Best Running Lights Reviewed & Rated for Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Petzl Tacktikka
Test Winner: Petzl Tacktikka
Amazon Link
In the last few decades, technology has allowed most major sport apparel manufacturer to make major advances in making the life of the athlete easier and more convenient. This technology has also put a focus on the athlete’s safety. Runners specifically are frequently subject to various dangers on the road. While early morning or late at night may be the best time to complete your exercise, it may not always be the safest as this time of day can be dark. Running lights, however, solved this issue by allowing the runner an easy way to see and make themselves seen. By using bright LED lamps, the average modern light can be an effective and lightweight tool that is indispensable for any runner.

Standout Picks

Petzl Tacktikka
The Petzl Tacktikka is a well-loved cult favorite among runners and campers alike despite its simplistic design. This svelte product uses ultra-strong LED bulbs to create up to 200 lumens of bright light. The lamp itself is attached to a soft and adjustable headband that sits securely on your head. The simplicity of this product makes it highly versatile and is ideal for other activities such as camping, spelunking, construction, and any other activity that could use a little more light.
Amazon Link
$29.95
Nox Gear Tracer360
With its bright and futuristic design, you may feel like you just stepped out of a Marvel movie instead of going for your daily run. However, the Tracer360 is one of the best modern answers to handsfree lighting on your run. This light is attached to a highly breathable vest that you can wear by itself or over your regular t-shirt. The main light is located at the back of the vest, with illuminated straps that reach over your shoulders to keep you visible at all times.
Amazon Link
$59.95
Night Runner 270 Night Trek X Tactical
This pair of highly practical lights is perhaps one of the most effective recent innovations in runner safety. Unlike most other lights that get attached to your arm or head, the X Tactical is easy to clip-on to your shoes and provides an immensely strong light to improve your visibility. Each pair of lights is highly durable and weather resistant, has a long-lasting battery life, uses 2 ultra-light LED lamps per light and is incredibly easy to use.
Amazon Link
Foxelli Headlamp
With its sporty design and highly bright illumination, the Foxelli headlamp is great for runners and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Each product high-quality Cree LED lamps that give you a beam of around 200 feet. The rest of the product is durable and weatherproof while being so lightweight that you hardly notice it. It runs with AAA batteries that can give you a battery life of up to 45 hours depending on use.
Amazon Link
$9.97
Higo Slap Armband
Another innovative solution to hands-free runner illumination is undeniable the Higo Slap Armband. This unique patented design features a single long ultra-bright LED light that is available in different colors. This light then easily bends and attaches at the ends to create an armband around your arm. This is a product with a bunch of utility. You can slap it around your wrist before your run, or even use it on your kids at night on camping trips.
Amazon Link
Lone Wolf Active Clip-On
Lone Wolf Active introduced a method of hands-free lighting that seems deceptively simple. This product features a bright LED light that is housed in a durable silicone cover that you can simply clip on to your running gear. The housing is weather resistant and light enough to be clipped on to your t-shirt without impeding your run. This unique design makes it suited for a wide variety of activities besides your daily run.
Amazon Link
Sport2People Running Belt
This unique belt is perhaps one of the most practical answers to running illumination out there. This product features the traditional design of the fanny pack but with the added benefit of an ultra-bright LED light that is attached to the front to ensure your visibility throughout your workout. Each product is made from water-resistant fabric and includes pockets for your valuables.
Amazon Link
$14.97
Lighting Ever Headlamp
This nifty headlamp from Lighting Ever is ideal for the runner who wants more out of their product. This headlamp features 4 lighting modes, including a red flashing mode, it is water resistant and features a lightweight design. Thanks to the strap that wraps around the head as well as across, your product will stay in place. One of the best features of this product is perhaps its versatility, its ideal to use for running, camping, fishing, reading, etc.
Amazon Link
$9.99
Apace Vision Safety Light
These nifty little products are sure to be a favorite thanks to their slim design and lighting powers. They are small and lightweight enough to easily clip onto your clothes and stays securely put. They are water-resistant and can be used in mild rainy conditions with ease. Each product comes with rechargeable batteries that can last up to 100 hours depending on use.
Amazon Link
$17.97
Boldbrite Headlamp
The simplistic yet highly comfortable product from Boldbrite will surely enhance your daily run and make it much safer. Each product contains LED bulbs that collectively create up to 120 lumens. The entire product has been optimized to be lightweight and is barely noticeable once you're wearing it. The wraparound band is somewhat broader than the average product which ensures that it sits more securely and gives you a more comfortable feel.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Battery Life

