There are the days when going for a run just feels right. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. And the temperature is ideal for enjoying everything good in the world. There are also days when running conditions aren’t so favorable. Winter brings cold temperatures, longer nights and a significant drop in motivation. But, if you’re going to achieve your time or make your desired weight, it’s important you persevere, even if that means running at night. If you’re going for a run at night, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got some dependable running lights to keep you company.
From comfortable running shoes to running lights to a shirt that minimizes chafing, these handy items can be the difference between getting stuck on those humps and staying focused on your long-term goal. Another major factor, especially in the months of the year with shorter days, is ensuring you stay safe in the dark. If you’re running on roads or constantly running across crosswalks, it’s of paramount importance that people can see you. After all, a running injury is bad enough, but a vehicle-related injury could be a lot worse.
To keep you visible at night, we’ve put together the best running lights for your late evening runs. From bright lights to high visibility reflective armbands, there’s an option for every kind of runner. Plus, many of the options can double up as handy flashlights, pet illuminators or just as backups for power outages.
But before you scroll down to check out our comprehensive list, it’s worth taking a few seconds to ask yourself the following questions.
Are You Looking for Illumination for You, for Safety or Both?
Different running lights are created for different tasks. Some, like headlamps and knuckle lights, are mainly built to light your way, which means making you visible is just a handy byproduct. However, reflective vests, bracelets and straps are made with safety in mind and aim to keep you visible to other pedestrians and motorists, which is great if you’re running in a badly lit or traffic-filled environment.
Where Do You Want to Wear Your Running Light?
There are options you can wear on almost every part of your body. From your head to your feet, there’s a running light that fits the bill. This choice will mostly come down to personal preference taking into account security and comfort, as some people don’t like running with things on their heads while others may prefer it.
How Long Do You Run for?
If you’re looking to run or workout for hours and hours, you will need to make sure your running light is capable of keeping up with you. There are options that can last for several hours from a single charge. Alternatively, choose an option with replaceable rather than rechargeable batteries, so you can change them out mid-session. For short under-one-hour workouts, rechargeable options are ideal as they prevent the need to regularly buy new batteries.
Do You Run in Adverse Weather Conditions (Rain, Snow, etc.)?
If inclement weather is no obstacle for you, make sure it’s no obstacle for your running light, either. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the middle of nowhere in the cold and wet without a light. There are a number of running lights made for taking on adverse weather conditions that won’t let you down when things get cold and wet.
So, make sure you stay safe and seen when you’re out putting miles on the road, and prevent nightfall from becoming an excuse for not reaching your goals with our list of the best running lights.
1. Apace Vision LED Safety Running Lights
With over 1,500 five-star reviews from Amazon users, the Apace Vision LED Safety Light is a reliable and effective option for your running needs. The pack includes two individual lights, which can be attached to your shoes, waist or running top using the built-in clips or included velcro strap. You can also choose between three different lighting modes when you turn it on, and you’ll also have the choice of five different colors when you order your light. And there’s no need to worry about running in the rain at night as these lights are weather-resistant, too.
2. Illumiseen LED Reflective Belt
BEST 360-DEGREE LIGHTING
For a more 360-degree answer to staying visible at night, try this Illumiseen LED Reflective Belt. It’s available in three different color options and has an adjustable belt buckle that ensures a secure and comfortable fit. The belt requires no external batteries and charges via the included USB cord. From a full single charge, the belt can provide up to 20 hours of light, which it claims makes you up to 10 times more visible when compared with other reflective options.
3. Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight
BEST RUNNING HEADLAMP
At only 3.2 ounces, the Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight provides a comfortable yet effective way to illuminate your running path. The top-mounted on/off button is easily found and allows you to work through the four lighting modes, which include a red light option, too. The light is mounted on an adjustable body, meaning it’s easy to manipulate the light to point exactly where you need it. In addition, the flashlight is available in a range of different colors, so it’s possible to assign every family member their own headlamp by color.
4. BSEEN LED Flashing Reflective Armband
The BSEEN LED Sports Safety Flashing Reflective Armbands are a quick and simple answer to being seen at night. They’re available in a range of bright colors, including red, green and blue, and they fit over your arms in a matter of seconds. The adjustable bands mean they can fit on any size arm and will remain secure during physical activity. Furthermore, the included batteries have a lifespan of up to 70 hours and are a great option for those looking to illuminate their pets on walks, too.
5. Noxgear Tracer360 Illuminated Vest
With over 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the Noxgear Tracer360 Illuminated & Reflective Vest is a well-reviewed and well-loved lighting option. The advanced chest-mounted vest lets you pick from several colors for your light using the built-in LEDs and also includes numerous multicolor, flashing modes, too. The lightweight vest incorporates reflective bands to make sure you’re unmissable, and it’s also adjustable to ensure a secure fit throughout your runs.
