Why You Should Carry An EDC Flashlight
With the concealed carry mindset comes certain responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to be prepared for an incident whenever the time comes. And, if there is one thing we know for sure, it’s that an attack can happen at any point in time, to include whenever you’re out and about, or sitting in front of the tube at night during your Netflix and Chill time.
Because an attack can happen whenever you’re least expecting it, it’s best to have your gun on you whenever you’re awake, and close by whenever you’re sleeping so you can defend yourself should that dreaded time ever come. But, what if it’s night time and you can’t see after the attack starts? That is one of the main reasons why we recommend that all concealed carriers make use of an EDC (every day carry) flashlight.
As an added bonus, chances are excellent that you’ll even use your flashlight in times when you don’t need to use your gun, as well as more often than you need your gun.
Think about how many times you’ve needed to see in the dark and had to use either your on-board cell phone light, or the screen itself. And, how often are either one of those options insufficient for your needs to see in the dark?
If you’re like most people, you need to use your cell phone light at least a couple times per month. The difference, is that you won’t whip your cell phone out if you’re ever attacked in a dark alleyway or walking out of a restaurant at night.
All of these reasons are why the need for an EDC flashlight exists and why many people who own and carry a concealed gun, also have some sort of flashlight on them. This article, though, is meant for those of you who don’t yet carry a flashlight on a regular basis.
Handheld or WML?
It’s not our goal to say which platform is better in this article, just to say that each one has situations where one performs better than the other. For the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on a handheld flashlight as opposed to a Weapon Mounted Light (WML), but do want to point out a couple of important distinctions.
Because the WML is attached to your firearm, it should be considered to be a part of the gun itself, and no longer a flashlight. What this means is that it’s considered irresponsible to whip your gun out at night to look for an earring on the ground. A weapon mounted light should only be used in self-defense situations, not for general purposes where a handheld light should be used.
Why A Handheld Light?
The chances that you’ll need a handheld light far outweigh you ever needing your gun and we’re firm believers that you should carry a handheld flashlight, even if your gun is so equipped with a WML as stated above.
The reason why is simple: If you need to see in a non-emergent manner that doesn’t require your gun, using a handheld light is just the obvious choice. As an added bonus it’s also brighter than your cell phone light.
How Bright is Bright Enough?
As stated a few minutes ago, the flashlight on your phone isn’t bright enough. These lights are usually about 100 lumens, max, and are unable to be focused. If you’re opting for a 100 lumen light, having the ability to be focused into one spot will help you out some.
Otherwise, it’s recommended to carry a light of about 200 lumens or more, depending on what you need.
What Options Should Your Light Have?
Your flashlight may or may not have different options on it, depending upon what you deem to be important. Here is a bulleted list of some of the more popular options found on a tactical flashlight:
- Momentary/constant on button
- Water resistant
- Different power levels
- Disorienting strobe
- Metal housing
Of the above options, the most important is likely the type of button or switch it has, with the ability to have a momentary or constant on function. The least important of the above options is having a disorienting strobe feature, because many firearms trainers agree that most people are not likely to use such a thing during a low light attack, as it wouldn’t just disorient the attacker, but you too.
Another important feature is strength, meaning you don’t want a cheap, plastic light that will break when you drop it. And having a way to attach it to your pant’s pocket (via a clip) is also a plus.
Which Light Should You Choose?
Ultimately, what it boils down to is research. You’ll want to read a lot of reviews on different flashlights and check out all of the features for each one. Finally, you’ll likely want to go with a name brand like Streamlight or Fenix so you’ve got a company who has stood the test of time and is more willing to stand behind their products.
We hope we’ve convinced you that you need to have an EDC flashlight to help light up your life at night, both when you lose stuff in the dark or when you need to defend yourself. In a future article, we’ll talk about some of the best techniques for holding a tac light and your gun at the same time.