Everyone needs a good flashlight and there are endless options out there to pick from. Writing or reading a review on a flashlight can be challenging. I mean what is there to say? Here’s how bright it is, here’s how long the battery lasts… That can usually sum it up. I must admit however, the Streamlight WEDGE is much different. Streamlight has always made good lights for law enforcement, and I have had one Streamlight model or another on me in my patrol car or on my tactical vest since I’ve been a cop, but none of them were comfortable to carry in your pocket on a regular basis.
Over the years improvements have been made and today’s lights are much better than they used to be. They are lighter, brighter, and of course, they are rechargeable. Remember the days when your light died, and you had to make a battery run? But after the big switch to LED, plastic, and reachable batteries, they are all different variations of the same thing: a round flashlight with a button on the front and rear of the light. But when I got this light, I was pleasantly surprised that it was not just another standard light to throw in your car or stick on your belt; it was, dare I say — cool!
So, what makes this light different?
The most obvious difference with the WEDGE compared to other smaller tactical lights is the shape and the activation switch. At first glance, this light reminds me more of a pocketknife than it does a flashlight. The WEDGE is approximately 7/8” wide, 1/2” thick, and 5 ½” long. The square look makes it stand out from most other lights and tends to work better when carrying it in your pocket. This light isn’t meant to replace the duty light you carry in your patrol car but is the perfect size for an everyday carry light, on or off duty.
The “Toggle” Activation Switch
Most lights I carry can change lumens (brightness) during use. This is most often done by clicking the button multiple times to cycle from full-bright to medium/dim and strobe. I rarely use these settings, however, because once I am at a scene or looking for someone in the dark, I don’t want to start clicking through settings to get to the brightness I want. Streamlight’s newer model of the Stinger does have a switch above the button that allows you to toggle from low to high, but this ability is not a common option with most LED lights.
The WEDGE has a rotating lever on the side that is in the perfect spot for your thumb to push forward to activate the light. The light clicks on, and you have 300 lumens of constant light. From here you can then push further on the lever to send the flashlight to full-power mode and release 1,000 lumens of temporary light. Once you let off the pressure, the light goes back to the 300-lumen setting until you turn it off. Because of the size of the light, you can hold it in either the left or right hand and easily operate the lever with the thumb.
The first day I carried this light, I took it to a search warrant at a home that contained stolen firearms. We needed to search from top to bottom for these missing guns and there was very little light in the home. I found the momentary full-power option much more useful than clicking a button to cycle through brightness settings when looking under a bed, behind a dresser, or other dark places (and I found the stolen guns!).
Carrying the WEDGE for Everyday Use
The WEDGE has a pocket clip on the back (charging side) just like a standard pocketknife. The clip is not so large that it gets in the way when using but has just enough size to keep it firmly affixed to the inside of your pocket. Because I always carry a knife in my right pocket, I carried the WEDGE in my left pocket. It is just a little narrower than most knives I carry so it did not get in the way at
all with reaching other items in your pocket. It was comfortable, easy to grab and when pulled out of the pocket, your hand finds itself in the right place for your thumb to push the activation lever forward. After showing the WEDGE to my detectives, they requested the agency purchase these to issue to all plain-clothed personnel.
The WEDGE comes with a charging handle and is charged with a USB-C port on the back of the light. This makes it very easy to charge in the car, office, or at home. A green light next to the activation lever tells you have plenty of charge for use. The same light will turn red when the battery is getting low and needs to be recharged. When my light turned red, it took just a little under three hours to charge. With a full charge, I carried the WEDGE for just over a week with intermittent use each day without charging it to see how the battery held up. On the 8 th day, the battery light was red and the next day I left it on until it died. This is a light that could easily be charged every few days unless you had an extended use.
The design of the Streamlight WEDGE makes it easy to hold on to and operate. The size and design were very important to me as I always carry a firearm off duty and the ability to grab a light and activate it with one hand is an important feature. The aluminum body makes it light but durable and the IPX7 water rating allows it to be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes and they back it up with a limited lifetime warranty.
The regular (constant) operation mode of 300 lumens could have been just a little brighter, but that would have also shortened the battery life and made the light grow hot when operating. If you know you will be out searching a field and want to light it up, then grab a full-size duty light. But for keeping a light on you all the time with good power and battery life, I can’t find anything to
complain about with the Streamlight WEDGE.