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The Best Lights for Runners

🕚 Updated April 2023

If you run in the early morning or late evening, consider purchasing lights to help keep you safe. These running lights can help you see and make you more visible to motorists.

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  Most Versatile Best Shoe Lights Best Chest Attachment Best Armbands Best Headlamp
Clip On Running Light Classic
Night Runner
270 Shoe Lights
Tracer360 - Multicolor Illuminated, Reflective Vest
4 Pack LED Slap Armband Lights
500 Lumens USB Rechargeable Headlamp
Our SummaryConveniently attach this strong magnetic light to clothing or gear to stay visible during your nighttime run.These running shoe lights are a hands-free option that allows your focus to be on your run and not on your light.Get great visibility for hours with this multicolored light vest that provides light for your front and back.These lights are straightforward to use, making them versatile kids, adults, and several activities.This bright headlamp is safe and effective in any weather.
Pros✓ Magnetic light can be clipped wherever is most comfortable for you
✓ Lightweight and waterproof
✓ Rechargeable battery
✓ Features SOS setting
✓ Clip onto shoe laces
✓ One front light and one rearview light
✓ Lightweight and weatherproof
✓ Three light modes including flashing
✓ Rechargeable batteries
✓ Easy to change between modes
✓ Includes front, back, reflective straps and fiber optic vest lights
✓ Rechargeable battery
✓ Maximum battery life is 20 hours
✓ Weatherproof
✓ Adjustable "slap" fit to accommodate kids and adults
✓ Can be worn on arms, wrists, or ankles
✓ Batteries last for 50-70 hours
✓ Lightweight headband
✓ Five light modes
✓ Light angle can be adjusted
✓ Battery lasts at least seven hours
✓ Rechargeable battery
Cons✗ Must be charged after every use
✗ Magnet not strong enough to use on thick clothing
✗ Clips can be tricky to get just right to be comfortable and effective for your stride
✗ Maximum battery life is only five hours before needing to recharge
✗ Sizing may be different than usual, and the size chart is necessary✗ Batteries must be replaced
✗ Lights too dim to help with your own visibility
✗ Headband may cause irritation on forehead
✗ Dynamic workouts may make the headband unsteady
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The Best Lights for Runners

Focused young African man wearing a headlamp running alone down a trail in the forest while out for a cross country run at dusk.

Buying Guide for Running Lights

A runner with a light at his chest in the dark.
Love Solutions/Shutterstock.com

Why should you buy running lights?

You can’t be too safe when it comes to running outdoors. If you’re not running in the broad daylight, you should be using a running light that helps you see your surroundings and helps keep you visible to others.

What should you consider when shopping for running lights?

  • Time Limit: Be sure to consider how long you will need to use this light before having the ability to either replace or recharge the battery. You will find some that last one hour, while others have a longer duration. One situation you want to avoid is relying on light, only for it to go out before you’re in a safe spot.
  • Place of Attachment: You’ll want to consider which place is most convenient for you to attach your running light. While some are worn like a headband, and others are worn on shoe laces, there are a lot of additional options these days, so you can find one that makes the most sense for you and your comfort.
  • Safety Features: Some running lights come with additional safety features, like blinking modes and SOS options to use in case of an emergency.

Will the running lights impede drivers’ visibility?

While the lights used on headlamps, vests, or shoes are bright, they do not interfere with a motorist’s ability to see clearly. They are not brighter than a car’s headlight but will still be eye-catching enough to make drivers aware of your presence and keep everyone safe.

Our Picks for the Best Running Lights

Most Versatile

AVANTO Clip On Running Light Classic

Conveniently attach this strong magnetic light to clothing or gear to stay visible during your nighttime run.

Pros: The versatility of this running light makes it an easy choice. The strong magnetic closure allows you to clip it to your shirt, waist, hat, or another piece of clothing for a reliable source of light during a walk or jog. It is rechargeable and has a one-hour battery life. The light is waterproof, making it safe to use in most weather conditions, and it only weighs 2 ounces, so you will hardly even notice it. This light also has an SOS mode to use in case of an emergency.

Cons: The magnet is not strong enough to use on thick material, like a sweatshirt. It also needs to be charged after every use.

Bottom Line: This magnetic light makes it a versatile option when attaching to thinner material. The bright light will help increase your visibility at night while also helping you stay visible to motorists. While you will have to recharge it after every use, you won’t have to replace the batteries.


Best Shoe Lights

Night Runner 270 Shoe Lights

These running shoe lights are a hands-free option that allows your focus to be on your run and not on your light.

