Streamlight Microstream USB Light

EDC power, performance and value!

The Streamlight Microstream USB is the almost-perfect EDC light.

It’s tough to type a story when there is a big white fireball floating in the center of your vision.

I know, because I just once-again checked out my Streamlight Microstream USB and did the same stupid thing I always do when playing around with flashlights — look directly at the lens (albeit off-center) while switching on the light. Don’t do it! I always remind myself the same thing but eventually end up flailing around like a blinded opossum in the headlights.

If you follow my lead you’ll certainly get dazzled by this itty-bitty lighting instrument. Half the size of a typical medical or aviation penlight at 3.8″ OAL, it puts out light far in excess of what should reasonably be expected from such a small package. This kind of power in a small, tough light is certainly a strong selling point but when you add in the ease of USB charging, I’m ready to nominate the Microstream USB as the ultimate EDC (Everyday carry) light!

Foremost with any flashlight is the light output. The Microstream is rated at 250 lumens and 1150 candela for the high beam and 50 lumens on low — on par with many larger “tactical” lights but coming from a front reflector the size of a shirt button. The tail-mounted rubber-coated switch allows you to choose between momentary and constant-on, plus the aforementioned low- and high-power settings.

The light features a machined aluminum case with a Type II MIL-Spec anodized finish available in either black or coyote. My light is the coyote version and quite stylish in its own right, fitting well into my high-society lifestyle. (Sarcasm, folks, sarcasm!) There is also a removable spring-steel pocket clip, which traditionally is the weakest link in the overall chain.

The light charges via an O-ring-sealed Micro-USB port.

The business end of the Microstream is smaller than a penny.

To charge the light, you pull the lens forward to reveal an O-ring sealed micro-USB port. Plugging into a charger or even your computer, the light is fully reloaded after 4 hours. The light is supposed to last 1.5 hours on high and 3.5 hours on low although I’ve never run mine continuously to test.

The light is rated as impact resistant to one meter, something I can attest to on multiple occasions. The electronic seals are rated IPX4 for water resistance, which essentially means it’s splash- or rain-proof. We’ll see what happens when it inevitably ends up going through the washing machine or plopping into the toilet, the places where most of my pocket flashlights eventually end up meeting their demise.

However, until the day when loss or water tears us apart, it will ride with me 24/7. So far mine has proven its utility on a dozen airline flights, lit up a darkened lodge kitchen while I tried to scavenge a pre-dawn breakfast, helped read a theater playbill, frequently illuminated the deepest recesses of my backpack and lit up countless nighttime excursions. The high power setting is bright enough to serve as a shooting light if necessary while the low power setting works fine for close work or reading fine print without blinding yourself.

Best of all, this versatility comes in around $30 bucks “on the street.” While there might be other, more bulletproof or brighter pocket lights on the market, the Microstream USB is my current choice as the perfect combination of power, size, durability and value for an EDC light source. In other words, you get everything you need in a pocket light but without the fear of developing full-blown clinical depression if it goes missing or does an impromptu Full-Gainer into the porcelain swimming hole.

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