Gear

5 min read

Unlock Night Adventures: Ultimate Guide to EDC Flashlights

Ever fumbled in the dark during your midnight adventures? Let's illuminate the secrets to picking the perfect EDC flashlight that won't leave you lost in the shadows.

Tobi Miles
April 24, 2023

It’s no secret that EDC flashlights are useful for everyday life, work, travel, and spending time outdoors at night. Choosing between EDC flashlights can be quite difficult when you consider how flooded the market is with them. This makes it difficult to know what to look for. Many people understandably struggle with how bright EDC flashlights have to be and how to select one.

EDC flashlights have to at least be between 100 and 300 lumens to get a strong output. You can find EDC flashlights that exceed 900 lumens and go up to 2,000 lumens, but that is overkill. An EDC flashlight with an output of 300 lumens can shine up to 164 feet. Look for EDC flashlights with adjustable brightness and accessories such as clips and lanyards.

According to EverydayCarry.com, The layout and size of an EDC flashlight can also determine how practical it is. EDC flashlights come with buttons, wheels, or sliders, so you need to consider which is easiest for you to use on the fly. Follow along as we explore how bright EDC flashlights have to be and highlight how to select one.

How Bright Should an EDC Flashlight Be?

An EDC flashlight should at least be 100 lumens. However, you can’t go wrong with an EDC flashlight anywhere between 100 and 300 lumens. Anything brighter would be too bright, and 300 lumens is strong enough to illuminate a large dark area.

To put that into perspective, an iPhone flashlight is 40-50 lumens. Standard light bulbs produce up to 1,700 lumens, but that would be way too much for an EDC flashlight. EDC flashlights or everyday carry flashlights, are meant for practical, travel, and professional use, so you don’t need more than 300 lumens in most cases.

With that said, you can find EDC flashlights that run over 900 lumens. This is useful for laborers that sometimes work in dark places as well as hikers and campers. However, a 900-lumen EDC flashlight would be overkill if you simply need it around the house or when you go on trips.

What Kind of Bulb is in an EDC Flashlight?

EDC flashlights typically contain LED bulbs. Older EDC flashlights contain incandescent bulbs which don’t last as long as LED bulbs. An EDC flashlight with an LED bulb can last as long as 50,000 running hours, but it depends on the lumen output.

Many incandescent flashlights are only rated for 75 hours of running time. Not only are LED bulbs more efficient, but they are also better for the environment. Luckily, modern LED bulbs look close enough to incandescent bulbs that there is no reason to choose an incandescent EDC flashlight that won’t last long.

What Makes a Good EDC Flashlight?

Whether it be the size and brightness or configuration, there are many things to consider when you choose an EDC flashlight. Basic EDC flashlights are simple and meant to slide into your pocket. However, you may need an EDC flashlight that supports accessories if you plan to use it for work and travel. Let’s look at how to select an EDC flashlight.

Configuration

An EDC flashlight’s layout ultimately determines how easily you can use it. EDC flashlights typically either come with a switch or a button. The switch configuration is easier for some people, whereas others prefer an on/off button that they can quickly tap.

Overly complicated layouts with multiple buttons and or switches can make EDC flashlights unnecessarily difficult to use. Some products, such as the Arkfeld Flat Flashlight, let you switch between several brightness and color temperature settings.

Size

Size is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for EDC flashlights. The practicality of EDC flashlights is one of their most appealing traits, and that has a lot to do with their size. Luckily, most of them on the market are either thin and tubular or flat and short.

Thicker EDC flashlights are easier to grip if you use them for work and must wear gloves. However, thinner, and smaller EDC flashlights are perfect for travel or attaching to a keychain or belt. Bigger EDC flashlights typically produce more light than smaller models.

The average person doesn’t need a huge everyday carry flashlight with a massive output if it’s simply for practical use and travel.

