There are plenty of choices for EDC carry (you know we try cover them all) but I also spend much of my time in tactical training, this is a place I can sharpen my skills and learn new tactics. The basis of a lot of what I learn is based on vision, seeing something before it happens or making a choice based on what you see. When you look at EDC options it’s likely you don’t need 1000 lumens, but in a low light defensive situation you will need it. there are plenty of options in either case, lets break it down by category and help you make the right choice.
Those that train know this is something entirely necessary, clearing rooms, shutting down an attackers sight line or even last ditch defense. These are even more common on the regular home defense use, cheap laser light combos are often packaged with new fire arms for novice users (not a fan) for ease of access. This is a great first point, being attached means its ready and you can get it up and running right away making reaction and decision time closer together. They also can add little impact to the profile of the firearm with items like the Surefire (XC1) available at a decent price point. There are two big issues I personally run into here, one is that you will need a special holster in order to keep it on the weapon, this is an issue if you carry everyday or have specific holster you prefer. The other issue is leading with the weapon, in most cases for home defense you wont want to lead with your weapon. Illuminating an area without weapon drawn is ideal, you can identify a target first then make a decision, it also may keep you out of trouble should the need for force not be required. At the price point for weapon mounted can vary some decent options like the InForce (WML) can be had or something slightly more fancy can also be had Surefire (X300), but here we start to see the two methods converge. This give pretty good spread of the price and options, they can be a little more but in price but they are also less cumbersome, attached without crazy adaptors or long remote switches is also a plus. There can be situation where it may stick out too much and get caught or damaged in intense movement or harsh environments.
While there are still plenty of options for weapon mounted only there is more versatility at flexibility in getting something I consider standalone. Here you will get a significant number of brands, battery options, or style to fit any mission. The other incredible factor is the fact you now have something multi use (my speed) instead of a dedicated light. This will cut down on spare batteries needed and allows you to switch weapons like in my case, I have shotgun for breaching, a rifle, and a sidearm- a light for each would be silly and expensive. Where buying one or two (two is one, one is none) and spare mounting rings or remote switches would make it ideal to switch and to keep charged. Then off training time it slips into the pocket for defensive situations where guns may not follow. There is large budget options, there are the Surefire on the high end (M300) offering the usual defensive features. Don’t be discouraged by price, there are some other notable manufacturers of some solid options. One of our favorites the Nitecore group offers something like the (P10) for tactical use, or a mix of EDC and tactical with the (P12GT) both offer same tactical look in decent size but also have the remote switch add on (extra) and rail mount rings, they also weigh in at well under $100 making them pretty competitive just don’t forget all the extras you will need. Fenix is another great manufacturer and offer a very well know (PD35) that is a great EDC choice and has the same add-on’s that can make it more weapon centric, also see the (PD35 TAC) with a little extra power at 1000 lumens. These are just some of the options, there are more choices here then you will ever conquer and more details you need to dive in on.
In the end
Every mission is different and every person carries differently, the idea here is to vet all the options and get the best choice for budget and for your style. There are still lots that go into the final choice (batteries, size, operation) but think about how you are going to carry for defense, how/when you plan on using it and do you want to maintain more than one or two lights? There are lots of options (we continue to cover these) but hopefully you now have some other points, I think most are quick to spend $300 on the best, but rarely use it or worse have it fail from dead batteries when the time is right. Keep this in mind and let me know what you think below.