Pros: These bright running lights clip onto your shoe laces, making them a comfortable and hands-free solution. The clip design can also be used on other running gear like a running belt or armband as well. The main light in front helps you clearly see 30 feet in front of you and features a small rear light, which helps people behind you know you’re there. You can use three modes of lighting: standard, high, and flashing. You’ll get five hours of light on the standard mode and half that on high. The lights are weatherproof, so you can keep your training schedule without excuses. The lights come with a micro USB cord for charging and a carrying pouch. These shoe lights are available in two clip colors.

Cons: It may take some time to find the right clip position on your shoes so that they stay in place and provide the best lighting.

Bottom Line: These shoe lights are an extremely effective source of light and visibility for you during morning or evening jogs. The ability to adjust the strength of lighting allows for greater customization, while the weatherproof design helps you stick to your routine safely, no matter the season or weather.


Best Chest Attachment

noxgear Tracer360 - Multicolor Illuminated, Reflective Vest

Get great visibility for hours with this multicolored light vest that provides light for your front and back.

Pros: This multicolored lighted vest provides visibility at your chest in addition to on your back, plus illuminated fiber optic cables in a vest formation. This light system also includes a reflective 3M chest belt. Whether you’re walking, running, or biking, you can be visible to motorists and other people on the trail or road from any direction. The vest features several different colors and light modes, including flashing, and all of them are easy to change during use. It has a weatherproof design, and the rechargeable battery has a life of 20 hours! You can buy this vest in three different sizes, yet they are all highly adjustable, meaning they can be worn over jackets as well as over lightweight tank tops.

Cons: Pay attention to the size chart before purchasing, as some users noted the sizes were different than they expected.

Bottom Line: If you want a reliable and ultra-safe lighting option for your activities, this is a top choice. The adjustable, lightweight design can be used over any type of clothing, in any weather, and for several hours before needing to be recharged. The colorful modes are easy to change during use, and the several different lighting features (chest, back, fiber optic cables, 3M reflective straps) make you visible from all different angles. Be sure to refer to the sizing chart before purchasing so that you get the right size and can enjoy all these top-performing features.


Best Armbands

Emmabin - 4 Pack LED Slap Armband Lights

These lights are straightforward to use, making them versatile for kids, adults, and several activities.

Pros: Slap some light onto your early or late jogs. These armbands are related to the nostalgic slap bracelets, making them adjustable for kids and adults alike. They can easily be worn on ankles, wrists, or forearms, but be sure to measure if you plan to use them on your biceps. Four bright colors will add safe visibility for those around you.

Cons: The batteries in these armbands are only replaceable, not rechargeable. The pack of four is assorted instead of allowing you to choose your preferred colors. These are not geared to add light for you to see better but mainly to keep surrounding motorists aware of your presence.

Bottom Line: These slap armband lights are easy to use, which makes them incredibly versatile for kids, adults, running, biking, walking, dance parties, etc. While the batteries will have to be replaced, they should last about 50 hours. The fun, bright colors stand out and let others know you’re there, which can help keep you safe; however, the lights aren’t bright enough to light your path while you’re on a walk or run in the dark.


Best Headlamp

Hoxida 500 Lumens USB Rechargeable Headlamp

This bright headlamp is safe and effective in any weather.

Pros: This headlamp with five light modes can brighten up to 500 feet ahead, making it easy for you to stay safe while it’s dark. When using the headlamp in high mode, you can expect seven hours of light before having to recharge the battery. When using it in low mode, you can have up to 15 hours of light before needing to recharge. The light is very lightweight, so even though you’ll wear it on your head, it’ll be easy to forget that you’re wearing it. The lamp is able to be adjusted up to a 60-degree angle, allowing you to customize what makes you most comfortable during your outdoor activities. This headlamp is also available in higher-end options with zooming capabilities.

Cons: The headlamp can cause chafing or irritation for some people and may not be as steady for a dynamic or intense workout.

Bottom Line: This is a lightweight headlamp that can help you stay safe and visible during your early morning or late evening jogs. The rechargeable battery lasts for a long time, and the ability to adjust the angle of the light is helpful. Even though it’s lightweight, it may still slip or cause irritation for some users.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy staying active during all seasons, it can be hard to fit in your daily jogs or walks in daylight. Keep yourself safe during the darker hours with these lighting solutions. With so many ways to wear a running light, you can find the one that makes the most sense for your climate, activity, and preference.

Michelle Carellas Michelle Carellas
Michelle Carellas has had a love for writing from as early as her primary school years. Her writing career took her to journalism, copy editing, and email and digital marketing, and for the past 11 years, she's kept writing a strong focus with freelancing for local businesses and national marketing agencies. When Michelle isn't writing, she's homeschooling her four kids and embracing the country life with her husband in a small Texas town. She and her husband own and operate a small garage gym, the perfect endeavor for a couple who met and fell in love at a gym! Read Full Bio »
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