(Yes, this is my actual Stinger LED HL, not a stand-in)
Over the past several years, I have mounted a rather large collection of flashlights from multiple different manufacturers purchased from a variety of places. From the selections of Walmart and Target, Lowes and Home Depot, eBay, Amazon, Galls, Quartermaster and even the closest uniform shop (Red Diamond), I have purchased small flashlights that only require a single AAA battery all the way up to flashlights that require 8-3v lithium cells. Out of all of them, the one light that I carry every day while on duty is the Streamlight Stinger LED HL.
Now, I can already hear some of you yelling at me, “Why would you pay $120 for a flashlight?” and if we were talking about this around 4-1/2 years ago, I would have probably said the same thing. Up until that time, all of my flashlights were under $65 and they worked for what I needed. Even the flashlights that I bought while I was in the military was fairly ‘inexpensive’, the G2 Nitrolon was only around $40 at Clothing & Sales. The downside to most of the lights that I used for duty, was that they would only last about a year or two before eventually dying. Matter of fact, that’s how I acquired my Stinger. Long story short, I was only an hour or two into my shift when a scuffle led to an intermittent issue with the flashlight that I was using at the time. I still had almost 10 hours of my shift left (on a 12 hour night shift) and I knew that I was going to need a light. A quick stop at the uniform shop and ended up forking out the cash for the light that you see here.
Fast forward almost five years later and if you couldn’t tell, this flashlight has had the snot beat out of it on numerous occasions. The body is beaten up and the anodization is wearing in multiple places, even the lens has taken some decent damage. Still, even through all of that, the Stinger LED HL still performs like the first day that I got it.
Now that I’ve given you some past history, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this posting.
- Rugged design and materials – It can seriously take a pounding.
- Bright, white light in a relatively small(ish) form factor. Fantastic for searching people, rooms, and vehicles. (Listed max of 800 lumens (24,000 candela)).
- Features 3 brightnesses (High (800 lumens), Medium (400 lumens), and Low (200 lumens)) controlled by one switch.
- Blinding strobe light to help with disorientating people (especially when clearing dark rooms).
- Has multiple accessories available (such as filters and traffic wands).
- Charges via “drop-in” cradle; no messing with USB or single post charging cables that need to be plugged into the flashlight.
- Charging via AC and DC are available (I suggest getting both).
- Anodized body prevents rusting and other junkification. It also allows you to get it laser engraved with personal information (like Name & Badge number).
- The lens can only be replaced by Streamlight or an authorized repair center. You can’t just buy and replace the lens yourself.
- A full charge on a standard charger can take up to 16 hours.
- Comes from the factory with a Ni-Mh battery, which I’m not a big fan of; personally, I think it should come with the Li-Ion, not make you fork out more money to specifically buy it after the fact.
- It’s only IPX4 rated (splashing water and rain). It’s not bad and I’ve never had an issue with water getting in yet, but I would’ve liked to see an IPX7 rating (1-meter water submersion for 30 minutes) on it.
- Costs around $120, almost $140 if you get both the AC and DC chargers.
My Personal Suggestions
If it were up to me, I would probably suggest a couple things to help make this light just a little bit better.
- Either incorporate or make an accessory for a hexagonal bezel. Trying to set your light down on the hood of a car can, at times, be a little annoying since it attempts to roll away.
- IPX7 rating would be great.
My personal suggestion is for you to at least go out and get one of these flashlights. Personally, I do not think that you will be disappointed and over the years, I have yet to meet someone (who owns this flashlight) that doesn’t like it. It may seem kind of pricey, but if you are as hard on equipment as I am, it is worth the investment.