Streamlight Strion Switchblade Mechanics Light

Posted by AJ Koenes on Jun 5th 2020

The Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar, a compact & rechargeable multi-functional mechanics light. Great for camping & outdoor activities enthusiasts as well. 

Searching for AC leaks using the UV light on the Strion Switchblade

Where to buy the Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar

First impressions of the Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar

I was pretty stoked when I first got this light bar in the mail. We had just moved from Montana to Longview and I had lost many of the accessories that I had access to with a once furnished shop. Among those accessories was the decent work light for performing repairs on my Hummer and other various vehicles. When I got the stream light Switchblade, I was surprised to notice that the package included a piggyback wall charger and an additional USB charger for the light in the previous shop, a tenant mechanic had a Streamlight flashlight in his tool chest for his repairs so I was familiar with the piggyback mount and how it worked with the mechanics series of lights from Streamlight.

Streamligh Strion Switchblade for Gunsmiths

Installation and Setup of a Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar

Set up and installation of the light is pretty simple and straightforward. You hit the button once and the top side light lights up. You double tap the button twice and the bottom side of the light bar lights up, and then you triple tap the button and the UV portion of the light bar lights up. If you single tap it, this provides an on and off function, so two quick taps would fire the bottom light and a second single tap would turn a back off. The piggyback wall mount, installed easily with two screws and no guesswork, just place the mount where you want, screw them into the wall. Attach it to the included wiring. Up until a few minutes ago, I didn't realize that the battery was removable from the Streamlight Switchblades simply by rotating the base of the light counterclockwise.

The Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar Specs

The Streamlined Strion Switchblade is a 500 lumen compact rechargeable light bar. It's runtime is three hours and has a replaceable battery that is included in the light. The package includes the piggyback charger for easy overnight charges. The battery is lithium-ion, and the light weighs just under seven ounces. The total length is 6” x 10.75” and it comes in red. The light bar itself rotates around the base 180 degrees and is double-sided with 90 CRI LEDs. These LEDs are cool white to provide a true color when using the light. Include a 500 megawatt UV LED for detecting air conditioner leaks when working on automotive air conditioning units. It functions as a droplight, a hands-free light, a white light, and a UV light. The ultra-thin design folds in half for storage and the handsfree features a suitable hang hook, a magnetic base, and a weighted foot to allow stability when resting on concrete or other flat surfaces. The battery recharges in four hours via a U.S. B or piggyback charger.

Strion Switchblade mounted in the supplied charging block

The Field Test of the Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar

This is the longest field test I have done for a Streamlight this far. It's gone through a myriad of tests from regular everyday use to assisting and installing a new winch cable in my Humvee. I've used it around the house and mostly around the shop, various work, and in all situations, it performs flawlessly. One of the handier features of the light is that when you turn it on, it dims from low to bright in about three seconds. This helps your eyes adjust if it's dark outside and you're using the light to help you find something, and also helps prevent eye fatigue by not blasting you with 500 lumens. as soon as you hit the buttons. As you can see from the images, it functioned great in all aspects. Just about anywhere I used it, It fit seamlessly with the 180 degree light bar, and it was easy to maneuver to provide light exactly where I needed it. I could hang it from the hood to work on the engine compartment, then I could set it on the winch drum to help me respool the cable. As a handheld light it works exceptionally well and is very ergonomic when being carried. The buttons are intuitive but it does take a little bit of work to get used to the way the light bar fires. The outward LEDs fire first, then the inward LEDs and finally the UV LED. So it takes a bit of practice to master the function of the light bar. Once you have this mastered, it's intuitive and easy to remember. I search my vehicles thoroughly for an air conditioning leak. Much to my delight not a single one could be found. The UV LED is sufficient and more than adequate for any work a mechanic may find for it, and the cool white LCDs provide an excellent degree of illumination for all the corners of the engine compartment.

Pros of the Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar

There are many pros to this light bar. For one, it's 500 lumens, for two, it has a three hour runtime. Also, the gradual dim to bright illumination programmed into it is very thoughtful and sets the Streamlight Switchblade above its competitors.

The UV Light is an added feature that is very beneficial to most mechanics, and it's fun to mess around with. If you're feeling bored some evening you'll be amazed at how many things in your shop or house illuminate differently to UV light. Their ergonomic design, short charged time, and lightness of this light is excellent. The magnetic base is strong and the light works well in almost any application.

Working on the HMMWV with the Strion Switchblade

Cons of the Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar

There are not many cons here, obviously with a high review I gave it. There are but two things I can think of that I wish were better in this light. One feature that seemed to be lacking was the hang hook. It's well-built. And has a high degree of rotation, but the width of the hook is rather small. In situations where you're used to a larger mechanics light hook, the size of the hook on the Streamlight Strion Switchblade seems inadequate. The light bar itself is an excellent 500 lumens, works well and is extremely functional. I do wish it was a bit brighter, but that's only because I'm trying to get the amount of work out of this Strion that I would expect to get out of the full size Streamlight Stinger Switchblade. As noted, the Streamlight Stinger Switchblade is the big brother to the Strion, and comes in at 800 lumens with 3 3/4 hour runtime. Given that this smaller light produces 500 lumens is more compact and easier to use. I'm very happy with it.

Final Thoughts of the Streamlight Strion Switchblade Rechargeable Light Bar

The Streamlight Strion Switchblade has become my new favorite light. I have it hanging on the wall as soon as I enter the shop and it's my go to light for any and all vehicle maintenance. It's also my go to light when I wander the shop at night searching for parts or tools or when I want to bring excitement into my life and see what insects glow weird under the UV LED. It's easy to keep clean and its chemical resistant body does not show a single sign of wear, though I've used it for well over a month in greasy and oily situations. I love how easy it is to keep clean and how well it holds up to use. The rechargeable piggyback charging base is an added bonus that I've grown to enjoy immensely as the light spins 90 percent of its time hanging on the charger and waiting to be used. The streamlined Switchblade is a dependable piece of shop equipment that I would rate up there with my crescent tool kit, floor creeper, and low profile floor jack. There's just some things a shop needs and a Streamlight Strion Switchblade one of those.

Switchblade for Gunsmithing

#Affiliation Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we may receive a commission. This won't affect your purchase price.