Reflective clothing is a good start, but to be really visible when jogging at night, you’ll also need to wear a light – especially if there are patches of your run where there are no street lamps.
Your best bet is a headlamp, says fitness columnist Urs Weber from the specialist magazine Runners World, arguing that you’ll not only be seen better, but that you’ll also see things better yourself.
Parked cars and pedestrians aren’t your only potential collision, and you may easily find yourself running into a poorly illuminated cyclist, which is where a headlamp will help.
How bright does the lamp need to be?
This depends on how you’re using it and your own personal preference. Too bright for one person is still too dark for another, according to Weber. A headlamp with 100 lumen will be enough for the vast majority of people, he says.
“A good headlamp must be able to tell you, at a distance of 10 metres, whether there’s an object in the way,” says Weber. For this reason, you’ll need a light where the light isn’t focused into a small spotlight, but scattered a little.
If you often wear glasses or a cap while running, you should try on the headlamp first to see if it fits.
If you can’t wear a headlamp, there are also kinds you can wear with a strap around the hips or your chest. “One advantage of these is that you won’t shine the light straight into someone’s face,” says Weber. “That can be unpleasant with bright LED lamps.”
If you’re switching from a headlamp, the hip and chest versions will require some adjustment because the stream of light won’t come all the way from the top. “This means with larger objects, the shadows are somewhat larger,” says Weber. “But that is not a real disadvantage.”