Streamlight TLR-7A vs TLR-7 Sub

This is my comparison of the two popular Streamlight lights TLR 7A vs. TLR 7 Sub.

I am a gun enthusiast, and I have spent the last 4 days researching these lights to help you choose the better one. 

Both TLR 7A and TLR 7 Sub are popular Streamlight lights. But TLR Sub has a slimmer profile than the TLR 7A, while the TLR A is more versatile. 

Let’s get into the review and see which one is for you. 

Streamlight TLR 7 Sub VS 7A

The TLR 7A is a compact pistol light. It is also compatible with full-sized handguns.  It is the upgraded version of the original TLR 7. The main difference is that the TLR 7-A has toggle switches for activation. These switches are much easier to control, making it very easy to handle the light. This feature was a welcome upgrade of the TLR 7 A from the original Streamlight TLR 7. The TLR 7 A is a popular light for Glock 19, HK VP9, Smith Wesson M&P compact, etc.  Its best uses are personal defense, conceal carry and range shooting.

The TLR Sub is a light for sub-compact pistols and some full-sized ones. You can say that it is a slimmer version of the TLR 7A. It is compatible with Railed Glock 43, 48, Sig Sauer P365 & XL, Smith Wesson M&P (9/40c, 2.0),  and Springfield Hellcat(with some modifications). The Sub also includes the upgraded toggle switch of the TLR 7 A. 

Streamlight TLR 7 Sub VS 7A Specifications

Lumens 500500
Weight2.40 ounces2.39 ounces
Runtime1.5 hours1.5 hours
Length2.58 inches2.51 inches
Beam Distance140 meters141 meters

TLR 7A vs. TLR 7 Sub-Features Comparison

Although the TLR 7A and 7 Sub have many similar features, they are not the same lights. Below mentioned are some key differences between the two lights. 


For some people, a compact size can be the only reason for purchasing a product. You might have two very similar lights, but the size can be the deciding factor. 

In this case, the TLR 7 Sub is slimmer in profile than the TLR 7 A.  So, the thinner profile is what most shooters prefer. This feature makes the Sub winner in this category.

Winner: TLR Sub


With the TLR 7 Sub, you have to buy the gun-specific model. For example, you have to buy a different TLR 7 Sub version for the Glock 43X and a P365. You cannot use one light interchangeably. In contrast, you can attach TLR 7A with most compact size guns. 

So, the TLR 7 A is the clear winner in this category because one light can serve many similar pistols, which is not the case with the TLR Sub. 

Winner: TLR 7 A


Adding a light to your gun means more weight. Most shooters prefer lightweight options for a weapon light. Here the TLR 7A and TLR 7 Sub have a negligible difference in weight. Although both are lightweight, the Sub is 0.01 oz lighter than the 7A. So, this slight difference cannot be counted as a substantial difference. 

Winner: None

Lumens and Candela

We focus more on lumens as they tell us how much light you can get with a particular weapon light. But candela is essential because it measures the intensity of one specific light. So, both are equally important. 

The lights in comparison here have equal lumens, i.e., 500, and candelas, i.e., 5000. So, nobody is a winner in this category. These numbers are less than many other lights in the market, but these lumens and candelas are sufficient for what a compact and a subcompact light can do. For example, using these lights with your defense gun will give you a good hotspot and flood for situational awareness up to 30 yards. 

Winner: None

Similar Features Worth Mentioning

  • Both have Ambi toggle switches that are easily reachable. Both are made of 6061 T6 aerospace aluminum, making these lights durable. 
  • Both have 3 modes of operation( constant on, momentary, and strobe)
  • Both have lockout mode. This feature prevents accidental activation, and prevention of accidental activation saves batteries. 
  • Both lights have a rail clamp system. This clamp system quickly and securely attaches/detaches and safely without using any tools and without putting hands in front of the muzzle. 
  • Both use one CR123A lithium battery. 

Final Verdict

It is difficult to pick one light between the two options here as they have more similarities than differences. It would not be wrong to say that the Streamlight TLR 7 Sub is a smaller version of the TLR 7A. But I would choose the TLR 7A as the overall winner because I can use the same light with similar-sized pistols. Also, with the Sub, you have to trim the rail key if you want to use it with Springfield Hellcat. 

So, I would pick the TLR 7A and hope you can pick yours after reading the review.


Will a TLR-7 A fit in a TLR-7 holster?

Yes, the TLR-7 holsters will fit the TLR 7A. But what you have to make sure is that you index them on the top part of the pistol light frame and next to where it attaches to the rails on your pistol. So, if you already own a TLR 7 holster, you can use it with the 7A.

What is the TLR-7 sub?

The TLR-7 Sub is a sub-compact pistol’s light. It has a maximum output of 500 lumens with a peak beam intensity of 5000 candelas. It also has a rail clamp system that allows it to attach to the pistol safely with no tools. 

Does the Streamlight TLR-7A have a laser?

The TLR-7A doesn’t have a laser. But the Streamlight TLR-8 has similar features as the TLR-7 with an added laser. 

Is the TLR 7-A waterproof?

The TLR 7-A has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can be submerged in 1m of water for 30 minutes.

Related Post

The Best

Scopes & Stuff for Hunters

Straight to your inbox