Best EDC Light [GEAR REVIEW]
Why I Carry a Light
EDC stands for Every Day Carry. A reliable EDC Light is a crucial piece of gear that everyone should have with them at all times. Our modern power grid makes it easy to forget what it is like to not have lighting. Every business, most roads, and many sidewalks usually provide adequate lighting for navigation and situational awareness.
However, in spite of the reliability of our electrical infrastructure, every so often Murphy’s Laws rule the day (and night). If you find yourself in a multi-story building during a power failure, the backup lighting may provide enough illumination, but it may not. If you are walking to your car at night after a long day at the office and either the parking lot lights are disabled (or have been tampered with), the ability to shine hundreds of lumens over your surroundings is very useful. I could go on and on with typical and not so typical scenarios that would necessitate a compact flashlight, but it is certainly better to have and not need than to need and not have.
Brilliantly bright white lights provide an excellent tool for self defense. I am not referring to using the flashlight as an impact weapon (though that works as well), I am referring to the ability to shut-down a threat (or potential threat) by shining the light in their face. While I personally consider a high output flashlight to be a less-lethal option, I cannot think of a situation where you would be prosecuted for using a flashlight for this purpose, when you felt unsafe.
If you believe that someone is a potential threat (who ends up not being a threat) and either brandish your firearm, tase them, or spray them with pepper spray, you will likely be in big legal trouble. However, if you simply use your light to enhance your situational awareness while diminishing theirs, this response will likely not be seen as a use of force by them or anyone else. This is the same reason police officers use extremely bright take-down lights and spotlights during traffic stops and why cops are issued very bright white lights to carry on duty.
Not only would a bright light remove a suspect’s situational awareness, it would also disrupt their eyes’ night vision. It is also important that you have a light with a white LED beam vs. a candescent bulb because in my experience, many people associate bright white flashlights with law enforcement, thereby potentially providing more of a deterrence. Furthermore, most people’s natural reaction to having a bright light shined in their face is to protect their eyes with one or both hands, thereby allowing you to see if they have a weapon.
I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN, I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY AND NONE OF THESE CLAIMS OR ADVICE SHOULD BE TAKEN AS LEGAL ADVICE.
Why the Streamlight ProTac 2L-X
I have carried the Streamlight ProTac 2L-X as my EDC Light for almost three years and it has become my favorite every day carry (EDC) flashlight. It is compact and comfortable to carry, extremely bright, has great range, great battery life, is programmable, easy to operate, reliable, very durable, and only $45 on Amazon.
Lumens vs. Candela
There are two primary methods for measuring the luminous efficacy of a flashlight: lumens (lm) and candela (cd). Without getting into exhaustive detail, lumens generally refer to the total amount of visible light produced by the flashlight while candela measure the intensity from the light source. Yea, I know, they kind of sound like the same thing.
Lumens can be thought of as the “flood” created by a flashlight, while candela is the blinding hot spot at the center of the beam, often referred to as the “throw”. I am not certain if these analogies are technically correct, but I find it an easy way to think about it.
Most flashlight manufacturers only advertise lumens. That is because they can advertise some ridiculously large number to the consumer who probably doesn’t understand.
The Streamlight Protac 2L-X has 500 lm and 6,800 cd on its highest setting. If you are like most people and these numbers mean nothing to you, it’s really freaking bright.
|Lumens on High||500 lm|
|Lumens on Low||40 lm|
|Max Candela||6,800 cd|
|Run Time on High||3.25 hours|
|Run Time on Low||30 hours|
|Beam Distance||165 meters|
|Dual Fuel Power Source||CR123A Lithium (Qty. 2)|
Streamlight Rechargeable Battery (Qty. 1)
|Light Source||C4 LED w/ 50,000 hour lifetime|
|Water Resistance||1 meter for 30min|
|Impact Resistance||2 meter tested (inadvertently tested by me many times)|
Three programmable modes;
|Hight, Strobe, Low||Factory Setting|
|High Only||Where I usually keep it as an EDC Light|
|Low/High||Nice for Utility Tasks|
To program, all you do is tap the power button 10 consecutive times and hold it down on the 10th press. The light will briefly flash to indicate which mode was selected. I recommend keeping it on high only for defensive use just due to the simplicity and the ability to have immediate bright light.
The Multi-Purpose Clip
J-shaped clip enables you to clip the light on the hem of your pocket or on the bill of a hat for headlamp use. While this may sound sort of gimmicky, I have used this on multiple occasions to free up a hand.
Whether it is the ProTac 2L-X or another very bright flashlight, I highly recommend that you begin carrying an EDC Light. There are too many ordinary and not-so-ordinary scenarios where you would be at a severe disadvantage without a light.
I like to be transparent about the fact that we receive a small commission if you purchase using the product links. However, this is an honest review and I only will recommend quality products to my readers.
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Amazon: ~ $45