Tactical Flashlights: 3 Reasons They Stink (For Utility)

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

Don't get me wrong – I LOVE tactical flashlights.

Like a lot of our readers, I have enough to fill a shoe box, and probably then some.

But tactical lights don't always make the best utility lights.

If you're not clearing your house or beating a mugger with the sharp teeth of your light's bezel, you might find the super-tactical models aren't convenient for daily chores.

Don't believe me?

Here are…

3 Reasons Tactical Flashlights Aren't Great For Utility

tactical lights / utility lights
tactical lights / utility lights

1. Just A LITTLE Too Bright…

Let's be honest: the thought of using your tactical light to, say, check your watch in a dark movie theater, causes you to squint in pain.

That's because a lot of tactical lights are very bright, making them less suited for basic utility chores (like discreetly looking for something on your bedroom dresser while your partner is asleep).

That means that for your basic utility tasks, the latest 6-bazillion lumen tactical torch probably isn't the best choice.

You're much better off with a smaller utility light, or even a pen light, in situations like that.

2. Just A Little Too Expensive

The prices for tactical lights have really come down in recent years.

The problem is, too many of us are still in the habit of spending close to a hundred bucks (or more) for the latest whiz-bang tactical light.

The thing is, there are “non-tactical” flashlights on the market that are very bright, but cost a tiny fraction of that.

One of my employees owns several “Energizer” lights that offer 300 lumens, are ruggedized and water resistant, and last for several hours on standard AA batteries — all for less than 15 bucks.

In other words, for day to day utility, a much cheaper “normal” flashlight can offer you just as much power at a lower price, because the light isn't expected to be a weapon light (or to serve you in a “tactical” situation.

3. Not Hands Free

The most annoying thing about trying to use a tactical flashlight for utility, to me, is that you have to shove it in your mouth.

I don't know what you think about yours, but the butt of my tactical flashlight doesn't taste great.

If I want to go hands-free with it, though, that's really my only choice.

Now, headlamps are great for hands-free utility lighting, and you look wherever you need the light to go…

…but they're not very comfortable.

Another option is one of those clip-on cap lights that you can add to any baseball cap (or any hat with a brim).

That lets you light the way for utility purposes, put the light wherever you look, AND blend in when you're not using it.

In other words, it's the best of both worlds.

Now, I'm not saying you don't need a tactical light.

You should still be carrying one, especially if you carry a gun.

But you should also have a small, inexpensive utility light or cap light as part of your EDC.

It just makes good sense — and makes you more prepared.

That's what it's all about, right?

What Light(s) Do You EDC?

Please Share Your Gear Tips Below…

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