Everyday Use Lights, Built Duty Tough

Streamlight's Strion Switchblade, Polytac 90 X Right Angle and Macrostream Everyday Carry are all USB chargeable lights that are ideal for daily or emergency use.

Over the last few weeks we have seen Mother Nature throw nasty weather at most of the country. If it has shown us anything, you need to be prepared. What the power outages, loss of water, being stranded on the highway have shown us is; many folks are totally unprepared. While hindsight is 20/20 and we wish we all were ready, we cannot turn back the hands of time. All we can do is work on being ready for the next time.

Having light is one of the items we need. Streamlight offers many quality affordable lights that are used by military, law enforcement and first responders across the globe. This piece is going to look at 3 lithium ion rechargeable lights that charge via USB ports. With the number of handheld devices we use today, you should be able to keep them charged.

The first light we will look at it the smallest, the Macrostream USB Everyday Carry Light. This small powerhouse offers you a light roughly the size of two AA batteries with 500 and 50 lumen output. The run time is 2 hours and 8 hours. It recharges in 4 hours. The Macro switches on in the brighter setting, a short push cycles it to the dimmer setting. To keep it in either setting simply push the cap until it clicks.

While small, the push button cap is large enough to function using the syringe light method with your handgun. More importantly, it comes with a pocket clip that also acts as a hat clip and long lanyard so you can hang it around your neck. This means you will always have the light handy and be able to let it hang if you need to use two hands.

The next light will bring back memories for folks who were in the service when right angle D-cell lights were standard issue. That is where the similarity ends. The

     Over the last few weeks we have seen Mother Nature throw nasty weather at most of the country. If it has shown us anything, you need to be prepared. What the power outages, loss of water, being stranded on the highway have shown us is; many folks are totally unprepared. While hindsight is 20/20 and we wish we all were ready, we cannot turn back the hands of time. All we can do is work on being ready for the next time.

Having light is one of the items we need. Streamlight offers many quality affordable lights that are used by military, law enforcement and first responders across the globe. This piece is going to look at 3 lithium ion rechargeable lights that charge via USB ports. With the number of handheld devices we use today, you should be able to keep them charged.

The first light we will look at it the smallest, the Macro USB Everyday Carry Light. This small powerhouse offers you a light roughly the size of two AA batteries with 500 and 50 lumen output. The run time is 2 hours and 8 hours. It recharges in 4 hours. The Macro switches on in the brighter setting, a short push cycles it to the dimmer setting. To keep it in either setting simply push the cap until it clicks.

The Macrostream is small but mighty.

While small, the push button cap is large enough to function using the syringe light method with your handgun. More importantly, it comes with a pocket clip that also acts as a hat clip and long lanyard so you can hang it around your neck. This means you will always have the light handy and be able to let it hang if you need to use two hands.

The next light will bring back memories for folks who were in the service when right angle D-cell lights were standard issue. That is where the similarity ends. The 90X USB Polytac Right Angle is the size of the lamp assembly of the old GI lights and puts out more lumens on low (85 for up to 19 hours) than ours ever did. On High 500 lumens your run time is 3.75 hours with the supplied SL-B26 battery or 2.5 on 2 CR123As.

While smaller than a GI right angle light the 90X is bright enough to light a small room.

What I like about the 90X is the design. With its flat base, you can set it on a counter to light a grill or use it to change a tire without fear of it rolling away. If you need to light your way but need both hands, you can clip it to a pocket. If you are in a tent, the folding carabineer will hang your 90X. As you can see, this old school design makes the 90X Polytac Right Angle Light a versatile, useful design.

The carabineer lets you hang the 90X.
When in use the on/off switch glows green if you have a good charge.

Lastly, we are going to look at a light that if need be will light up a room; the Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar. The Switchblade not only puts out 500 lumens, but you can use it with cool white LEDs or CRI Cool-Rite LEDs for better color differentiation. This is important if you are working on wiring and you cannot afford to connect the wrong wires. There is also a “blue” leak detection LED which highlights various fumes. This light is also ideal for more mundane uses like climbing dark basement steps. No you cannot run both sides of the light bar at once.

Being able to fold the Switchblade lives up to its name, the light bar folds.

Thanks to its magnetic base, you can clamp the Switchblade to a fender if you are working on a car the underside of a sink or any other magnetic item. It also is designed to stand upright and not to roll if you lay it on an angled surface. The base is unique in that you can rotate it; because this is also the battery cover remember to turn it until it locks again when you are done. If that is not enough, there is a folding hook to hang it from. This is light you should have in your vehicle, tool box and at home. You never know when you need a flood light.

I found the gas light ideal for looking under furniture or navigating steps.
The Switchblade can be attached to any steel surface, in this case it is hanging on my refrigerator.

Since we highlighted these lights because they are rechargeable, it would be a good idea to show how they can be charged. All three are easily charged via a supplied USB cable, the Strion Switchblade can also be charged with any Strion on charging base.

Let’s look at the 90X first. This is the only light the rechargeable SL-B26 needs to be removed. Simply unscrew its base and the battery pack comes out. If you need the 90X now, insert CR123As and you are ready. Then attach the USB cable and let the battery charge until the green light on the positive end of the battery comes on.

If you are using the Strion Switchblade, you can plug easily plug it into a USB cable with the port on the charger plate. Should you choose to, this light plugs into any Strion charger base; either way the battery is charged in about 5 hours. For those who put a work light to hard use, Streamlight offers a Piggyback Charger; that charges 8,SL-B26 batteries. 

Lastly is the Macro USB Everyday Carry. If you are like me, at first glance I wondered how to charge it. After a moment’s thought and reading directions, I realized you pull the lamp up. Lo and behold there is a charger port in the water resistant cap. When fully charged the light turns from red to green.

The USB port is under the light cap and is O-Ring sealed.

These three lights are but a very small sampling of the lights Streamlight offers. If you need brighter, bigger lights Streamlight has those too. I have used their lights on the road, for daily use, hunting, during weapons training sessions and on duty. I find Streamlight to be up to any challenge. I am certain you will too.