Question of the Day: What Flashlight for EDC?

AE Light's new 280 Lumen Dual Switch Police Light (courtesy alight.com)

I don’t carry a flashlight. I’m already rocking a gun, spare mag, wallet, knife, keys, sunglasses, reading glasses, an iPhone and Harmon Kardon earbuds. If I didn’t have an Andy’s Leather belt holding up my trousers, you’d find me in the “General” Larry Platt Hall of Shame. Too. Much. Stuff. But WTH. I’m told a flashlight’s the armed self-defender’s most useful accoutrement since Denise Richards. [NB: That makes sense in my world.] I’ve taken a fancy to the “back to basics” $100 AEL280P flashlight above. [Press release after the jump.] Help me out. If you carry a light, why do you carry it, which one do you carry and do you always carry it?

Simplicity with Performance

When the Oregon State Police said they needed a flashlight with dual switches, 4+ hour run time, choice of batteries, and dependable On/Off functionality, the AEL280P was our answer.

The AEL280P Police Special shines 280 lumens / 2900 LUX @ 3′ utilizing a USA made Cree XM-L T6 LED chip, powered by 1-18650, 2-CR123, or 2-16340 lithium batteries. The precision designed reflector optimizes target illumination at 500+ feet with side splash for peripheral illumination as well.

The Polarity Neutral electronics allow for a battery to be inserted in either direction, though if using 2-CR123 or 2-16340 batteries they must be facing the same direction. We recommend 1-18650 rechargeable Lithium battery for maximum performance and ease of use.

The AEL280P Police flashlight has a removable pocket clip, removable anti-roll/grip, & removable lanyard attachment that doubles as a protective shield to protect against inadvertent turn on of the rear switch. The front switch is slightly recessed to protect it. Either switch controls On/Off function.

Made of aerospace, mil-spec hard anodized aluminum the AEL280P is rugged and dependable. Included with the AEL280P are nylon pouch, spare o-rings, spare rear switch rubber, lanyard, & optional pocket clip retaining ring, if the larger square grip is not preferred.

In stock and available now. For additional information please click here to visit our site.

Specifications:

LED: Cree XM-L T6 LED
Power Source: 1*18650, 2*CR123A, 2*16340
Rated Voltage: 2.8V-8.4V
Max light output/Run time: 280 Lumens / 3+ hrs.
LUX: 2900 @ 3′ / 1m
Max Beam Distance: 750′ / 250m
Peak beam intensity: cd: 2900
Impact Resistance: 5′ / 1.5m
Waterproof: IPX-8 underwater 6′ / 2m
Material: Aircraft grade aluminum
Coating: Premium Anodize Hard Type 111 anti-abrasive
Reflector: Precision focused hard coat
Length: 5.83 in / 148mm
Body Diameter: 1.0 in / 25.4mm
Bezel Diameter: 1.5in / 38mm
Weight: 5.3 ounces / 150g
Lens: Hardened ultra clear
Protection: Neutal Polarity

comments

  1. avatar JMS says:

    I dig this one: http://www.amazon.com/SOG-DarkEnergy-Tactical-Handheld-Flashlight/dp/B00750RCI6

    It’s usually on me when I’m out past dark, or at least it’s in the car. It’s always handy in the house… lives on the night stand most of the time.

  2. avatar Big Al says:

    My kit is very similar to what you carry except I drop a ProTac 1L in my front left pocket below my wallet.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      Just saw this after my post (below) about the ProTac 1L. It’s a great light in a small package. And, inexpensive, as well.

    2. avatar utdmatt says:

      I’m loving the foursevens preon 2 (2x AAA) for front pocket carry. If you just need a close range work light it is amazing, and the many modes make it a great backup light when out in the wild. I get good illumination out to 20 yards on the brightest mode (190 lumens), but low mode at 2-3 lumens makes it very flexible. Step it up to the 2x AA light for longer use in bright mode. $50 and $65 for these

      If you need a light that can spot out at distance (chasing/looking for the bad guy instead of work lighting) I’d go with 2x cr123 as your power source. There are a ton to pick from, decide if you want spot or area illumination and go from there. The 4-7 quark in this setup gives 430 lumens for 2 hours or 1 lumen for 600 hours.

      Nutnfancy has some great light reviews for edc from micro-light to duty use.

      1. avatar Irideducs says:

        This is exactly what I do. Preon 2 – light and useful for urban/suburban carry. Now if I am going some place where the nature is a bit more wild (rather than the two legged creatures) something a little larger and more powerful is needed. But everyday around town the Preon 2 is perfect.

