If there is one reason to strap on running lights when you are out for an early morning, early evening, or a pitch-black night, besides being able to see obvious dangers such as a pothole, a board with a nail threatening your safety, or vicious dogs that come at you from nowhere, there is another huge incentive for adding running lights to your gear.
And that is, being seen by traffic. Each year, over 6,000 people are killed as pedestrians each year, and thousands more are injured. And quite often, those deaths or injuries come to runners.
What is a running light?
In essence, any illuminating device that warns drivers of a jogger or runner on the streets is considered a running light. Even an ordinary flashlight can be called a running light, although a flashlight is not ideal because it tends to wobble all over, is difficult to carry, and a flashlight tends to break your stride.
Consequently, most runners do not rely on a flashlight. A running headlight, worn around your head is one of the most common types of running lights. A running headlight tends to be very lightweight, and thus makes running with a running light easy. Many runners have different ideas, however. One frequent design is for the runner to strap on a pair of running lights on his or her knuckles. Another popular design is to have running lights built into a running vest or a running waistband. Still another design that is popular is to have running lights as clip onto a runner's shoes.
Naturally, whatever type of running light you wear, it should be rechargeable. Without it being rechargeable, you'll burn up a lot of batteries. A big part of choosing which type of light for runners you'll want to purchase is whether you worry more about seeing obstacles in front of you or being visible to traffic is your greatest concern. It's quite one thing for runners to be seen by the drivers of other vehicles than it is for runners to identify obstacles in the street.
Generally, for avoiding traffic, you'll want running lights that hover as far up on your body as possible. But if you want most to see below you, towards your feet, your running lights would be lower on your body. Almost every type of running light and running waistband is rechargeable with a USB connection, so be sure whichever version you choose it is USB rechargeable.
Top Rated Running Lights in May 2021
Rating is 5 out of 5
Noxgear Tracer360 Visibility Vest (Small)
- ALL THE COLORS IN ONE VEST – Change between 6 super bright solid colors - Red, Blue, Purple, Pink, Green, and Orange AND 5 eye catching multicolor flashing modes – Our special illumination modes are based on visual science to give visibility to you and warning to motorists. Modes are easily selectable at the press of a button, easy to access if you're walking, running, playing ultimate frisbee, riding a horse, or even riding a motorcycle.
- TRUE 360 DEGREE ILLUMINATION, REFLECTIVITY, & FLUORESCENCE – Unlike other reflective running vests and hi viz cycling gear, our flexible fiber optic cables, and 3M reflector chest belts actively keep you safe by alerting distracted drivers and traffic before their headlights are on you. The unique X shape of the led lights guarantees a larger visibility area, illuminating both sides of the body and making you visible from over a quarter mile in any direction.
- LIGHTWEIGHT, BREATHABLE, & EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE – If it’s for a short jog in the morning with the kids, walking your dogs in the evening, or an all night solo ride, at only 6.5 oz – you’ll forget you’re wearing it. Using High Quality Sports Mesh and elastic makes the Tracer360 Sweat Resistant, Chafe-free, comfy to wear. The slim, minimalist design ensures minimal fabric-to-body contact, less sweat-trapping, and helps it not interfere with your HRM (heart rate monitor.)
- HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE - WEAR IT ANYTIME OF YEAR – Expand it to fit over your cold weather coat or jacket or adjust it down to fit more snug on t-shirts or singlets during those hot summer night activities. Experience a perfect fit and zero bounce, no matter the season or clothes, Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter, the Tracer360 will go as long as you do, even rain and snow won't slow you down with the water resistant design.
Rating is 4.9 out of 5
Running Light, 2Pack Reflective Safety Light for Runners, USB Rechargeable LED Light, Clip On Running Lights with Runners and Joggers for Camping, Hiking, Running, Jogging, Outdoor Adventure
- 💡HIGH BRIGHT - Up to 150 lumens brightness light with 4 lighting modes meet your different demands of light. Suitable for running, walking, hiking, camping etc.
- 💡EASY TO USE - This running light has 4 setting modes 100% Brightness, 50% Brightness,30% Brightness and 100% COB on, they are accessible by just one click.
- 💡SUPER CONVENIENT - You can clip anywhere on your hat, pocket, running belt, travel bag belt, running vest, and so on. Working time last 4-8hours.
