Best EDC Flashlights: See Things More Clearly
Illuminate narrow passageways and small spaces with these EDC flashlights
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PUBLISHED ON November 13, 2019
An Everyday Carry, or EDC, flashlight can help you in everyday emergency situations around your home, garage, or when camping. If you drop anything under the hood of your car, drop your keys in a bush, or need to find your way in a dark room, you can whip out the flashlight and illuminate the area. If you are in the market for one, consider some of the options in our buying guide below.
- Best OverallStreamlight Microstream FlashlightSummarySummaryA 250 lumen LED flashlight with a durable aluminum build that fits comfortably in your pocket.ProsProsIt has a rechargeable battery. Can withstand extreme weather changes. Waterproof design. Abrasion-resistant. Features an impact-resistant glass lens. It comes with a convenient multi-directional pocket clip.ConsConsIt needs to be recharged after only four hours. You may receive a product with a hard switch button.
- Best ValueCOAST LED FlashlightSummarySummaryA 190 lumen LED flashlight that allows you to change from a wide flood beam to a spotlight.ProsProsInexpensive. Small and compact. It has a non-slip design. It can be powered by rechargeable batteries or AA batteries. It comes with an adjustable pocket clip. It can survive multiple drops.ConsConsA little heavier than most EDC flashlights. People with large hands may find the switch a bit cumbersome.
- Honorable MentionCentaur Ridge Tactical FlashlightSummarySummaryA super bright 800 lumen LED flashlight that’s good for illuminating long distances.ProsProsSwitch is easy to control and access. It has three light modes. Waterproof and compact design. It has a long-lasting rechargeable battery. It comes with a wall adapter, USB cable, and battery charger.ConsConsThe packaging could be better. May develop issues with the switch button over time.
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Benefits of EDC Flashlights
- Visibility in darkness: Whether you are looking for something under the car, bed, or sofa, the power went out at night unexpectedly, or you want to hike at night, tactical flashlights are ready to tackle any occasion. They produce powerful beams to fight the evils that lie in the dark.
- Brilliant conservation: Sometimes getting your phone to use the flashlight app is hectic. Imagine you are in denim jeans with those small pockets. It’s a battle trying to reach your pocket, take out your phone, scroll through the applications, and switch on the flashlight. The battle continues when returning the phone. Plus, it sucks when you remember that you have to use the phone again to check on something. What do you do with an EDC light? You just pick it up, turn it on, and enjoy the powerful light output.
- Ready weapon: The flashlight produces a super-bright beam that hurts the eyes so bad that the intruder will just walk away. Also, it has a rugged aluminum construction that you can use if the attacker does not back down.
- It’s law-abiding: All the states in the U.S. have legalized the use of flashlights for your safety. This is good news, since not all the states allow everyone to carry weapons for self-defense. If you can’t carry a gun or knife, this can be a replacement.
Types of EDC Flashlights
These are some of the most reliable everyday carry flashlights on the market today. The name is derived from the length of the battery, which is 18 millimeters by 65 millimeters. The flashlights in this category use the latest LED technology to produce lights that can go up to 100,000 hours of service. The beam’s area of coverage is spectacular, and the battery can give you numerous modes of lighting.
Technology is slowly shifting us away from flashlights that you can only use again with a new set of batteries. USB rechargeable flashlights are the future. Armed with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, they can last more than a year with 1000+ cycles. The only downside with these batteries is that they take longer to fully—charge between 8-10 hours—but you can charge them at night before you use them.
These tactical flashlights are smaller than AA flashlights. They are durable, sturdy, and produce enough light output for all your lighting needs. The greatest advantage of these flashlights is that they are easy to find. They are widely available all over the world, which makes them cheap and easy to carry.
These are the number one competitor of AAA flashlights. In terms of capacity, service duration, and brightness, AA flashlights top the competition. However, they are a bit bigger and bulkier than AAA flashlights. A big advantage of AA flashlights is that they are widely available and easy to find.
The company believes that real people work, real work to help those with real needs. Since 1919, it has managed to produce items that are on par with their motto. These include the COAST LED Flashlight and COAST HP7 530 Lumen Focusing LED Flashlight.
Founded in 2009, ThruNite company has made a name in producing flashlights backed by exemplary performance over the years. The company produces all types of flashlights to meet your tactical and personal needs. It’s the maker of the widely known ThruNite Archer 1A V3 200 Lumens AA Flashlight and ThruNite Archer 2A V3, Neutral White.
The company is located in Eagleville, Penn. It started in 1973 and has created numerous brands of flashlights since. The company has invested heavily in getting the first-hand experiences of its customers using its tools. Because of these experiences, they can create items that fit the needs of firefighters, athletes, and fishermen. Some of their best flashlights are the Streamlight Mainstream Flashlight and Streamlight 25302 SL-20LP Full-Size Rechargeable LED Flashlight.
Best EDC Flashlights Pricing
- Below $20: Flashlights in this category have a compact size and are adjustable with exceptional value. Most of these flashlights have only two interchangeable modes between high and low but leave out strobe mode. They don’t have extremely powerful beams—just enough to keep you moving.
- Above $20: Flashlights in this category produce powerful and brighter light to provide a long beam distance, some of which boast up to over 1,000 lumens that can cover distances of 900 feet. They are very versatile and of high quality. The more money you spend, the higher the quality you get.
The battery type matters a great deal because you know the duration you’d like to use the flashlight. Keep in mind that some batteries are easy to find while others aren’t. Other types, like CR123A batteries, are good performers and will serve you for many hours. However, finding them is an uphill battle because they are rare. On the other hand, AA and AAA batteries are available almost everywhere, but their performance doesn’t match CR123A batteries.
