When it comes to the perfect everyday carry light for work, home, vacations, outdoor adventures, or emergencies, Streamlight has been a popular option for years.
So, it’s no wonder that when I was recently in the market for a new light it didn’t take me long to pick out which brand I wanted. Although it did take me a while to pick out the flashlight I wanted because Streamlight has so many options. And honestly, I wanted to try them all.
Eventually, I decided what I needed was a light that was small, bright, rechargeable, and could be easily carried anywhere. This led me to one of their pen light models. The Microstream USB Pocket Light seemed to have everything I was looking for.
In this article, I will be discussing:
- My thoughts and experience with the Streamlight Rechargeable Flashlight.
- Light output, run time, ease of use,etc.
- Whether the Streamlight rechargeable flashlight is worth the buy based on price and quality.
Specifications and Features
*The following information was obtained from Streamlight’s website.
Specifications and Features At a Glance
|Materials||Anodized machined aluminum and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens|
|High Mode||250 lumens; 68-meter reach|
|Low Mode||50 lumens; 31-meter reach|
|Run Time High Mode||1.5 hrs|
|Run Time Low Mode||3 hrs|
|USB Charging Cable||USB Micro B included|
|Battery Type||Streamlight 66607 Lithium-Ion (included)|
|Pocket Clip/Lanyard||Included (Hands free option)|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Color Options||Black, red, blue, coyote (brown)|
A simple push button tail switch turns the light on/off and switches the light between high and low modes.
The Microstream is powered by one rechargeable lithium-ion battery that fully charges in four hours. A red indicator light illuminates when the light is charging and turns green when it has reached full charge.
This flashlight is USB rechargeable and features a sliding metal sleeve that provides both quick access for charging and protection. When this sleeve is closed it is o-ring sealed, providing some water resistance.
Hands-On Review: Streamlight USB Rechargeable Flashlight
Okay, enough with the introductions, let’s get into it!
Like most products that I get, I am usually so excited or interested in seeing it that I forgo flipping through the instructions, but I will get to that in a minute.
The first thing that I noticed right out of the box, as its name suggests, was the small size of the light. It’s a pocket flashlight that really does fit in the palm of my hand. Other than an LED keychain push light, the Microstream is probably the smallest flashlight that I have owned, it’s definitely a compact size. I am a fan of lights that are all shapes and sizes but I was in the market for a small light that wouldn’t be burdensome in the pocket but would still be super bright.
Like I mentioned, the Microstream easily fits in the palm of my hand, the body diameter is roughly that of a large pen, and it’s just a little bit longer than my middle finger. It fits extremely well in the pocket of a shirt or pants and also clips for added security.
For a small pocket flashlight, you may not think much about the weight because due to their design most of them are pretty lightweight. But being the detailed oriented person I am, I thought I would go ahead and provide three different weights for you.
Without the battery or lanyard, the Microstream weighs 0.85 oz.
With the battery, the Microstream weighs 1.20 oz, which is spot on from the manufacturer.
With the battery and lanyard, the Microstream weighs 1.41 oz.
Before Using the Light
Because I am like a child when trying a new product I pressed the button tail switch before reading the instructions and the light came right on. However, according to the instructions the battery needs to be fully charged before operating the light. I am sure that my momentary excitement of using the light for a whole two seconds didn’t harm anything but just know that the light should be fully charged before use. Whoops.
Again, because I didn’t read the instructions I was initially upset when I received the Microstream as I couldn’t find the charging port. I thought I had been duped by some evil counterfeiter sending me the wrong product…but then I read the instructions.
The charging port is cleverly hidden underneath a sliding sleeve that surrounds the lens end of the flashlight. By sliding the sleeve outward the port is revealed and by sliding it inward the port is covered, which helps to protect it from outside forces.
The Microstream did come with a short, and I mean short USB charging cable. The overall length of the usb cord is a whopping 5 ¼”. This can make it a little difficult when using a wall outlet for charging but is the perfect length when using a computer or solar battery
One end of the cable has a USB that can be plugged into a charging block (a block does not come with the Microstream) , a computer, or a solar charging pack. I tried all three charging methods and they all worked perfectly fine. The opposite end of the charging cord, which is the end that plugs into the light, is a micro B port.
Next to the charging port is a red/green indicator light. When the battery is charging the light will display red and when the battery is fully charged the light will turn green. When the light was brand new out of the box it took approximately 4 hours for the battery to fully charge.
Unscrewing the endcap gave access to the battery compartment. I slid the battery out and it looked like an aaa alkaline battery but it’s not a aaa alkaline battery. It’s a rechargeable LI-ION. Per the instructions, the recommendation is to only use a Streamlight brand battery for this model. I went ahead and picked up an extra one for around $10. With a little bit of research, you may be able to find a cheaper option.
