Carrying a flashlight is a great idea and can seriously come in handy. It’s one of those tools that when you need one you really need one. There are a lot of light options out there and picking the right one for you can be a bit daunting. That said, carrying anything is better than nothing provided it isn’t impractical. I have my own personal preferences but really it’s about using what fits your lifestyle. Essentially, I would break down everyday carry (EDC) lights into two categories and that would be handheld lights and weapon mounted lights.
Handheld lights are excellent because they are versatile and above all can be used without having to pull out a gun — as opposed to weapon mounted lights — something imperative to not breaking the law. A handheld light can still be used (although not as effectively) in conjunction with a firearm too. They can also be used to blind an attacker momentarily or as an impact weapon. Handheld lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I prefer ones that are pen shaped/sized because they are small and barely take up space in my pocket. Standard sized flashlights like the Surefire G2X and 6P variants are excellent choices but tend to take up a bit more space, many people like to run lights this size on designated belt holsters.
Weapon mounted lights are a rather specific option that many feel are imperative to an EDC firearm. There are quite a few variants but my personal preferences are Surefire, Streamlight and Insight when it comes to handgun compatible lights. The benefits of weapon mounted lights are most apparent at night — which is probably when you’re going to find yourself in conflict. They allow you to positively identify targets and threats while simultaneously maintaining positive control of your weapon.
When selecting a light, it’s important to get the most out of it. Some things to take into consideration are durability, lumens and interface. Do your research and be sure to select lights that are robust since they may take a beating, weaker designs can be prone to failure under stress which results in darkness. Lumens are a unit of measurement for light output and the more you can get the better off you will be, higher lumen counts equal better visibility and potential to (I use this term loosely) stun an enemy combatant. Pick out a light or combination of lights that work for you and train with them to get the most out of your everyday carry tools.
Photo courtesy of the Author
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