First, here's the unit installed on a Smith & Wesson SW99 full-size pistol:
SW99 with WL-1
Obviously the WL-1 is mounted on the firearm accessory rail, with a Brinkmann LED flashlight and a Maglight MiniMag (with LED lens conversion) for comparison. Not shown in this picture is a fourth flashlight, a plain jane 2AA-powered plastic Energizer with a conventional bulb.
Secondly, this unit is TINY:
WL-1 Weight1.2 ounces. This light could be mounted on a Kel-Tec P3AT and not add a significant percentage of weight to it. This is a light that's not going to reduce muzzle flip or induce fatigue, that's for certain.
Next up we'll compare the four lights for size:
There are FOUR lights here!
All Lit Up
But the true test is how the lights illuminate a dark room. This next series of shots was taken in a darkened bedroom at a distance of about twelve feet.
2AA Mini-Maglight with LED Bulb
Obviously, the Energizer flashlight is best left as a last-resort, look-in-the-kids'-mouths-for-strep option, because lighting up a room ain't its forté. The Mini-Maglight does a fair job, casting the largest circle of illumination but with a pale blue tinge to it, not the best light for delicate work but enough to get the job done. The Brinkmann is clearly the brightest - this is a light you can actually feel heat coming off the lens after being on for any length of time - but it chews through CR123 batteries quickly.
The WL-1 puts out an amazing amount of light for such a small, light unit. The controls take a little getting used to for switching on and off, but are easy to reach and have a clearly defined "Off" position in the middle. Illumination is clear, crisp, and bright white; it's not as powerful as the 2 CR123 powered LED bulb Brinkmann; however it provides more than adequate amounts of light, certainly enough for home defense purposes. This isn't a light to blind an aggressor but to mark them...
At an MSRP of $80 and an "off the shelf" price between $50 and $60, this is an absolute STEAL when it comes to rail-mounted lights. It's small, light, and unobtrusive; it's well-put together and has a claimed run time of over an hour; and it provides a good deal of light given it's diminutive size. Personally, I'd rather see a switch cap than the slide-through toggle, but I prefer even the toggle to the grip-tape mounted auxiliary switches that some rail-mounted lights come with.
LaserLyte continues to impress with its line of affordable, rugged products - the WL-1 gets a hearty two thumbs up for price, light output, and size/weight.
That is all.
Obligatory FTC disclaimer: LaserLyte provided the WL-1 WhyteLyte Sub-Compact Flashlight System for review as well as numerous other items in their shipment to the writer of this review.