Disclaimer: I contacted Knuckle Lights and received this product in exchange for a fair review.
When I trained for my first half marathon in 2014, I accumulated many new pieces of gear. Some pieces are only briefly used before deciding they were too awkward or unnecessary, while other pieces of gear and technology quickly became indispensable for my training. The original Knuckle Lights have remained a key piece of gear for my running in the dark since the fall of 2014 – and will remain a staple for years to come, especially with the new rechargeable lights.
In Seattle, the sun doesn’t rise until nearly 8 AM during the winter months – so I rely on Knuckle Lights not just to see, but also to be seen by drivers and cyclists. I mentioned Knuckle Lights in a post a couple months ago about my favorite fall running gear, and they become even more important for winter running. I almost always prefer running outside to the treadmill, even when it’s dark, and Knuckle Lights allow me to safely and comfortably run outside.
Whenever I share gear on the blog, whether it’s sponsored or not, I always chose products that I believe will help you train smarter and safer. Many of my coaching clients ask about running in the dark this time of year, and I know many of you readers have the same question on your minds – and based on my experience, the new Rechargeable Knuckle Lights will light your path and keep you visible while running in the dark, without altering your gait or being annoying to hold.
The Rechargeable Knuckle Lights are sleek, lightweight, and comfortable to carry, whether you are running 3 miles or 20 miles. Both Ryan and I tested these on multiple runs and from the first run we were impressed with the ergonomic design.
The lights are easy to turn on and adjust to the different setting (high, low, and blinking), even with winter gloves on your hands. The responsive button for the light is located at the top, so you can easily click it with your thumb.
The two lights connect together with magnets, meaning you can double up on them comfortably for very dark runs (especially convenient if you have mace or something else in one hand) and store them easily without misplacing one.
The only part of the design that could be improved was the band of the Knuckle Lights. In plain light, it’s easy to adjust and secure the strap, but if you need to adjust the size of the strap while out running in the dark, it can be a bit difficult to secure. This isn’t a major issue, however.
My favorite feature of these Knuckle Lights is the included USB dock. I don’t know about you, but I rarely have batteries on hand – and I prefer rechargeable tech for environmental reasons. The Knuckle Lights are rechargeable – so you can pop them on the dock once per week or after every run to ensure that your path will always be lit on each run.
A full battery charge provides 4 hours of running on high power, 8 hours on low power, and 14 hours on blinking. For most road runners, this means you will not run out of power during a run. For trail/ultra runners, you will want to use the low power or blinking setting, or use only one light at once and carry the other for back-up.
Brightness & Function:
The Rechargeable Knuckle Lights produce 280 lumens (140 per individual light), which is three times brighter than the 90 lumens (45 per light) that the original Knuckle Lights delivers. The original Knuckle Lights provided enough light for illuminating the path, but when Ryan would run at night he would opt for a headlamp instead.
Thankfully, the new Knuckle Lights eliminate the need for a cumbersome headlamp – and therefore eliminated neck discomfort and suboptimal form on dark runs. The new Knuckle Lights are brighter than the headlamp, especially when combined – we even plan on taking these on backpacking trips in summer, when we need lights for nighttime in the backcountry.
These lights brightly illuminated our path, with several feet of visibility, even on segments of runs without street lamps at 5 AM (pitch black in Seattle winter). We could see icy patches on the ground and bumps in the sidewalk with these lights.
The new Knuckle Lights are also waterproof – which is what gear needs to be for living in the Seattle area! With this feature, your path will stay lit even during rainy early morning runs.
I accidentally blinded first Ryan and then myself with these lights – they are bright! You should be careful where you shine them, especially if checking your GPS watch or running with a partner.
Overall, I highly recommend the Rechargeable Knuckle Lights for runners who run during the morning or evenings during winter. They are a great small business with an ingenious product that makes running in the dark safer and more enjoyable.
Knuckle Lights are available for sale on their website and Amazon (with Prime) for $59.99 – which includes two lights, a charging dock, USB cable, and wall adapter.
Do you use Knuckle Lights or other types of lights for running in the dark?
How do you adjust for winter running?