Best Running Lights 2022
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
Whether you are doing a Ragnar Relay Race or running late after work, running lights are necessary for safety and visibility when you run in the dark. There are two types of running lights, those that help you see the path in the dark and those that let you be seen by others.
Wearing white or bright clothing when you run in the dark is better than nothing, adding running lights or reflective gear allows drivers to see you over six times greater distance than a white T-shirt alone. Given how distracted people are nowadays with texting, talking and driving, more visibility while running is always a good thing.
Best running lights for runners to see:
- Nathan Lune Fire 250 RX Run
- Nathan Terra Fire Hand Torch 400R
- Sunlight USB
- Amphipod Versa-Light MAX
- Petzl IKO CORE Rechargeable Headlamp
Best running lights for runners to be seen by others:
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Running Light
There are a couple of things that you need to consider when picking out the best running lights.
- To see or be seen by others? Are you looking for something to light the way or to be seen by others. You may not need a bright light to see if you are running on well-lit sidewalks, but you would want to wear lights so drivers could notice you. Similarly, if you mostly run trails in the dark, you would be more concerned with seeing as opposed to being seen. We have listed some flashlights and chestlights for you to see the way, but you might also want to check out our guide to the best headlamp for runners.
- Multiple visibility points? You want to make sure you have 360 degrees of reflectivity and/or lights on so drivers and other runners can notice you in any direction. It is also a good idea to place a light or reflective piece on a moving part of your body, like your arm or leg, to help alert others that you are in motion.
- Flashing or solid? Similar to above, it is always a good idea to have a light on a moving part or something that flashes or strobes. This makes it so drivers know you are not a car or street light, but a moving human. Having different options helps you protect yourself better while running in the dark.
- White light or colored? White light is typically the brightest light and best if you are trying to see, but colored lights differentiate you from cars or street lights. A combination of these is the best way to go.
- Multiple sources of light? If you are running on uneven surfaces, such as trails, you may want two light sources (such as a headlamp and chest light/flashlight), this will decrease the shadows and help your depth perception.
[This is part of our Best Running Gear & Accessories Guide 2022. Check out our guides to the Best Running Headlamps and Best Reflective Vests for running for other visibility gear.]
Luna Fire 250 RX Run
The Luna Fire 250 RX Run lights up your path with 250 lumens. The comfortable, lightweight strap can be placed on your chest or waist. The removable light clips on anywhere, and you can adjust the beam upwards or downwards depending on your preference and surface. You can even take the light off and clip it to your hydration pack, jacket, shorts, or other gear. Plus, it is rechargeable, so go out and run when the sun is down.
Terra Fire Hand Torch 400 R
Whether you are walking the dog in the early hours before work or running in the woods in the middle of the night, the Terra Fire Hard Torch 400 R will be your new favorite accessory. This running specific flashlight is grip-free, water-resistant and rechargeable.
See every crack in the sidewalk with 400 lumens of crisp, clean light. This flashlight is made with everything a runner could want: an integrated 24-degree downward projection angle, so it hits perfectly on the path ahead, and a rear red strobe to alert cars and other road users of your presence from behind. With five hours of battery life on its highest mode, you can get all of your nighttime run done with the Terra Fire Hand Torch 400 R.
Clip on this affordable light wherever you want to light the way. Three super bright white LED lights blast up to 80 lumens to help you see and be seen by others. This USB rechargeable light is small but mighty—there are four different light modes that you can set it on depending on your surroundings and mood. Simple and effective, the Sunlight USB gets the job done.
Amphipod Versa-Light Max™
This bright LED light clips on anywhere to allow you to see the road. Featuring 160 lumen brightness at its max power, you can fasten it directly to your belt, bag, pack, shirt or shorts to both be visible and see the path ahead. It features six LEDS (four bright white or two red) solid beams and flashing modes in its moisture resistant case. This ultra-light clip is rechargeable and has a run time of 1.5 hours on solid, or 4.5-9 hours depending on the run mode. There is also the Amphipod Versa-Light Max Headlamp™ that comes with a headband for a more traditional headlamp.
Petzl IKO CORE Rechargeable Headlamp
Whether you want a traditional running headlamp or a necklace, the Petzl IKO CORE Rechargeable Headlamp will light up your way. With up to 500 lumens of light, your path will light up like an airport runway. This lightweight headlamp has slim LED lights in the front with the energy source in the back, so it’s balanced and super comfortable to wear. It features a rechargeable battery but can also use three AAA batteries to power it. Plus, when combined with its storage pouch, it can be used as a lantern—perfect for getting ready to run in the morning or camping.
For more headlamp options, check out our Best Running Headlamps Guide.
Amphipod Flash Dot LED and Vizlet LED Single
Add LED reflectors to anything with the Amphipod Flash Dot LED. These lightweight, high brilliance reflective discs attach to the back of your shirt, shorts, jacket, hydration vest, or wherever you want to put them. They have dual magnets that make them easy to put on and take off and an easy push button to activate the flashing LED lights. Each disc uses a simple CR2032 battery. Plus, there are lots of colors and designs to choose from, so you can pick the one that suits your personality.
The Nathan Strobelight gives you a slim, lightweight and waterproof way to light up at night. Each strobe light has three LED lights that give 8+ lumens of light. There are numerous settings for both solid or strobe beams so you light up like a Christmas tree on your run. These easily clip to your running clothes and gear, to provide visibility to other road users. Each strobe light gives 100+ hours of illumination for you to stay visible when it's dark.
Amphipod Xinglet Optic Beam Rechargeable Vest
The Amphipod Xinglet Optic Beam Rechargeable Vest helps you run safely in the dark with its 360 degrees of LED illumination and reflectivity. This lightweight, fully adjustable running vest can be thrown over any clothes to help keep you safe at night.
It comes in different colors and has three different light modes depending on your conditions. The USB rechargeable vest has a battery life of five hours when flashing and three hours on solid. For more reflective vests, check out our best reflective vests for running guide.
Nathan Lightbender RX
This versatile armband allows you to be seen while on the run with its changing color, blinking or steady light patterns. You can switch between red, green and blue lights depending on your situation (or mood). The armband is comfortable, durable, sweatproof, waterproof and chafe-free. Thanks to its lightweight design, the Nathan Lightbender RX is easy to keep in your running bag or car for evening or early morning runs.
How We Picked the Best Running Lights
With more than 45 years of experience, Fleet Feet is the expert in running. What makes the ideal running lights for a runner comes down to the personal experience, goals, running surface, preferences and style of that runner. At Fleet Feet, we have been helping runners pick out the right gear for decades and want to pass that knowledge on to you.
We use a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, seasonal trends and our own top-seller lists to pick out the best running lights. With all that in mind, we picked gear that lived up to our personal (and professional) expectations and we think they will live up to yours as well.
Standing Behind Our Picks
We picked the best running lights based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy any gear from us and you don’t love the way it looks, fits or performs, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.
Plus, we offer free shipping on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer.
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