Everyday Carry

5 Best EDC Lights Under $50 in 2018

Authored by:
Mikey Bautista
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
5 Best EDC Lights Under $50 in 2018

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With the days getting shorter and nights getting darker, now's the perfect time to rethink your current EDC light. And of all the gear you can carry, your flashlight is most likely to be due for an upgrade given how quickly flashlight technology advances. Luckily, a solid light with modern features doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. In this guide, we're rounding up 5 new and noteworthy lights released this year that can all be had for less than 50 bucks. There's a light for everyone here, with picks suited for tactical EDCs, classy carries, outdoor setups, and more.

RovyVon Aurora A5

Take one look at the RovyVon Aurora A5 stacked up to other flashlights in its class and the difference is clear. Its translucent polycarbonate shell not only keeps weight down, but it even glows in the dark to make it easier to locate when night falls. But the real gamechanger is the set of three LEDs mounted on side of the body itself, which transform how you can use the light entirely. Two white LEDs turn the Aurora A5 into a lantern, which is useful for ambient light, reading, or up-close hands-free work. Switching on its red LED can help preserve night vision or act as a blinking beacon, useful for both outdoor and urban navigation. The business end of the light features a CREE XP-G3 LED, hitting an impressive 550 lumen output for a light that's just over 2" long and weighs only 0.4 ounces. Despite being small enough to keep on your keychain, the Aurora A5 manages to include a removable 2-way pocket clip, micro-USB recharging, IP65 water resistance, momentary On, and much more. Given all its unique features and performance as not just a flashlight but an all-around illumination tool, it's one of the best bangs for your buck.

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Fenix LD02 V2

The 2nd generation of the classic Fenix LD02 released this year to shake things up in the AAA flashlight space. It's packed with features, but not the features you might expect. It's one of the few to offer a warm white beam, which helps colors pop compared to harsh blue tints of most LED flashlights, as well as a 365nm UV light for specialty tasks. The penlight form factor and classy styling makes it best suited for office and professional settings, with modest but capable outputs to match. It hits 70 lumens on High, a general purpose 25-lumen Medium, and a useful 1-lumen Low mode, which can be cycled through by tapping its stainless steel clicky switch. Other upgrades over the original include a redesigned grip section on its aluminum body, impact-resistant stainless steel at the head, tailcap, and pocket clip, and a slightly slimmer 13.5mm diameter. For a new school light, its warm-white beam and easily replaceable AAA batteries give it a simple, old-school feel.

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Olight M1T Raider

The M1T Raider is part of Olight's push this year to upgrade their catalog and their flagship lights for each category, as well as unify the design language for all their lights. The M1T has a longer frame with Olight's new helix pattern knurling that allows for a full-palm grip, including a proud tailswitch that makes it easier to grip and click while gloved. This switch also comes with a new UI which now allows momentary activation. The light combines an efficient Luminus SST40 CW LED with TIR optics to give it 2-stage floody output of either 5 or 500 lumens. You get up to 100 hours on that Low setting, or up to 2 hours (after a 5-minute stepdown to 300 lumens) on High, with no other special modes to muddle up its main focus as a tactical light. The M1T stays light at 2.29 ounces thanks to its aluminum construction, while maintaining a robust IPX8 resistance rating to handle any environment or situation. And as with Olight's new lights this year, a 2-way clip makes it easy to EDC in any orientation.

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ThruNite T10 V2

For a long time, the ThruNite T10 was one of the best options for AA EDC flashlights. And while the original T10 eventually ended production, ThruNite heard the call for a simple and effective AA light, and thus, the V2 made it to market earlier this year. It keeps the simplicity of the original while making some thoughtful tweaks, such as moving the switch to the side for easier EDC use, as well as dual compatibility with standard AA disposables as well as rechargeable 14500 li-ion cells. This gives the light up to 550 lumens with a 14500 source, or up to 180 lumens with an AA, along with 4 other useful modes. The V2 still comes with a sleek form factor at 3.4” long and weighing only 1.4 oz without a battery, and comes with IPX8-rated resistance to protect against the harshest environments. With the switch moved to the side, this leaves a clean spot on the tail for a new magnetic tailcap, a well as a spot for longer, deep-carry clip. With an inexpensive price tag, convenient battery options and rock-solid (and upgraded) features, the T10 V2 is as close to perfect as an EDC as you can get.

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Olight I3T Cu

The I3T spearheads Olight's foray into making the best AAA flashlight, bucking the expectations of minimal power generally associated with the battery. While you're probably used to seeing around 100 lumens out of AAA lights, the I3T is able to output 180 lumens for over 20 minutes with its Philips LUXEON TX emitter. This is unheard of in terms of power and runtime from an AAA light, especially since it's able to do it with a regular alkaline battery. Another welcome feature is the I3T's forward-clicky tailswitch, which allows you to control its two outputs (5 and 180 lumens) from either an overhand or underhand grip instead of the usual twisty interface lights of class come with. The tailswitch also gives you momentary or always-on control for both outputs as needed. Like the M1T, the I3T sports Olight's new design cues like the helix body knurling and 2-way clip that carries 3 ways. And speaking of design, this version of the I3T comes with an attractive copper construction, giving it a patina EDCers love the more the light gets used.

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What's your favorite affordable flashlight that came out recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Mikey Bautista

Director of Everyday Carry Operations

About the Author
Mikey Bautista is an everyday carry (EDC) expert who has been working with the EverydayCarry.com team for nearly a decade, starting with an interest in EDC as a hobby and ending up as a writer for the site in 2014. Through the years, he’s led the site in editorial content and writing about products across every category, from knives to bags to flashlights and everything in between, as well as discovering, bringing exposure, and building bridges with many brands in the industry. Today, he is the site's Director of Everyday Carry Operations, leading the editorial team and managing day-to-day operations.

He has lived through many personal and professional lives, spending nearly a decade in the workforce management industry, a minor career in gaming, and has lent a hand with entrepreneurial efforts back home in the Philippines. He has also been an active participant and helped build a number of significant social communities online, both for EDC and his other hobbies.

Mikey has been at the cusp of gaming, technology, and the internet since the ‘90s and continues to lend his experience, expertise, and authority to all his pursuits. When not online, in a game, or watching movies, you'll find him in the gym, speedrunning his next hobby, or talking at length about EDC with anyone willing to listen.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, Outside, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (7 total)

cant believe you didnt include nitecore tip or thumb. both great little lights.lightweight,low profile,holds charge forever(micro usb)
The new streamlight micro stream (tactical version) should be included in this list.
Heron ·
Since you guys cover quite often Olight product I thought you may be able to advice me about Olight Customer support. Two years ago I bought a Olight torch (S10R baton II) that now is no longer working, it just went dead out of the blue. They offer a 5 year warranty. I wanted to have it repaired however I havent been able to get in touch with them, email: [email protected] doesn't seem to be working. I tried to get in touch with European Customer Support with no luck. I never tought it would have been that difficult to get things going. Any suggestion?
Nice list of lights. My cheap little Rofis ER3A has been a workhorse of a AAA keychain light. It is as simple & minimalist as they come if you are looking for that sort of thing. Just my two cents.

And to all my American compatriots out there-- Don't forget to vote today!
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