- 💡USB RECHARGEABLE - Rechargeable with any USB outlet. No charging cable needed. Much more convenient and environmental.
Rating is 4.8 out of 5
Apace Vision LED Safety Light (2 Pack) with Bonus Items - Clip On Strobe/Running Lights for Runners, Dogs, Bikes, Walking and More, Green
- ✔ NEW BONUSES ADDED: Includes 4 extra CR2032 batteries (2 sets), 2 short hook and loop fasteners (for mounting the lights to dog collars, leashes, bikes, strollers, and more), 1 long and ELASTIC strap (15.8 inches long) for ankles / wrists / arms etc, and a mini-screwdriver for a hassle-free battery replacement process.
- ✔ EASY TO USE: Clips on easily. Stays on securely. Hook the lights onto your belt, pockets, running gear, reflective vest / belt, backpack / helmet, dog collars/leashes, or anywhere else on your clothing.
- ✔ VERSATILE: Whether you enjoy running, walking, cycling, or just taking a peaceful stroll with your dog at night, these ultra-bright safety lights will keep you safe and secure - a mandatory piece of safety equipment for any low-light activity and a great addition to your outdoor- or reflective gear.
- ✔ WEATHER RESISTANT: Rain or shine, summer or winter -- any weather condition, any time -- enjoy enhanced visibility and comfort knowing you'll be safe and secure at any time of the day.
Rating is 4.7 out of 5
Zenoplige Night Running Lights, USB Rechargeable LED Chest Light with Safety Warning Lamp, Waterproof Running Gear for Runners Outdoor, Walking, Running, Camping, Jogging, Hiking
- 【3 LIGHTING MODES】Zenoplige chest running light can freely switch the high , low beam, strobe mode by pressing the ON/OFF button. It adopts a 3W high-power imported XPG lamp, and 8 red LEDs on the rear to indicate the remaining power and safety warning. The night lights light up the path ahead of you up to 30 meters at night, allowing you to see the road conditions ahead clearly.
- 【COFORTABLE ELASTIC STRAP】Zenoplige LED running lamp weighs only 160g (0.35 pounds). Lightweight and adjustable elastic belt will not slip off your shoulders when running. Buckle fastener is easy to put on and take off, and it’s also very bright and comfortable to wear.
- 【USB RECHARGEABLE】Built-in 1200mA battery, which can be charged via PC, power bank and AC adapter (charging voltage: 3.7-4.5V). With just 5 hours charge, Zenoplige night sports light can provide up to 3-5 hours of continuous light. Equipped with a low battery indicator to remind you to charge in time.
- 【IP65 WATERPROOF DESIGH】Water-resistant designed perfectly for outdoor activities, night running, hiking, fishing, walking the dog, etc. Hands-free night running light helps you walk in the dark more safely and clearly, providing you with all-round protection.
- 【GIFTS FOR JOGGERS】The running gear lights are perfect night running accessories, which can be used as running lights, jogging lights, walking lights, etc. in the early morning or dark night. Not just for joggers or runners, walking lights are a versatile and useful option for both home and outdoor use.
Rating is 4.6 out of 5
OMKHE Running Light for Runners (2 Pack) Rechargeable LED Armband Reflective Running Gear, LED Light Up Band for Joggers Bikers Walkers(Blue)
- BE SEEN, BE SAFE - Powered with small button battery, this LED Slap band provides ultra-high visibility in dusk and nighttime activities. Keep you safe at night when do outdoor activitis, such as running, jogging, cycling & hiking.
- RECHARGEABLE - Except the ensure the led armband works well, this running reflectors improve the battery in rechargeable design. 2 hours charging, 3-5 hours working. Practicable, User-friendly and save money.
- LIGHTWEIGHT & EASY WEAR - Only 25g. The armband is lightweight to be used for wearer of all ages. Velco design for easy use. It would not give you any burden even in long time wear. Happy wearing, feel nothing.
- ADJUSTABLE - Size adjust from 11"-14", just adjust it fit you need.
Rating is 4.5 out of 5
GOANDO Running Lights Safety Jogging LED Light for Runners and Joggers High Visibility Reflective Running Gear with USB Charging Line and Strong Magnetic Clip for Night Running Walking Camping Hiking
- 💡Running lights: Weatherproof and high bright white led running light. It is strong enough to light your path even when off the normal road, as well as ensure that others will see you hundreds of meters away. This running light come with silicone cover provides protection from dirt and water.