The exact battery life of different products can vary greatly depending on several factors and will have a major impact on your overall running experience.

Any product will require batteries in order to work. For the most part, these kinds of products will generally require either rechargeable batteries or disposable ones, such as regular AAA. Battery life and usage should be a key consideration point as it can dictate several other key features of the device itself.

Battery lifespans can vary greatly from 4 hours up to 240 hours depending on your selected device. While the battery life choice is up to you and personal preferences, there are pros and cons to both rechargeable and disposable batteries.

Rechargeable batteries can be recharged using a micro USB cable and are more environmentally friendly and can save you a significant amount of money in the long term. However, their battery lives tend to be less than their disposable counterparts, with battery lives usually lasting between 4-8 hours.

In comparison, disposable batteries last significantly longer, with some devices promising a lifespan of up to 240 hours. However, this option is expensive to replace and is harmful to the environment.

Ultimately choosing your device’s battery capability is a process of choosing the lesser evil. Rechargeable batteries may be cheaper and more environmentally friendly but will require frequent recharging. On the other hand, the disposable option will be more costly, but won’t need frequent replacing.

Effectiveness

With all the modern added bells and whistles that most devices come with, it may be difficult to remember that the original device was purchased with one goal in mind: to be used as a light source.

When we talk about the effectiveness with this specific product, we will be primarily referring to its lighting capabilities. This refers to the strength of the light itself as well as its beam and other added extras such as lighting modes.

The vast majority of devices use LED lamps. This is ideal, since they are smaller, more energy efficient, can create a bright and strong light, and have a much longer lifespan than traditional light bulbs.

Your device will likely contain several LED lamps and together they can emit up to 200 lumens. Lumens is the unit of measurement used to quantify any light source that is visible to the human eye.

While up to 200 lumens is considered relatively low, generally speaking, it is quite a significant light for such a small device, and will certainly make an impact in dark environments. You should aim for a device that offers between 150 and 200 lumens to ensure your safety on the road.

Comfort

Since you’ll be wearing this device on your person during demanding runs it is of the utmost importance that it is comfortable. Comfort is of the utmost importance since an ill-fitting and uncomfortable device could be potentially dangerous.

There are a variety of factors that will determine the comfort of your device. The most important of these include the positioning of this device, the materials that its made from, is fastening method, and simple personal preference.

In recent years there has been a massive trend leaning towards handsfree devices. No one wants to run around with a heavy, traditional torch, so more and more top manufacturers started experimenting with the possiblity of creating handsfree devices.

The majority of modern offer the convenience that allows you attach the device either to yourself or your clothing. You get products that attach to your head, such as headlamps, devices that attach to your clothes, such as clip-on devices, and a whole array of alternative options.

Whatever device you choose, it is important to look out for the construction of the device. You should ensure that the device has no exposed sharp edges or other parts that could potentially cause harm or chafing on your run.

Durability

It goes without saying that the ideal device should have some durability. Most pieces of running gear are subject to some level of wear-and-tear just through regular use. This wear-and-tear in combination with the occasional accidental drop, makes it vital that you choose a device that can withstand some rough handling.

The factors that will give you the best indication of durability are primarily the materials and the construction. Ideally you are looking for materials that strike a balance between being lightweight and durable. One of the most important things to look out for is the plastic that covers the actual LED lamps. You should check that this part is sturdy and resistant to cracking.

The product’s construction plays an equally important part in determining its durability. If possible, take a look at how the product is put together: are all screws securely fastened? The construction is especially important if your device features a clip-on design since these are prone to break upon falling.

