Knucklelights Running Gear Review
By Steve Taylor
The following is a point (mfg) counter-point (Steve T.) review of the running accessory Kuncklelights.
Point: Knuckle Lights™ are worn on the front of your hands, in a perfect position to light your path and be seen by traffic.
Counter-Point: All true so long as you run with your arms bent at nearly 90 ͦ. Any angle not perpendicular to your body will result in the light being higher or lower. They are not adjustable, but more on that later. I normally run with my arms bent at this angle and find not only does oncoming traffic easily see me and move over, but they’re perfect for lighting my path.
Point: The extra-wide flood beams move with the natural motion of your arms and provide super-bright illumination to light up the entire area in front of you.
Counter-Point: Both true. The lights work well together as my arms move back and forth. Each of them is super bright at 45 lumens (90 total lumens is twice as bright as the brightest headlamp) and combined produce a flood beam vs. a spot beam 12-14 foot wide and about 10-12 feet in front of me. I find that the pathway they create sufficient for a quick stop or sudden change of direction due to an obstacle. My previous headlamp didn’t shine far enough ahead for me to suddenly stop when I ran into a fence, fell and broke my favorite headlamp.
Point: Knuckle Lights secure snugly to your hands with a comfortable silicone strap, so there is no need to grip the unit. The strap is completely adjustable to fit any size hand and will even expand to fit over gloves.
Counter-Point: Not exactly true. They do have comfortable, adjustable silicone straps that can likely fit many hand sizes including those with gloves. On my first few runs, I ran with them barehanded and found that the straps caused my hands to sweat and I felt I had to grip them to keep them from flying off. Colder, bare-handed runs and cinched straps have been much better. Runs with gloves have proven best; the silicone straps adhere nicely to different gloves and aren’t noticeable. I will continue to wear them with gloves and not worry they may come off.
I do want to note that the batteries that come with the lights are good for about 2-3 one-hour runs. I burned out one of them in two runs and the other in 3. Having used them for a little over a month now, the lights are battery hungry.
Overall Grade: B. Why a B? They get a B because: A) they are either on or off. Unlike good quality headlamps, there is no strobe or flash and there is no red light option, B) I would like to have the strap go across the palm of my hand instead of my fingers so they feel secure at all times, C) the $40 price is about equal to a good quality headlamp, but would be a better value at $30 and, D) unlike good quality headlamps, they don’t have a swivel or adjustment. In other words, the light beams cannot be adjusted.
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The Knucle Lights are pretty cool. I got a set for xmas this year and have used them a few times. My favorite use for them is when I'm bike commuting in Baltimore. The extra light and the ability to "flash" daydreaming drivers is great. I have found them cumberson with certains gloves and agree with Steve's assesment about sweaty hands. But I do think they are a good buy. I also take them out when I walk/run with my dogs at night. They help keep us vivible and help me find their poop to bag when it is really dark. I joke to my family that I was going to use them to do some late night street fighting while wearng them because they remind me of brass knuckles. Don't ask.
Having run alot at night, I would recommend the Serfas Raider 5 Headlight. It’s a bicycle headlight, it’s bloody bright!, and the rubber strap fits like a ring around your finger. The micro light sits on the top of your hand giving you the ability to still use your hands for whatever. It’s the same price or cheaper then the knucklelight so check it out at your local shop.