Recent events have shown us that we need to be prepared at all times, for anything. From natural disasters to terrorist attacks, you need to be prepared before you find yourself in a SHTF scenario. I have always carried a gun with me, but recently I decided that I wanted to complete the big three; gun, blade, and light. With these three you are giving yourself force multipliers to help you survive a violent attack, or whatever SHTF situation you find yourself in. Scott has provided plenty of EDC knife options that I recommend you start exploring if you are in the market for a blade. This article will be about the EDC light, specifically the Streamlight Protac 1L.
Does Size Matter?
When we start looking at lights one of the most important considerations (for me), is the size. There are pros, and cons to each option. The bigger the light, the more powerful the lumens (measurement of brightness). Also, a larger light allows for more options; striker points, recharging option, different attachments, and more modes (how the light illuminates). Conversely, what the smaller light lacks in options, it makes up for with its ability to be concealed. You need to get the size that has the power/option you want, but is small enough that you will actually use it as an EDC. If it is cumbersome I guarantee it will spend more time on a shelf than it will as an EDC device.
Why Carry a Light?
The most obvious answer to this is to see in the dark. If you are running, walking, or enjoying a movie in a dark theater, you will instantly have the ability to find an escape route. Less dramatically, lights can help with more typical situations like; a flat tire, or be trying to find a piece of hunting equipment at night. In a SHTF moment a light can be used to stun an attacker, or as a striking weapon. There are some great modes on lights designed just for this. The strobe feature will almost always catch someone off-guard, and could give you the time you need to escape. A light in conjunction with a firearm is a deadly combo. As you stun with your light, you can engage your threat, or use it as a means to hold an assailant in place till police arrive.
The light that I decided to get was the Streamlight Protac 1L. It is my intention to use this light for my job, and as an EDC. I opted for just about the smallest light I could find. I didn’t want it to interfere with my gun-belt, and I wanted it to be easily concealed when I am off-duty.
Features (Detailed from Streamlight.com):
- Includes 1 CR-123A 3-volt lithium battery
- IPX7 waterproof (1m)
- Glass lens
- Removable pocket clip
- Multi-function, push-button tactical tail switch
- Anti-Roll facecap
- Durable anodized aluminum construction
- Serialized for positive construction
Using a CR-123A battery allows this light to be more powerful than a AA, or AAA model. The lumens rating for this light is 180, it has a runtime of 2 hours on high, 4 hours on strobe, and 24 hours on low. As mentioned earlier a smaller light does reduce options, however this light has 2 main settings, and 5 sub-settings. The factory default is high-strobe-low, the other main setting it can be programmed for is high-low. To switch between the sub-settings you simply click the tail button once (high), twice (strobe), or three times (low). To reprogram the light (starting from the off position) you tap the tail button 9 times and hold it down the 10th time. Continue to hold the switch on the 10th time until the light turns off, then release the button. Now the main setting will be programmed to high-low.
At $45 this is an inexpensive option for an EDC light. Again, the key here is to find a light that fits your needs that you will actually use. I have a night range coming up for work and I am excited to test this light with a firearm. I have had lights in the past which have failed when exposed to the over-pressure from a firearm. If there are any weakness in this light, this will surely expose them. Don’t be caught unprepared, a light is something that everyone has access to, and can be used in a majority of emergency situations.
This light can be found on Amazon for a great price.