It is a good practice if you believe in a preparedness lifestyle or make a habit of carrying a gun, of carrying a good, high-quality light. From an everyday carry perspective, we need lights for two specific tasks. Most commonly, just a general use task light. Flashlights are incredibly useful in day to day life. Lights are good things to have and immensely useful, even outside of the specific personal defense arena. The less likely but probably more important use is as a supporting tool for said defense. The light projects our awareness and is a signal to the predators of society that “I am not easy meat.” A good tactical light can also be used to help identify and manage people around us and can be deployed preemptively.
Meet the Surefire EDCL2-T
There are not a huge number of lights that meet the necessary criteria of a useful task light, powerful defensive light, and as unquestionably reliable as humanly possible. Within that group, what separates the available options is execution and quality. How well does the light perform the needed tasks? The big players have always been Streamlight and Surefire. Surefire had the unquestionable reliability but lagged in the output and flexibility department. A little over a year ago Surefire turned a corner. They started talking to people who knew what an everyday carry light needed to be and came out with the EDCL2-T. The EDCL2-T is a 1,200-lumen powerhouse with a “gas pedal” switch and near perfect sizing for carrying in a pocket.
Surefire EDCL2-T Battery Options Lacking
The only real weak point of the light is that it relies on two CR123 batteries. “Dual fuel” technology, cross-compatibility between standard CR123’s and rechargeable 18650 batteries is the new hotness. And the EDC series of lights from Surefire just missed that train for some reason.
Gas Pedal Switch
On the plus side, with the “gas pedal” switch I burn through a set of batteries much slower than I used to because 90% of the time I am running the light at a lower output. If you are not familiar with what a “gas pedal” switch is, it means that if I push the tail cap switch just a little, I get 5 lumens. If I push it more than a little, I get the light’s full capability.
This means that when I am using the light for task lighting, like trying to find my kid’s toy car under the couch, I don’t have to run the light at full blast, or cycle through modes to get the actual light output I need. At the same time, if I do need all the horsepower the light can give me, it is just as accessible as if it were a single mode light. For constant on, the EDCL2-T does use Surefire’s usual twist the tail cap feature. Twist a little, and I get 5 lumens, twist more I get all 1,200.
Twisting the Tail Cap for Constant On
It is a bit of a hassle to use the constant on modes because twisting a tail cap takes longer and is less efficient than just clicking a button, but it is a setup I am okay with since I get one of the best momentary switch designs in the history of tactical flashlights, at least in my opinion.
Surefire EDCL2-T Bezel Size Just Right
When it comes to carrying a flashlight, the bezel size is usually the deal breaker. It is the bulkiest part of the light. And carrying a light in a pocket that has a large bezel is annoying and uncomfortable. There is a somewhat delicate balance between a high horsepower light with a good beam, and a light that is too fat to comfortably carry in a pocket all day.
The EDCL2-T strikes a good balance between pocketable and maximizing the beam quality of the light with its bezel size. The body of the light is also very manageable. I am relatively sure Goldilocks consulted on the EDCL2-T. Because the engineers and consultants really hit right on the money with the size of this light. It is big enough to have excellent performance, beam quality, and easily handled or manipulated. The small size allows you to carry it unnoticed unless needed.
Surefire EDCL2-T Known Clip Issues
There is a minor weak point in the design of the light. Other than the absence of dual fuel capability, the pocket clip could be an issue. Apparently, this clip design is known to have issues breaking where the clip engages the body of the light. Knowing this, I immediately took action to mitigate that weakness. I stabilized that part of the clip by taping down the other end. This prevents the clip from bending away from the body of the light. It also minimizes the amount of stress put on that part of the clip. So far (fingers crossed), this has been an acceptable fix. I use a high contrast tape. That makes the light easier to find if I happen to drop it while in a dark environment.
So, how much with a Surefire EDCL2-T set you back?
The most significant downside to the EDCL2-T, as with most Surefire products, is the cost. The EDCL2-T retails right around $150. That is a nice chunk of cash when there are other lights on the market with comparable features, acceptable durability, and for much less money. Although no one matches the mode selection. I think there is additional value in the Surefire because of how well the construction of the light is executed. And the beam quality is one of the best I have seen but is it $80-$100 of additional value? I don’t think it is.
If Surefire could price this light closer to $100-$120, it would be a winner all day long. At $150 I think it might be out pricing the value just a tad. Would I recommend the light? Absolutely. Are there more budget-friendly options that will also get the job done? Absolutely. Is the Surefire the highest quality option currently available? I think it is. If that is what the end user is looking for, this is the light to have.