Fenix introduced a new line this year with the high-performance weapon-mounted tactical lights. Today we are looking at the brand new GL19R a midsize pistol mount light, with a TIR style reflector, onboard USB-C charging that runs off of a standard 18350 battery. With the name GL19R, I had to put this one on my Glock 19, it just seems it was meant to be. Thanks to Fenix for sending this preproduction sample to me to look at and review.
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Packaging and Accessories
Since this is a pre-production model I don’t have any samples of the retail box or the final accessories. It did come with a 1100mAh Fenix branded but standard flat top 18350 battery, USB-A to C charging cable, as well as two different rail attachment points to fit both Glock and 1913 sized rails. A quick note on the manual, I thought it was kind of interesting they included some basic gun safety instructions that were actually good such as “never point a firearm at something you are not willing to destroy”.
Construction & Design
The light is made from aluminum and hard anodized in a flat black color. The overall design is similar to what I have seen from other weapon lights, nothing very revolutionary. The front untwists to give access to the battery. It has springs on bother sides, which is good. The front bezel has small crenulations and stands proud of the large TIR Optic. The optic is topped with glass which is great for cleaning and scratch resistance.
I will cover the mount in the section below. The user interface buttons are plastic, with a little texturing. They are hinged at the bottom and the actual button to press is at the top. I like this, as I rest my finger above the trigger on the frame of the handgun.
Labeling on my light is a little strange, there are sections on the head and one on the body that is shiny and it looks almost like they put a sticker or paint to cover up something, then did laser engraving again. I expect this is unique to the preproduction unit I have as they make slight label changes. I do like that the engraving here is grayer than bright white and the required CE and No Recycling markings are made on the underside where they won’t be seen when mounted.
Size and Weight
I measured the length at 70mm (not including the buttons) width at 30mm and height at 31mm including the top of the mount. The outside diameter of the head is 25mm. Weight with the battery came in at 3.50 ounces with the battery or 99.2g. The light is impact resistant to 1M and IP68 water-related.
As mentioned before the light is designed to be mounted on the rail of a firearm. It came fitted with the aluminum insert for Glock, but a 1913 piece was included. It’s secured with a small Torx screw. The light uses a quick-release system on the right side of the light, with an adjustment screw on the left side. It’s a little different from the system that Olight uses and doesn’t have as much range of motion. Once properly adjusted it does fit snugly but it’s not as easy to switch between firearms without adjustment. Probably not an issue for most people. The lock is pretty easy to actuate, while it does it flush I would prefer a bit more force needed to unlock it, just for extra security.
As far as holsters, being such a new product I couldn’t find any with a search online and Fenix didn’t have any partners signed up at the product launch, so you will have to turn to the custom holster market if you want a holster for your firearm and this light. That is one of the problems with new companies getting into the market for the first time.
LED & Beam
The GL19R is running a Luminus SFT40 LED. No official tint is given by Fenix here, but my Opple meter measured it at 5570k, and 62 CRI. The beam mostly spots as you would expect in this application, the TIR reflector helps increase the size of that hotspot and minimize the spill. On Turbo there is almost no PWM according to my Opple meter but there is a decent amount on High as visible from the meter.
I have a calibrated Lumen Tube now from Texas Ace and this was the first light I put on it for lumen output and later runtimes. Official outputs put Turbo at 1200 lumens, I tested it at 1197 Lumens at 30 seconds, and on High, it’s rated for 350 lumens, I tested it at 339 lumens, so all very close to as advertised.
Heat & Runtime
In Turbo mode, you can count on that full output for the first 30 seconds, before you see any declines, the decline happens slowly out to 3 minutes, where the light is making about 500 lumens. It holds this for about 50 minutes before a significant stepdown and shutting off right at 1 hour. During this time the hottest I saw was at 43C at the 55-minute mark. The light does have thermal protections at 60C according to the manual but I never saw that high of temp when I tested at room temperature.
I compared Turbo to High outputs and while High produces quite a bit fewer lumens about 340 lumens, the shape of the curve is a very linear decline out to 2 hours of runtime. In high mode, my meter did measure a decent amount of PWM too.
There is a low voltage warning on the light with the battery indicator on the left side, it flashes red, but it also reduces the light’s output to only 50 lumens so it’s hard to miss. Fenix does recommend charging the light every 4 months if not used for peak performance.
UI here is a little different but logical. From off you can press the light to turn it on or off into the mode used last and this will turn it on constantly. If you long-press from off the light will go to momentary if held for more than 1 second. To select your different output mode when press one of the buttons and hold, and then click the other to toggle between High and Turbo and vice versa. Kind of difficult to do while mounted in a tactical situation especially if you follow Fenix’s recommendation that the light only is activated with the non-trigger finger and to use a two-handed grip. To get to the strobe with the light on press and hold either switch for half a second to enter or exit the strobe. This is momentary strobe only, not ideal for a tactical situation with ½ second being kind of a long time to activate. It’s worth noting the light does have a way to lock it if you wish and that memory mode works as long as the battery is installed, when the battery is removed the light goes back to default mode.
Recharging is accomplished via a USB-C port on the left-hand side of the light. The port is covered with a silicone port cover that fits well. The light is compatible with PD chargers however it does not charge in the PD mode. One thing to note is that the light will not work while charging.
Using the onboard charging here from LVP at 3.074V, the light reported it was full in 1:44:00 and the cell tested at 4.160V. Max charge rate here was 0.72a during the constant current charge phase, with a small spike before it started to decline. Roughly a 1C charge curve here, good for overall battery longevity.
LED Indicator on the side servers as both a charging status indicator (Red when charging, green when charged) and as a battery check. Check the manual for what the different colors and blinks mean.
The Fenix GL19R is a solid offering from a company experienced with tactical lights but new to pistol-mounted lights. The build quality here seems to be good, and the mounting system works pretty well. The rear buttons are certainly better than some brands but it’s hard to beat Shurefire’s toggles in my opinion. I would say it’s as good if not better than the system Olight is using on their similarly sized models. I really like that they are using a standard battery size here, so nothing is proprietary and it will easy to get replacement 18350’s in the future.
I think the UI here while it works could probably be optimized, the UI here means you have to go into a situation knowing what you want to use, for me that would be high mode, and then bump up to Turbo if I needed it. To do that while easy in theory I find is a little hard to actually reach. I would prefer a quick double or triple tap for turbo, and something similar with strobe.
Other than the UI side of things I think this is a solid offering. Hopefully, Fenix is able to partner with some holster manufacturers soon and we see some support for that soon.
Let me know what you think of the Fenix GL19R in the comments below!