November 15, 2013
For those that don’t run with lights in the dark, you really should! People mock my lights. They used to joke I was a miner or going camping when they saw me with me headlamp. Their mockery ended when they ran beside me and noticed the difference. Although most of the sidewalks I run on at night are lit, there are poorly lit areas too. By running with my own lights, it’s easier to see things on the ground like sidewalk imperfections, puddles or fallen branches. The lights help me see better, but are really good for making sure others, especially drivers, see me! Being visible when running at night is really important!
I used to run with headlamp but I found it moved around too much and I didn’t like the pressure it put on my head. Also, if I looked at other runners I would accidentally blind them. So, I ordered a pair of Knuckle Lights in December 2012 after seeing them advertised in Runner’s World Magazine. I have been using them diligently at night ever since.
The Knuckle Lights themselves are simple and what I would consider to be “low-tech” but high concept. Each package of Knuckle Lights comes with two identical lights. They are designed to be worn on the outside of each hand on the finger side of the knuckles. You need to ball your hands up a little so that they face forwards. Each light has an adjustable strap so that it fits most hands, and even over heavy gloves. Each light has four light-emitting diodes (LEDs). They are set in a reflective housing that kinda casts the spill light forwards. There’s a switch conveniently placed by your thumbs to switch the light between high, low, flashing and off modes.
The design is convenient and clever. I’m particularly impressed that my fingers are still free to play with my Garmin, push crosswalk signs, handle water bottles, open gel packs or high-five a fellow runner. I don’t dare “fist-bump” other runners when wearing these. But I sometimes imagine they’re like Iron Man’s repulsors that he has on his hands. I may bump my own knuckles together all macho-like before a run when wearing them…
At first, I didn’t think these lights would cast a consistent light. My arms move when I run so how can these beam light in front of me? Aren’t my arms supposed to move? Fortunately, it seems that one of my hands always seems to be aimed in the right direction, and the spill always seems to land in the right spot in front of me naturally.
|With the ambient light, they don’t look too bright.
||But in the dark, they really SHINE.
Each Knuckle Light uses two triple-A (AAA) batteries. That reduces the weight and keeps the lights small and compact. Unfortunately, AAA batteries have notoriously limited lifespans. I use the “low” mode and get about 20 hours of running from a set of batteries, which is only about 10 weeks for of night running for me. Come to think of it, operating a portable light continuously for an hour a few times a week for several weeks in the cold is pretty impressive battery life.
The only other small compliant I have is that each light is too similar to its partner. If I notice that one light is going dim and need of a battery replacement, I can’t tell which one needed battery replacement after I turn them off. I suppose I could easily remedy this by marking or labeling them myself.
I feel like I was a pioneer in using them. They were so unique and everyone wondered where I got them. Now they’ve gone mainstream. You can buy them at the Running Room today http://ca.shop.runningroom.
Running Room’s facebook site has really cool photos:
I give these Knuckle Lights two thumbs up. They’re a really bright idea. I plan to use them for a long time!