      2. avatar Sean says:

        I carry a Preon 1. So small that I can always have it with me.

      3. avatar Angel says:

        EDC a Preon2 as well. I’m looking to buy another just in case I lose this one.

  3. avatar rabbi says:

    A gun with out a light is a 12-hour gun, and its the wrong 12 hours- Andy Stamford

    I carry a few different Surefires…all have a momentary switch, WITHOUT a click on.

    1. avatar Mr. Lighter says:

      I carry the same types of Surefire lights, and they’ve never failed me.

      1. avatar Labman says:

        I have an older Surefire G2 w/120 lumen lens/momentary switch. Tough on batteries but bright enough to blind your butt in a dark place at self-defense ranges. I don’t carry it very often but it is always next to my gun on the nightstand for home use. Personally, I like night sights…if you’re hunting a BG in your house, they don’t give you away and I know my house and he doesn’t. Two big Labs are a pretty good deterrent as well. If I buy another, it’ll probably be more potent with a strobe setting. Now that would probably disorient the hell out of a BG in the dark.

        1. avatar rabbi says:

          Strobe setting disorientate the good guy as well as the bad guy.

        2. avatar Human Being says:

          I know a 150 lb Labrador emitting strobic pulses of light would freak the hell out of me.

  4. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    I carry two flashlights on my person at all times. One of them is a keychain lithium-cell LED light, the other is my iPhone. Yes, I count my iPhone as a flashlight, as I use the dim light from the screen backlight to navigate the house at bedtime, and the LED “flash” when I need to look under a bed for a wayward pet or book.

    I do carry a “real” flashlight in my daypack, a 5-LED low-output aluminum job that runs on a pair of long-shelf-life CR123 batteries. I got it at the hardware store a long time ago, and it’s simple, durable, and will last one hell of a long time on a pair of CR123s. More importantly, I can go a year or two between proactive battery swaps, and the batteries never leak, swell, or otherwise give me trouble.

    I do own a number of much more powerful, LED-upgraded lights including some built on the Maglite D-cell chassis, and a nice LED Lenser that hangs from its charger next to my handgun safe. None of those are EDC, though. I have enough crap to worry about without adding a “real” flashlight to my pocket gear load-out.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Hey, the iPhone works in a pinch. I always have me unless I’m in the shower, and I don’t take a gun in there. Fortunately, only hot blond sleezy chicks die in the shower so I’m still tactically sound.

      Otherwise a Fenix LD20, SureFire 6P with 300 Lumen engine, Olight M20S with smooth reflector, Olight M30, Olight M31, or Streamlight TLR1S.

      1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

        Clearly you frequent a more interesting class of shower facilities than I do…

  5. avatar Loyd says:

    Surefire G2 rides in a Kytex belt clip on my hip. Streamlight Nano on my key chain.

  6. avatar Bill Derer says:

    I carry a SOG DarkEnergy all the time now. Has come in handy several times for normal situations.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    I never carry a flashlight since I see perfectly well at night and, like most lawyers, I have to be back in my coffin by sunrise. But if I did carry a light, I’d carry a cheap POS knowing full well that I’d accidentally lose it.

    1. avatar Kirk says:

      I agree with you on the crappy lights. I can’t bring myself to spring the $100.

      Btw, re: cheap lawyers: How’s that 1997 copy of WordPerfect working out for your pleadings? 🙂

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I was never cheap. Thrifty, yes, but I cost a lot.

    2. avatar TR says:

      I got a Costco special 3-pack for exactly that reason. Each one claims 250 Lumens (I’ll wager it’s only about 150, but still VERY bright) and has 3 settings: Bright, Blinding, and Seizure (strobe). All in heavy-duty aluminum with lanyards. Only complaint is that they don’t have a belt clip, but not bad for $18.

  8. avatar DrewR55 says:

    I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2AA all the time. It’s a little long but its output along with the availability of batteries and their low price offsets the length over a C123 battery powered light. The number of times the light comes out now; “oh look, the pen rolled under my desk.” or “where is that dog hiding.” and “something in that alley just went bump!” never ceases to amaze me. I recommend a light for everyone.

    And the 2AA with its beaveled crown can double as an impact weapon, or an attitude adjustment tool.

  9. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: Robert Farago
    RE: What??!?!?!

    You don’t have that ‘man purse’ on steroids you touted a while back? The Versipack by Optmod?

