Maelstrom MXS “Standby”

This is probably the best standby/emergency light on the market, ever.

Note: this item was provided to me at no cost for review.

I wrote about the sibling to this light, the MX3F here, and I love that light. The MXS is a similar looking light, with a completely different personality and use case — so it gets its own review. FourSevens dubs this light the ‘Standby’ because it is designed to be just that: always charged, always ready, and automatically on should the power go out.

Big claims, all backed up, in a pretty good light.

Specs and Power

The main difference between this and the MX3F is that this is a single emitter light, which has an inductive charging base on it. We have the same Nichia 144A at 4000k and 90+ CRI — this is a fantastic emitter and has really stellar outputs.

It’s powered by a protected 26650 battery with 5500mAh capacity — this light is also designed to not have the battery swapped (though it can be). It’s instead designed to have the battery kept charged by using the inductive charging base. That base holds the light vertically and accepts a USB-C cable to power it.

The light weighs in at a hefty 11.5oz, in a lovely blue anodized body that measures 5.6” x 1.8”. Slightly larger in every way than the MX3F.

This is rated IPX8, and offers four operational modes, plus a burst. The increments here are:

  • 5 lumens (250hrs)
  • 50 lumens (40hrs)
  • 350 lumens (6hrs)
  • 1000 lumens (2.5hrs)
  • 1700 lumens burst for 30 seconds.

All in all, this is a really good setup with extremely long runtimes out of a very useful emitter. The optics are a good mix of spill and spot — you’ll be able to run it on high and see a good amount farther away, while still being able to use it indoors to find your way about without getting that tunnel vision effect. It’s a nicely balanced optic.

In Use

The trick with this light is that the use case is different than most other lights you are likely to buy. While there’s always been lights like this, they are rare these days. You might remember something like a Rayovac being mounted to the wall in your house? Basically the idea with a light like this is that you don’t use it, you keep it plugged in, and then when you lose power — this is the light you can depend on being ready to go.

This light even detects that power loss, and turns on, allowing you to easily find your way to the light. So when power loss is detected, the light will turn on to the 5 lumens mode, which means it can run for 250hrs. So even if you are not home when the power goes out, it’s unlikely you’ll find this light with a dead battery.

To that end, this is an impressive light. Of the lights people buy for uses like this: Maglites, SureFire G2s, Home Depot generics. Compared to all those, this light blows them out of the water.

But that’s not really the market here, at least not with how I think about it. The market for this light is us, people who care about this stuff. Yes, we should all have one of these because it’s damned clever and offers a ton of anxiety relief that at least one light will be ready to go.

But this is also the light we should be gifting to people we care about. Power is not a sure thing, it will go out. I don’t need my Mom or sisters hosed because the flashlight I gave them is in a drawer with dead batteries, and they can’t find it using their iPhone flashlights.

Give them this, and they are good to go.

I did, of course, run this light and test it, and so I have some notes on this, but they are less important than the charging setup of the light, still:

  • The stand/charger is really nicely made. It holds the light securely and is not fiddly at all. It’s solid and well made. USB-C is just a blessing too.
  • The UI of the light is great, and easy to use. Tap for on/off, and press+hold to cycle. Really easy. Nice memory too. Smart setup for this use case.
  • There’s a backlight on the button, which shows charge status, smart.
  • It feels pretty good in hand, but it’s certainly a big light, and it handles like a big light.
  • I really like the beam profile for a single emitter light — very useful.

My only complaint is that the black inductive base on the light looks a little funky when it’s not on the charger. And my only ask: get me one of these which is bright orange and has some glow in the dark sections built into the light — would be killer.


This is an emergency standby light, and I don’t know if I could design it better myself. I really love it, and it is an absolutely fantastic gift — both for yourself, and for your loved ones.

Buy here, $185.

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