What is an EDC (Everyday Carry) Flashlight? Is it Effective?

 Last Updated on May, 2024

Nobody is talking ENOUGH about EDC flashlights, and that’s a problem. Because an EDC light is DEFINITELY going to change your quality of life. 

However, my advice is to not buy any of the popular EDC flashlights before you read this article to the end. I know EVERYTHING necessary about the subject since I bought the flashlight for myself. Me being a nitpicker didn’t help just me; it’s going to help you as well.

Let’s begin.

Quick Summary

EDC stands for everyday carry, and refers to a flashlight that is easy to carry with you on a daily basis.

There are four main types of EDC flashlights: double-A (AA), triple-A (AAA), rechargeable, and 18650.

EDC flashlights offer many benefits over traditional flashlights, including being more powerful, waterproof, and easier to charge.

The Simplest Explanation of an EDC Flashlight

flashlight

Initially, I expected the term EDC to be a type or maybe even a brand. Are we in the same boat? EDC stands for everyday carry. So, EDC flashlights can be oversimplified to be keytag flashlights as well.

The fundamental feature of all EDC torches is their convenient portability. 

Let’s look at some of the main types of EDC torches on the market.

The Main Types of EDC Flashlights

There are four main types, not brands, of everyday-carry flashlights. Let’s look at each one of them to understand their uniqueness.

1. Double-A Flashlights (AA)

The typical lumen output of an AA battery fluctuates between 500-600 lumens. But the maximum output of the Nitecore EA81, one of the popular EDC flashlights, also exceeds the 2000 lumen mark. 

These lights are a bit bulkier and the largest amongst those in the EDC category. So, one of them doesn’t qualify as a tactical flashlight at all. However, there are more than enough in the market.

2. Triple-A Flashlights

Do more “A” letters mean more power? It’s actually the other way around. 

A triple-A is typically smaller than the AA ones that don’t fit in a pants pocket.

The AAA flashlights are categorized as tactical lights, and their power is less than that of a single AA battery.

But why?

This is mainly because any AAA flashlight can be categorized as a compact flashlight. The perfect example is a keychain flashlight. The lumen range of these types typically does not exceed the 250 mark.

torches on rubber sheet

3. Rechargeable Flashlights

Usually, lithium-ion batteries intended for single-time use power flashlights. But you’ll definitely find it economical to own a flashlight powered by a rechargeable battery in the long run. A typical rechargeable flashlight tends to have a screen showing the battery level.

A replenishable everyday carry flashlight is the perfect tactical flashlight as well. The portability only increases if they’re similar to the ones with AA batteries.

4. 18650 Flashlights

They’re called 18650 because of their dimensions; which are 18 millimeters by 65 millimeters. The features these lights bring to the table are unique. For example, you’ll be able to operate the flashlight in different light modes. It’s a feature seen in a better tactical flashlight.

The tail switch in a 18650 flashlight allows the user to quickly turn the light source on. This quick access is a blessing during outdoor activities. One more thing; the lights in these are LED lights, and we know how bright and clear those lights are.

That’s pretty much it. You’ll find all sorts of subcategories of EDC flashlights, but they all generally break down into these four types.

Have you ever wondered about the mechanism and the anatomy of EDC torches? Let’s check it out.

Anatomy of an EDC Flashlight

I won’t bore you to death with unnecessary technicalities, so don’t worry. But almost every flashlight has four main parts; the light source, the reflector, the lens, and the bezel. Each part has a designated role.

The source of the light is self-explanatory. Then there’s the reflector that collects the light beams and sends them to the lens. The lens ensures the light output is useful. All of these factors affect the beam distance.

The bezel is the outermost ring meant to protect the lens — that’s pretty much that.

But why should you own a flashlight of this type?

a human holding torch

Reasons to Own an EDC Flashlight (Especially a Keychain Flashlight)

Trust me; there are more than those on the list.

Power of the EDC vs Phone Flashlight – Which is Better?

I’m not saying your phone’s flashlight is terrible. But, even the lowest-end EDC torch is more powerful than a better smartphone these days. So, you don’t want to rely on a lousy mobile phone when your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere.

Most EDC Flashlights are Waterproof

How often have you tried to use the phone’s flashlight to cover it from rain? Repetitive exposure to excessive moisture will ruin your phone unless it is waterproof.

This problem won’t happen since EDC torches have a waterproof setting.

The Convenience of Using EDC Flashlights in Confined Spaces 

Sometimes it’s because of the lack of space; sometimes it’s because you NEED to use the phone while you need the light. Whatever the reason, you should be able to use the flashlight and the phone simultaneously. EDC torches are the solution to that.