Flashlights come in handy when it’s raining, but how good is the water resistance? A good flashlight should not be affected by water, in any case. Most flashlights with good water resistance are rated using the IPX code. For instance, you can look for flashlights with codes like IPX7, IPX8, and IPX4.
There is no need to look for a bulky flashlight that will burden you for nothing. It’s true that the smaller the flashlight, the less quality it offers. But it’s not a bad idea to sacrifice a few things like brightness and service time for comfort. Your ideal size should not be more than 4 inches long.
Serrated Strike Bezel
You should only consider this feature if you live in an unsafe area. The serrated bezel acts as a lethal weapon that you can use to strike your attacker. This feature is very deadly, and it will inflict a lot of pain to the attacker.
- Type of Bulb: When the LED light was invented, most people shifted to them, leaving incandescent bulbs on the verge of extinction. LED bulbs have taken the cake in producing flashlights with greater efficiency and less battery consumption than their rivals.
- Construction: Your flashlight will occasionally fall or get some knocks here and there. It’s important that you look for flashlights with construction that is high quality and sturdy to avoid breaking or cracking.
- Weight: You already have enough weight to carry, and you don’t need extra. Look for a flashlight that is easy to carry. For instance, flashlights with an aluminum body are a bit lighter than flashlights made up of steel.
- Lumens: The lumens of your ideal flashlight determine its brightness. While different flashlights come with different lumen ranges, look for the right range to fit your needs. Ideally, it should be between 100 and 1,000 lumens.
Best EDC Flashlights Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Best Overall: Streamlight Mainstream Flashlight
Armed with an output of 250 lumens, this everyday carry flashlight is ready to light up your path up to 68 meters. The flashlight is perfect if you are looking for something small for easy portability with a wide beam distance. The light comes in two modes, which are high and low modes that will serve you for 1.5 and 3.5 hours, respectively. The keychain light also helps you carry it with ease.
One of the advantages of this flashlight is that it is built to last. The durable, machined aluminum construction and unbreakable polycarbonate will serve you for years. If you are careful, you can add many years of service.
The item is not entirely perfect, though. You will have occasional issues with the interchangeable modes. It may stop working suddenly before it resumes after a while. The battery run time is low, as it can only last four hours after a full charge.
Best Value: COAST LED Flashlight
This COAST flashlight is one of the cheapest flashlights in this category, but don’t let the price fool you. It still has some awesome features that you will also find in expensive flashlights. These include ease of use and a pure focusing beam made up of 190 lumens. This is powered by AA 14500 lithium batteries.
The biggest pro of the product is that you get a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship, which is great value for your money. There’s also a unique zoom mechanism that works like a magnifying glass that sits above the LED. You will also love the fantastic design and ergonomic construction.
The main drawback for this flashlight is that it’s extremely heavy and bulky, which can make it hard to carry around. Also, users with large hands might have a hard time using the switch, as it’s too tiny.
Honorable Mention: ThruNite Ti3 V2 Keychain Flashlight
This flashlight has the longest lifespan in this category, as it can serve you for more than 20 years with proper care. The secrets behind this lifespan are the AAA batteries and shock resistance, which avoids breakage thanks to the strong aluminium body. It has three different modes: high, low, and strobe. It is so small that you will mistake it for a penlight, but this strengthens its portability.
This flashlight is comfortable and portable. It has a lanyard that you can attach to your keyholder. Also, it has a two-way reverse clip for holding in pockets. You will also love the fact that it is 1PX8 waterproof, so you can even use it underwater.
The only downside of this flashlight is that it’s not super-bright, so you can’t use it from a long distance. You will also have a difficult time trying to determine how the different modes work. The modes also change when you turn it off, so you will have to readjust when you open it.
- If you are a frequent camper, in addition to a flashlight, consider buying a pocket-sized knife or multitool, which can be useful for outdoor activities.
- Pack multiple batteries for the flashlight for hiking or camping trips. If your flashlight uses AAA batteries, it’s prudent to get a variety of different brands, so that you can always have a backup.
- If you need a flashlight for emergency situations, it’s better to use a simple design that’s easy to switch on when you’re in a rush.
Q: Where is the best place to store an EDC flashlight?
A: An EDC flashlight should be with you at all times since it’s easy to carry around. Attach it to your keychain or store it in the back pocket of your overalls. It will be within reach every time you need it.
Q: How many lumens should an EDC flashlight have?
A: Anything above 30 lumens is bright enough for any task. Also, the lower the number of lumens, the longer the unit will run. A 30-lumen flashlight can run for about 40 hours, and runtime is more important than lumen rating if you need the light for emergencies. However, you need a light with a higher lumen rating above 100 lumens if you need it for mechanical work.
Q: How often should I change a flashlight’s batteries?
A: Change the batteries every four months to prevent battery leaks caused by extreme weather changes. The battery may drain faster if you store it in a hot environment, such as in a car trunk, or if you use it too frequently.
Q: How do I prevent battery leakage?
A: A battery leak happens when the battery ages or discharges and excess hydrogen gas is produced. The battery eventually ruptures, and potassium hydroxide leaks out. To prevent that, store your batteries in a cool and dry place where the temperatures range from 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, remove the batteries from the flashlight if you aren’t using it.
Our top pick for the best EDC flashlight is the Streamlight Mainstream Flashlight. It has a sleek and compact design that can fit in your pocket. It also produces a super-bright beam that will help you see everything in a single glance.
If you are looking for a simple and affordable EDC flashlight, consider the COAST LED Flashlight.