Posted by Keith Alan K
Concept: 3 out of 5
Execution: WAS 4 out of 5--Now a big fat zero.
Yeah, but: No More Cheap Flashlights For Me?
The Long Version:I'm a sound engineer for rock and country bands so most of my work happens in dark nightclubs and their parking lots.
A flashlight is mandatory, and being able to see into dark corners or under seating carries the added bonus of finding cash, jewelry, and even microphones left behind by previous acts.
I carry at least two lamps, with another pair in my truck.
For a couple of years my main beam was this Mini MagLite (shown for comparison with the new Streamlight) which features a Nite Ize LED and tail button conversion kit.
It was okay, but over time reliability suffered.
I replaced it with a Smith & Wesson 2xAA LED unit that had 2 buttons so you could choose between 3 white LEDs or three blue ones.
The blue circuit lost it's rubber button after a few months, then something else went seriously wrong inside and the batteries overheated and exploded.
My next two lights were cheap, and they both failed when dropped.
In June I was walking around Academy and spotted the Streamlight Stylus Pro.
The price was right, and I knew the company's reputation was solid among the cops who provide security for my venues, so it went on my birthday wish list.
Unfortunately, the 4 closest Academy stores were either sold out or had discontinued the product, but my ever-clever lady used a smartphone app to scan the UPC code on the peg and found that Bass Pro Shops stocked a nice selection of their products.
Just under $30 (of her money) later and I was ready to blow out the candles--literally.
(Sorry. Lame photographer joke.)
It came with a spare rubber switch cover and a pair of Duracell AAA batteries, plus a cheap nylon holster I'll never use.
What I like best is that it fits my back pocket (next to my wallet) better than anything else I've tried, and since the clip is where it is, accidental triggering is a thing of the past.
I got tired of strangers telling me my butt was lit up.
Speaking of light:
All I can say is that this thing is louder than I ever dreamed a triple-A penlight could be.
Just astounding brightness.
According to the packaging a battery life of 6.5 hours is to be expected, and that's fine with me. I've used it for five shows so far, as well as the usual around the house duties, plus a bunch of random "play" time, and it's still a blinding and flicker-free piece of quality gear that I can easily recommend with a clear conscience.
I'm still going to buy cheap junk lights for backup duty and loaning to stupid musicians who really should have their own, but from this day forward there will always be a high quality torch in my back pocket.
I have seen the light, and it were good.
After almost 4 months of great service, my Streamlight Sylus Pro fell out of my pocket and landed on our driveway--a distance of only 3 feet.
And now it's dead.
If a $30 flashlight can't survive a mere 3 foot fall, it's crap.
I'll never buy another Streamlight product.
You can click here for Matthew's e-mail address.