- (Photo: Streamlight)

(Photo: Streamlight)

Streamlight's Stinger flashlight has been a popular law enforcement tool since it debuted in the early 1990s. Since then the light has evolved from incandescent to LED and gained brightness and features. Now, the company presents a totally new design of Stinger, the Stinger 2020.

The Stinger 2020 does not operate like or even look like any of the earlier evolutions of duty lights from Streamlight. “We wrapped a lot of new ideas into this product,” says Ray Sharrah, Streamlight’s President and CEO.

One of the Stinger 2020’s new ideas is an output level selector switch. The Stinger 2020 has two activation switches, one on the tail cap and one on the body of the light. Just above the activation switch on the body of the light there is a sliding selector switch that allows the user to choose from three different output levels: low, medium, and high. The high setting gives the user a 2,000-lumen beam that can cast light out to 315 meters. Runtime on the high setting is two hours. The medium setting is 850 lumens with a range of 200 meters and a runtime of four hours. On low the Stinger 2020 offers an output of 100 lumens (the high setting of many LED lights a decade ago), a range of 70 meters, and an extraordinary runtime of 24 hours.

Sharrah says a lot of work went into designing and developing the output selector switch on the new Stinger. The primary goal of that effort was to create a switch that would be rugged and easy to use. “Every officer knows your flashlight can be too bright in certain situations,” Sharrah says. “So it’s particularly important for law enforcement officers to know how to change from one power level to another without having to guess how it’s done.”

The output selection switch is just one of the many innovations on the Stinger 2020. One of the most readily apparent differences between the new Stinger and its predecessor is the shape of the flashlight.

The body of the Stinger 2020 has a squared-off look with flat edges that prevent it from rolling. The body’s design also improves the ergonomics, making it harder for the user to drop the light. Another interesting aspect of the new Stinger’s design is the notch on the flashlight’s body. This indentation on the underside of the body doesn’t just make the light look different. Sharrah says it makes it really hard for anyone to take away the officer’s light. “The notch allows one of your strongest digits, your index finger to hook into the barrel of the light,” he explains. “That’s the strongest grip you can have on a hand tool.”

Sharrah says Streamlight’s law enforcement users gave the company a lot of input during the two years of design and development for the Stinger 2020. One of the things that concerned police users most, according to Sharrah, was backward compatibility with their existing charging equipment. “We have five generations of chargers in the field and this fits all of them,” he says. In addition to its compatibility with previous generations of Streamlight chargers, the Stinger 2020 can be charged by USB cable.

The Stinger 2020 is designed to be an all-purpose personal light for law enforcement, Sharrah says. “This is the most advanced and versatile full-size duty light that we have ever developed,” he adds.

Streamlight’s Stinger 2020 is now available.