Another great way to establish durability is simply to read up what other users have to say about the product. While these devices will certainly not last forever, some research and smart shopping can certainly help you to choose wisely.

Weather Resistance

Since these products will be used primarily outside it is vital that they do feature some sort of protection against the elements. Not only will weather resistance increase your product’s lifespan, but a product with no weather resistance could also be potentially dangerous once it is used in rainy weather.

A product’s weather resistance will be determined by the materials its made from, its construction, and added coatings that could potentially boost its overall resistance.

Before determining your product, it is important to understand the difference in the several types of weather resistance. Weather resistance typically means that the product can withstand mild weather conditions such as humidity, extreme hot or cold temperature, and other mild conditions.

While this does help to protect the product, it would be insufficient for someone who is frequently exposed to extreme hail and rain storms. These kinds of individuals may likely prefer a device that is weather-proof. These devices have been optimized to withstand harsh conditions and will continue to operate as a light source despite the weather.

Your ideal product will be largely dependent on your area and its climate. While you should never try to push your product to the limit in terms of its weather resistance, it is a crucial factor to ensure that your product has some level of protection.

10 Best Running Lights

1. Petzl Tacktikka

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.95
Petzl Tacktikka
Amazon Link

The Petzl Tacktikka is a well-loved cult favorite among runners and campers alike despite its simplistic design. This svelte product uses ultra-strong LED bulbs to create up to 200 lumens of bright light. The lamp itself is attached to a soft and adjustable headband that sits securely on your head. The simplicity of this product makes it highly versatile and is ideal for other activities such as camping, spelunking, construction, and any other activity that could use a little more light.

Bright
This is perhaps one of the most effective headlamps on the market. The Tactikka uses ultra-strong LED bulbs that collectively generate up to 200 lumens of bright white light. This creates strong illuminating beams that will be ideal for any low-light activity.

Comfortable
Despite its headlamp design, the Tacktikka is lightweight enough to be hardly noticeable once you’re wearing it. The super soft headband is highly adjustable to be placed around a wide variety of objects and sits securely once fastened.

Cost and Value
While the Petzl Tacktikka is one of the more expensive products around, it’s still very affordable and definitely offers value for money. Each purchase includes the lamp and headband along with a rechargeable battery.

Amazon Link
$29.95

2. Nox Gear Tracer360

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$59.95
Nox Gear Tracer360
Amazon Link

With its bright and futuristic design, you may feel like you just stepped out of a Marvel movie instead of going for your daily run. However, the Tracer360 is one of the best modern answers to handsfree lighting on your run. This light is attached to a highly breathable vest that you can wear by itself or over your regular t-shirt. The main light is located at the back of the vest, with illuminated straps that reach over your shoulders to keep you visible at all times.

Color-changing Light
Each light has the capacity to change between 6 different eye-catching colors, including orange, blue, green, pink, purple, yellow, and red. The color can be manually determined by you, you also have the power to make the colors change at random. This will ensure that motorists spot you in any light condition.

Long Lasting Battery
While the Tracer360 uses AAA batteries instead of rechargeable batteries, they do offer a significant lifespan. A pair of batteries can last up to 40 hours, depending on use. This offers great value for money without needing to worry about regular recharging.

Cost and Value
The Tracer360 is definitely somewhat more expensive than the average product but offers plenty of great value for money. Each purchase includes the highly bright LED light that wraps around your shoulders. It also includes a high-quality, breathable vest.

Amazon Link
$59.95

3. Night Runner 270 Night Trek X Tactical

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Night Runner 270 Night Trek X Tactical
Amazon Link

This pair of highly practical lights is perhaps one of the most effective recent innovations in runner safety. Unlike most other lights that get attached to your arm or head, the X Tactical is easy to clip-on to your shoes and provides an immensely strong light to improve your visibility. Each pair of lights is highly durable and weather resistant, has a long-lasting battery life, uses 2 ultra-light LED lamps per light and is incredibly easy to use.

