When we moved into this neighborhood twenty-some-odd years ago, there were no street lights. The neighborhood association -- curses on their unholy name -- required that the residents have a pole lamp in each yard, but didn't specify lumens, so those ranged from gas mantles that were pretty bright, to 7-1/2 watt electric bulbs, which were considerably dimmer.
My own lamp, still required, is a solar-powered itty bitty sucker that might put out 2 lumens.
So, back in the day, if you wanted to walk your dog at night, which was my preference, it was dark. You can get used to that, especially where there are nice paved sidewalks, but sometimes there were things off the path I needed to see.
So I got a pocket flashlight for when my pup, often off-leash at midnight, might wander into the bushes. Having been a scuba diver as a boy, and knowing I was apt to be walking in the rain as often as not, I went to a dive shop and found a mini-diver's light. Ran off four-AA batteries, was waterproof to a hundred meters, and cast plenty of light. Stuck this in my jacket pocket and it, or one of a couple others I've bought like it to have here and there, is still there.
Years passed. There are a lot better flashlights out there now. Some of them the Russian spysats can pick up, and that's cool, but I didn't really see the need for carrying a light that would blind somebody who chanced to look at it -- whilst they were standing on the moon ...
Plus they put in streetlights and the need was less than it had been.
The habit of carrying a flashlight stuck, and while iPhones and iPods can serve, I still have at least a keychain light pretty much anywhere I go. I was in a hotel once when the power went out, and happy to have a way to see when I was forty yards from the nearest window, and the emergency lighting system croaked ...