It’s easy for time to get away from us when we’re working or busy living life. Running in the dark is often the only time some of us have to go running. Early morning or late nights, when work is finished, dinner has been eaten, the kids are in bed, and you get time for what you like to do.
The best light for runners is a headlamp or other hands-free light and here at STKR, we recommend the Flexit headlamp series. Equip yourself with a durable headlamp that offers bright lighting for running at night. For your own safety as well as the safety of others on the road, pedestrians and drivers alike, you should carry a torch or headlamp when you go for a nighttime run.
As well as carrying a flashlight or wearing a headlamp while running at night, it’s a good idea to wear brighter clothing or reflective accessories so that others can see you in the dark. Running at night might be ideal for some because of time restrictions or really by preference, but that’s no reason you can’t do it safely with the right gear. Read on to find out more about which lights are good for running at night.
Do I Need a Light to Run in the Dark?
Legally, you are not required to wear a light, carry a torch, wear reflective gear, or have brighter clothing when the sun goes down. But the sad reality of our society is that 76% of pedestrian fatalities happen at night, in the dark.
More pedestrian fatalities occur in the dusk and dark hours between 6 pm and midnight than during daytime hours. Especially in the warmer seasons like summer and spring when running at night is cooler than running in the heat of the sun.
Not only are there higher pedestrian fatalities, but you are also at more risk of injury when running in the dark because you can’t see hazards and obstacles in your way. Do yourself a huge favor and consider optimal lighting for whenever you choose to run in the dark.
Here are a few tips to help improve your safety when running at night:
Wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight.
People are more likely to see you at night if you have a decent light source like a headlamp or a flashlight. Wearing a headlamp makes you noticeable by increasing your visibility to other pedestrians as well as drivers on the road who may not otherwise see you in the dark when crossing the road or a driveway.
Use pedestrian crossings.
Not to say that anyone is at fault, but don’t risk an accident by crossing over the road where there’s no crosswalk or pedestrian crossing. Sadly, speeding and running red lights, as well as stop signs, are a common occurrence, especially at night. Use the visible crossings so that you know, 100% that you have kept your safety in mind.
Run on pedestrian pathways.
Don’t run on the road. There’s really no reason you should be running on the road other than to cross safely at a designated pedestrian intersection. Run on the sidewalks and paths so that there’s less chance of road accidents from cars not seeing you.
If you are, however, running on the road if a path is not provided, you might want to check your city laws and guidelines on which side of the road it is legal to run on. In some states, you can be fined for running on the wrong side of the road.
It’s advisable that you remove distractions like earphones and headphones as well as mobile phone devices. If you feel the need to run at night, one of your senses, sight, is not as strong as it usually would be during the day. Keep your other senses, hearing, available for heightened hearing abilities so that you’re aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are someone that just can’t imagine not running with tunes, consider getting bone-induction headphones that leave your ears open to surrounding noises.
Considering the above statistics and safety guidelines, here at STKR Concepts we definitely recommend running at night with a headlamp or a flashlight. For ease and to keep your hands free, headlamps are a great option for a more convenient run at night.
The choice you make might depend on a few factors like how long you run for, what type of weather you’re running in, and the type of coverage you usually run in (forest, street, park, etc.).
Here’s a range of headlamps and flashlights from STKR Concepts that we recommend for wearing or carrying during your nightly run:
The Flexit Headlamp 2.5 is designed for comfort and durability and has a lightweight design for a light and weight-balanced fit on your head. Made with a comfortable sweat prevention foam on the inside for comfort as well as an adjustable focal spotlight.
There are LED lights on both sides of the headlamp which provide 180° floodlighting, for the enhanced visibility of your peripheral vision.
We’ve designed a rear low-level blinking red light so that anyone behind the runner can also see there is someone there. The main headlight is a solid high-powered light producing 250 lumens and up to 12 hours of runtime.
This weather-resistant headlamp is also great for other outdoor activities like camping, late-night garage work, walking, bike riding, and also for power outages so that your hands are free to work away on the problem.
Bonus, the AAA batteries come included and this stylish and practical headlamp won’t break the bank or ask you for an arm and a leg.
Our newest headlamp in store is the Flexit headlamp Pro. One step up from the Flexit headlamp 2.5 as it offers 400 more lumens than the 2.5 and has custom brightness settings versus the standard low-medium-high settings of most flashlights.
There’s a lot that this new headlamp can do so here’s what our Flexit Headlamp Pro can offer you:
A powerful 18650 Lithium-ion battery.
Red night vision, convenient for hunters, campers, and outdoor nocturnal animal watching.
An easy-to-adjust spotlight for the convenience of performing different tasks at different levels.
Easy-to-control light switches at the front of the head when needing to change into different modes.
Eliminates tunnel vision with long-distance spotlight and wide-angle floodlights.
240° ‘halo’ lighting for better visibility.
Sweat preventing foam for extra comfort around your head.
Up to 55 hours of runtime.
Safety, comfort, durability, and longevity were all taken into account when designing and creating this headlamp. For the benefit of night-time running, walking, and cycling as well as other outdoor activities like hunting and camping.
If you’re not too fond of wearing a headlamp, why not try a pocket light instead?
This lightweight and weather-resistant pocket light has a flexible head so that you can adjust and point the light towards any direction within 180° for your convenience. The Flexit Pocket Light comes in two models, a 400-lumen and a 650-lumen option.
Offering a floodlight and spotlight design for a wider reach on the light which you can use all together or choose to use separately. These pocket lights also have red flood LEDs to preserve night vision, and the regular white LEDs are dimmable for those low-level light necessities (Like reading in a tent).