Phone Die Sooner; EDC Lights Do Not

My phone’s battery power doesn’t exceed 6 hours of hard use, and it’s an okay phone. Wouldn’t you hesitate to use the phone’s torch when it’s on low charge? You don’t have to worry about this matter since an EDC torch would last for extended periods of time easily.

EDC Flashlights Do Not Take That Much Space

Think of any occasion where you cannot fit in a smartphone or a regular torch; that’s where EDC torches come into the picture. You could even have them as a keychain, and that’s minimal space consumption.

a man using torch

Tactical Advantage in EDC Lights is Unparalleled

I cannot stress how important it is to attach a flashlight to your gun. But most weapon lights are OVER EXPENSIVE, and that doesn’t happen with a tactical flashlight. 

On the flip side, a tactical flashlight is mandatory for hikers. I don’t want to make a long list of occasions where the tactical advantage of an EDC light would be beneficial. You can try to think of circumstances where they AREN’T helpful, since you’re not going to find any.

Quite Convenient to Charge Over a Smartphone

Almost all smartphones take a considerable time to charge. This problem is entirely resolved with portable EDC flashlights.

See if the product comes with a fast charger. But usually, a full charge doesn’t take that long at all.

The Sheer Look of EDC Lights is Amazing

Pulling out a tactical flashlight when you need one is a smart move. I’m a fashionable person, and it helps me keep boosting my self-esteem. Since EDC torches don’t break my bank, it’s quite a deal.

Main Factors to Consider in Owning an EDC Flashlight

torches on table

I got my perfect EDC light NOT because someone recommended it to me; it’s because I knew how to choose one. You’re not going to find these main factors in one place on the internet, so I’d bookmark this page if I were you.

Battery Power

Unreliability of a mobile phone’s power is one reason you’re going for a separate device. So, you need to ensure the power is sufficient enough. 

Tip: Check the Amazon reviews for comments from users.

Can the Brightness be Changed?

99% of the phone’s torch intensity cannot be changed. The lack of brightness settings devalues an EDC light. I recommend always going for a torch with different modes, such as turbo mode and regular mode.

That gives you a broad spectrum of brightness levels.

The Color of the Light

My car has light blue LED lights, and my best friend’s has light yellow ones. So, we all have choices, and you’re entitled to make your choice.

torch on the floor

Does it Come With a Charger?

Devices such as laptops and smartphones should have separate charging devices. However, torches aren’t exactly electronically complex. Plus, it’d be easy to have a built-in charger if you could, so you should look for lights with a built-in magnetic charger.

How Resistant is it to Water?

The waterproof rating is a borderline necessity with flashlights. You’d be frustrated if you can’t use your phone AND the light for something when it’s raining.

Does it Have Any Clips or Any Hooking Parts?

It’s very convenient when your torch has a pocket clip. Why? You don’t have to constantly check if the torch has fallen off since it is attached to what you wear correctly.

The Warranty

You need to look for a warranty if you’re paying over a hundred bucks for an EDC torch. The company should at least offer to repair the torch if you spend considerable money.

Finally, The Cost

Isn’t this what we all care about at the end of the day? Let’s talk about this in the next topic.

The Cost of an EDC Flashlight

torch on tree trunk

Understanding the price range of an everyday carry flashlight might look overwhelming at the start. The trick is to analyze their categorized prices.

For example, the average cost of an AAA everyday carry flashlight varies between $10-$50. You’ll find AA flashlights in the same price range as well. 

Naturally, the reachable products start at the $20 mark, and the best in the market may also exceed the $100 mark. But these last for such a long time in their best condition. My choice was a rechargeable EDC torch — it’s an excellent investment.

The 18650 torch is balanced. Although starting from around $20-$25, you’d be able to find even $100+ on Amazon. 

Quick Facts About EDC

  • Conrad Huber was the inventor of flashlights.
  • IMALENT MS18 is the most powerful EDC torch on the market, with 100,000 lumens
  • As of 2022, the flashlight is a subject of research.
  • Typical mobile phones have only 50 lumens of maximum output; that’s not even the lowest output in an average EDC torch.

The #1 Tip to Filter Out One of the Best in the Market

Now that you know all the factors in choosing an EDC torch, it wouldn’t be so hard to land a better product. But not knowing this tip keeps you away from the most economical option.

My #1 tip is always to do your research on Amazon. This is the BEST place where you’d find top-notch torches for even less than $10

lights

In Conclusion

Everyone NEEDS an EDC flashlight in 2022. It doesn’t matter whether it was a pocket flashlight or one of the standardized ones. You’ll be able to purchase the PERFECT light since you now know more than enough about the subject. So, travel safely in the dark!

FAQs

Lumen is the SI unit of luminous flux, which measures the brightness of a light source. The higher the lumen count, the brighter the light is.

The best-recommended place to store a light is on a keychain, as it is easily accessible.

It is recommended to change the batteries in a flashlight every 3-4 months.

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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