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Nightstick Lights USB-558XL

According to the bayco/nightstick lights website the USB-558XL is a "Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight uses an LED rated at 900 lumens on high for 2 hours but can be extended up to 16.75 hours in low mode (100 lumens). At only 5.9 inches long and weighing only 5.7 oz, this metal tactical flashlight is multi-functional, cycling between high, medium, and low modes with an optional strobe when you press twice in succession. The USB-558XL is rated IP-X7 waterproof and features a discretely sleeved collar that opens for direct USB charging. The built-in charging indicator turns from red to green when fully charged. Included is a 2 foot USB charging cable, lithium-ion rechargeable battery and CR123 battery carrier (batteries not included) for added convenience."  I was sent the USB-558XL by Nightstick Lights to review and evaluate for the purpose of a review, for free.  It is available for around $81 on amazon.  I carried this USB-558XL from July 2019, off-duty EDC until around January 2020 when I started to carry the Modlite OKW Head handheld with 18650 battery.

Reason for Purchase:
After carrying the Surefire EDCL2-T I was sent this flashlight and wanted to get back into the USB-rechargeable handheld flashlight game.  After having carried the Streamlight Protac HL USB for a good period, and having replaced numerous batteries on the EDCL2-T I knew I had to get back into a rechargeable flashlight.  I did not need #allthelumens, I just needed a flashlight that worked well, had a good clip, sat well in my rear pocket, and didn't cost me a small fortune in battery replacements.  This definitely fits the bill on paper, figured I'd give it a go.

First Opinion:
The clip is small, it is tight gripping, easy to adjust and it allows the flashlight to sit just high enough for me to grab it.  Much like the Streamlight Protac HL USB, the clip works well and "just does its job" the way I want a clip to do its job, meaning to be low profile and not let the flashlight protrude too high.

The button is firm and has a positive "click" feeling to it.  It's something I have come to enjoy is a good handheld flashlight, I want there to be an affirmative click and I want there to be a consistent low/high expectation, if, one exists at all.  The button here faired well for its use.

It's got an 11,500 candela-powered single LED light source, which pumps out 900 max lumens, or something Nightstick Lights calls "Xtreme Lumens" which I assume is their reflective design.  Every flashlight company has this, I don't care what it's called I care that it works the way I want.  At 11,500 candela it is on par with the EDCL2-T and has fewer lumens, it generates a "hot spot" in the 25ft range which is exactly what I want out of an EDC handheld flashlight.  The outside teeth allowed for a decent standoff with this flashlight, I know some people like to think that using a flashlight for hitting people is cool, and this one would probably do the trick, I just don't do that.  The construction of the "teeth" was well enough designed that it likely would protect the glass if dropped.  

In the Field:
This USB-558XL is very similar in usage to the Streamlight Protac HL USB flashlight I carried.  I would say that it's lighter in construction, according to their respective web-pages, this USB-558XL is 5.9 ounces and the Streamlight is 11 ounces.  Having a similar light before in the Streamlight I did not like the 10-tap programmable features and with this USB-558XL the momentary tap through high/mid/low/double for strobe was excellent for off-duty.  I routinely used the low 100-lumen setting, and I wish I could have set it for low/high but for $80 retail I cannot really expect that.  I did however use it out in the rain several times and intentionally used it submerged on several occasions to see if it is actually IP-X7 rated.  It worked well with no issues.  I never, not once, ran out of juice with this flashlight during normal use.  Sometimes I would not remember if I charged it or not and I would just plug it in on my drive to or from work.  The LED indicator shows red/green (charging/full). 

Ownership and Usage:
As I stated battery life was nominal, and while there were several times I used this flashlight extensively I quickly learned that I did not need 900 lumens off duty most of the time and just used it at medium or mostly low.  Searching around the house, in my car, or around outside did not require me to use max output.  I did not use it on-duty at all as I knew exactly what it could do and I did not need that type, even for a spare.  I probably would have if I did not also get a Modlite OKW head rechargeable handheld around the same time which I did use on duty, a lot.  I am sure this USB-558XL would have functioned well on duty and the added rechargeability of it adds to its overall value.  You can just leave it plugged in your car while you're on duty then grab and go whenever you need to use it.  If you are using an on-duty flashlight which you cannot recharge, you are behind the curve at this point.

The recharge area is screw-in based and is water tight as long as you tighten it properly.  It's got a gasket which allows for true water resistance, I dabbed a little bit of SEAL CLP on it every other month when I used it and that kept the water from getting in, also helped with the threats not rusting or getting locked up.  

As you can see from my super un-scientific test with a cheapy laser thermometer, after 5 minutes it wasn't even 90F, unlike the EDCL2-T which was warm then hot to the touch this USB-558XL could be held at the max output in your hand for a while before you notice it's on.  The several times I accidentally ND'd it while in my pants from sitting or bumping it I wasn't worried as it never really heated up to the point of discomfort, and it's rechargeable so, no money lost in batteries.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations:
I have already moved on to carrying the  Modlite OKW-head 18650 rechargeable handheld setup as I want more candela out of my EDC and while I enjoy the low output and rechargeable nature of the USB-558XL I prefer the single-stage on/off/constant on the HIGH output of the Modlite OKW setup.  I have to say that I am happy with the USB-558XL as a product overall and would recommend those looking for a sub-$100 EDC flashlight to consider it.  It works well, and though it doesn't have all the thrills of a bigger budget, and name, EDC flashlights it is definitely worth considering for daily use.  I still use it around the house and as a backup whenever I find myself needing one.  I don't nerd out in the flashlight world and I know there are plenty of people who enjoy going down the rabbit hole of various specifications, I know from personal experience using them the Nightstick Lights fixes all the issues with Streamlights which I have had over the years, at a lower price point.  Worth the look.  I moved onto the Modlite OKW head handheld simply because I could and wanted the capability after real-world application showed me "the way" and if you can drop $300+ on a flashlight you might do the same, but in the meantime, this $80 USB-558XL is a great contender for EDC.