Let There Be Light
Operating the Microstream is simple. On the end of the light, there is a rubberized push button that turns the light on or off. To change modes from momentary or constant, fully depress the button for constant mode and lightly hold the button down for momentary light.
To switch between high and low mode, the button needs to be pressed twice in a row. If you keep constant pressure on the button without pressing it fully down, you will activate the momentary mode. This allows the light to be turned on and off quickly and it is helpful for times when you don’t need a constant source of light. The momentary feature is very convenient and I have been using the light in this way more often than not.
Lanyard and Pocket Clip
These two items are probably not important to some people but since they are a part of the package deal why not give them a mention?
The lanyards measure in at roughly 19” long and the majority of the cord appears to be made from nylon. On the top of the lanyard is a break away clasp and at the bottom there is a much smaller diameter cord that is used to attach the light. In between the top and the bottom there is a sliding toggle that allows you to adjust the size of the lanyard.One feature that I really like about the lanyard is that it has breakaway clasps. Thumbs up to Streamlight for incorporating this safety measure!
I didn’t attach the lanyard right away but after about two weeks I decided to put it on. I’m glad that I did because the light has been easier to keep track of with it attached. At least now the lanyard is always with me and if it gets in the way of a task, it’s super easy to remove.
Now, the pocket clip is kind of cool because it is a dual purpose or reversible or double-sided clip, or whatever you want to call it.. The lower portion of the clip is larger and can easily clip to a pocket or wherever you want it secured to when not in use. However, the opposite side of the clip is slightly smaller and is designed to be attached to the brim of a hat. This allows the Microstream to be used handsfree, which in my book, is a great feature. Headlamps are one of my favorite types of lights to use because they are handsfree and being able to use the Microstream, in the same way, is pretty awesome.
So far, the clip’s tension is great and has held up well.
Now for the meat and potatoes and the section that I am sure you are most interested in. Unfortunately, I do not have any way to measure the output of the light so I am going to take Streamlight’s word. On high mode, the peak beam intensity produces 250 lumens and on low mode, the peak beam intensity is 50 lumens.
How does this translate in the real world?
In real-world operation, I would say that the Microstream is mighty bright for such a small light. When I use it indoors on high mode it easily lights up any room that I enter and instantly blinds anyone who looks at it (apologizes to my wife) In fact, sometimes it is almost too bright if that is such a thing. Using it in low mode is more comfortable for my eyes at close range and it is definitely bright enough for accomplishing anything that is near me.
While puttering around the outside of my house and to the dismay of some of my neighbors, I have used the light on high mode. It easily lit up the entire area in front of me and the beam lit my back fence line from about 150ft away. To put it another way, when the light is on high mode I can definitely see who is sitting on the porch next door (again, sorry neighbors)
Per Streamlight’s specifications, the Microstream will provide a run time of 1.5 hours when used on high mode and 3.5 hours when used on low mode.
I tend to switch back and forth between high and low mode and honestly, I tend to use the light on low mode more. So far and on average, I get around two hours of run time out of the light before it needs to be recharged. I haven’t run the battery dead yet but I do notice when there is a diminished output. So far, I have been charging the battery every few days.
Once the battery has been depleted or near it, it will take four hours to fully recharge the battery. Of course, if you don’t want to wait that long the light can be used with less than a full battery. My suggestion is to simply plug the light in at the end of the day or during any downtime and that charging time will go by quickly.
Microstream Pros and Cons
- Super compact
- Super bright for its size
- Won’t break the bank
- Comes with a lanyard
- USB rechargeable
- While I didn’t have any trouble with the tail button switch some customers find the button to be stiff and difficult to use.
- The charging cord could be a bit longer.
How long is the rechargeable battery good for?
A: According to the instructions, the battery that comes with the flashlight is good for up to three hundred charges. After that, the battery will be reduced to about 70% capacity.
Can the rechargeable battery be replaced?
A: Yes, the rechargeable battery can easily be replaced by unscrewing the cap, taking the old battery out, and replacing it with a new 350 mAh lithium-ion battery. It is recommended when replacing the battery to use a Streamlight 66607 lithium battery.
Where is the Microstream light made?
A: Many of Streamlight’s products are made in Eagleville Pennsylvania but some of their components such as charging cords or batteries are products of China.
This is not the first Streamlight product that I have owned and it will probably not be the last, but I will say that it is the one that has surprised me the most. I assumed due to its size that it wouldn’t have the lumen output or runtime that I wanted.
After using the Microsteam for a couple of days, it now goes with me everywhere, and I will admit that my previous assumptions were dead wrong. I absolutely love the size of it and most of the time I even forget that it is in my pocket. ( I will need to be careful of that when laundry time comes around!)
While I would always love to have more lumens and run time, realistically what the Microstream brings to the table has worked perfectly for my everyday use and it will definitely be my EDC flashlight.
If you have any experience using the Microstream flashlight, be sure to let us know about it by leaving a comment below.