How to choose a light for running in the dark

Running in winter comes with challenges for women who run. It’s darker in the mornings and evenings, and colder too. It’s important to have the right accessories and kit to make your winter runs safe and comfortable. We have a blog looking at 9 tips to help women runners run safely in the dark, so do check that out for some great advice. One other thing that is really important is having a good running light. This makes sure you’re visible to other pedestrians and cars, as well as helping you see where you’re running and avoid trip hazards.

There are certain things to look for when choosing the right running light for you. In this blog we explore some of the different lights you can get.

Headlamps for visibility

Wearing a headlamp when running means that not only can you be seen by oncoming traffic or pedestrians, but you can also light your path and see where you’re running. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to picking a running headlamp.

  1. Comfort – You need a headlamp that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. This means looking for a band that won’t press too much into your head or cause any pressure. Ideally, you want an adjustable or flexible band so that you can accommodate wearing a hat on colder runs.
  2. Output – The output is how bright the light is and how far it will enable you to see. What you need depends on the kinds of routes you run on. If you’re running on paths or trails with no streetlights at all, then you will want a higher output so that you can see a greater distance in front of you. If you’re running in mainly residential areas, you can opt for a slightly lower output to light your way.
  3. Battery life and charging – Make sure you check how long your new light will last for between charges/battery changes. It’s best to get one that charges via USB, as this saves you having to stock up on batteries. Battery headlamps do also tend to be heavier to accommodate the battery pack. Just make sure that your light is fully charged before heading out. If you’re running long distances in the day, be sure that the light will last enough time. The longer your runs, the bigger battery capacity you will need.
  4. Durable – You want to look for a light that is going to last. Make sure that it is waterproof for those rainy runs, and also sweatproof for when you’re working hard. It’s also best if the light is dustproof, meaning that there are no little areas where debris can work their way in and harm your light.
  5. Weight – You don’t want to carry too much on your head when you’re running, so consider the weight of the light you choose. Naturally, bigger lights will be heavier, but if you go for a light made of silicone, for example, they will feel lighter even with a high output.

KNOG does a great range of headlamps to suit all runners and their needs. For example, the Bilby has a high output of 400-lumens and offers an impressive 5-hour runtime on full power, and over 105-hours on the lowest setting. The Bandicoot offers a 40-metre range and is extremely lightweight at just 60g. The Quokka is perfect for those who don’t need a heavy-duty light for day-to-day running. It’s the lightest of the three at just 49g and offers 100 lumens, with a fast recharge time.


Lights for safety

Even if you’re running on well-lit paths, it’s still worth clipping a light on to your top or running belt to make sure you can be seen by passing traffic and other road users. You can get lights that attach to the back of your trainers too. Small strobe lights are perfect, as they flash brightly in a similar way to rear bike lights. They can be seen from a distance, giving plenty of warning to anyone approaching you on a pavement to make way. They work well as a supplementary light to a front headlamp too, making sure you can be seen from all angles.

When looking for a strobe light, you want one with a secure clip, so it won’t fall off when you’re running. You also need one with a long battery life so you can be sure it won’t run out. It’s also worth making sure your chosen light is water resistant, so it won’t power down if you get caught in the rain.

We love these small strobe clips from Nathan, which come in a choice of bright colours and are easy to secure to your kit, waistband or running belt. Plus, they are really good value and offer a powerful light.


Review: KNOG Bilby Headlamp

We asked one RMR community member to put a Knog Bilby headlamp to the test and give her honest feedback on how it worked. Over to Lisa Patient who tells us what she thinks of the running light.





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