    Works great for ME. I pack all you do along with my iPad and wireless keyboard as well as an asp and various pens/pencils/highlighters/laser pointer/temp and perm markers. Along with various meds.

    I’m gonna add one of those perm glue-sticks to mark windows on illegally parked vehicle windshields. You know people who park in handicapped stalls when they display no tags.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Be Prepared…..]

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      You carry a snake in your murse?

      1. avatar TR says:

        “Asps. Very dangerous! You go first, Indie.”

  10. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

    P.S. The LED flashlight—1x1x1.5″— is on the keychain…..

  11. avatar In Memphis says:

    I use a 5.11 Tactical ATAC PLx. Its a pen light and only about 69 lumens but it does what I need it to without adding a bunch of bulk to me.

    I also have a Streamlight micro keychain with a green LED, clipped to my ID badge. I use that primarily for reading without blinding my me and my partner.

    1. avatar Al Cohol says:

      This is EXACTLY what I carry too. I bought it because even my Protac 2L seemed too bulky with everything else I carry. It is now my most recommended EDC light because 69 lumens is surprisingly brighter than I thought, it literally added no felt bulk to my pocket, and sits perfectly next to my Kershaw. I’m all about keeping things minimal, because when things get too bulky you tend to leave it at home. My one exception is my glock 19. Plus its only $24. Not much of a deterrent as far as price goes. It also runs on AAA batteries, so you don’t have to worry about those expensive CR123’s going out regularly.

      Now my Protac 2L sits in the console of my Wrangler and my Elzetta sits on my night stand next to my Glock 19 with a TLR-1. Both the Elzetta and TLR-1 go with me when I irrigate our orchards.

      In summary, no matter what light you buy, please buy the 5.11 PLx. I promise you won’t ever leave home without a light on you once you have it. Maybe your different, maybe you won’t always carry it like me. But for those few times you don’t want to carry your more bulky flash light, $24 isn’t much to have something that you won’t think twice about when you’re in the mood to carry a lighter load.

  12. avatar Sertorius says:

    Fenix LD-22.

    http://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-ld22g2/

    It is not quite as powerful as the AE (215 lumens vs 280), but has three lower levels including a 3-lumen mode, plus a strobe. I like it because it takes regular old AA batteries, which I prefer for a light that gets a lot of use. $60.

    Fenix is Chinese, but they make very high quality lights. I have several, and have used them for years. I have tried American brands like Streamlight and Surefire, but eventually go back to Fenix because I dislike exotic batteries.

    In answer to RF’s question, no I do not carry the light all the time.

    I do have Fenix’s E05 on my keychain. It’s tiny, runs off a AAA battery (no joke, at 65mm long,it’s hardly bigger than the AAA battery) and puts out 27 lumens. It’s amazing.

    http://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-e05-black/

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      I carry a Fenix (PD32 UE) all day everyday (very important on my line of work), and recommend them highly.

      High quality, same LED as Surefire and half the price.

  13. avatar racer88 says:

    I finally got around to carrying a light, since I finally found the perfect light (for me).

    I have the Protac 1L from Streamlight. It runs about $40 on Amazon. It takes a single CR123 lithium battery. It’s 3.35″ long and 0.9″ in diameter. And, it puts out an impressive beam for such a tiny light.

    I carry it in my right front pocket (loose) along with my keys, a Swiss Army knife (also loose in pocket). I also carry a Spyderco folder clipped in my right pocket.

  14. avatar tdubb says:

    I got a Streamlight ProTac 2 AA model. Just a little bit bigger than a pen. High/strobe/low modes. It’s bright enough for my needs. I always carried a knife and I use the light more. Your pockets fill up no matter what you do. It’s either that or look like you are wearing Batmans utility belt.

    The power went out in my building a few months ago, emergency lights and all. I whipped out my light and became real popular.

  15. avatar ChrisCicc says:

    I carry the Fenix E01 on my keychain everywhere I go. It’s smaller than the largest key, yet bright enough to light a room. Truly EDC.

    http://www.fenixlight.com/ProductMore.aspx?id=48&tid=11&cid=1#.UYgQnLXWhJY

    1. avatar jim says:

      I couldn’t figure out how to buy it from that link. Here is a link where you can buy that E01.

      http://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-e01-led-flashlight-black/

  16. avatar Pulatso says:

    I carry a Mag-Lite LED XL50. Three settings: bright, not quite so bright, and freaking strobe. 20 something bucks from Lowe’s.

    1. avatar ZM 1306 says:

      I got that one too. I have limited my carry of it in my coat because the button gets turned on easy in my pocket. It is water proof and gets almost 9 hr run time on 3 AAA.

      The best thing about it is you do not need to cycle through all the settings to turn it off.
      One click 137 lumen one click off, Two clicks like 25% power one click off, Three clicks 137 lumen strobe one click off.

      It also works as a cheep weapon flashlight because it will fit in a scope ring.

  17. avatar Brian S says:

    for EDC I like my Streamlight 2AAA – it’s lightweight and skinny enough that I can pocket carry it in jeans… I “tuck” it into the corner of the pocket and it stays out of the way. It’s not going to blind anyone in a defensive role, but it’s come in handy quite often for mundane tasks.

    I’ve been carrying it for months now and it’s still running on the batteries it came with

  18. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    5-11 “brand” ATAC L-2. They are about 40 bucks at gun shows. 200+ lumens.
    One in all 4 glove boxes and a couple in the house.
    Also have costco “headlights” in every car.

  19. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    I fell in love with flashlights a long time ago. Working Customs I learned of the term “tonk”. It was used to denote illegals. “Tonk” came from the sound made by a big old Kel-Lite bouncing off the head of a wetback. The combination of flashlight and striking device ain’t new.

    Today its a Surefire L2 (now discontinued) that I carry. Usually when I know its going to be dark while I’m out or in the buildings and tunnels of urban areas. Hold over from 9/11 in downtown Manhattan.

  20. avatar Flubnut says:

    Nitecore MH1C – 550 lumens and rechargeable via micro-USB. Probably a bit overkill in most situations, but perfect for lighting the backyard (and beyond) at night when I’m fiddling about after dark. And since I live in IL and can’t carry anything beyond a locking Benchmade, I have plenty of room in my pocket for it.

  21. avatar dwb says:

    Streamlight tlr-2. Handy on a weapon, or by itself because its so bright and compact. Actually, I have several flashlights parked around the house just in case, including one in the bedside table, and one hanging with the keys. But usually its the Streamlight i carry because it will light up everything for 200 yards. Why do i carry it? I live in a neighborhood with few streetlights that is very dark at night, and you never know what you will encounter after dark walking the dogs.

  22. avatar Roscoe says:

    http://www.elzetta.com/
    Keep a steady/strobe model from above company mounted on my Mossburg.

    I keep a variety of steady, always servicable flash lights within close reach at strategic locations in my home and all vehicles for instant access. They come in handy for many uses, not just for self defense.

  23. avatar skippysanchez says:

    I carry a Nebo Blueline because it’s inexpensive, relative to the above, has a wide/narrow beam adjustment and can be turned on and off with one hand. Never needed it to accompany weapons, but use it regularly to find things in dark cabinets, under the bed, under-lit staircases, cluttered rooms, etc. at construction sites, looking for dropped change, pens, phones, etc. in my car, discerning whether that’s a cat or a skunk during my pre-dawn walks, and the inevitable power failures that accompany spring storms in Kansas.

  24. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    I’m still loving the PowerTac Warrior, but its pretty big unless I’m wearing cargo pants with pocket dividers.

    I look for cheap or rechargeable batteries (AAA or 18650), brightness at least 200 lumens, and a silent switch. Strobes and multi modes are tricky, because any time you need that light in a hurry you want it BRIGHT; you don’t want to accidentally get a strobe or night-light mode.

  25. avatar jeff says:

    http://www.fenixlight.com/ProductMore.aspx?id=46&tid=11&cid=1

    It is a small, single 123A battery keychain light. I always have my keys and thus a light. In hi mode is very bright-blindingly so at short range. This way I have a light, but don’t have to have something else on my belt.

    1. avatar Pat says:

      Bingo jeff! Almost 2 hours at 170 lumens with an over 100 meter throw is fantastic for a light weighing 23 grams (without CR123 battery) and being pinky finger long. It turns on in medium power (80 lumens for 4 1/2 hrs) and has a low setting of 11 lumens for 36 hrs.
      The E15 from Fenix is a big bang for something so tiny and not a bank busting purchase at $25-30.

  26. avatar Fred says:

    I have a Surefire G2X I usually carry with me. It has two modes, an everyday useful 15 lumens and a tactical 200 lumens. I wouldn’t carry it if it were single output. I got it for $60 on sale.

  27. avatar Will P says:

    I carry a Streamlight Stylus Pro for my EDC light. I am a full time EMT-I, this light is very compact but bright enough to find my way around a scene, but also not too bright so I can use it to do pupilary checks.

    My EDC on duty consists of a CRKT M16-14ZER knife, Streamlight Stylus Pro, Fine Sharpie retractable(works great for notes on gloves) , Littman Master Classic II stethoscope, Oakley Flak Jacket sunglasses, ink pen, cellphone, wallet, and keys.

    My EDC off duty consist of a CRKT M16-14ZER knife, Ruger LC9, Streamlight Stylus Pro, ink pen, lighter, wallet, keys, Oakley Flak Jacket sunglasses, and cellphone.

  28. avatar Thomas M. says:

    I carry one of these http://www.countycomm.com/aaa.html every day. It rides next to my Kershaw Leek 1660TSW in my coin pocket. If there’s room, a tube of carmex rides in there too.

    I usually keep a lithium battery in it, and get very good run time. If I’m out of lithium batteries, I get decent run time from a regular battery.

    Before I got the Maratec light, I carried a Streamlight Microstream. AAA flashlights with lithium batteries rock.

    When I need something more, I carry a Foursevens QT2A. That’s too big to fit in my coin pocket, so it usually rides clipped in my pocket.

  29. avatar Pulatso says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t get the silent switch feature. You’re turning on a light, that’s going to give away a position far worse than a tiny click.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Whip hand over lense and turn it OFF silently.

  30. avatar blcjr says:

    I concur with “In Memphis” and “Al Cohol” that for a flashlight you WILL always take with you, a good pen light with a Cree chip is hard to beat. I happen to carry this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Led-Lenser-880093-Keychain-Flashlight/dp/B007TQNGYA/

    which seems comparable in features to the one they carry. I keep it clipped inside the front left pocket of whatever pants I’m wearing. I do have other, more powerful lights, and suitable holsters, when I really want to go all tacticool. But for true EDC, these little pen lights simply cannot be beat.

  31. avatar Brian Patterson says:

    I EDC. Personally, Ive found nothing as good, long lasting, cheap to run, and out of the way-till-I-need-it as the powertac E2. 115 lumens, 9, and 0.9. Beautiful power spread. love the bright, middle is perfect for most things, and the dim is great for reading in the dark, and not broadcasting your presence.

    http://powertacusa.com/flashlights/keychain-lights/E2-LED-Keychain-CREE-XP-G-R5-LED

  32. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    I have a decent regular flashlight by the nightstand, but a flashlight would be just too much junk in the pockets. I’d be tempted to carry a knife daily, but it’s illegal where I work. Gun? A-OK with permit. Knife? Nope, verboten. Welcome to Philly.

  33. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Ray-O-Vac SP123A-B; every minute of every day, as I never know when a basement or attic will cross my path.

    Just over half a super-duper whiz-bang Grand High Poobah police light (one switch, three brightness levels starting at 150 lumens and a three-to-twelve hour run time depending on brightness) at half the price, and more than good enough.

    It comes with clip, scabbard and two CR123A lithium cells. Highly recommended.

  34. avatar Aaronvan says:

    Sunwayman v11r it’s where it’s at

  35. avatar Highvoltage says:

    Surefire or LensLight…

    Question: when are you wearing earbuds? While they’re great for shutting out the world around you, they, well, shut out the world around you. It’s difficult to stay aware of your surroundings if you are pretty much deaf.

  36. avatar Camo says:

    Some have already mentioned the Fenix E01 keychain light. That’s what I have used for about a year and it’s a tough little light and cheap, about $15 on Amazon. Waterproof, shockproof and you don’t have to think about it, it’s just always there if you have your keys. Works on a AAA battery for a long time and is bright enough for walking around in the woods at night and will hurt your eyes if you look at it. Not a combat light at all, but great for everything else. I have bigger tactical lights but really the E01 gets the most use and is with me all the time. Another keychain tool I have is the CRKT Shrimp stainless steel frame. A super tough little knife that comes in handy all the time. I carry a Gerber 06 combat folder usually but the CRKT is a nice little backup utility blade for when you forget your big knife. Neither the light or the knife makes pulling your keys out of your pocket a problem. I consider both of these backup tools but they are solid products.

  37. avatar Scott says:

    Quark Tactical Q22L-X here. Very good quality, but perhaps a little pricey for some.

  38. avatar Janiak says:

    I’m in the cheap, but effective, flashlight camp. I love the TechLight LumenMaster lights and you can’t beat the price. They take 3 AAA batteries and last long enough. As a bonus, it fits in one of the pouches in the nylon double mag pouch that I carry.

    http://www.amazon.com/Techlite-Master-High-Intensity-Tactical-Flashlight/dp/B0074D6PE6

  39. avatar John Boch says:

    Someone sold the Oregon State Police a piss poor light.

    I’m an EagleTac fan and currently carry the G25C2 everyday. It rides in my rear pocket behind my blade, a Lone Wolf Harsey D2. 1030 lumens on high. 100 or so on normal mode. Nasty strobe functions for those who like that sort of thing. Long run times with rechargeable batteries. What’s not to like. Hell, you can even send an SOS to the International Space Station or satellites with it if you’re so inclined (I’m not).

    Before that, I carried their T20C2 and before that P20C2.

    It’s about a fourth of the price of a SureFire, so if I lose it, I only feel about 1/4 as bad as if I lost a SureFire.

    Shame on you RF, for not carrying a light EDC.

    John

  40. avatar adm.fookbar says:

    when i want a really bright ass light i have an LED flashlight, i’ve got a $20 coleman I brought from Walmart.

    $20. AA batteries. What more do I neeD?

  41. avatar Chuck says:

    I carry a Oveready moddular pocket. Goes everywhere I go in my back pocket. 800ish lumens from a single 18650. Worth every penny for the beating I give it.

  42. avatar Bob Damon says:

    Like many wrote before, I carry a stream light Protac.
    I also have a stream light Nano on my keychain.

    Several posted about using their iPhone as a light, not bad, but there’s actually an app for that. Several apps, for both Android and iOS will turn on the camera light.
    The camera light is a led, and in a pinch it is a good light.
    I practice turning on the flashlight app and holding the phone to my left ( weak side) ear, so I can use the light and talk at the same time. If you are calling 911, you can still have a light. Not as bright as the Protac, but good enough for anything close to you.
    If you are using the screen of your phone as a light, it might be hard to speak or hear, even on speaker.
    The app is called flashlight ( Android), and there are many of them. I tried a few, this one worked easiest for me. One click from the home screen to activate.

  43. avatar .9mm says:

    I too have a couple coleman max lights I got from wm. But my edc light is an ultrafire 501b with the cree xml emitter. Its bright as hell and twice as cheap. Got it from amazon for $11 shipped to my door. I carry one and mounted another to my shotgun.

  44. avatar Stinkeye says:

    The best light is the one I’ll always have with me, so I carry a Photon Freedom on my keychain. Sure, it’s not a 1000-lumen tacticool head-basher, but it’s only ten bucks, and if I lose it, I’ll only cry for two days (thanks, Amazon Prime!). It’s a lot brighter than the generic coin-cell keychain lights, and it’s fully dimmable with all kinds of programmable modes, and comes with a hat clip, neck lanyard, and magnetic mount. What’s not to love?

  45. avatar Jeff W says:

    I am a Fenix guy. The only drawback is that they are made in China.
    The PD30 is my favorite. It is small and bright.
    http://www.fenixlighting.com/products/fenix-flashlights-pd30-led-flashlight.aspx

    I don’t carry it all of the time because I carry as much crap with me as RF.

    1. avatar blehtastic says:

      The LED’s are made in North Carolina at a very cool plant.

      Some part of everything is made in China nowadays, don’t fret.

  46. avatar Chuck in IL says:

    Streamlight ProTac 2L with rechargeable batteries. I love Surefires and have more than one person ought to, but the ProTac fits the bill when it comes to balancing size weight and output. Carry it everyday, all day long.

  47. avatar ChuckN says:

    Mini maglite with either a Xenon bulb or LED. It’s a simple
    workhorse that can last a long time and costs a darn sight
    less than almost any tactical flashlight.

  48. avatar Michael B says:

    Preon P2. Extremely bright and light weight for a pen light. I carry one everywhere and never realize it’s on me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Foursevens-P2-AE-192-Lumen-Flashlight-Finish/dp/B00914ZM18/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367881061&sr=8-1&keywords=preon+2

  49. avatar HKinDelray says:

    Fenix PD32 Ultimate Edition…740lumens max.

    1. avatar Pat says:

      That’s a nice light.

  50. avatar Steve says:

    LED Lenser P-7.

    Because Seeing at night is a plus, and yes, it’s always with me.

  51. avatar Tom Weber says:

    I replaced my Surefire E1 with a Fenix PD22. It’s much brighter, and hasn’t cost me $30 every month in a lamp and batteries either.

  52. avatar CarlosT says:

    Olight M20S-X for me. Just started carrying it. I like it because it’s pretty powerful, not giant, and not hugely expensive. The separate on/off and intensity/strobe buttons are nice as well.