- 💡Nighting running lights with strong magnetic, it can be clipped to your hat, pocket, running belt, travel bag belt, running vest and so on. Attach also to any magnetic surface and use as working light.
- 💡Running light with USB charging,charging time: 50 minutes,no batteries required! This safety running light is rechargeable via USB port with any device like a laptop or mobile using the cable provided. Much more convenient and environmental.
- 💡Safety jogging led light,it is easy to use. It has 4 setting modes:full white brightness, half white brightness, red brightness and red LED strobe. Gently click the power button to switch modes!
Rating is 4.4 out of 5
Emmabin [4 Pack LED Slap Armband Lights Glow Band for Running, Replaceable Battery - 4 Modes (Always Bright/Quick Flashing/Slow Flashing/Off), 35cm Glow Bracelets with 4Pcs (Mode: EB-AB4X35)
- There are four armbands in one pack.You can get 4 different colors via one purchase (Orange-Armband, Green-Armband, Pink-Armband, Blue-Armband). Price is quite reasonable for DOUBLE safety.
- ONE SIZE FITS ALL: The dimension of Emmabin LED Armband is 4cm x 35cm, it fits on both adult and children, men and women, by simply slap wrap it to different position, such as wrist, ankle, and arm. If you want to use it around the biceps, please check the dimension to see if it can fit on.
- Adjustable for ANY SIZE: The elastic band makes it easy to adjust for a loose or snug fit.
- SUPER GLOWING IN THE DARK: This LED Slap band provides 360 degree ultra-high visibility in dark and nighttime activities.This provides great safety protection for you, your children or your pet from negligent and distracted drivers. You can also wear it for night activity, such as your favorite singer's concert or campfire evening party and etc
Rating is 4.3 out of 5
AVANTO Basic Chest Night Running Lights for Runners and Joggers, Running Vest Light, Lighted Led Vests for Walkers, Reflector Gear, Vest Gear, Safety Light, Alternative for Headlamp Flashlights
- 👍 FOR YOUR COMPLETE PROTECTION - Chest Running Flashlights for Runners and Walkers - All in 1 - you won't need other night running light, running safety gear or headlamps. Front and backlight, and extra reflective straps
- 👍 TESTED AND WEATHERPROOF - IPX4 water-resistant, reliable lamp. Designed for adventures, running, walking, camping, bicycle and working outdoors. We choose the best components for our lights!
- 👍 RECHARGEABLE FLASHLIGHT on any USB port. Beam adjusted 3-10m in front of you. LONG LASTING 1800MaH battery with 4 hours of use time with battery status indicator
- 👍 LIGHWEIGHT AND ADJUSTABLE SIZE for adults and works as kids flashlight for safety!
Rating is 4.2 out of 5
ANCROWN LED Reflective Running Vest, High Visibility Warning Lights for Runners, Adjustable Elastic Safety Gear Accessories for Men/Women Night Running, Walking, Cycling/Biking
- 【Super Bright】： This LED reflective vest has super bright LED lights and reflective tape, which can make you visible from 600 feet away, making you more secure.
- 【Comfortable & High-quality Materials】： This reflective running belt is made of high-quality materials. It has the characteristics of skin-friendly, comfortable and freely adjustable, suitable for men, women, and children.
- 【2 Lights & 3 Modes】： This running vest has two sides of bright LED strips with white light on one side and red light on the other, allowing you to be seen 360 degrees. Both of the two sides of LEDs have 3 modes: steady light, fast flash, slow flash. You are free to choose your preferred working mode.
- 【Replaceable Battery】： This reflective gear uses a replaceable lithium-ion button battery(CR2032), which you can easily buy in stores. NOTE: You must remove the plastic sheet between the battery and the circuit board before use.
- 【Lightweight & Versatile】： With four adjustment buckles and elastic strap, your LED reflective vest is easily worn over a T-shirt, sports gear, winter coat or any type of clothing at all seasons. Strongly enhance your safety while running, biking, dog walking, motorcycling, jogging, kids playing, directing traffic and more.
