Tactical or Practical, which do you use most

bykfixer

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I carry a "tactical" flashlight in my pocket regularly, but day to day I use a "practical" flashlight by far more often as between 15-50 lumens suits my needs 90% (or more) of the time.

So far I haven't needed my tactical light for it's tactical features but it's better to have it and not need versus need it and not have it.

How about you?
 

idleprocess

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Practical. I need to walk dogs, navigate in the dark, or light up a workspace some 99% of the time. Flood with double- to low triple-digit lumens generally does it. On the occasion I need to light up something further away, it's generally only some 30m distant.

If I need tactical, I've got the hogleg with a weapon light affixed.
 

Olumin

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Why not both? I always carry a MDC with VME M61WLL. Single mode forward clicky 80lm. If I remember correctly $urefire defined a tactical flashlight to be over 60lm back in the day.
I will often also supplement that with an MD2, which is without doubt tactical.

I will also carry a Zebra SC5c II from time to time, or a SF titan plus, which fall on the practical side of things.
Over time Ive come to like single mode forward clickies with moderate but well regulated outputs & I suppose those also happen to fall into the tactical category.
 

bykfixer

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In about 2015 a young police officer and I were discussing flashlights one day in mid day sunshine on a concrete parking lot. A condition that probably had my retinas squeezed down about as small as they get. I had never seen a SureFire 6P in person at the time.

He said "I still use this" and whips out a 6P from a holster and zapped my eyeballs with it from about 5 feet away. I was seeing spots for a while after. So yeah, in the right situation 60 lumens can be of tactical use.
 

Olumin

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I carried the Zebra a lot when I first got it, but now a few months in, im back to grabbing the MDC. Its just more intuitive, quick and easy to use. It also fills out my hand better then any other light I own. Ive found 80 lumens to be almost never too bright or dimm, at least indoors. I still occasionally experiment with using a Lumens factory E-head and incan module, but have generally found it to be too focused (& therefore too blinding) to use up close.

I still like the zebra for its sub lumen outputs, but in a pinch I can always just cup my hand over the mdc to reduce its light. I suppose what I want to say is that a tactical flashlight can very much also be practical, as for me the mdc is the most practical light I own.
 

Megalamuffin

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I like to carry two lights so I have one of each and the idea of a backup light is good in general. I often carry two tac lights and use one for regular stuff.

Does it still count as a tac light if it's output is behind the times compared to newer lights? For example an incan e2e is a dated tac light, and the 60 lumen bulb is great, but it's nowhere close to the overwhelming brightness of the current 1000 lumen e2d.
 
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orbital

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Carrying a small multi-mode light, you can do practically anything.

_______________________________________________________=
Probably my most used light of all time is my D25LC2 (eagletac 18650 twisty multi-mode)
really small for a 18650 light.

Have a couple of them, including one that's new in box.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I carry a Nitecore E4K. Most use on 2, 50, and 320 lumen settings, but if I need a tactical light during use, I just hold the button while on and it bumps it up to 4400 lumens for short tactical bursts. Most situations, that's a good compromise for me between tactical and practical.
 

aznsx

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Carrying a small multi-mode light, you can do practically anything.

_______________________________________________________=
Probably my most used light of all time is my D25LC2 (eagletac 18650 twisty multi-mode)
really small for a 18650 light.

Have a couple of them, including one that's new in box.

I assume you're referring to the 'Tactical' variant of the D25LC2 with a normal "forward" (momentary/maintained-on) tailswitch like this one:


If so, I'd agree that it does come pretty close to being practically a 'do-all' solution that can meet most (tactical / miscellaneous) needs, and off hand I can't think of another 1x18650 light that duplicates its interface.

I agree that while we once had to make a choice between lights to meet those different needs, in 2022 they can be covered nicely with a single model light. For that matter, my Elzetta Alpha can cover most of my needs, albeit with only 2 output levels and controlled with tail rather than head rotation - but that covers me for practically all my basic needs honestly. We may need two for N+1 redundancy, but they needn't be different, and in some respects it's better if they aren't much different in terms of their basic operation. For 'N+1' to work, they technically both need to be able to cover the same basic primary functional need(s) or it's not true redundancy.
 
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parang

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I realized tactical is not my style. I slowly sold my black on black knives. My flashlights are mostly black, but lack typical tactical features and that aspect never plays a role when buying one.
 

Emmet R Doad

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Streamlight micro stream rechargeable (formerly AAA) in shirt pocket every day at work. Handy in ceilings or hunting a light switch down a hallway. Hiii Lee practicle.
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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Practical. My most carried lights are tube lights like the by a wiiiiide margin because they're so convenient and slim. I only take my "P60 module" style tactical-ish torches when I need the throw, and even they are not set up tactically. I trust having awareness and sound judgement more than any tacticool widget these days.
 

Msf

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Practical. Usually one that comes on in low, has good runtime on medium for long walks, and can easily fit in a front pants pocket so it's always with me.
However, I admit to preferring that those lights also give fast access to high, such as an HDS.
 

vicv

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I guess I'm not sure what is meant by practical or tactical. I usually have an H-A aviator in my pocket. I will have to use that to walk my dog at night as well. But I also may bring out a 6P with a 10 white 3.7 V bulb in it. Or a six de maglite xenon. Or another one with a more powerful bulb. Which one of those are tactical and which one are practical? They all use throwy incandescent beams. Which is obviously my preference. I also will sometimes, if I'm in an LED type of mood, will bring out my 3CML 50 LX. Usually on the 20 lm eco-mode. Or sometimes I will bump it up to the 100 lm low. And I very much enjoy my polystinger on low. Which is also around 100 lm. These are both throwy lights. And both come on in high so would probably be considered tactical.
 

orbital

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I assume you're referring to the 'Tactical' variant of the D25LC2 with a normal "forward" (momentary/maintained-on) tailswitch like this one:
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Referring to the twisty version called D25LC2 'Mini' by eagletac,, been discontinued for several years.




I'd like to see any manufacturer make a 21700 twisty light,,, switches wear out.
 
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