If the headlamp isn’t your style, we’d recommend a light like the Flexit Pocket Light because of the easy-to-clip-on design. The dual-hinge clip can clip to thinner and thicker straps like that of a backpack.
Stopping for a quick workout in the park? Need two hands to get a campfire started? You can easily hang this pocket flashlight from a branch with its hanging hook for convenient lighting while performing other tasks. The stand-up design also has a magnet in the bottom for placing on other metal surfaces.
You can easily keep an eye on how much charge is left in the pocket light with the charge indicator on the side, then simply recharge with the provided USB charger when necessary. This USB port is also waterproof for when you’re out in the rain.
We have two Flexit Pocket Lights available at STKR Concepts which you can take a closer look at here:
For nighttime activities that require the use of going outdoors, you’ll want a bright light that provides enough light coverage for the activity being completed.
For your convenience and your budget’s sake, it might be wise to find a light that can be used for numerous activities so that you’re not left trying to find space and money for multiple different lights.
Get yourself a light, headlamp, or flashlight that provides at least over 200 lumens minimum. Lumens are what provide the intensity of the light. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
If you’re out on a night with little clouds and plenty of stars and moonlight to see, you may not need the brightest light. But for those cloud-covered, or tree-covered nights, use a brighter light for your safety and protection.
Have you considered other options for nighttime visibility? As an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll probably try to get outdoors as often as you can, no matter the time of day or the dark of night. There are, along with headlamps and flashlights, other options you could ponder if you want to start running at night or if you have already been running at night but have decided it’s time to get your safety in check.
Here is a list of options that runners can consider wearing at nighttime:
Headlamp or flashlight.
This is, as mentioned above, for higher visibility of not just what you’re doing and where you’re going but also so that others can see you clearly on the road to limit possible accidents. Seeing how many pedestrian accidents there are on the roads, your visibility should be a top priority for you.
A high-visibility reflective belt might not be the most stylish and cat-walkable option. But this belt provides others with 360° of visibility if you’re out on the road at night. It’s adjustable, lightweight, and comfortable and can be worn around the waist or like a sash from shoulder to waist across the belly and the back.
There are a few different types of high vis reflective vests that you can wear for extra visibility and safety. Full vests, belt vests, long sleeve, and short sleeve vests provide you with a wide range to choose from.
Providing a wider coverage of your body, the vest goes over your entire torso for you to confidently go out at night for a run knowing that others can see your high vis vest and not mistake you for a traffic cone.
Have you heard of or seen the little vision lights that people attach to their arms and ankles? Well, here it is. The Apace Vision Safety Lights come in 5 different colors, are small and compact as well as lightweight and that can easily strap on to your arms and ankles with a Velcro loop or by clipping on to your clothes.
These high visibility lights are eye-catching with three ultra-bright LEDs in each small device and are designed for being easy to spot in the dark which make them perfect for nighttime activities like walking, running, and cycling.
Also featuring two modes, steady as well as strobe which is easy to switch between with only one click. Depending on the mode used and how often you use it, you can get up to 96 hours of visibility time.
The packet also comes with two extra batteries as well as a mini screwdriver for the easy convenience of being able to switch the batteries when they eventually run out.
Just like the other high vis reflective accessories like the reflective belts and vests, you can get high vis reflective armbands and/or wristbands.
They’re adjustable, comfortable, can be worn on the wrists, arms, legs, or even your forehead and can be worn over clothes or straight on the skin.
The coverage isn’t great, so we’d recommend if you are interested in these smaller accessories you might want to pair them up with another visibility option listed above like the safety lights, headlamp, or vest.
You might also be interested in LED light-up bracelets that come with three flashing modes and provide very bright light for nighttime activities. This option might provide slightly more coverage than reflective wristbands.
LED Shoe reflectors
Don’t fancy wearing something on your head, carrying something in your hands? Pair up any other reflective garment with waterproof LED shoe lights that easily clip onto the heel of your shoes and is switched on with a small button on the side.
Illuminate your running feet at night so that you can be easily noticed in the dark.
Basically, knuckle lights are exactly that, lights that go on your knuckles. These lights are convenient because you just slip them on like they’re gloves. They provide you as well as others passing by with ample light coverage for your safety in the dark.
They’re easy enough to power on and are worn at the front of your hands. Although they provide a good lighting option, the movement isn’t convenient and that’s why these knuckle lights are last on our list of what runners can wear out at night to protect themselves and others and to avoid injury.
What are Running Lights?
Running lights are any type of light that you can use in the dark for running. Reflective lights as well as flashlights or headlamps that can provide you with the ability to carry out activities outside in the dark.
The above list offers a few options of what runners can wear in the dark for light coverage so that they can see ahead of them as well as so they can be seen by others out at night.
Having a visible running light at night is crucial for your safety and your confidence to avoid unnecessary injury and/or accidents.
What Color Light is Best for Walking at Night?
We recommend having brighter lights at night like a white light or LED light as others might not see lower lights or colored lights or understand what they are. Brighter lights offer you higher visibility and offer others a higher coverage of runners at night.
Anything under 200 lumens might not provide you with efficient lighting and that’s why at STKR Concepts we recommend our range of headlamps and flashlights above 200 lumens.
If your route doesn’t offer much light either from the elements or from street and house lighting, we highly recommend you have brighter running lights for your protection and wellbeing.
The best light for running at night may differ between everyone. Depending on the surroundings where you run as well as the natural light or paths available to you around your area, you may require more high visibility garments and/or a headlamp or flashlight. Keep your safety as well as the welfare of others in mind and purchase enough lighting for a positive nighttime running experience.
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.