A bright and well-built EDC flashlight is among the essential elements in your daily carry kit. It can come in handy during blackouts, when walking in pitch dark streets/roads, and many other situations.
One of the crucial questions to ask yourself before procuring an EDC flashlight is what amount of light you’ll need or prefer. To understand the illumination ability of these flashlights, you should be able to determine the number of lumens they produce.
The sweet spot for EDC flashlight lumens for most hunters, military, and law enforcement personnel is 1250+ lumens and the flashlights are usually are labeled as ‘tactical’ due to their higher brightness level.
So what are lumens? And how many lumens should an EDC flashlight have? If these are also your dilemmas, then you’re just at the correct place. This post extensively discusses what lumens mean and the appropriate number of lumens typical in EDC flashlights.
What Does Lumen Mean for an EDC Flashlight?
The packages of most everyday carry flashlights usually describe the lumens amount they produce. In simple terms, a lumen is the measuring unit for the total quantity of visible light different a source can provide.
Flashlights with higher lumens amount are usually brighter than those with fewer lumens. Most basic flashes can have only 10 lumens, but there are some lights with up to 18 000+ lumens used for more critical tasks like search and rescue situations.
How Many Lumens Are Typical In EDC Flashlight?
A decade ago, most people would consider a 100 lumens flashlight to be typical for tactical usage. However, this changed by 2015 when flashlights with 500-1000 lumens were introduced in the market.
Therefore, most standard EDC flashlights will have lumens ranging from 50-1000. The most appropriate one for you will vary with use. Below is a breakdown of the lumens amount you can need for different activities.
If you’re looking for a flashlight you use to read your favorite novels at night or help you search for keys and other minor things in the dark, then this lumens range will work for you.
EDC flashlights with this lumen range usually have a moderate brightness that’s friendly to the eyes, especially during the nighttime when you only require an average of 50 lumens. They produce enough lumens you can utilize around your home during blackouts or when searching for missing items.
If you love walking or running at night or very early in the morning, you may need a light to avoid accidents and wrong turns. Camping is also another occasion that requires one to have a flash. Well, the best lights for such tasks should have about 300-900 lumens.
You need a light bright enough to illuminate well where you’re stepping to navigate safely to your destinations. A bright flashlight can even scare off potentially harmful critters that may be close to the road.
However, you also don’t need an extremely bright beam that’s will disturb your neighbors, a passer-by or wildlife. EDC flashlights with 300-900 lumens offer all these features, making the perfect lights for camping or nightly runs/walks.
Lights with this lumens range are the best for mechanical tasks or work lights. They produce sufficient illumination, offering a more visible working area, thus ensuring job safety in various working environments.
They also don’t produce highly high brightness that can hinder the user from performing tasks effectively. The brightness of these flashlights is just the right amount for you to have a more detailed view of things/activities you do.
Most hunters, military, and law enforcement personnel would appreciate having this light. Many flashlights with 1250+ lumens usually are labeled as ‘tactical’ due to their higher brightness level.
Many law enforcement, hunters, and military people usually require this kind of flash to see clearly. They sometimes use them as disorienting and blinding weapons. With these flashlights, you can see anything around your vicinity. These flashes are more powerful than those listed above and can provide a high illumination in an area.
3000 Lumens & Above
Flashes with more than 3000 lumens are usually used for search and rescue. Therefore, anyone working in a search and rescue team needs a flashlight with at least 3000 lumens for a powerful brightness.
Other Factors Determine The Brightness Of Your EDC Flashlight
While lumens directly impact a flashlight’s brightness, the light’s entire doesn’t solely depend on it. Other factors can determine how bright your flashlight can be, and they include:
1) Bulb Type
Most bulbs today use the LED technology, which is the most advanced tech in the market. But there are some models with incandescent and krypton bulbs. The advantage of LED bulbs are their high energy efficiency, brightness, run time, and impact resistance.
They also have powerful lenses or reflectors that make their light to be concentrate on a more focused beam, hence shining at longer distances.
2) Brightness levels
Flashlights usually come with different brightness levels. Some can have only two while others can have even ten. Setting them on higher levels produces higher brightness while the low levels give diminished illuminations.
3) Battery type
The type of battery you use on your flashlight can impact its brightness. Some models have disposable batteries, and they’re usually not very bright. However, they have compact sizes. Some flashes can use conventional battery sizes such as AAA or AA.
Flashes with disposable batteries are good because you use them even in areas without electricity, so long as you have backup batteries.
You can also find light models with built-in lithium-ion batteries. They’re rechargeable, brighter, and durable but usually costlier. However, they may be useless in areas without electricity. For more assurance, it’s best to go for flashlights with both swappable and rechargeable batteries.
4) Beam type
Flashes come usually come in varying beams. The common beam types are adjustable, spot/focused, ad flood/fixed illuminations. Flood beans are best for strolling or locating something in a given area. Spot beams are suitable for illuminating longer distances.
Lights with adjustable beams are ideal because you modify them to provide several beams depending on your use.
EDC Flashlight Conclusion
Flashlights come in varying lumen ranges. The ideal lumen amount for your flash will depend on why you’re obtaining it. As seen above, different tasks require flashlights with differing lumen quantities.
Therefore, you should get a flashlight with lumens quantity suitable for your intended use. Checking the brightness modes of flashlights is also essential. Besides lumen quantity, you should also consider other factors like battery type, bulb type, brightness level, run time, and more if you want to select the most suitable light. I answer the question “Do You Really Need to Carry a Flashlight?” in another post. I am partial to the Olight brand and carry the OLIGHT I3T EOS 180 Lumens Dual-Output Slim EDC Flashlight in my laptop bag everyday.