6. Nathan LED Rechargeable Clip-On Safety Running Light
BRIGHTEST CLIP-ON LIGHT
Whether you’re attaching this clip to your waistband, your dog’s leash or a shirt, these running lights are one of the brightest ways to ensure that you’re visible at all times. Despite being tiny and lightweight, the light is very powerful. Nathan is also one of the most reliable running accessory brands, so you can rely on it in terms of durability. That being said, some users say that the battery life isn’t 30 hours as promised, so you may have to charge it more often than you’d like.
7. Black Damond Sprint 225 Headlamp
Black Diamond is a well-known outdoor gear brand, and they make a top-rated headlamp specifically designed for the needs of runners and hikers. The Sprint 225 Headlamp is one of the best running headlamps and running lights you’ll find, and it slips into your pocket when not in use. While you might be thinking of an awkward, bulky headlamp, this compact device won’t be a distraction on your nightly or morning run. It’s also rechargeable, so you won’t need to worry about dead batteries.
8. Nathan Lightbender RX Arm Band
One of the comfiest armbands out there that actually stays put, the LightBender RX offers lightweight, 360-degree visibility, with a much-needed upgrade from its predecessor – USB rechargeable batteries. This is one of the best running lights that attaches securely to your arm and lasts up to 8 hours when left on steady. It’s waterproof, sweatproof and chafe-free, providing bright LED illumination when you need it most. Buyers call it “highly visible”, and promise that the battery life is long-lasting.
9. Amphipod Swift-Clip Luminator USB Cap Headlamp
BEST FOR HAT WEARERS
If you frequently wear a cap when you go on runs, this convenient clip-on headlamp by Amphipod was designed specifically for use with hat brims. Turn your favorite hat into a headlight with this rechargeable clip-on option for low-light conditions and three different brightness modes. With a two-hour charge time, this is one of the most comfortable, barely-there running lights since you won’t even notice it’s there.
10. Mixcity LED Reflective Vest
If your #1 priority is visibility, this rechargeable LED light-up vest is a must. With an adjustable elastic waist and shoulder straps, you’re guaranteed to get a perfect fit every time. And unlike options with thinner straps, you’ll stand out in the darkness without a problem. Its under $20 price tag also makes it a fantastic starter investment for runners. Unlike other reflective vests, this one actually features a built-in LED flashlight for up to 10 times more visibility from up to 1,200 feet away.
11. Innofox Clip-On Running Lights
This two-pack of clip-on running lights is rechargeable, so you never have to worry about running out of batteries. Ideal for pet owners, one light can be clipped on a leash while the other can be clipped to bottoms or tops. With multiple brightness settings and modes, a silicone shield sits over the power button and also acts as a dimmer switch. One buyer helpfully adds, “The clip is a bit hard to fit on jackets etc. but works well placed on tops or on the pant waistline.”
12. HOKOILN Outdoor Night Running Lights
BEST CABLELESS RECHARGEABLE
This pack of HOKOILN Outdoor Night Running Lights includes two lights which can provide up to 150 lumens of bright light during runs, walks, hikes and general nighttime activity. They sport a reliable clip which means they can be attached to clothing, loops and even held comfortably without worry. You’ll also find four different lighting modes to choose from, and, when the battery runs low, they’re super easy to charge as they include a built-in USB port without the need for a charging cable in between.
13. HOKOILN Outdoor Night Running Lights
With their IPX4 waterproof rating, 200 lumens of bright white light and easy USB charging capability, it’s little wonder these HOKOILN Outdoor Night Running Lights are so popular with Amazon users. Over 85% have awarded these lights a five-star review, and they often note that the strong magnetic clips allow you to attach these lights to your belt, shirt, hat, pocket and dog collar without having to worry about them falling off. Furthermore, the pack comes with two individual lights which offer three different lighting modes.
14. Lighting EVER LE CREE LED Flashlight
This Lighting EVER LE CREE LED Flashlight is a versatile running light option. Its compact size and powerful beam make it ideal for running at night, while these handy attributes also make it a reliable choice as an independent household lighting option, too, whether that’s for emergencies or walking the dog. The flashlight is powered by three AAA batteries, and at its maximum, its beam can reach up to 492 feet. Furthermore, as it’s IPX4 rated, it’s more than capable of dealing with any unexpected downpours or spashling during your nighttime run.
15. EverBrite Five-Pack LED Headlamp
If you’re running with a group of friends or family at night and want several light sources rather than just the one, consider this EverBrite Five-Pack LED Headlamp. Each light included in the pack sports an ultra-light and compact design with a 90-degree rotatable head which offers four different lighting modes from the eight LED lighting system. The headlamps are powered by three AAA batteries. However, as the batteries are supplied, you’ll be ready to go as soon as it arrives.
