With the threats we face today, just having a light may be all you need to create enough space to get off the X (away from the threat). From a legal standpoint you can carry a flashlight anywhere. There will be places (such as airports) that you cannot carry a firearm or knife, but will be able to have a light. A quality light can become a force multiplier in a potential life threatening situation. One of the features that tends to be a point of confusion is the amount of lumens the light emits. It’s easy to think that a light with a 300+ lumen output would be the way to go, but I disagree. In reality anything north of 60 lumens will get the job done. The light I carry as a possible defensive tool is also the light I use for my everyday tasks, so I find it to be overkill to be over 200 lumens unless I want to blind myself looking for something in a drawer.
When it comes to choosing a light to carry everyday, the amount of choices available can make that a harder decision than it needs to be. Over the years I’ve several different brands of lights from the tried and true mini mag light, Fenix lights, Streamlight and Surfire lights. Based upon my experiences of how these lights operate and carrying them I have learned a few things. Personally I have 3 different lights that I rotate through depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing.
Serrated strike bezel – A good strike bezel can certainly help with inflicting a little pain onto any would be attacker and provide you the time needed to get the hell out of dodge. The O Light M18 has a very aggressive strike bezel that would put a serious hurt on an attacker.
Press on/off tailcap – Under stress the last thing you want to worry about is finding the correct mode on your light. There are a few available that have only a single on/off mode such as the Surefire 6PX Defender.
Quality pocket clip – Not every quality flashlight has a quality pocket clip. The only light that I have found with a clip worthy to call quality is Streamlight. They claim that the clip is unbreakable. The clip found on Streamlight flashlights is also reversible so that you can use it on a baseball cap for hands free work.
Power source – The most popular out there are the CR-123 batteries. These generally provide more power output than your standard battery. Lights such as the Streamlight 1AA (my every day carry) utilize the standard AA battery that can be easily found at most stores anywhere. When I travel I take this into consideration.
Take a look at the following video to see what Brandon Webb says about having a light on you all the time.