An EDC flashlight, otherwise known as an everyday-carry flashlight, is an invaluable tool that everyone should consider owning. While it was a tool that was only used by a select number of people from police officers to first responders in the past, it has now become a tool that anyone can benefit from carrying with them.
Whether they’re used by a homeowner to illuminate their door keys at night or are used as a precaution in case of an emergency, these flashlights not only give the user the ability to illuminate their surroundings quickly and efficiently but also gives them peace of mind as well. Which is why we’ve selected ten of the best models below.
Best EDC Flashlights Of 2018
10Lux Pro 400 TAC LP600
Designed specifically for outdoor use, this flashlight uses 4 AAA batteries, and has a number of features which make it very useful in the field. It uses LPE optics that contain an ultra-bright LED which pushes out up to 400 Lumens of bright light when the light is set on high. If the user doesn’t need such a bright light, this unit can also be switched to a low light setting. And if an emergency situation arises, this flashlight can also be set to the strobe feature. All three of these modes can be cycled through using the tail cap switch, and this unit has a tack grip which protects the user’s hands from extreme temperatures.
9Fenix E12 Flashlight
With an adjustable high-intensity beam that can reach up to 289-feet at 130 Lumens, this flashlight can illuminate the night in even the darkest conditions. This unit also has a tail cap switch, is waterproof up to IPX-8 standards and is constructed from aircraft grade aluminum. This tool is approximately 4-inches and weighs under 2-ounces, so it can be carried just about anywhere. This light uses just on AA battery which gives it up to 40-hours of light time on low or 6-hours on medium. This makes this flashlight a pretty good tool for any bug-out bag, camping backpack or emergency kit.
8Peak Plus Super Bright LED
This flashlight has a beam range of up to 500-meters and is made of an aluminum alloy. It has three brightness modes: full, medium, low and two special features: a strobe and an SOS feature. It can use either three AAA batteries or one 18650 battery. It uses an LED which has a useful lifespan of 100,000 hours. This heavy-duty flashlight has an adjustable zoom focus, a tail on/off switch and is weather-resistant. All of which makes it a very useful tool for use at home, in the car or at the campsite.
7Streamlight 88061 ProTac
This 4.25-inch long flashlight uses either a CR123A lithium battery or uses one conventional AA battery. It can produce up to 350 Lumens of light for up to 1.5-hours at a time. If a longer runtime is needed, this light also has a medium and a low setting. The medium setting provides up to 3.5-hours of light and the low setting provides up to 6.75 continuous hours of light. And since it uses a high-quality LED light, this unit has a lifetime of approximately 20,000 hours. This makes this a suitable light for just about any situation and is a useful tool for everyone from hunters to homeowners.
6J5 Tactical V1-Pro
This tactical flashlight is designed to give the user the lumens they need when they need it. It has three different modes: high, medium and low that allow the user to choose just how much light they need. It can produce up to 300 Lumens of light on one AA battery for up to an hour, or even longer if used with a lower setting. This unit is also good for bicyclist because it also has a strobe feature. It’s a small and compact unit that can hold up to everyday use and can zoom in for an intense beam or zoom or for a wider area of illumination.
5I-Pure LED Cree XPE2 R4
Designed to be portable yet powerful, the Cree XPE2 R4 is only 5.2-inches long but is capable of throwing a 120 Lumens beam of light over 160-feet. It’s made with an abrasion and corrosion resistant aluminum body that’s designed to military specifications and is waterproof up to an IPX7 rating. Powered by 2 AAA batteries, and turned on and off with a simple push-button switch, this flashlight is also easy to maintain and use. This makes it a great light for emergencies or for everyday carry and is a useful tool for everyone from hunters and fishermen to campers and homeowners.
4Streamlight 66122 Stylus Pro
Although it’s only about the size of a pen and is only powered by two AAA batteries, this flashlight is able to cast a 90 Lumens beam of light up to 58-meters. It’s constructed using a Type II military-spec anodized plating, has a scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens and is water-resistant up to the IPX4 standard. On fresh batteries, it has a run-time of approximately 6.5-hours and comes with a tear-resistant nylon holster for easy transportation. All things considered, this flashlight is useful for all different kinds of scenarios and is a tool anyone can use. It’s especially useful for homeowners and workmen.
3Gear Light S1200 Flashlight
The Gear Light S1200 has many of the features that people look for in a good everyday carry light. It has a mid-size design that’s big enough to be useful but not too big that it can be taken from place to place. It also has 5 different modes and can be zoomed so a beam of light can be focused on a spot up to 1,000-feet away. Its powered by three standard AA batteries or one 18650 rechargeable battery, has a tactical tail switch that allows it to be used with one hand and has a strike bezel for self-defense or to break glass during emergency situations.
2Auopro LED Tactical Flashlight (4-Pack)
When one flashlight simply isn’t enough, this 4-pack is ready to make an impression. Each of the lights in this set has 5 different modes, adjustable focus beams and the ability to run on one 18650 rechargeable lithium-ion battery or three AAA batteries. When used on the high setting, each flashlight is able to run an 800 Lumens beam up to 600-feet for up to two hours. These flashlights are made of high-quality aluminum alloy and are durable enough for daily use. This set allows the user to keep a flashlight at several different locations or to pass them out as gifts.
