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I invested in a hand lantern as it allows me to see a little better in the dark while still holding onto a Hunter Pistol. I also have the Hunter's Torch which provides much better illumination.

Does having one or the other equipped impact my ability to sneak past enemies?

Note that this is applicable to backstabs and just moving quietly past them.

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From experience (albeit quite awhile ago) and from threads like this one, it doesn't look like your light emittance affects enemy aggro range:

I always wear the little lantern and have the torch out sometimes and have no problem sneaking up on anything. There is no difference.

Additionally, from this Reddit thread:

[The hand lantern] has no [effect] on sneaking ability. Purely a tool to see better without giving up your secondary hand

yeah, the enemies can't tell if you have it on or off. I was paranoid about that, & torches, as well, & spent a lot of time "testing" sneaking around...

Doesn't affect sneaking at all

As mentioned in the latter thread multiple times, while it is half as bright, the Hand Lantern allows you to still have a firearm, so if you use those much, you'd probably be better off using the Hand Lantern instead of the Torch/Hunter's Torch.

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