Do You Really Need to Carry a Flashlight?

Flashlight technology continues to advance. Flashlights are tools that are used around the world in commercial industries and residential homes. Today, a sturdy flashlight is part of everyday carry used by law enforcement and EMS personnel. Both the police and EMS carry a flashlight in case they are called to an accident or a rescue event, especially late in the evening or at night. Another reason why law enforcement personnel carry a flashlight with them is because it serves as a tool source in tactical situations.

Aside from the police and first responders, what about the rest of the population? Why would everyday people carry a flashlight with them? Granted keeping flashlights in your home or on your job is not only good advice but often required for the job. Most people also have immediate access to flashlights right on cell phones through built in features. Cell phone flashlights just are not comparable in my opinion.

It is now quite common for individuals to carry various sized flashlights with them. The flashlights are either on their body, stored in a purse, or tucked away in a glove compartment. When there is a situation that requires the use of prolonged lighting, a flashlight is a must-have since cell phone batteries can die quickly. Flashlights can also be used for defensive purposes that cell phones are not well-adapted for; Many modern or tactical flashlights have blinding strobe light features, can serve as batons for striking, or have sharp edges for jabbing.

A flashlight has many advantages and this post will describe reasons to EDC a flashlight, options, and even some unique trivia.

Why I Carry a Flashlight?

The purpose of a flashlight is to use it when we are in a dark environment. Personally, I can tell you that yes, I carry a small LED flashlight with me. Why? On September 11, 2001 I was working in the financial district in New York City. I was a firsthand witness of the terrorist attacks that unfolded that day.

I can vividly recall hearing stories of people trapped in the World Trade Center in the dark with no way to see to find their way out. Cell phone flashlights were in their infancy and battery life was limited in those days. Had flashlights been available perhaps more people would have been able to find their way out in the darkness.

Pictured above: My “Ten-Tap” Programmable Streamlight

Reasons to Carry a Flashlight

Flashlights that you can carry everyday are very lightweight, plus they are relatively inexpensive. There are several good reasons why carrying a flashlight with you is a good idea:

Self Defense

A flashlight is a great self-defense tool. Waving a flashlight that is turned on with its high beam and threatening someone who is attempting to commit harm is a good deterrent. Also, flashing a 60-100 lumens light toward someone’s face will have them thinking twice about, especially when a powerful flashlight causes temporary blindness.

Emergency Situations

As previously stated, flashlights in a lights-out emergency is a life-saver. To help with the question as to why people carry a flashlight with them is answered by a darkened situation. If the power goes out when you are away from home, a flashlight is a tool that puts everything back in focus.

A flashlight in an emergency where the environment is dark even at a distance, helps you feel safe and allows you to assess any situations around you at the time. A flashlight that is on or near your person is great at finding something that you dropped or lost. When you shine a flashlight in darkened corners, you can find the small object that you just lost.

Flashlights Mean Options

There are many great styles of flashlight options, even those that you can carry on your keychain. Modern flashlights provide several hundred lumens that cover a wide range of areas with a bright, white light. No matter where you live, in the city or a rural area, a flashlight is a handy tool to carry with you. If you are walking down a dimly lit street alleyway, a flashlight helps to light your path so that you don’t step on something you shouldn’t.

If you live in a rural area, a flashlight is an outdoor survival tool that works great both during the day and the night. If you camp outdoors, one of the key tools for you to carry with you is a flashlight. If you are walking through a forest or a field, a flashlight allows you to see things that are hidden on the ground that could trip you up. Also, this tool helps to warn off animals because its light will startle them and get them running away quickly. Added features for flashlights include its ability to have lights change color or strobe light settings.

An additional reason to address if you really need to carry a flashlight is answered during bad weather. A flashlight is one of the key elements that is suggested you have in your at-home disaster kit. But when bad weather strikes it may not happen when you are at home. Having a flashlight close at hand when a storm strikes, and the electricity is out or during a disaster, they help many people to stay safe. A handheld flashlight that you can pull out of your pocket is a versatile necessity.

Flashlights are used by rescue crews during many survival situations. You can carry a flashlight that features different beam pattern strengths and length. Modern-day flashlights, no matter what price range they are in, features great LED bright light technology, some as brilliant as your car’s headlights.

Flashlight Trivia

The first flashlight was invented by a British inventor in 1899. It operated with three large “D” batteries and a small incandescent light bulb and an off and on switch. They were called “flash” “lights” because they could not hold light for very long, only flashes of light.

Did you know that NASA equips their astronauts with flashlights? They were used on the Apollo, Gemini, and succeeding flights. NASA’s flashlights are quite often the penlight style. Historically, the 1970s Apollo 13 crew wrote a letter to an electronic company regarding flashlights.

The note read that due to an electrical power failure within the shuttle, they used their flashlights to float around to illuminate the inside of the shuttle which was pitch black. Each space shuttle flight is equipped with flashlights that may become an alternative light source.


Do you really need to carry a flashlight? Yes, sometimes flashlights may be required for your job. Other times flashlights are needed to carry an extra light to guide you. If flashlights are carried by astronauts and our first responders alike, they represent a good carry option for me.