With the more recent availability of powerful lithium batteries and better bulb technology, EDC (Every Day Carry) flashlights are starting to become the norm. No longer are meek Mini-Maglites in a nylon belt pouch sufficient. Don’t believe me? Just Google “EDC Dump”, and check out the images. I am willing to bet that at least 50% of the loadout pictures feature a clip-on, high-powered flashlight of some sort. And really, why not? With the current lines of small, powerful flashlights available from many high-end manufacturers, with pricing running from very reasonable to OMG, there’s undoubtedly a flashlight out there for everyone’s budget and use.
I will admit, I thought it was silly, the thought of carrying a flashlight around all the time. When we have daylight, and lights built into our cellphones, and mounted on our carry guns, why have yet ANOTHER light source to lug around and stockpile batteries for? Well, I bought a tiny Streamlight C4 Microstream, and clipped it on. Before I realized it, I was using it multiple times a day. Straightening out network cords in a dark corner. Fixing my snowblower when the shear pin breaks at the end of the drive way. Illuminating a parking garage on my way to the car. Looking for the skunk I caught a whiff of while out walking the dog at night. Having a clip-on small tool that threw a useful amount of light was far more useful than I ever imagined, and I carry one with me now everywhere I go, opposite my EDC knife.
And for an EDC flashlight, I’m not talking a 600 lumen turn-bread-into-toast-at-twenty-paces beast. A small flashlight, 20 to 100 lumens or so, is all you’ll likely need for 90% of your illumination requirements.
However, when my carry gun du jour does not have a weapon-mounted light, I will upgrade my light source to a higher-power torch that I can use to illuminate threats if needed. I’m a Streamlight guy, so I like the lower-cost and rugged as hell Polytac 88850, clipped to the brilliant Raven Concealment Pocket Shield. Though it’s a bit bigger than my EDC Microstream, the Pocket Shield hides the profile of the flashlight and spare magazine well.
In my humble opinion, the sheer convenience of having a small flashlight on my person at all times overrides the negligible cost. Buy one, try it out. You’ll be a believer.
If you DO carry a flashlight every day, what’s your take?
Here’s a great pair of articles by Doc Montana on flashlights: