I am a huge (HUGE) proponent of the usage of white light. We all talk about "carry" and it generally refers to our carry firearm. I've seen some discussion of EDC (Every-Day Carry) and a lot of times it will include a light, but not always. Why not?
Many years back I was floundering for a way to carry my existing lights as part of my every day options. At one point, I brought a Surefire G2 Nitrolon in my pocket. Now, this is best suited for a nightstand or (maybe) weapon mounted light. To say that it was uncomfortable and bulky for a day on the town would be an understatement. At one point, I even stopped into a local gun store and came out with this:
|Holy Bulk, Batman!|
I immediately began making jokes about the bat-belt that my waist was becoming. In addition to an IWB holster with a Glock 23, a spare magazine in an OWB kydex holder, my cellular phone (smart phone no less, so the size of a small dog), I added this to the mix. I could tell right then it was an immediate no-go. I stuck it on my vest instead and switched from trying to make what I already had work to attempting to increase the inventory of lights that I possess. I love Surefire. This is where I say that Surefire has nothing to do with me posting this and I'd be shocked if they even know I exist. I know that Streamlight, Fenix and others have various offerings with attached clips as well as other manufacturers that make clip on holsters for your favorite light. Just make sure and get one from a reputable company and look at some reviews. I started to do some research of my own and decided on the E1B Backup (pictured at top).
What an immediate difference this thing made. It is short and fat (insert crass joke here). It fits perfectly in your hand and, more importantly, perfectly in my pocket (though sometimes a little rough on the fabric). The clip option is no different than what you would use for a folding knife and offers immediate access by your weak side hand. It immediately became and every-day carry of mine. My work attire is "business casual" and it doesn't stick out at all. As a matter of fact, with some styles of dress pants it's almost hidden completely:
So, why, you ask would you need to carry a light when you leave for work in the morning and come home before dark? "Oh, so many reasons" would be my answer. Let's talk every-day stuff. This light doesn't do too bad for only using one battery (1.3 hours on constant high and 37 hours on constant low setting). I still burn through the 123A batteries on this thing due to constant use. I buy them by the box from Surefire to get them at a much better price. I do know that lights are beginning to trend back to the AA option for ease of finding the battery, but for this stubby little guy, the 123A is really a part of the design that makes it work. I use this every day. You know how you use that knife of yours all of the time and don't know why anyone would go without one? After you carry a good, low-profile light for a couple of weeks, you'll think the same thing. "Regular" uses include; looking at computer wires under your desk, looking into the back of a supply cabinet in the house, taking out the trash after dark, or even hooking up the Christmas lights under the tree (yes, that was me this year), it's always there. But back to the serious question of why you should carry a white light. You can't shoot what you can't see. You can't identify a bad guy vs bystander that you cannot see. Plain and simple. When the power goes out (or is cut) in a building it's daylight outside, but pitch black in that cubicle farm with no windows where you work. One day on a whim you decide to meet up with the significant other for dinner after work instead of going home. Walking out of the restaurant, it's completely dark now.
As I mentioned above, I started trying to carry the Nitrolon because of a very specific situation. Mrs. 45er and I had started going to movies during the day when she was off of work and I had taken a day off to be with her. Sure, it's 100F in the summer in Texas and too bright outside to go out without sunglasses, but it's pitch black in that theater. My "what if" bell was going off like mad. This light only has a few options, but that is ok with me. It has a tail cap that you can push lightly for pulse on/off and push to click for constant on. The first push turns the light on at the 110 lumen setting, a quick second touch turns on the 5 lumen setting for battery saving every day use. I still find myself using it at the high setting for most things. I just like a lot of light. So, you have pulse at 110 lumens, pulse at 5 lumens, constant on at 110 lumens, constant on at 5 lumens and "off". I don't consider "off" an option, but I'm not in marketing/advertising. I am a real fan of a strobe option, but that wasn't a deal breaker for me on this one.
So, what was my point? This turned into more a "review" than what my original intent was, which is carry a light. Make sure it is any good, comfortable light that is reliable and makes sense for you and your situation. You'll find it entirely too useful and it might just save your skin. We always say "carry your gun" but you can't defend yourself if you cannot see your threat. Carry your light, too.