Find the right light for your night with help from our guide.
Shorter days mean dawn and dusk runners may find themselves in the dark on daily runs. Thankfully there are lights for that—lots of them!
Headlamps give hands-free light exactly where you look. If you run with a pack, a pack-mounted design provides plenty of light on its own or can be used in addition to a headlamp for extra night brightness and a wider field of vision. If handhelds are more your thing, there are easy to carry designs that trump older flashlights.
For maximum safety, make sure you can be seen as well as you can see. Incorporating high visibility colors, reflective accents and flashing lights (that can be seen from behind) into your night running kit are smart ways to stay safe.
Black Diamond Sprinter
Get your night run on in this sleek and balanced design with a built-in red taillight (that can be turned off) and a top strap for a secure, no-bounce fit. It’s waterproof and USB rechargeable—plug it in for five hours to get a full charge and constant light throughout the battery life. Light settings are high, dimming and strobe, with six hours of run time and 75 lumens on high and up to 42 hours of burn time on dimming. ($70, blackdiamondequipment.com)
Energizer Headlight 6LED
With 95 lumens, a sweet price and more than eight hours of run time, this headlamp is convenient to grab when you need a brightness boost at the beginning or end of a run. It has five light modes plus a strobe setting. ($22, energizer.com)
GoMotion FUSION Backpack Light
Secure Velcro straps, redesigned for a slimmer fit, mean you can attach this light to the shoulder straps of your pack for 100 lumens of chest-height light that rotates so you can find your perfect angle. Use it on its own or in conjunction with a headlamp for maximum nighttime vision. It has high, medium and low settings, with corresponding 8, 18 and 54 hours of burn time, and two flashing red rear lights. The beam can also be set for spot or flood. Lighting is consistent throughout battery life, and a signal lets you know when batteries are running low. ($60, gomotiongear.com)
Petzl TIKKA RXP
Light up the night with 215 lumens of compact, reactive lighting that automatically adjusts output and beam pattern based upon surrounding light levels. USB rechargeable, water and cold weather resistant, the TIKKA RXP has a split strap for a no-slip fit. It can also function in a constant lighting mode. Burn time is about 2.5 hours on high and 10 hours when set on low. The battery can also be replaced with a standard battery pack for situations where recharging isn’t an option. ($95, petzl.com)
Light & Motion Solite 250 EX
If you like to switch between night running, mountain biking and general adventuring, check out this super versatile, 250-lumens package. With the included straps and mounts, the water-resistant unit can work as a headlamp, helmet light, bike light, flashlight and even a freestanding light. It even has a side lighting option for increased vision and safety. The USB rechargeable battery lasts up to four hours on high, eight hours on medium and for 10 hours on low, with consistent output. ($180, lightandmotion.com)
Nathan Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch
Nathan has applied their handheld hydration carrier know-how to a light, with an adjustable strap and barely-there carrying comfort that works for righties and lefties. A 24-degree downward light projection angle means you can light your path without getting a kink in your wrist. The USB-rechargeable torch puts out a maximum of 108 lumens with a five hour run time. Setting it to low buys you up to eight hours of run time, and it even comes with a rear-facing red LED safety light and an emergency siren. ($45, nathansports.com)
Princeton Tec Sync
An easy-to-use twist power dial lets you move between the five output settings on this maximum 90 lumens lamp. It provides up to 200 hours of light on three AAA batteries so you won’t be left in the dark on longer outings. ($30, princetontec.com)