Weather Proof
You may be wary to place these lights on your shoes in muddy conditions, however, the X Tactical was built to last. Made from highly durable and high-quality materials, this product is incredibly safe to use in rainy conditions, and can easily withstand even harsh weather conditions.

Rechargeable Battery
The X Tactical comes equipped with rechargeable batteries that charge via a micro USB cable. Recharging only takes a few hours and gives you a battery life that will last up to 5 hours depending on use.

Cost and Value
Compared to other products, the X Tactical is somewhat more expensive than the average price. However, each purchase includes two lights with a sturdy build that will definitely withstand tough weather conditions.

Amazon Link

4. Foxelli Headlamp

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$9.97
Foxelli Headlamp
Amazon Link

With its sporty design and highly bright illumination, the Foxelli headlamp is great for runners and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Each product high-quality Cree LED lamps that give you a beam of around 200 feet. The rest of the product is durable and weatherproof while being so lightweight that you hardly notice it. It runs with AAA batteries that can give you a battery life of up to 45 hours depending on use.

Bright
The focus of the Foxelli is really on the brightness of the lamp, which really is the most important thing when it comes to runner safety. This product utilizes Cree-3W LED bulbs that ensures a highly bright illumination that stretches over 200 feet.

Lightweight
Many runners may find headlamps irksome due to the fact that they could be heavy and distracting during running. However, the Foxelli only weighs 3.2 ounces even with batteries and has a soft wraparound band that sits securely during your run.

Cost and Value
The Foxelli headlamp is one of the most cost-effective options which makes it great for novice runners. Each purchase includes the headlamp with the attached band. While you do have to use AAA batteries, they last up to 45 hours.

Amazon Link
$9.97

5. Higo Slap Armband

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Higo Slap Armband
Amazon Link

Another innovative solution to hands-free runner illumination is undeniable the Higo Slap Armband. This unique patented design features a single long ultra-bright LED light that is available in different colors. This light then easily bends and attaches at the ends to create an armband around your arm. This is a product with a bunch of utility. You can slap it around your wrist before your run, or even use it on your kids at night on camping trips.

Patented Design
This thoughtfully designed product is effective and sheer fun to use. It is entirely constructed from eco-friendly materials and consists of a single long LED tube light. You can then slap this around your wrist in order to attach it.

Versatile
This armband offers plenty bang for your buck in terms of its utility. Yes, you can use it on your run, but you can use it for so much more. You can easily slap the armband around your dog’s collar for nightly walks, or your kids’ arms to keep them in sight.

Cost and Value
The armband is very modestly priced especially in comparison with other hands-free devices. Each purchase includes one armband as well as batteries. The battery life is long lasting and the device itself does feature a rugged design to withstand rainy weather.

Amazon Link

6. Lone Wolf Active Clip-On

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Lone Wolf Active Clip-On
Amazon Link

Lone Wolf Active introduced a method of hands-free lighting that seems deceptively simple. This product features a bright LED light that is housed in a durable silicone cover that you can simply clip on to your running gear. The housing is weather resistant and light enough to be clipped on to your t-shirt without impeding your run. This unique design makes it suited for a wide variety of activities besides your daily run.

Bright
A single product includes 9 LED lamps that create a total of 150 lumens. The creates an immensely strong beam which will definitely illuminate your path and ensure that motorists easily see you.

Durable
The housing is made from durable silicone that create an overall robust product. The silicone cover gives adequate protection against slips and falls and gives protection against rainy weather and any dust or mud that might affect it.

Cost and Value
The Clip-On is definitely cost-effective especially if you consider the value of the overall product. Each purchase includes the actual light, rechargeable batteries, and is protected by a lifetime guarantee.

Amazon Link

7. Sport2People Running Belt

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$14.97
Sport2People Running Belt
Amazon Link

This unique belt is perhaps one of the most practical answers to running illumination out there. This product features the traditional design of the fanny pack but with the added benefit of an ultra-bright LED light that is attached to the front to ensure your visibility throughout your workout. Each product is made from water-resistant fabric and includes pockets for your valuables.

