EDC Flashlight Recommendations From an Executive Protection Professional

Recently in a low-light shooting exercise (and often in these exercises) students realize their choice of handheld light is inappropriate or ineffective.

Some have difficulty managing activation buttons or switches, some have too many options to cycle through, and some are not bright enough while some are (believe it or not) too bright.

Additionally, as we see in almost every class, those who choose a weapon-mounted light are not nearly as familiar with using it as they need to be.

Summary of The Best EDC Flashlights

Streamlight MicroStream (AAA)$17.91 @ Amazon
Streamlight Stylus Pro USB$48.99 @ Amazon
Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA$38.55 @ Amazon
Streamlight MacroStream USB$53.28 @ Amazon
Modlite PLhv2


Before we get into what EDC flashlight I use and recommend, we need to cover some tips on EDC flashlight selection.

EDC Flashlight Selection Tips

What is the purpose of the flashlight?

First and foremost, figure out what you will be using your handheld light for, considering your typical TTE – admin tasks and to nav/ID/engage in indoor spaces (for example). This is extremely important to specify as you will see below.

Select a light that fits your hand and pocket

you will likely need to do more with that hand than just operate your light, so something not too big, also so it is able to be carried in your pocket easily, perhaps without too much printing or working a hole in your pants. Too big is problematic, and too small is probably not bright enough.

Select a light that has a simple operation

If you grab your light and you are not 100% sure what mode it is in…get a different light, and keep that one in the truck for admin uses only. Students often grab their lights in class and we see a lot of fumbling through High/Low/Strobe options, for example…and this is unacceptable in these situations.

Select a light with an activation button or switch that works for you

A good patrol light with a side button or switch is great, but in a tactical application, that becomes awkward. For most people, a tail cap button with a momentary press, and a deliberate press click to keep it on works best.

Select a light that has useful brightness

In my experience, 350-600 lumens is the sweet spot. Less than 350 is not quite bright enough and more than 600 is too bright and likely to cause too much effect on yourself. Now, this is for my use case as listed above.

If you are patrolling exterior spaces, that would change. I would say minimally 1000 lumens in those cases. In this case, I would recommend carrying two lights; one high-powered light and one for interior spaces. So again, TTE matters.

If you decide to use a weapon-mounted light you need to commit to it, both in carrying it regularly and training with it often. The overwhelming majority of users we see with WMLs are incapable of effectively using them due to the lack of the above.

Best EDC Flashlights From Personal Experience

Streamlight has some great options, and due to the fact I tend to misplace and lose such things often, I really appreciate their affordability.

Streamlight MicroStream Pocket Light

The Streamlight MicroStream is a fantastic option if you want a minuscule light that weighs about as much as a cigarette and is thin enough that you will forget it is even in your pocket. It is great for daily use, however, it is only 45 lumens open on a single AAA battery, which is likely not enough for most defensive purposes.

As light and small as it is, many even use it as a secondary light for common tasks and carry a much brighter main beam. There is also a USB charging variant that offers 250 lumens in high mode.

Streamlight Stylus Pro USB Penlight

Very similar to the MicroStream, the Stylus Pro is very thin and super easy to carry.

It offers an effective 350 lumens which I think is ideal for general purposes, including defensive purposes.

Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA

The ProTac 1L-1AA has the benefit of small size and weight while maintaining a very useful output of 350 lumens when using a CR123.

The unique features and benefits of this light are it can also use a standard AA battery and although it comes with three modes to click through, however, you can program it to one mode making it even better when set to high mode only. The tail switch is a very useful momentary on and with a deliberate press-click, constant on.

Streamlight MacroStream USB

The MacroStream USB is my new favorite EDC option. It boats 500 lumens on High mode, easy operation tail cap with a second press for low mode (50 lumens), and USB charging.

Ideally sized, IMO, for pocket carry as it is small enough to easily fit in your pocket but large enough to be a good defensive fist fill. Also, no sharp beveled edges to cut through your suit pants. I am very happy with this design so far.


There are more picky recommendations, but these are the main suggestions that will fix most of your issues. My preferred daily carry light is a Streamlight Macrostream, and if I need more light, a Modlite PLhv2.

Best EDC Flashlight For Executive Protection
(Photo: Joe Lasorsa)

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Joseph M. LaSorsa, CPP® is currently a senior partner managing and conducting: Protective Operations Training Courses, Executive Protection & Bodyguard Services, Risk Management Consultations & Seminars, Security Expert Witness Testimony, Workplace Violence Prevention Seminars & Intervention Services, Security Consultations & Seminars, Private Investigations and Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures with LaSorsa & Associates – an International Protection, Investigations & Consulting Firm.

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Table of Contents

  • Summary of The Best EDC Flashlights
  • EDC Flashlight Selection Tips
  • What is the purpose of the flashlight?
  • Select a light that fits your hand and pocket
  • Select a light that has a simple operation
  • Select a light with an activation button or switch that works for you
  • Select a light that has useful brightness
  • Best EDC Flashlights From Personal Experience
  • Streamlight MicroStream Pocket Light
  • Streamlight Stylus Pro USB Penlight
  • Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA
  • Streamlight MacroStream USB
  • Conclusion
  • Related Articles

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