Back when I first started running in January of this year, it was dark – Oregon winters are not the best time for runners. It was dark in the mornings and dark in the evenings. Since I run alone 99% of the time, I was leery of running outside without some sort of light. Not knowing much about running gear back then, I tried what I could find – a flashlight (too hard to hold), lighted bracelets (not bright enough) and finally settled on a headlamp – not on my head (because I mean, not very stylish!) but wrapped around my wrist. It didn’t provide the best light since it swung on my wrist but it was enough for me to not trip on something and cars could at least see me. Had I know that a product like Knuckle Lights existed then, I would have picked up one right away!
Knuckle Lights was founded here in West Linn, Oregon, in 2011 when the founder, Dan Hopkins, decided to train for a half marathon in early 2010. He experimented with the same options that I did when running in the dark until he actually came up with the Knuckle Lights product. At least I know I’m not the only one to do that with a headlamp! There have been several version of Knuckle Lights since that time. The ones that I had the privilege of testing were the Knuckle Lights Colors in a light blue – a very fun and happy color!
The Knuckle Lights come as a set of two that are connected to each other magnetically – a very good thing because knowing me, I’d lose one somewhere! These are the AA battery powered ones (they have a rechargeable USB version as well) and batteries are provided. Although they may be compact, these lights are bright at 120 lumens each and there are 3 settings – high, low and blinking. All settings provide a wide beam of light. They are also waterproof, can operate in temperatures to -20 degree Celsius and come with a 5 year warranty. The lights are held on to you by soft and adjustable silicon straps and weigh less than 3 ounces each.
I tested these out on a 3 mile and 6 mile run on my usual routes through my neighborhoods. First, I found the straps soft and the entire product comfortable to use, although, it took me a few times to get adjusting the straps figured out. Once I did, it was still a little bit complicated to make sure that they were secure and I certainly wouldn’t want to have to try to adjust them in the dark, so definitely do the straps before you head out!
Since these lights go around your knuckles, it makes you run with your hands in outward fists. Not that that is a bad way to run, but I run with my hands flat open sideways or slightly curled in, so it was a change to my running form that I had to get used to. When running as intended with these lights, it certainly did provide ample lighting straight ahead and around me and the lighted section stayed steady even with my arms swinging around. I was a little concerned that the lights might make me dizzy from possible uneven lighting, but I had no problems with that at all since the light was focused ahead at all times, even on the blinking setting. I would say it lit my path a good 10-20 feet which was great to be able to see where I was going in the dark!
I generally do not like to carry anything in my hands when I run either, but since these were lightweight enough, I didn’t really mind. On the 6 mile run, I tried just running with one and as expected, it is much better with both. I also tried running with them both on one hand, but again, I think that two handed approach is the way to go for the best light. As mentioned before, these lights are very bright and I had to be careful to not blind people who were just walking by me or driving by me as I checked my Fitbit watch.
Overall, I think that Knuckle Lights are a fantastic product and I like that they are a local company. I will certainly be using them as I train through the fall and winter months this year in the dark! No more headlamp wrapped around my wrist for me, now that I have these great compact lights to use. As Knuckle Lights slogan says, I will definitely SEE AND BE SEEN!
Company: Knuckle Lights
Product: Knuckle Lights Colors
Thank you to Knuckle Lights for providing us with a sample. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.