Practical
The Running Belt is undeniably handy, especially for runners who hate keeping their keys or phone in their hands. Each belt has two handy pockets at the front that allows you to store the essentials such as your phone and keys and thanks to the water-resistant fabric, your valuables will be safe at all times.

Hands-Free
One of the major advantages of the running belt is that it allows you to truly focus on your run. The product is vastly secured to your waist using a soft band that sits securely. This will allow you to focus on your run and not be distracted by your gear.

Cost and Value
The Running Belt is very modestly priced if you consider what you get. Each purchase includes the complete belt with front pockets and ultra-bright LED light as well as rechargeable batteries.

Amazon Link
$14.97

8. Lighting Ever Headlamp

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$9.99
Lighting Ever Headlamp
Amazon Link

This nifty headlamp from Lighting Ever is ideal for the runner who wants more out of their product. This headlamp features 4 lighting modes, including a red flashing mode, it is water resistant and features a lightweight design. Thanks to the strap that wraps around the head as well as across, your product will stay in place. One of the best features of this product is perhaps its versatility, its ideal to use for running, camping, fishing, reading, etc.

Different Lighting Modes
Unlike most other products, this product spoils you for choice and offers up to 4 lighting modes to suit your activity. This also includes a red flashing mode. This feature allows you to tailor your lighting experience that could enhance your performance.

Versatile
Novice runners especially may prefer products that can be used in a wide variety of settings. This is where the Lighting Ever truly stands out. It is versatile enough to use for running, cycling, camping, construction work, fishing, and many more activities.

Cost and Value
Despite its vast utility, the Lighting Ever Headlamp is one of the most cost-effective products currently available. Each purchase includes the LED lamp with the attached band. While it does require AAA batteries, the product is light on battery use.

Amazon Link
$9.99

9. Apace Vision Safety Light

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$17.97
Apace Vision Safety Light
Amazon Link

These nifty little products are sure to be a favorite thanks to their slim design and lighting powers. They are small and lightweight enough to easily clip onto your clothes and stays securely put. They are water-resistant and can be used in mild rainy conditions with ease. Each product comes with rechargeable batteries that can last up to 100 hours depending on use.

Long-Lasting Battery
This product from Apace Vision boasts perhaps the longest battery life. Each product comes with two sets of rechargeable batteries that can last up to 100 hours depending on use.

Accessories
Each purchase comes with a lot of added accessories that definitely increases this product’s value for money. Each purchase includes two lights, a mini screwdriver, 4 batteries, and 3 velcro straps.

Cost and Value
Compared to other products, the Apace Vision is certainly well-priced. However, this product offers immense value for money in terms of the sheer amount of included accessories. Each purchase includes two lights, three velcro straps, four batteries, and a mini screwdriver.

Amazon Link
$17.97

10. Boldbrite Headlamp

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Boldbrite Headlamp
Amazon Link

The simplistic yet highly comfortable product from Boldbrite will surely enhance your daily run and make it much safer. Each product contains LED bulbs that collectively create up to 120 lumens. The entire product has been optimized to be lightweight and is barely noticeable once you're wearing it. The wraparound band is somewhat broader than the average product which ensures that it sits more securely and gives you a more comfortable feel.

Comfortable
The entire product only weighs 2.4 ounces which makes it hardly noticeable on your head. Moreover, the strap itself is made from ultra-soft fabric that secures the product in place. The strap itself also contains reflective material to make sure that you remain visible.

Weather Resistant
Designed to be rugged, the Boldbrite can certainly withstand the elements. The strap dries quickly once saturated with water, while the lamp itself has been optimized to be entirely safe to use in rainy weather.

Cost and Value
Compared to other products, the Boldbrite is moderately priced. Each purchase includes the actual product, optimized wraparound band, and 3 AAA batteries. Moreover, each product is protected by a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Karen Janos, 7 Safety Tips for Running in the Dark, ACTIVE
  2. Julia Layton, How LED Light Bulbs Work, How Stuff Works
  3. Nick Morgan , Morning, Noon or Night?, Runner's World