  53. avatar Shorr Khan says:

    I carry 3: a Fenix LD01 as a keychain light, a Fenix LD12 on my belt and an LD22 in my “murse” (5.11 MOAB 6).

    I use Sanyo Eneloop rechargables in all of them.

    The LD01 uses 1 AAA and is hardly larger than the battery, yet it puts out 72 lumens.

    The LD12 and LD22 use 1 and 2 AA respectively, and max out at 125 and 215 lumens. They both have momentary on end-cap switches and a handy button just behind the emitter to control mode.

  54. avatar gej88 says:

    Just around town, a cheap light on my key chain and a “Tesla” app on my android. Use the LED mini mag light in the sticks, but not EDC.

  55. avatar Robb says:

    Eagle Tac D25C. About $50 online, about the length of a tube of chapstik, penny in diameter, brighter than the sun(almost).

  56. avatar Despot says:

    A sc600 mkii by zebralight, it has a nice solid feel to it. It’s more of a 900lumen flood light than a spotlight, with multiple settings that fits all situations for EDC.

  57. avatar cmcinc says:

    I always carry a 4Sevens Quarx X1232 Tactical. It is only 4 1/2″ and fits nicely in any of my pockets. 360 lumens max does the job. I am surprised at how much use I get out of it. Around the house I have other 4Sevens, Fenix and Surefires.

  58. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Streamlight Protac 2L.

    Yes, carry every day. As a gunsmith, I’m constantly looking into small, deep holes. If you want to see what a barrel looks like, you’re going to need light on one end of the hole.

  59. avatar Dave S says:

    Always carry a light, even in the daylight there are lots of dark nooks and crannies where you might need to know whats in there.

    find a light you like and keep it with you, especially while carrying.

  60. avatar blehtastic says:

    Suspenders. They don’t help with your size constraints, but they immensely help with your weight constraints in EDC

    Unless you’re a no-gut six pack, 500 situps a day kind of guy, start wearing suspenders. A belt is just a platform for hanging stuff off of. Suspenders are what actually hold one’s pants up.

    I rock one of those Fenix’s with two double A’s. It’s got a pocket clip, but keeping a light with a button on the end in your pocket is just asking to flash it when you don’t want to. Gotta keep it in a holster on your belt.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      +1

      Knife, wallet, keys, phone, flashlight, pepper spray, gun, spare mags. It all makes for some heavy pants. The belt and suspenders approach is really the way to go.

  61. avatar Ronald Pottol says:

    Another four sevens fan, I carry a MiNi CR2 High CRI light on my keychain. I like that I get a super long run time and dim enough to not wreck my night vision when digging through my bag (2-3 lumens), but enough to light up the outside of the house at max (160 lumens). The High CRI (Color Rendition Index, it scores 85%) means that things are not blue, and it is much easier to see and understand what you are seeing. I have a Fenix that puts out 230 lumens, while “brighter”, because it doesn’t render colors as well, it isn’t any more useful than the dimmer MiNi, and is much, much bigger.

    The MiNi CR2 is everyday, it’s on my keychain, not on my belt or in my bag, it’s that small.

  62. avatar Charlie Johnson says:

    I carry a Surefire LX2 Lumamax, any time I’m wearing pants. The switch is what sold me, push for bright, push harder for really bright, no clicky. My bag contains a Streamlight TLR-1 for the XDm, spare batteries, etc. There’s a fauxton on my keyring, but it never gets used.

  63. avatar Charlie Johnson says:

    I carry a Surefire LX2 Lumamax, any time I’m wearing pants. The switch is what sold me, push for bright, push harder for really bright, no clicky. My bag contains a Streamlight TLR-1 for the XDm, spare batteries, and stuff.

  64. avatar Jon R. says:

    Everyday light is a Streamlight stylus pro, small and easy to carry everyday. If I’m walking my dogs at night don’t wanna drain the batteries on my stylus, I use a cheap 45 lumen Dorcy Tac light which is a great light for $10. I use a Streamlight Polytac for at home purposes, inexpensive but a pretty decent light.

  65. avatar Cameron S. says:

    Fenix LD-10 – Single AA, 6 Different modes, intuitive controls, nice strong pocket clip and easy to carry. All I’ll need for the meanwhile.

