When I started in police work in the early 1990s, there were about three major flashlight companies in the U.S. with Streamlight being one of them. I remember being issued a brand new Streamlight SL20-X duty light. It was about 150 lumens of yellow light and it was the best thing out there. I used that light for many years and it saw me through some pretty close calls on some dark nights. I still have it, though it is mounted on the wall in my workshop as a reminder of the days when I was a “real” cop. Here we are, a quarter of a century later, and I wish I could say I have improved as much as Streamlight flashlights have!
Every year Streamlight comes out with a dizzying array of new products. We try to cover many of them on Guninpho between focused articles and bylines in other features but there are simply too many. Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s SHOT Show that I have had the opportunity to personally test.
The ProTac HL 5-X USB rechargeable light is a beast. It is the largest of the ProTacs and also the brightest at a blistering 3,500 lumens! This is one of Streamlight’s new Multi-Fuel lights in that it runs on two power sources. It comes with two rechargeable 18650 USB batteries but will also run on 4 of the CR123A lithium batteries. It has four settings, high, medium, low and strobe. It will run for 1.25 hours on high (3,500 lumens), 3 hours on medium (1,000 lumens) and a whopping 11.5 hours on low (250 lumens)! This is a great light for hunting and for search and rescue work.
The new Dualie Waypoint Spotlight is an excellent choice for camping and industrial work. It has one brightness level of 1,000 lumens and runs for 3.5 hours on 3 Alkaline C batteries. It is IPX7 waterproof rated and will float so go ahead and take it on the water with you. The cool thing about the new Dualie is it has two different beams. One is the traditional forward facing design while another faces downward. The light has a kickstand and a hanging D-ring so it can be mounted and used in a variety of ways. The switch has three output modes allowing you to use either beam independently or both at once. Another great feature of the Dualie is the handle is large enough to hang it over a door giving you one more way to use it.
The MicroStream USB Pocket Light is a tiny little thing that puts out a big light. 250 lumens to be exact. It has a built in rechargeable battery that will work with any micro-USB plug. I love how Streamlight has hidden the charging ports on these lights behind the sliding bezel. This little baby will run for 1.5 hours on high and 3.5 hours on the 50 lumen low setting. The MicroStream has a removable multi-directional pocket clip that allows you to clip it to your ball cap. This is a great pocket light and takes away any excuse you may have for not always having a light on you.
The Bandit Rechargeable Headlamp has gotten a lumen boost from when it was first introduced and also comes in black, yellow and tan. It is also USB rechargeable and will run for 2 hours on high (180 lumens) and 9.5 hours on low (35 lumens). The push-button switch has a charge indictor built in and the light only takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge. It can also be had with red or green LED bulbs. I really like this light due to how light and comfortable it is to wear. If you need a super bright, long range headlamp, then you should probably go with the excellent ProTac HL headlamp (1,000 lumens!). But if your headlamp work is mostly close up or around the campsite, look no further than the Bandit.
Streamlight continues to impress us each year with not only the number of great new products, but their continued commitment to quality. All of their products come with a lifetime warranty and yet they continue to be some of the brightest, most durable and affordable lights available. If you haven’t given them a look recently, it is time to do so. If you are a lifelong user like me, it may be time to upgrade.