2023 Best EDC Flashlight Buy Guide: A Mix of Safety and Functionality
First of all, when choosing an EDC flashlight, let's address the safety issue first to prevent any accidents. Battery problems are one of the leading causes of flashlight-related accidents. Flashlights with multiple batteries can be risky, so it is recommended to choose a flashlight with only one battery. In addition, using improper batteries, such as using non-original and unsuitable batteries, is also dangerous. When using rechargeable batteries, choose batteries from reputable manufacturers that have overcharge and overdischarge protection.
Now that the security concerns are out of the way, let's look at some other important factors. Output level is critical when choosing an EDC flashlight. Most EDC tasks require a maximum brightness of about 300 lumens. Even for search and rescue, paramilitary or first aid work, 15 to 300 lumens are usually sufficient. The concept of needing high lumens can be demonstrated by the fact that low light output EDC flashlights such as keychain flashlights can also effectively illuminate nearby areas at night. However, for self-defense, higher brightness may be preferred, with some flashlights offering 1000 lumens or even more for blinding and attention-grabbing purposes.
Battery type is another factor to consider. Lithium batteries are usually the first choice for flashlights due to their good performance, while alkaline batteries are readily available but provide limited power. Rechargeable options such as 18650 lithium batteries provide longer run times than disposable batteries. It is important to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs.
Next consider the charging method. USB rechargeable flashlights or external battery chargers offer convenience, where USB Type-C is favored due to its widespread use. Proprietary chargers may not be as attractive, but are acceptable on a personal basis. For example, olight's magnetic tail charging not only meets the IPX8 waterproof standard, but also realizes the magnetic tail. During use, the tail can be attached to any metal surface for hands-free operation.
Cosmetic factors include not only the size and shape of the flashlight, but also factors such as mounting options and button placement. These considerations should be consistent with your intended use and personal preferences.
All in all, when choosing the best EDC flashlight, consider safety first, choose a flashlight that only needs one battery, and use rechargeable batteries from reputable manufacturers. Consider the appropriate brightness level for your specific needs, weigh the pros and cons of different battery options, choose a convenient charging method, and choose the form factor that suits your needs. By considering these factors, you can confidently choose an EDC flashlight that meets your needs for safety, reliability, and functionality.
Sharing my favorite EDC flashlights
I still remember the first time I owned a real flashlight. Until then, I've been using cheap plastic flashlights that break easily, as do the batteries. I've had enough of this situation, so I decided to get a high-end flashlight that maxes out at 250 lumens. However, in the current year 20223, the situation has changed dramatically. Check out this little flashlight that's more than three times as bright as my original flashlight. This little guy is Olight Baton 3.
The Baton 3 is an impressive piece of technology. It's about the size of my thumb, but can top out at 1,200 lumens, though only for a limited time.
Now let's dive into the specs of this powerful little rig. The Baton 3 weighs 1.87oz, measures 2.48 in long, and measures about 0.83 inches in diameter. Its beam reaches a distance of 544 feet, and its various brightness settings include 1200 lumens (1.5 minutes), 300 lumens (95 minutes), 60 lumens (7.5 hours), 12 lumens (33 hours), and moonlight mode (0.5 lumens, lasts for 20 days). It also has a flash mode and is IPX8 certified for water resistance. The battery is a 550mAh 3.7V IMR 16340 battery.
One of the most striking features of the Baton 3 Premium version is its rechargeable battery, which comes with a charging case that can charge the flashlight 3.7 times before it needs a recharge. This all-in-one solution is very convenient and saves you the trouble of buying a battery adapter separately. The flashlight's compact size makes it easy to carry in a car, backpack or pocket, making it a convenient lighting solution for everyday needs.
Operating the Baton 3 is relatively intuitive. Short press the button to turn on the light, long press the button to switch between high, medium and low brightness modes. The flashlight remembers which mode you were in when you turned it off, and returns to that mode the next time you turn it on. To enter super bright mode, just double-tap the button. Be prepared for the shockingly bright output of this mode, as it generates a lot of heat. For most situations, medium or high brightness modes are sufficient. Three quick taps of the home button engage flash mode, and a long press activates moonlight mode, delivering 0.5 lumens of light that lasts an astonishing 20 days.
The Baton 3 also features a handy side clip that can be attached in both directions. The flashlight's flat base and magnetic design allow it to be placed like a candle, or attached to a metal surface. This versatility adds to its overall appeal and utility.
Considering its portability, the Baton 3 is perfect for everyday use and occasional tasks. Due to its small size it may not be suitable for situations requiring heavy duty or search and rescue lighting. However, in day-to-day use, like finding lost keys or as a car service light, it does an excellent job. It's the perfect replacement for those tiny little lights that are often easily damaged.
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