Streamlight 'Stylus 3', retail $14.00 to $18.00 (
Manufactured by Streamlight (
Updated 08-28-09

Stylus 3

The Stylus 3 is an unusual looking little light. At first glance, it looks like an expensive writing instrument or an elegant laser pointer; however when you "click your Bic", an extremely brilliant white light shoots out the other end instead of a pen tip.
This light is so bright, it might momentarily startle your friends or co-workers if they aren't expecting it.

The Stylus 3 is a long, skinny light, measuring approximately six inches long from bulb to tailcap, and uses three rather unusual "AAAA" (that's right, four "A"'s) cell batteries.
It is designed to be carried by its clip in a pocket or clipped onto your clothing, ready to give you light at a moment's notice.


This light comes packaged with three size "AAAA" (Eveready Energizer E-96) batteries already installed in it. Assuming the person before you didn't "test" the light for hours on end, it is ready to go right out of the package.

To turn it on, you can either give the tail cap a gentle twist, or push the end down, as if "clicking" a disposable ballpoint pen. Pushing the end gives a momentary light, which is good for quick, one-handed use, or for signalling. Twisting the end turns the light on and allows it to burn hands-free; this feature is desirable to have in any flashlight. Just aim it where you want to go, and there's light. Lots of it. This light surprised me with its power when I received it. Initial tests showed that it clearly outpowers two different 4-bulb lights I'm working on: the Trek-4 and the TurboSpyder. It is also brighter than the popular "photonic" keychain light I reviewed earlier. It has no trouble at all illuminating a 11'x20' room, and even lights the ten additional feet from the hallway to my front door. That's 30 feet; when most white single-LED lights kind of peter out at between 10 and 20 feet.

Changing the batteries in this light is very simple; finding new ones for it might be more of a challenge. I was unable to find "AAAA" cells anywhere in the downtown Seattle area.
The internet battery retailer, sells them for $1.25 apiece in small quantities; cheaper (75 cents) if you can afford to buy in bulk; however you will need a credit card to buy them here.
Someone like me will be out of luck.

Once you have the batteries, it's a simple procedure to change them. Unscrew the tail cap until it comes off, dump out the old batteries, and pour in three new ones, button-end (+) first. Screw the end back on, and you're in business for another 10-12 hours of really great light.

The Stylus 3 is constructed of tempered aircraft aluminum with an anodized finish, and should be fairly difficult (if not impossible) to destroy. However, because this is such a long, skinny light, there is a small chance that it could break in two if it's in your back pocket and you sit down hard or fall on your butt the wrong way. Simple physics here. Even a titanium light of the same length and diameter might suffer similar consequences; the strength of the material is not necessarily at issue here.

The Stylus 3 is individually serialized (like any expensive product should be) and comes with a full lifetime warranty, including the bulb. The warranty won't cover alterations or abuse (like running over it on purpose or beating the devil out of it with a motorcycle helmet) and doesn't cover batteries.

That stated, this light should survive most everyday accidents, including getting stomped on, run over, or dropped onto rocks or pavement. The only *real* vulnerability I can see is the LED bulb itself; which could become marred or even become broken if the light just happens to hit the ground directly on its tip.
The epoxy used to make LEDs is very tough, but it isn't absolutely, positively indestructible.

The pocket/clothing clip that comes with the light is remarkably strong and springy, and probably won't bend or become broken in normal use. If too much strain is put on it, chances are it will simply come off the body of the light, and your repair job will consist of just slipping it back on.
The clip grips surprisingly tightly to clothing. Since this light is very long, it might be awkward to carry in a shirt pocket; clipping it into a pants pocket, T-shirt collar, or inside jacket pocket will keep it handy and relatively safe from accidental loss.

A rubber "O" ring seals out the weather; and should also seal this light well enough to keep it dry & fully-functional after a boating accident or other water mishap.

Beam illumination of a test target
Notice the brilliant white light, it outshines most other single-LED lights by a long ways.
Notice too, the overall light output is somewhat less bluish than most white LED lights.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.

Spectrographic plot
Same as above; newer spectrometer software & settings used.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

The Stylus 3 has been used intermittently throughout the summer. The availability of "AAAA" cells in my area was the primary motivator in me minimizing its usage, because it really is such a nice flashlight.

UPDATE 11-03-00: Battery life seems to be within stated range - 10 to 12 hours of bright to reasonably bright light, followed by some indeterminable number of additional hours of dimming but still usable light.
Light's radiation field was also rephotographed with the newer camera to conform with other recently-tested products.

UPDATE 08-28-01: Although this is already explained on the FAQ page, I have recently been bombarded with dozens of e-mails from people who have found that "AAAA" cells can be scavenged from Duracell brand 9-volt batteries. The cells are a bit shorter than real "AAAA" cells, and the flat end is (+), but in most cases, they work just fine in the Stylus 3.
Pry apart the battery case and pull off the top terminals. Inside, you will find 6 "AAAA" sized cells, each one insulated by a thin plastic sleeve. The "flat" side will be (+) and the cells are a bit shorter than real "AAAA" size, so you may need to make a spacer out of ordinary household aluminum foil to make up the space.

UPDATE 07-09-04:
I purchased a "Sharp Spot" attachment for my Stylus 3 from Brightguy a few days ago, and received it today. Here are the pictures and measurements from it:

Streamlight Stylus 3 beam by itself on the test target.
Measures 9,100mcd.

Streamlight Stylus 3 with "Sharp Spot" attachment on the test target.
Measures 101,200mcd.

Streamlight Stylus 3 with "Sharp Spot" attachment, on a wall approximately 6' away.

Streamlight Stylus 3 with "Sharp Spot" attachment installed.

The Sharp Spot is made by Streamlight themselves, rather than by a 3rd party manufacturer. So it is a genuine Streamlight accessory, made specifically for the Streamlight Stylus 3 flashlight.

Extremely bright
Stylish and fun to look at
Easy to grasp and use
Steady & momentary (blink) modes

The "AAAA" cells may be hard to find and/or expensive
Limited overall battery life compared to some other single-LED lights.

          MANUFACTURER: Streamlight
          PRODUCT TYPE: Penlight style flashlight
          LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm, white
          No. OF LAMPS: 1
          BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with soft fall-off
          SWITCH TYPE: Twist-on tailcap, momentary on tailcap
          BEZEL: None
          BATTERY: 3 AAAA cells
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Not yet measured
          WATER RESISTANT: Yes
          SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to shallow depths at minimum
          ACCESSORIES: Pen clip, Energizer batteries
          SIZE: 6.210" long
          WEIGHT: 1.10 oz. fully loaded
          WARRANTY: Lifetime


Streamlight 'Stylus 3' LED Light *

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