What is an EDC Flashlight?
EDC or “Every Day Carry” is the classification of gear for day-to-day use. This can include a phone, wallet, writing utensil(s), notebook, multitool, and a flashlight. EDC flashlights should be pocket-sized, lightweight, and have enough functionality to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Walking your dog at night, taking out the trash, and keeping the lights on for a few hours in a blackout are all examples of what you should expect from a decent everyday flashlight.
EDCs are picked carefully to balance aesthetic and function. While this guide focuses on buying EDC flashlights based on functionality, you can browse our wide selection of lights by color and material.
How Did We Choose Our Lights?
We aren't the first EDC flashlight guide out there, and we certainly won't be the last. Our choices are hand-picked by industry experts that work with flashlights every single day. No affiliate programs, no paid promotions, and no agenda.
We looked at over 295 EDC flashlights from 31 brands, then narrowed our focus based on criteria such as weight, length, brightness outputs, charging convenience, and carry functionality. We also limited our selection to models released within the past year to keep this guide fresh.
Weight & Length
Dimensions are perhaps the most important factor when choosing an EDC. A good flashlight balances a lightweight construction without sacrificing wall thickness to prevent dents from wear and tear. It should be slim and short enough to fit in your pocket, but not as small as a keychain light. While there are no hard limits, we gravitate towards lights under 6” in length and under 8oz (.5lbs) in weight.
3+ Brightness Modes
Today’s flashlights are able to pack a lot in small package. Strobes, lockouts, and tactical modes are all nice but not as important as multiple brightness outputs for versatile illumination. Different tasks require varying amounts of brightness, such as walking your dog as night versus searching your bag for car keys. Aim for 3+ brightness modes, or six with a 1000+ lumen turbo and .5 lumen moonlight mode.
Built-In USB Port
It’s important that your EDC is ready to go when you are, fully charged and pre-assembled. A built-in USB port means no removing batteries, no need to buy a specialized charger, and convenient charging from your laptop, car, or home USB stations. Bonus points if it’s USB Type-C compatible for faster charging speeds.
While optional, pocket clips are a secure way to comfortably carry your flashlight. Retain quick access to your EDC light without bulking up your pockets. We prefer removable, titanium clips for their durability. Lanyard or paracord loops are also an option depending on your preference.
While always nice to have, some features are not crucial for a day-to-day flashlight. For instance, runtime is a low-priority spec for an EDC light that you use in short bursts, but would be a bonus in a blackout situation. Other bonus features include IPX7/8 waterproof rating, magnetic tailcaps, strobe or UV (ultraviolet) outputs, and dual-switch mode selection.