  66. avatar Nate says:

    I use a Streamlight ProTac 2AAA. It’s about the size of a pen. Takes 2 AAAs, as the name implies. 90 lumens and has hi/low/strobe capabilities

  67. avatar Jerryboy says:

    i carry a fairly cheap but good quality light that came in a three-pack from Costco for $20 in my pocket. i carry it everywhere i carry my gun which means, well, everywhere!

  68. avatar justin says:

    I have this Cabela’s brand tactical light that I carry. I found it in the bargain cave in the Fort Worth store packaged with an aluminum handled cabela’s brand folding knife for 20 bucks. Had I realized how nice both the light and the knife actually were, I would have grabbed every one that they had.

  69. avatar p35flash says:

    Carry a 8$ led light I found at Walmart. It works for anything within 7 yards, uses the cheap aaa batteries, and it only costs me 8$ if I lose it.

  70. avatar Evan says:

    I carry some kind of Coleman flashlight I got at Walmart for 20$. It’s durable, bright as hell, and runs on only 3 AAA for something like 4 hours.

  71. Looking forward to Armytek Partner models. TIR optics sounds very interesting. A compact, variable-intensity flashlight that fits in your fifth pocket:)

  72. avatar protaganis says:

    I always carry my Fen ix LD22. x AA batteries. Multiple modes; including SOS, disorienting flicker (2 stage flicker, alternating), low, medium, high and turbo mode.
    I carry it and own 2 others that I keep around the house.
    Very reliable and very well built.
    Much as I liked my streamlights, I couldn’t justify specialty batteries. I can walk into any gas station and get hundreds of AAs, but have to order cr123s online.
    It’s all part of my simplification plan. Standardize on the items that are needed in a SHTF situation.
    Same goes for ammo, 22lr, 9mm, .308 and 12 gauge.

  73. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Sorry, but no way can I justify a $100 for a flashlight. I carry a 2 AA cell Mini-Maglite on me pretty much every waking hour, and it’s by the bed when I sleep. I’ve had it over 10 years, it never fails me and I use it a lot. In my car is a 6 “D” cell Maglite that does double duty as a club if needed. I like Maglites, they are easy to find bulbs for, easy to replace if lost. and they come with a full life time warantee.

  74. avatar IllumFiati says:

    I have 2 lights I use. One is a 2 year old Cabela’s 90 lumen light that uses 2 AA batteries and has a Cree illuminator in it. This has been a great light, but a little larger for the pocket.

    There is a company that makes a very good, affordable light for BIG 5 sporting goods here in the Western States. Nebo makes a line of branded US Army LED lights based on Nebo’s TAC line. I bought the TAC50 with the US Marine logo at Big 5 for $12.99. 50 lumens and uses one AA battery……very bright and affordable. It even has a beltclip and a very sharp defense bezel. They sell another one at Big 5 called the TAC 180 for $35 that is 180 Lumens and is a very nice light with multiple lighting settings. They have a 250 lumen unit on Nebo’s website that looks good for $39.99.

    I have had my Tac 50 for about 3 months and use it almost daily. great little light.

    http://www.nebotools.com/
    http://www.nebotools.com/cat.php?cid=16

  75. avatar Tyler Tulchinsky says:

    Once again, the brite strike epli gets not love. Its just like the preon p2, but with a much more aggressive design. Life time warranty, about 50$, and 160 lumens, with low setting and strobe. I have carried one next to my leatherman skeletool for the last 2 years, its an excellent flashlight. I use Sanyo eneloop batteries so I always have charged batteries ready to go.

  76. avatar Micheal says:

    Great Post. I really think that the best EDC flashlight is the light that you will carry with you everywhere. So, you definitely need to mention the super small photon micro flashlights. The light suggested in the article is a little big for an EDC but I would put the SureFire P2X Fury ($105 on Amazon) up against it any day. To check out other EDC flashlights click here.

  77. I agree with many of the previous posters that a penlight form factor is a great choice. I just did a little review of the top penlights and setup a nice comparison guide.

  78. I have this present Cabela’s image strategic light that I convey. I discovered it in the deal collapse the Fort Worth store bundled with an aluminum took care of cabela’s image collapsing blade for 20 bucks. Had I understood how pleasant both the light and the blade really were, I would have gotten each one that they had.

  79. avatar brent says:

    I have seen a lot of people go with the Streamlight pen lights or surefire low lumen handhelds for EDC..but with all the new lights from Olight, Fenix, and Klarus, I think there are better options from these other brands. Mecarmy has also come out with some pretty unique pocket edc lights like the PT16, SGN3, or SGN7. Here is a best pocket flashlight post for some of the other EDC lights recommended.

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