Review: Everyday Carry Lights from Nightstick

Often overlooked, a good flashlight should be a vital part of your defensive plan.

posted on April 8, 2024
Nightstick EDC flashlights

There is one vital tool for self defense that can be carried into places that prohibit firearms, such as on an airplane or other sensitive places. It costs less than practically every defensive pistol on the market, and using it is one of the quickest ways to “de-select” yourself as a potential victim. I’m speaking, of course, of the tactical flashlight. 

I began carrying a bright flashlight with me over thirty years ago, with an aluminum-body, AA-powered flashlight that put out a whopping six lumens of light. Since then, flashlights have gotten smaller and more powerful, and 300 lumens (or more… much more) is considered the baseline for a “tactical” flashlight. I’ve found that of all my EDC (everyday carry) items, I use my flashlight far more often than anything else I carry, making it a smart thing to have with you even if you’re not defensive-minded.

If you take responsibility for your personal safety, though, nothing says “I’m not the victim you are looking for” like shining a bright light in a dark parking lot or side street. Having a flashlight and using it means you understand that bad things happen in dark places, and you’re prepared to deal with this fact. 

Everyday Carry Flashlights From Nightstick

USB 320Nightstick is a company devoted exclusively to creating lights for industrial, law enforcement and other safety-related functions, and the company has a wide range of lights ideal for use by armed (or unarmed) citizens as we go about our daily lives.

The secret to a good everyday carry flashlight is a light that you can carry with you everyday, and Nightstick’s USB-320 certainly fits that bill. At 320 lumens, it’s bright enough to light your way or dazzle a potential foe, but it’s small enough to keep in your pocket and still have room for other essentials. The light is powered by a single removable Li-ion battery and is USB-rechargeable via a hidden USB-C port. There is an on-off switch in the rear that gives you momentary on as well as constant on functionality at the press of a button. It has an IPX-7 rating for dust and water, so it can handle nasty weather, and the hour and half run time comes in very handy on pitch-black night. MSRP for the USB-320 is $79.92. 

USB 558XLNightstick’s USB-588XL flashlight is a little larger and a lot more powerful. The light is rated for 1,100 lumens on high power, which lasts up to 2 hours, and has a low-power mode that gives you a very usable 125 lumens with an eye-popping 22-hour run time. The USB-588XL is one of Nightstick’s “Dual Light” line, which has one light that throws a conventional, tightly focused beam for searching and similar functions, but also has a second LED that throws a wider, less-powerful beam that is ideal for use as a work light. Both of these LEDs are powered by an removable, rechargeable Li-ion battery, and the light comes with an adapter for use with two CR123a lithium batteries. I have found that “tactical” lights tend to be really awful as work lights. The bright, narrowly-focused beam on most tactical lights isn’t wide enough to use when doing things like changing a tire, and the bright light means your choices in illumination are either “surface of the Sun bright” or Stygian darkness. The 1-2 combination of the Dual Light line means that I can have a flamethrower of a light when I need to peer into the darkness and have a useful work light as well, all in the same light, which is a very handy thing indeed. MSRP for the USB-588XL is $157.62. 

Light When and Where You Need It

headlampSpeaking of work lights, having a light that shines on your hands (that’s hands, plural) is really, well, handy, so much more than a light you need to direct with one hand while fiddling about with the other. That’s why I consider a headlamp to be an essential part of either a bug-out bag or a “get home” bag, and Nightstick’s USB-4510B has all the features you want in this kind of light. The light has a removable headband that positions the light on your forehead, leaving both hands free to work on the task a hand. The light is adjustable for angle, and there is a clip on it so you can attach it to the bill of a cap. The high setting on this waterproof light provides up to seven hours of light at 250 lumens or 35 hours of light at the 60 lumen low setting. There are also settings for red or green lights to preserve your night vision when using this light. The headlamp is also USB rechargeable and has an integrated battery. MSRP for the USB-5410B is $51.06.

For more information on these lights or other products from Nightstick, please visit



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