Monday, November 2, 2009

Got a new flashlight

So I got a new flashlight. If you haven't noticed by now I'm a bit of a flashlight whore. I like to have one on my person at all times. Every room in my house that I spend any time in has a flashlight stored away somewhere. When it comes to daily carry lights they just need to be small enough to fit in my pocket and I need to be able to see when I point it at something and turn it on. Brightness can become a big issue when you need something that lights up a room so if you're going super cheap you could find your carry light severely lacking if you get into a really dark room. I'm also a bit of a cheapass and I have a tendency of losing flashlights so cost is also an issue. For a daily carry light I don't like to spend more than $20.

The last one that I was carrying was a Streamlight Stylus. I was pretty impressed with it but it did have it's drawbacks. First of all it was way too long. That's why I lost it in the first place. When I'd hop on my bike it would push up halfway out of my pocket. It also used AAAA batteries. They're not exactly a common size. Most importantly, it wasn't quite bright enough. It was good for up close work but if you needed to walk down a dark hallway it didn't have enough oomph to see everything clearly. Another thing that annoyed me was that it didn't have an "always on" option. The light only came on while you pressed on the button. One time I reached for it and it was gone. It must have fallen out of my pocket when I was on my bike.

No biggie. It gave me an opportunity to try out another light. One thing that impressed me about the Streamlight was the build quality. It was built solidly. After falling out of my pocket on the highway I have no doubt that someone, at some point will find it on the ground and it will still work. That led me to the Streamlight Stylus Pro.

This is the light that I carry now. It's about the same size as a fancy pen. It's much shorter than the stylus but it's also a little thicker. It uses 2 AAA batteries so getting replacements is a no brainer. It's built rock solid so you don't have to worry about dropping it. It's got an always on button. Most importantly it's a lot brighter. My litmus test is when the lights go off in my warehouse on the weekend. Picture a gymnasium with no windows and no light. That's what my warehouse looks like when the lights go out. A year or so ago I reviewed a cheapo Rayovac light that I got at Wal-Mart for about $4. It was great for basic use but unless I was 2 feet away from whatever I was shining it on in my warehouse I couldn't see crap. The first Streamlight that I went with was a little better. I could see about 10 feet in front of me with no problem. Still, though, holding down the button all of the time was annoying. The Streamlight Stylus Pro that I'm using now was like night and day. This time the test consisted of me poking my head into the warehouse and turning it on. Suddenly, there was a bright spot on the far wall. I could read boxes on the other end of the warehouse with this thing. I really like this light. It's most definitely the best light at it's price point. You'll probably have to drop 3x as much to get better performance out of a pocket light.

3 comments:

juxtopposed said...

Just a note, if you open a regular 9 volt battery it contains 6 AAAA batteries.

here's the youtube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr5ZB1eFhwc

The Urban Survivalist said...

Not all 9v batteries have the same guts. I tore apart a few and haven't found any with the AAAAs inside yet. I always use cheapo 9vs, though.

Anonymous said...

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