Looking for a handheld flashlight that can reach out across a backyard and illuminate a suspect? Want to keep it affordable and compatible with your existing charging system? Take a look at the Streamlight Stinger DS LED HP. I know the name is cumbersome, but the flashlight it much handier.
Touting features that include 350 lumens of total light output and 56,000 candela, the rechargeable DS LED HP is clearly a serious flashlight.
A few years back, I reviewed the PolyStinger LED flashlight from Streamlight. I found it to be a great flashlight: bright, durable and affordable. The DS LED HP is similar to that flashlight, but with two major differences. The first is this light has an anodized aluminum body instead of plastic. The second is the increased light output combined with a deep dish parabolic reflector that gives this torch a completely different light pattern.
To give you an idea of the differences in products, the original Stinger using a high-output incandescent bulb is rated for 90 lumens and 11,000 candela. The PolyStinger LED I previously reviewed had an output of 185 lumens and 24,000 candela. As I stated above, the Streamlight Stinger DS LED HP throws 350 lumens and an impressive 56,000 candela.
The ratings of lumens and candela describe two different aspects of the light output. Lumens is a measurement of the total light, while the candela rating is a measurement of the peak beam intensity. Something with a high lumen measurement but low candela measurement is very bright, but not focused – sort of like a light bulb in a lamp. A high candela measurement indicates a very bright focused beam.
This flashlight’s 56,000 candela rating indicates a very bright and focused beam. According to lab testing, the DS LED HP will illuminate objects at more than 470 meters. This is almost as far as the large SL-20L flashlight will reach. It is rated at 60,000 candela and 490 meters.
Streamlight offers an additional model Stinger called the DS LED HL. The HL differs from the HP in that it sacrifices long range for a brighter light. The HL has a total light output of 640 lumens, but only 22,000 candela. The maximum distance for illumination is 297 meters.
At the end of the day, each officer has to determine what is more important: extreme brightness close in or the ability to reach out long distances with a focused beam. There is no right or wrong, just different options that will appeal to different people based on what kind of environment they work in.
The Stinger DS LED HP is small enough to be carried full-time on your duty belt. I believe it is right at the maximum size that most people would want to carry constantly. It is slightly longer than the traditional Stinger flashlight and the head is definitely larger in diameter than the other versions of the Stinger.
A friend of mine at the department carries his personally owned Stinger DS LED HP constantly, and he has yet to complain about the size of the light. I prefer a slightly smaller light as my “always on the belt” flashlight and have carried both the ProTac HL lights for this purpose.
The DS LED HP is IPX4 rated water resistant, so you shouldn’t worry about it getting wet in the rain. In fact, it will probably survive temporary immersions in standing water. Don’t use it as a dive light, but it will survive being dropped in a puddle. Speaking of being dropped, this flashlight has also been tested for impact resistance to 3 meters.
This flashlight has a strobe mode that can be accessed by double clicking the switch. You can also power down to one of two lower output settings by pressing and holding the switch. If you turn the light off in a low output setting, it will automatically return to the high setting the next time you turn it on.
The flashlight has two switches (hence the “DS” in the name, “dual switches”): one on the end of the tailcap and the other on the side of the light at the head. In this configuration, both switches can control the light output levels and strobe mode. If you turn the light on with one switch, you can turn it off with the other.
I’ve been fortunate enough to review quite a few different Streamlight flashlights over the years. I bought my first one in 1997, a SL-20, and have invested in several other models including the original Stinger and Strion lights. One of the police departments I worked for also had the good sense to issue officers Streamlight products. The fact is I have always gotten great service from Streamlight products, and I have no reservations in recommending their lights.
One of the nice things about Streamlight is the company tries to keep new rechargeable lights compatible with old chargers. That way if you have already invested in a Stinger, you can upgrade to the Stinger DS LED HP without having to buy a new charger to go with it. This can save you $20 or more.
Streamlight lights carry a limited lifetime warranty.
When I set out to do this Streamlight Stinger DS LED HP review I had fairly high expectations because of the high quality products the company has made in the past. I am pleased to report the flashlight met my expectations. It is a quality light that will serve a police officer very well, and do so at an affordable price.
MSRP on the flashlight alone is $178.50 and $253.62 with a AC and DC charger. As I’ve noted in the past, the street prices on Streamlight products tend to be a lot less than MSRP. At the time of this writing, the flashlight alone is less than $90, while the light and two charger package is less than $150.