zero there are two set screws near the laser part of the housing to set windage and elevation. An included Torx wrench does come with the light. One thing I would improve is when adjusting elevation and windage some clicks that you could either feel or hear would be useful, to improve the speed of adjustment. So you know each click is for example 1 MOA etc. You can zero it without shooting a round at home if you have your iron signs setup. Point your unloaded firearm in a safe direction, and zero the laser to your iron sights.
The PL-2RL is advertised as producing 1200 lumens through a CREE XHP 35 HI LED in Cool White, however those are peak lumens. Like many high output flashlights the PL-2RL will step down in brightness to 400 Lumens after 1.5 minutes. The runtime is then an additional 100-105 minutes depending if the laser is on or off. In mode 2 when the light is on at a constant 400 lumens, runtime is increased to 105 or 120 minutes depending on if the laser is on or off. The lens is glass, with a plastic TIR style reflector. It creates a very hot center, minimizing spill. The Olight PL-2RL can use 2X CR123A or rechargeable RCR123A cells. If using the rechargeables runtime won’t be as long. This is one case where I would recommend using Primary batteries for longer shelf life, and because the runtimes will be longer due to the reduced capacity of the rechargeable batteries.
The laser is a 5mW red laser that’s similar at 15 yards to a 3moa red dot. It’s running at a 645-655nm wavelength. Max runtime of laser only is 75 hours. Having the laser on doesn’t change runtime much of the XHP 35 HI LED. Olight lists the difference in mode 1 (1200 lumens, then 400 lumens after 1.5 minutes) of only 5 minutes if the laser is on. In mode 2 (Constant 400 lumens) the runtime difference with the laser on is 15 minutes less.
The beamshots are identical to the PL-2. It’s a large hot center and throws decently well. The laser seems to be pretty centered in the middle of this beam. See my video for the examples.
This light uses the same side to side toggle buttons as the PL-2 has. They work best to push from the side in. These work pretty much the same as the PL-2 for light uses. If you long press on either switch you get momentary on, if you quick press you get constant on, and if you click both together you gets strobe (Doesn’t work on laser only mode). On the back of the laser you have a 3 position selector switch, Left, Center and Right to select what combination of laser/light are on when the buttons are pressed..
When the selector switch is all the way to the left you get laser only. It will come on with either left or right button, and pinching each button at the same time doesn’t do anything in this mode.
When the selector switch is in the center you get a Light + Laser option. In this mode when you pinch both switches together the light will strobe and the laser stays on all the time.
When the selector switch is to the right you get only a light. In this mode the light works exactly like the PL-2, giving you momentary with a longer press or constant on with quick press.
Rather then a big yellow warning sticker about the laser, I would prefer they laser engrave the 3 positions into the light itself as I think most people will remove the sticker. Engraving is also much more durable.
- Buttons with tactile and audible click
- Quick open battery door
- Improved Tool free quick disconnect mounting system
- High performance but it can’t be sustained due to heat
- The addition of the laser makes this quite large and heavier.
- Holster options will be limited, meaning you may have to have one custom made.
- Somewhat pricey batteries (CR123A)
- Strobe interface isn’t ideal requiring pressing both buttons at the same time.
I have enjoyed testing the Olight weapon lights, for me they have worked well on a variety of guns and platforms. The PL-2RL is a nice addition to the line. It’s downfall is it’s size, even on a full size pistol it’s pretty big.. For me it’s probably going to live on one of my AR platforms due to the size and having to get a custom holster. I like the addition of the laser, it makes aiming in the right conditions a little quicker and easier once you have it zeroed in.
I like the Norse mythology name of the PL-2RL Baldr, the god of light. Each weapon light from Olight shows their growth in knowledge and experience in this segment of the industry and this is what you want to see to keep making better products. Olight needs to work with holster manufacturers in advance of a light release to have better support for their weapon lights if they want a wider adoption rate. I am interested to see what they come up with next.