Here is a an obvious fact, you cannot shoot what you cannot see and you cannot see in the dark. Getting this point across is the easy part, solving the problem in real-time is the challenge.
Before we go too far down the rabbit hole consider the golden rule; define your mission. I hate to get started on these conversations where both parties are coming at it from different angles. They each may be correct in their own right, but weighed against the other there could be a gap. When we talk about lights and their importance you cannot start the conversation without first defining the mission; left and right limits. I break lights down into four categories; concealable handheld lights, handheld lights, pistol mounted lights and rifle mounted lights. Why so many categories? There is no single light that can accomplish all those missions. Keep in mind we are not even talking about working in IR mode; strictly white light.
Wake up and smell the coffee
In today’s crazy world, having a good handheld light on your body at all times should be a no brainer. Yet, I still see some who don’t carry, but are more than happy to carry a metric boat load of spare ammunition. There was a time when size, bulk and weight made it difficult to conceal a flashlight and plausible justification. However, those days are long gone. The number of people carrying a folding knife has exploded with the advent of the pocket clip and it was easy to see the effects on handheld lights. Once the first pocket clip for a handheld flashlight was released it changed the way we looked at lights forever and carrying lights everyday became more probable.
A bird in the hand
I look at lights much like I look at handguns, when you need one, you need it in a bad way. Many choose avoidance because they can’t find a reliable method to conceal without looking like “that guy”. Some would rather not look at the smaller more compact lights because of some aversion to diminished performance. Yes, it is true; you can only pack so much performance in a smaller frame, but that alone is not reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is a saying, “a gun is better than no gun” and the same can be said for a handheld light. A light is better than no light when you need to illuminate an area or threat. I encourage carrying smaller, compact handheld light over the jumbo “face melter” for the simple reason you are more than likely to carry.
Welcome to the party pal
There was a time when 65 lumens was the bomb, but as technology advances it has given us a glimpse into future performance. Now, we should be looking at modern lights putting out a minimum of 200 lumens. Add a sturdy pocket clip with a push button tail-cap and you have a party. The one downside is these modern lights are not cheap and rightfully so. The advancement of technology cost money and we are where we are today because companies have invested in new technology to make their products, smaller, brighter and last longer. I look at a handheld light as part of my standard loadout, something as important if not more important than other supporting equipment. I’m betting most would sell their soul for any handgun and or light when they need them and don’t have them.
I count my lucky stars I have had a good light when I needed it the most. The excuses are dwindling why folks don’t want to carry a quality built, high output light, but still some don’t carry.