Brightness

How bright of an EDC flashlight do you need? EDC flashlights typically start at 100 lumens and go up to 300 lumens. You can get by with a 100-200-lumen flashlight if you don’t need to use it for work. However, spelunkers, hikers, and campers can benefit from a powerful, 300-lumen EDC flashlight.

Construction workers, contractors, electricians, and plumbers can benefit from the brightest EDC flashlights possible. Consider an adjustable EDC flashlight if you want a full range of brightness options. This will ultimately give you more use out of the flashlight and you’ll get more bang for your buck.

Portability

While many EDC flashlights can simply fit in your pocket, many people need something more secure than that. Luckily, many EDC flashlights are compatible with clips and straps that make them easy to carry. EDC flashlights are small and portable as is, but the addition of straps and clips makes them more useful for work and travel.

Magnetic clips are also helpful so you can easily attach your flashlight to your belt or the other tools at your disposal. Some EDC flashlights come with belt holsters which are especially useful for work. You can also buy lanyards and clips for your EDC flashlight if it doesn’t come with one as is.

Shape

EDC flashlights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Traditional EDC flashlights are tubular, but that’s not ideal for everyone. You can also find flatter, rectangular models that can easily slide in and out of your pocket.

These are perfect for travel as you can quickly throw them in your bag or pocket without worrying that they will rattle around. However, traditional tubular flashlights are slightly more practical if you need one for work as they’re slightly easier to aim and grip. It’s typically easier to mount a flat EDC flashlight to a helmet or visor for work purposes, however, so that’s worth considering.

Cost

Money isn’t everything, but it’s often the bottom line when it comes to choosing between EDC flashlights. Bulky EDC flashlights with higher lumen outputs typically cost the most. You will also see a price increase when you get into EDC flashlights with accessories and elaborate configurations.

For example, a small, 300-lumen EDC flashlight with a button and lanyard loop costs as little as $20. However, you can expect to spend upwards of $50-$60 for a 500-lumen rechargeable EDC flashlight with adjustable brightness.

It’s up to you to determine whether it’s worthwhile to spend the extra money on useful features like adjustable brightness. High-end EDC flashlights can cost over $90, but they are often waterproof and include tactical features.

Durability

Durability is everything when it comes to EDC flashlights. The material that a flashlight is made of determines how much wear and tear it can withstand. For example, aluminum alloy EDC flashlights will outlast steel and titanium flashlights in most cases.

Plastic EDC flashlights are typically cheap, but they don’t offer nearly as much fall protection as aluminum alloy. Many models with a body made of aluminum alloy are also waterproof which is essential for many people. Waterproof EDC flashlights are worth investing in whether you take them on hikes and camping trips or simply need a durable flashlight for work.

Is 2000 Lumens a Lot for a Flashlight?

Typically, 2,000 lumens is generally considered overkill for a flashlight. While you can find LED EDC flashlights that exceed 2,000 lumens, they aren’t practical for most people. Flashlights with a 2,000-lumen flashlight are overly bright and have a long range.

This comes in handy when walking at night so you can see far ahead of you, however. Powerful flashlights are also useful when fishing at night or doing road work. Otherwise, you won’t likely need a 2,000-lumen flashlight unless you spend a lot of time outside at night or work in dark spaces, such as tunnels.

How Far Will 400 Lumens Shine?

A 400-lumen flashlight can shine as far as 328 feet, or 100 meters. This makes them useful for open outdoor spaces, but excessive when used indoors. Most average EDC flashlights with outputs up to 300 lumens can shine as far as 164 feet.

Final Thoughts

An EDC flashlight typically only needs to have a 100-300-lumen output. However, you can find EDC flashlights that exceed 900 lumens, but those are primarily ideal for professional use. Consider the size, brightness, and layout that is best for you when choosing between EDC flashlights.

Portability is also quite important, and you should look for flashlights with clips and straps or ones that support accessories. This will come in handy whether you need your flashlight for everyday life or work and travel. EDC flashlights are infinitely useful, and there is a wide variety of them to choose between.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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