There is a term called “All the Lumens”, and this is a good foundation for anybody who has an edc.
A flashlight is an amazing tool, whether you carry a firearm or not. Every person I know could benefit from carrying one. Instead of using the flashlight on your phone, you should have a handheld light in addition. My reasons are complex, yet justifiable.
The foundation for having a flashlight goes back to basic scientific laws. The sun goes down every single day, that is a guarantee in our part of the world. This means we need artificial light to replicate the sun. The brighter the flashlight, the closer you can get to this. Lumens is the maximum amount of light generated at the most powerful portion of the beam by a flashlight. Candela power is also important. It is a measurement for candlelight power. 15,000 candela is the equivalent to 15,000 candles lit in a room. There is a ton of information and numbers on websites such as candlelight forums, if you want to get super technical there are very intelligent individuals on the site.
My mindset is I want the most powerful light because I never know what situation I will be in, and never know how bright of a light I will need. Lighting technology has made this far easier with the technological advances in the past few years. Lights keep getting smaller and brighter which is amazing for someone like myself. There are many benefits that come from having a flashlight, one of which comes from a psychological advantage. This makes carrying a light the best self-defense tool, which is relevant for my field. Who would you think would have a flashlight? Police are most commonly associated with using flashlights. This makes it a huge deterrent, and a hard target. People nowadays are not aware of their surroundings, this is mainly due to cell phones. Everyone has their head buried in their phones, instead of looking around. This makes them soft targets for crimes such as robbery. If you have a flashlight, most people will just keep walking. Another advantage is flashlights aren’t frowned upon in our society. If I am using one, people may just think I am looking for something.
A major part of carrying a firearm is responsibility. With this, comes being liable for your actions. It is good to have a handheld light in use with a firearm for a few reasons. The first is positive identification of a target. You want to be sure of your target, and whats beyond it. Therefore you need to be able to see the target, or potential target. You cannot shoot blindly because the risks are too great. What if you shot a family member or a pet? These are ideas that need to be thought about before it happens. Another good reason to have a handheld light with the use of a firearm is being able to control a subject. If your light is bright enough, while shining it into a subject’s eyes, they will most likely follow your commands. It can be the tool that prevents you from having to take a life, which is the goal.
Using a handheld light can also be beneficial for everyday tasks, such as finding keys, or trying to navigate on a dark trail. There aren’t any drawbacks to carrying a flashlight other than the pocket real-estate. Size does matter, and choosing to carry a light, along with every other part of your edc can be a hassle, but necessary sacrifice.
The light I carry is a Streamlight Protac HL-X. It is about the length of an iPhone 7, and half the width of a water bottle. No small light, but the advantages of it outweigh the cons in my opinion. My reasons for choosing this light are it is 1,000 lumens, which is extremely bright. It has an excellent hotspot, which makes it super bright in the center. It has a pocket-clip, making it easily accessible. The final “bonus” reason would be the company manufactures in Pennsylvania, my home state. These lights have a proven track record for being reliable, which I am currently testing on my own, but to this point, I have no doubts that I can depend my life on this light.