In this post Alpha Survivalist will cover exactly what it is that makes a regular EDC Flashlight into a great one; and we’ll also be highlighting a selection of some of the best value for money EDC Flashlights currently available lower down.
What is an EDC Flashlight?
One item that often gets overlooked when putting together an everyday carry list is a flashlight. An EDC Flashlight is simply a small flashlight that you can carry with you wherever you go.
An EDC Flashlight is an invaluable piece of equipment and they’re not just for emergencies.
If you need help inserting a key into a lock at night or your path needs lighting because the streetlights are out, you’ll be glad you had a flashlight with you.
What to look for when choosing an EDC Flashlight
Size is important!
If you are carrying a flashlight all the time it needs to be small, but how small is small?
The answer to that question will always depend on how you are intending to carry your EDC flashlight.
You may be looking for a flashlight that will fit onto your key ring or perhaps you’ll be keeping it in a pocket, or a purse, or even attached to your belt.
Once you know how you’ll be carrying your flashlight then you’ll know what size and type of ‘small’ you’ll need!
What types of EDC flashlight are there?
There are basically three types of flashlights that are suitable for use as EDC flashlights.
- Key ring: The smallest of flashlights, small enough that they can be attached to a bunch of keys.
- Pen: Pen flashlights are exactly what the name implies. They are long and thin often with a clip and can be carried in the top pocket the same way one would carry a pen.
- Compact/Tactical: Similar in appearance to a standard flashlight except much shorter and stubbier. These are much more powerful than pen and key ring flashlights, particularly the tactical varieties.
How bright it is?
The brightness of all light is measured in lumens and manufacturers should provide information about how many lumens their flashlights provide, the higher the number of Lumens, the brighter the light.
There are a few factors that will affect the brightness of a flashlight.
- The type of bulb used – LED’s are much brighter than incandescent bulbs
- The quality and strength of the batteries being used, and…
- The quality of the flashlight itself
The brightness you want from your flashlight will be down to personal preference.
As a guide, a flashlight providing 100 lumens of light will generally be able to light up a room reasonably well.
That may sound okay but you may need your EDC flashlight for any number of different purposes. So our advice is to not consider flashlights that have a maximum brightness of less than 250 Lumens.
What type of batteries does it use?
The type of batteries a flashlight uses will be dictated by its size and shape.
It is often the case that many flashlights will use standard alkaline batteries such as AA and AAA. Alkaline batteries are fine when they are good quality but they will not last as long or provide as much power as lithium batteries like the 18650 or a CR123 do.
All the batteries mentioned are different sizes so you need to check which batteries a flashlight uses if you have a preference.
AA batteries are more powerful than AAA’s but are also bigger. An AAA is by far the cheapest of all these battery choices and is used in some of the smallest flashlights as they are the most slender.
18650 and CR123 batteries are more expensive but they are more powerful, last longer, and in many cases are also rechargeable.
Is it protected from the elements?
You will never be able to 100% predict where and when you will need to use your flashlight, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be wet and windy when you eventually do! That is why you should only ever add those that are completely waterproof to any list of potential EDC flashlights; if it isn’t at least IPX-8 certified then it shouldn’t be making it onto your list!
It is also a huge benefit if a flashlight is provided with additional replacement o-rings which are used to ensure a watertight seal; this is because o-rings will perish over time with constant battery changes.
What’s it made from?
You will find flashlights that are made with toughened and rubberized plastics that are specifically designed to absorb knocks, and most of these are exceptionally good.
For maximum durability you can look at flashlights that have been made with durable but light metals such as aluminum or stainless steel; though this is very much down to personal preference once again.
What features does it have?
Obviously, the most important function of an EDC flashlight is to provide a bright and reliable beam of light. However, many of today’s top flashlights also come complete with additional features that can prove to be very useful in certain circumstances.
- Adjustable Beam – Allows the user to adjust the beam from a pinpoint light that can illuminate objects at distance, to being able to spread light over a much larger area, such as a whole room but at the expense of distance.
- Signalling – Some flashlights offer strobe or flash settings that are great for attracting attention when you’re in trouble.
- Attachment options – More of an essential than a additional feature; all flashlights should have an optional method of attachment, whether that is a carabineer, pocket clip, or lanyard.
So now that we have provided you with a good idea about what you need to look for when choosing your EDC Flashlight we’ll follow that up by providing you with a few ideas about what we at Alpha Survivalist believe to be some of the Best EDC Flashlights currently available.
Just so you are aware, what you will find when you start to check out flashlights for yourself is that there is a huge amount of choice with prices ranging from as little as $10 up to several hundred dollars.
As with other things you will tend to pay more for better quality but that isn’t to say you won’t be able to find a great EDC flashlight at a great price.
Our selections below provide some of best value for money EDC flashlight options whilst ticking most, if not all of the boxes outlined above. Hopefully you’ll check out our selections first as doing so will definitely save you time and money.
Best EDC Flashlights
There are literally hundreds of compact flashlights from which to choose but these three are absolutely perfect for every day carry!
Best EDC Tactical Flashlights
Tactical flashlights tend to be bigger than the regular compact flashlights as they require more power, meaning bigger or higher capacity batteries, to provide brighter and longer reaching beams of light.
These three tactical flashlights won’t break the bank, but they offer excellent performance and are a great starting point if you are looking for something similar to the tactical flashlights used by the police and the military.
Best EDC Flashlights under $50
Best EDC Flashlights under $30
Best EDC Key Chain Flashlight
Key chain flashlights are so affordable we would suggest having one of these as well as a compact flashlight as part of your everyday carry gear.
Hopefully, having read through this post, you will have a better understanding about how to select a good EDC flashlight, but more importantly, how to avoid buying a crappy one!
The importance of having some kind of light source on your person when you are out and about cannot be stressed enough, so be safe and make sure you get an EDC flashlight.