16. AVANTO Chest Running Lights
BEST WEATHERPROOF CHEST LIGHT
The AVANTO Chest Running Light offers handsfree, powerful lighting for runs, walks and general activity at night. The chest-mounted light, which is adjustable, provides a strong front-facing beam for you to see what’s ahead, while the red backlighting and reflective elements ensure motorists and other pedestrians can see you from other angles. The light is also IPX5 rated, meaning you don’t have to worry about the occasional and unexpected downpour. It’s also powered by a USB rechargeable battery which can deliver up to five hours of light from a single, full charge.
17. AVANTO Clip On Running Light
BEST WEATHERPROOF LIGHT
Whether you want to clip it to your belt, pocket, shoes or even your pet’s collar, the AVANTO Clip On Running Light is a simple way to solve the problem of running at night. The light is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, making it a great option for every adventure. In addition, this running light is waterproof, weighs only two ounces and is super bright, as the central light is made up of nine individual LEDs.
18. Amphipod Versa-Light Max USB Safety Running Light
BEST FOR PETS
By incorporating a mix of LED lights into a single device, the Amphipod Versa-Light Max USB Safety Light lets you choose between red and white as well as multiple lighting modes. The compact light includes a rechargeable battery and offers between 4.5 and nine hours of constant light per charge, depending on the lighting mode used. The water-resistant safety light also includes a built-in clip with teeth to secure it in place, making this a great option for pet collars and clothing as it’s not easily shaken off.
19. Knuckle Lights LED Light for Running
BEST KNUCKLE LIGHTS
The Knuckle Lights Advanced Rechargeable LED Light for Running provides 280 lumens of light as you go and also comes with a dock for recharging your devices when they aren’t in use. The ergonomic design makes running with the lights comfortable, and their waterproof design means you never have to worry about the weather. The wide beams emitted by the lights as you run provide a comfortable running experience even on the darkest runs.
20. Night Runner 270 Shoe Lights
BEST IN-SHOE LIGHTS
After enduring what’s perhaps best described as a feeding frenzy on ABC’s Shark Tank, it was pretty clear that the Night Runner 270 Shoe Lights were the real deal. These in-shoe lights feature clips that fit into your shoe’s laces for a secure and handsfree hold to deliver up to 150 lumens of 360-degree light for your feet. They are built tough and waterproof, meaning you can train in all conditions, while the battery life allows for up to five hours use on the low setting or around two and a half hours on the highest intensity. These lights are a great, hands-free way to light your way and make yourself seen at the same time.
21. Petzl Actik Core Headlamp
The award-winning Petzl Actik Core Headlamp offers two different ways to power the device. You can use the Core USB-rechargeable battery, or, alternatively, you can use three AAA batteries if you prefer. The lightweight headlamp also lets you choose between two beam patterns and several brightness levels to ensure you get the lighting you want for your daily run. The headlamp is IXP4 rated, meaning it can take the occasional splash of water. In addition, you can use it in conjunction with mounting accessories to attach it to a cycling helmet.
22. Black Damond Storm 400 Headlamp
While unknown brands can offer some great bang for your buck, going with a more reputable company can ensure that you get the best running lights money can buy. And for under $40, we’d consider this low-profile headlamp a steal. Created by Black Diamond Equipment, this comfortable adjustable headlamp is powered by LED lights and features PowerTap Technology, which provides an instant transition between full and dimmed power. It also has a brightness memory, so you can turn it on at your preferred level of illumination without reverting back to full power each time.
Running Safety Tips to Know
One part of running safely is staying visible in poor weather conditions and in the dark, but unfortunately, muggings are also a real concern, and knowing how to defend yourself is important. To stay as safe as possible, be aware of your surroundings and take different routes. Additionally, you can try to avoid running in secluded areas at night, always carry your ID, and keep valuables hidden.
You can keep your phone out of sight and hidden with the help of armband phone holders and zippered running belts, which is more secure than a lanyard. Men can also use the zippered pockets in shorts or running tights, but it should be snug and secure.
The best self-defense weapons and personal safety alarms can also help keep you safe and are more effective than a whistle. Beyond employing a variety of self-defense tools, you can also recruit a running buddy, since there’s power in numbers. Although it’s easy to stay focused on your run, keeping this information in the back of your mind can help keep you safe.
Finally, while many people are understandably afraid of crime in their neighborhood, the greatest danger you face when running actually comes from motor vehicles. That’s why experts recommend wearing high-visibility clothing and running into the direction of traffic. The best running lights can also enhance your visibility in the dark.