Special Note – As many of you know I have carried the two cell version of this light for almost as long as TSPC has existed, more than a decade. The past year I have carried this smaller version and I have to say I love it. It does not have the longevity of its big brother but it has plenty. I get right at one month out of a good AAA battery. That is with nightly trips to put the birds away and typical use, finding keys, looking for crap under desks, etc.
Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Streamlight MicroStream light. I have been recommending the larger version of this light, the Streamlight Stylus Pro for almost ten years. The reason I didn’t really recommend this one until now is simply because the Streamlight Stylus Pro is within a dollar or two of the MicroStream. Two batteries vs. one battery, hence double the life of the batteries with the same level of power draw. Or double the power of the light and the same amount of time of operation, your choice really. Given the Streamlight Stylus Pro fits in a front pocket to the point of almost disappearing and forgetting you have it until you need it, I never saw a reason to go to the smaller light.
This is where a man must admit he doesn’t know what it is like to be a woman, even in some very simple ways. I featured the larger light just last month and expert council member Nicole Sauce made the follow comment on it…
I like the one that takes only the (CR123) battery because it is shorter and clips inside the lame assed non pockets they put in girl jeans without risk of falling out.
Well if you go look at those comments you will see I didn’t let that target go by with out taking a shot at it, BUT, she had a point. Folks I didn’t know that “girl jeans” came with “lame assed non pockets”. Now lets chat about those CR123 batteries though. I figure Nicole meant something like the Olight S2. Now Olight actually sent me one when they came out, good light, also over priced and flatly I despise CR123 batteries.
I prefer AA and AAA because I have about a cagillion of them in storage. I also have tons of them in rechargeable form and charger full of fresh ones at all times. Is a CR123 better from a power standpoint? Yea but the best batteries are the ones you always have, can always get and can always scavenge. If AA and AAA batteries were shotgun shells they would be 12 and 20 gauge, CR123s would be at best 410s and more like 28 gauge. Really good for what is does best but largely unneeded, hard to find and frankly over priced.
I told Olight as much, they told me I was wrong and funny enough though they now have a AAA version of their own. Funny that?
My philosophy though is standardization as much as you can and as much as makes sense. Take my property and plumbing for instance. We have PVC everywhere, it is a big property and water is life. Well other than some legacy 3/4ths everything is either 1/2″ or 1 inch. That way I always have any fitting, valve or pipe I could ever need on hand if something needs work. Yea sure some of the return lines are 2 inch on the aquatic systems, but only because that is necessary for a specific application.
Specialized is used where necessary, standard is used everywhere else.
So if you want to standardize on CR123s good luck finding a TV remote that uses them, or lawn lights, etc. Yet I bet right now if you are in your home, you are no more than 10-15 yards from some AAs and AAAs. Including some you could “loot” from other devices if you needed to. So given I have been using and gifting Streamlight Lights for over a decade, when it comes to a compact model I am going to stick with them. To be fair I do think the AAA Olight is a good light too, for about the same price. Either is honestly fine.
That said the Streamlight MicroStream is bright and powerful it uses C4 LED tech and is shockproof with a 30,000 hour lifetime. The MicroStream provides 28 lumens, and a beam distance of 52 meters. Powered by one AAA alkaline battery the MicroStream LED pen light has a run time of 2.25 hours. It is super light at just a hair over an ounce in weight and it will fit those “lame assed non pockets they put in girl jeans“.
And to be fair I can see where many folks would like a more compact light and 2.25 hours (at max power) is plenty of run time for an EDC light. One last thing, they do make a rechargable version. It is 30 vs. 19 bucks and I want you to think about something. Say you are a good prepper and you have a charger and a bunch of rechargable AAs and AAAs in your black out kit. Okay, so why do you need a rechargable light then?
The world of the day is standardize! If you plug in the light and charge a Lithium ION “pack” that is simply a Lithium ION AAA battery in a wrapper, how is it different then simply dropping in one of your own fully charged Lithium ION batteries? Here is the answer, you have to open the light, that is the only difference.
So if you want to spend 12 bucks more for a plug in light go ahead but as my recharagable batteries are only a few feet from my desk I will stick to “rolling my own”, all because of what? Standardization.
So if you have to deal with those “lame assed non pockets they put in girl jeans” or just want a more compact EDC light, give the Streamlight MicroStream a try and I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
P.S. – I did want to say something about the Olight AAA version. It has one major advantage, it can be extremely bright, but you’ll pay or it in run time. As it will drop to 21 minutes. This is why light makers have gone to special batteries to eek out a bit more at top brightness. The Olight does have two settings, it will run for a whopping 16 hours on low, but you are only going to get 5 lumens at that setting, in other words your cell phone is brighter. I would personally recommend the Streamlight, cuz well I just did. But if you want uber compact and super bight and to still stick with a standardized battery, check out the Olight AAA.