1Gear Light M3 LED Flashlight (2-Pack)
This 2-pack of tactical flashlights are designed to deliver performance and value. The flashlights in this set have three different modes, an adjustable zoom, and are made using an all-metal construction. Each one of these flashlights is powered by a single AA battery which allows it to deliver a light that’s 300 Lumens bright for up to three hours. These flashlights are also weather-resistant, shock-resistant and are durable enough for daily use. And since two flashlights come in this pack, users can not only have one for use at home but also have one for their car as well.
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Buying the Best EDC Flashlight
An everyday carry kit is useful to anyone who chooses to carry one. And of the most important parts of any EDC is the flashlight it contains. That’s if the flashlight in question has the features required to make it truly useful in a survival or an emergency situation. Unfortunately, not every flashlight made meets these specifications.
So what goes into a true EDC flashlight? Well, that’s not always easy to answer because each person has their own specification as to what makes a good flashlight. Every person seems to have different needs when it comes to these lights. With that being said, however, we’ve managed to boil down some of the essentials that we feel are necessary.
Tail On/Off Switch
Flashlights have all different kinds of on/off switches. Some of them are turned on by rotating the end cap, and some are turned on with a side button. While most of these switches are fine for normal use, they really become a hassle in an emergency. And that’s why a flashlight in an EDC kit needs to contain a push-button on/off switch on the tail.
A push-button tail switch is extremely convenient and allows the flashlight to be operated with just one hand. And they are also less likely to be turned on by accident, which is something that happens quite frequently with lights that have a side on/off switch.
Different types of lights use different types of batteries. Some models use a 18650 battery and others use either AA or AAA batteries. While lights which use 18650 batteries generally have more power, AA and AAA batteries are much easier to find. In fact, they can be found at just about any convenience store, gas station or grocery store in the Western hemisphere. Some models use both types of batteries, and these are generally the ones that users will want to buy for the EDC kit. That gives them the power to use 18650 batteries for maximum power but allows them to switch to a more easily accessible battery down the road.
Something else that a prospective flashlight buyer should keep in mind is whether the product in question is waterproof. How can they tell? Well, if a flashlight has any sort of weather-resistance, then it has to have an IP code. This code tells the buyer the weather resistance of the flashlight. For instance, a flashlight which has an IPX4 rating is resistant to splashing water for up to ten minutes. Those with the IPX6 rating is resistant against water jets, and those with an IPX7 are resistant to being dropped into water up to a meter deep. IPX8-rated flashlights are generally the highest weather-resistant models available and can be fully submerged into water up to a depth set by the manufacturer.
Another important feature to have on any flashlight is control over the brightness settings. Some of the lights available are super bright, which is fine, but they don’t have any way to switch them to a lower setting. And no one wants to head out into the dark and have an 800+ Lumen flashlight to blind them before their eyes have adjusted to the dark.
Which is why having low, medium and high settings are so important. In some circumstances, you need to be able to cast a beam of light hundreds of feet. Other times, you may need to only illuminate what’s directly in front of you. Having control over light levels is a great feature to have on any flashlight.
LED Bulbs VS. Incandescent Bulbs
While they’re still flashlights available that are using incandescent bulbs, I wouldn’t recommend them. They don’t last as long as LED bulbs and aren’t usually very bright. And since LED bulbs are fairly cost efficient, there’s no good reason to buy a flashlight with an incandescent bulb. LED bulbs last longer, are brighter and are more durable than even the most advanced incandescent bulb.
Adjustable focus is another feature which is beginning to show up in flashlight descriptions. This feature allows the user to dial in just how fine a point of light they need. With this feature, users can usually narrow their light beam to a very narrow beam of light or expand it to illuminate a larger area. It’s a great feature to have and really gives the user control over their light.
The housing of the flashlight is one of the most important parts of the flashlight to consider. After all, a light that’s made from cheaply sourced materials isn’t going to last very long, so it’s important to buy one made with the best possible components. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to figure out the durability of a flashlight’s exterior by just reading a description. That’s why I usually look for keywords that might alert me to the light’s possible build quality. When I’m shopping for these lights, I generally look for items that are either made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloys or a flashlight that lists itself as tactical. In my experience, the ones listed as tactical flashlights are usually the most durable.
Modern flashlights come equipped with all kinds of different features. Some of these features include SOS and strobe light settings, tactical strike plates for breaking glass or for self-defense, lanyard holes for mounting to a belt or backpack, USB ports for charging and overheating protection. While none of these features are necessary, they are nice to have in a flashlight. That’s true regardless of whether they’re used at home, in the car or while out in the woods.
Size is the last consideration to make when purchasing a flashlight. Obviously, a person is going to want to get an EDC light that’s big enough to have the features they need it to have but small enough to be portable. An EDC torch that’s not portable isn’t going to be carried every day, so size is an important feature to consider.