If you own a smartphone, you may wonder why you should carry a flashlight too. It’s a fair question. Why carry a flashlight when your phone has one built-in? The reasons for many die-hard flashlight users, though, are many of the same reasons that photographers still buy cameras, and why you still go out to lunch with a friend when FaceTime exists.

Smartphones can do a lot, but when it comes to doing anything beyond the bare minimum required of a task, they often fall short. If you are wondering whether you should carry a flashlight, here are some benefits of EDC flashlights that will help you make up your mind.

Better Lighting Performance

fenix e09r rechargeable edc flashlight

EDC flashlights offer many performance benefits over a standard phone flashlight. The basic flood beam of a phone flashlight is only good for illuminating small nearby areas. On the other hand, many pocket-sized flashlights have beams that can light up areas as close as a few feet and as far as 1000 feet, all in one compact package.

While some phones now have the ability to control the brightness of the light being emitted, most throw a maximum of only about 50 lumens. EDC flashlights can cover a wide range of lumens. The Fenix E09R EDC flashlight, for example, has 4 brightness settings ranging from 3 lumens to 600. EDC flashlights offer a much better distribution of light and greater beam throw distances than phone flashlights.

Immediate Illumination

edc flashlight beam

Phones are getting better about making it easier to quickly turn on the flashlight, but some models still have the flashlight function only accessible behind a lock screen. This works perfectly well in situations where immediate light isn’t necessary, but when you need a light and you need it quickly, fumbling with a passcode won’t cut it.

Touch screens are also nearly impossible to use with gloves on or when your hands are wet or dirty. EDC flashlights can quickly be turned on to throw immediate light when needed.

Battery Efficiency

fenix e28r rechargeable flashlight

Using an everyday carry flashlight instead of your phone’s flashlight also eliminates the need to worry about your phone battery. Instead of having to sacrifice light in favor of battery or vice versa, you can use an EDC flashlight to light up the area you want, while preserving your phone’s battery for calls, texts, GPS navigation, or anything else you may need to use your phone for. Many flashlights have batteries that will run for hours and an external battery level indicator that warns you when your battery is low. With rechargeable EDC flashlight options, such as the Fenix E28R available, you can be sure you will have a light that works whenever you need it to.

Multitasking Made Easy

More Usability Options

When using a smartphone as a flashlight, using your phone to do anything else can be a struggle. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, it might even be impossible. Having an EDC flashlight on hand means your phone is free to be used for other important things, like making a call or looking something up on the internet.

EDC flashlights even have magnetic bases, so you can attach the flashlight to something nearby and illuminate an area for completely hands-free usability. In addition, if you find yourself in smaller spaces, you may find it easier to use an EDC flashlight that can be held or carried more conveniently than a bigger, broader smartphone.

Affordable to Replace

fenix e12v2 flashlight

Smartphones are an investment, and replacing one can be very expensive. If you drop a smartphone trying to light up a hard-to-reach space you could crack a screen, damage the internal components, or lose your phone entirely. Fixing a phone after a drop can be costly. Depending on what’s damaged, you may have to send your phone to a specialist for repair. A flashlight is a convenient and affordable option when you’re working in situations where you might drop or damage your light. Replacing an EDC flashlight is much more affordable and easier than replacing a smartphone.


EDC flashlights can be used in conditions where using a phone would damage its functionality, such as wet or dusty conditions. Water and dirt can damage a phone but a well-built EDC flashlight will continue to function normally. Many EDC flashlights are designed to withstand drops, extreme temperatures, and even being submerged (up to 2 meters) in water. Turn to an EDC flashlight in challenging conditions and keep your phone safely tucked away.

The many downsides and obstacles to using your phone as a flashlight may be leaving you in the dark more often than you need to be. Add an EDC flashlight to your everyday carry gear and you’ll have a dependable, convenient light whenever and wherever you need one.