A traditional handheld tactical flashlight can be uncomfortable to carry all day due to its weight, size and round shape. It’s a minor inconvenience that many put up with out of necessity. Others (including myself at times) have taken to using smartphones as flashlights. You always have it with you, and the lights on most phones these days are bright enough for non-emergency tasks. But more serious work calls for more serious lighting.
The Streamlight Wedge
There are hundreds — if not thousands — of tactical or emergency flashlights from which to choose. I am quite sure many of you have several stashed in various drawers around your house. Even if that’s the case, I recommend Streamlight’s new model, the Wedge, for use as your primary everyday carry (EDC) flashlight.
The Wedge is perhaps the most ingenious EDC flashlight produced by Streamlight to date. Shaped very similar to a closed out-the-front (OTF) knife, the Wedge has quite a unique configuration. The reversible pocket clip and grooved finger indentations along the bottom length of the light also give the Wedge its OTF appearance.
The case is made from machined aluminum alloy, with at Type II Mil-Spec Anodized finish. And it’s available in black or coyote colors. My sample came in coyote, which is actually more bronze than tan. There is no additional knurling or checkering on the flat-sided case.
Overall length: 5.46 inches
Height: 1 inch
Width: .6 inches
Weight: 3.3 ounces
Operating the Wedge Tactical Flashlight
The Wedge’s LED lamp is operated by a two-position switch that rotates forward to activate. Rotating the switch forward activates the first setting: constant-on. The first setting is plenty bright enough for nearly all daily tasks, and 300 lumens is not so bright that close-in work is compromised by excessive reflection.
Rotate the switch forward from there to the next setting: momentary THRO (temporarily heightened regulated output). This will light things up to 1,000 lumens for as long as 35 seconds while the switch is held forward. One thousand lumens of pure white LED light deliver decisive illumination in more urgent situations. Releasing the switch returns the light to the 300-lumen constant-on mode.
Either setting casts a wide beam, but the beam expands farther for improved area illumination in THRO mode. I tested the Wedge in my front yard, which was easily lit by the tactical flashlight’s 300-lumen setting. It also illuminated the pine trees across the street. When I rotated the switch forward to THRO mode, the coverage, frankly, amazed me. The very compact Wedge flashlight puts out as much lighting “horsepower” as the much larger 1,000-lumen Streamlight Protac handheld tactical light I keep on my nightstand.
Battery Power Is Everything
While LED lamps have certainly evolved over time, what really makes the Wedge possible is its power source: a rechargeable lithium polymer battery. Also known as a LiPo battery, lithium polymer batteries use a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte. The flat, compact LiPo batteries are used in applications where weight savings is critical, such as mobile devices and radio-controlled aircraft. The Wedge tactical flashlight’s design and compact size would not be possible without it.
Moreover, Streamlight used the simplest recharging system possible on the Wedge. There is a USB-C port in the end of the light for the included charging cable, with no rubber cap to remove that could get torn off through repetitive use. The opaque control switch contains the charging status light. It lights up when the light is turned on, showing green or red, and remains on for five seconds. The light will blink red when the battery is depleted and shutdown is imminent.
Run time in the THRO mode comes in 35 second bursts. The runtime for the 300-lumen setting is three hours. Three hours on the charger will also bring the Wedge back to fully charged.
The Wedge is a great, new EDC tactical light, bringing (at least momentarily) 1,000 lumens of lighting power on the scene, with an ideal 300 lumens of power for general purpose use. It’s compact and comfortable for pocket carry, as well as 1-meter water and drop resistant. I found the coyote model available at Optics Planet for $89.99.
Do you still carry a flashlight as part of your everyday gear? Which flashlight brand do you trust for continued reliable use? Let us know in the comments below.