Rating is 4.1 out of 5
AVANTO Chest Running Light for Runners and Joggers with Adjustable Beam and Reflector, All in one Reflective Running Vest Gear, Safety Light, Headlamp Flashlights, USB LED Rechargeable Bicycle Light
- 👍 THE BEST HANDSFREE FLASHLIGHT - All in 1 - you won't need other reflective gear or headlamps. Front and backlight, and reflectors on straps
- 👍 TESTED AND WEATHERPROOF - IPX5 water-resistant, reliable lamp. Designed for adventures, running, walking, camping, bicycle and working outdoors
- 👍 RECHARGEABLE FLASHLIGHT on any USB port. LONG LASTING battery with 5 hours of use time. Includes battery status indicator
- 👍 ADJUSTABLE LIGHT BEAM - aim the light to the up and down direction as you need it. Adjustable size for adults and works as kids flashlight for safety!
Rating is 4 out of 5
HOKOILN Outdoor Night Running Lights, 2Pack LED Running Lights for Runners with Rechargeable Battery for Camping, Hiking, Running, Jogging, Outdoor Adventure
- 💡HIGH BRIGHT: 200 lumens of bright white LED light, strong enough to light your path in the dark, as well as ensure that others will see you hundreds of meters away.
- 💡EASY TO USE: This safety light has 3 setting modes 100% Brightness, 50% Brightness and Red LED strobe, they are accessible by just one click.
- 💡SUPER CONVENIENT WITH STRONG MAGNETIC: Keep your hands free with magnetic clip light. Our magnetic clip can be clipped to your hat, pocket, running belt, travel bag belt, running vest, dog collar and so on. Attach also to any magnetic surface and use as working light.
- 💡USB RECHARGEABLE: USB charging, no batteries required! Our safety light is rechargeable via USB port with any device like a laptop or mobile using the cable provided. Much more convenient and environmental.
- 💡IPX4 WATER PROOF: Usable under any weather condition. Silicone cover provides protection from dirt and water.
Rating is 3.9 out of 5
Knuckle Lights Colors - Running Light for Runners, Joggers, Dog Walking, Camping & Hiking. Unique LED Flashlight as an Alternative to Headlamps. A Great Addition to Your Night Reflective Running Gear
- THE BEST PIECE OF SAFETY GEAR to illuminate your early morning, evening or nighttime outdoor activities in the dark: Safely navigate the darkest city streets, trail, hiking path & at the campsite with 120 super bright lumens
- THE QUICKEST & EASIEST OPTION for your run, jog, biking & cycling, or taking dogs for a walk—simply grab them and go! Compare: we outperform headlights, headlamps, clip on products & other wearable hand held flash lights
- 2 LIGHTS PER SET connect magnetically. ONE SIZE FITS ALL non-slip adjustable straps. SUPER WIDE FLOOD BEAMS emit a “no bounce” light. HIGH, LOW & BLINKING STROBE settings. WATERPROOF | BATTERIES INCLUDED
- GREAT GIFT IDEA: keep loved ones safe with our L.E.D. & night reflective gear - named top running accessories by the Wall Street Journal. Illuminating security for all your runner, jogger & pedestrian walker friends
How do daytime running lights work?
Daytime running lights are obviously to keep you being seen by cars, trucks and motorcycles, rather than illuminated your feet below. Some daytime running lights are nothing more than an extension of a runner's vest with reflective tape on them. The better ones however come with blinking reflector lights in the rear and bright, illuminated headlights at the chest area. Obviously, the more reflective surfaces you have during the daytime, the easier it is for vehicles to avoid you.
Most daytime running lights have more reflective surfaces at the back of the runner rather than in the front because it is assumed that the runner will be hit by an auto from the side or behind rather than being hit by oncoming traffic.
To be perfectly honest, many people dispense with daytime running lights, but they do so at their peril. At the very least, unless you are running or jogging alone a jogging trail with no vehicular traffic whatsoever, you definitely need at a minimum a running vest.
And if you are running early in the morning (studies show the majority of runners strap on their running gear at 6 in the morning) then you should definitely be wearing your running light. The same goes for those who are running or jogging at dusk. Just because you can clearly see on the street does not mean that cars and trucks can see you.
Are running lights required
A few cities here and there may regulate and require the use of running lights for joggers or runners, particularly if there is a special jogging lane on city streets. However, for the most part running lights are completely unregulated. And even in the rare cities that may have such ordinances, they are rarely enforced. The plain fact is, that being seen is a defensive game, and most cities advise runners not to run on the streets at all. Of course, that is often unpractical advice as a jogging or running trail may be several miles away.