I know you have all been waiting on the edge of your seat for the official Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) product review of the knuckle lights since I bought them a while back. (They arrived in late September.) So here it is. I would have written sooner, but really wanted to take them on a bunch of runs to be sure I was gonna love them as a part of my running gear, and waiting a bit also enabled me to really see how long they would last on a set of fresh batteries.
Now that I have used them as running lights on more than 30 runs, and at least 3 times as hiking lights in the woods of the Smokie’s and the hills of Colorado, I feel I can properly write about them. I was pleased that the batteries lasted about 15 2+ hour runs. I am not sure how long they would have lasted for a single run if it lasted longer, but will let you know in February after the Iron Horse 100.
As many of you know I run a bunch of miles (2,200 miles in 2011), and many of these runs are at night, or start late in the day and end up in the dark before the run is done. Unfortunately I live in an area where there is high traffic and not street lights everywhere, and when cars are driving toward me I often cannot see anything. This makes for some interesting night running. There have been times when I tripped over a curb, sidewalk, debris, and once even some roadkill. So I resorted to buying a headlamp.
Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but a headlamp is truly an inconvenience to wear when running. First I needed to adjust the strap tight enough so it does not slide down my face, but lose enough so it doesn’t result in a headache. Needless to say I eventually just tied it around my hand and positioned it in such a way to use it like a flashlight. However, there were two problems with this: First, I had to twist the strap pretty tight to my fingers to be handy and cause my fingers to hurt after hours of running. And second, the strap becomes worn, and over time loses its elasticity so it basically was cutting off blood flow to your fingers to hold it in place.
After almost 2 years of running this way I saw an advertisement in Runner’s World for Knuckle Lights. It was awesome to see someone had also done the same thing I’d done with the headlamp, and decided to make a “real” light with straps to be held on your hand similar to the way I was using the headlamp. Awesome!!!
I ordered a pair of Knuckle Lights and waited for them to arrive. I could hardly wait to get them. When they arrived it was like Christmas, and I was impatient to give them a try. Of course I did a head to head comparison against my headlamp, and the Knuckle Lights were brighter, but wouldn’t you know it…I had to wait a full two weeks before the opportunity arose for me to give them a try, and loved them immediately. The handle is pretty comfortable even though it is a plastic strap. I was a little nervous about that when I first saw them, but after adjusting them to the right size for my hand I don’t even notice it on my hand.
The wide angle LED bulbs are pretty nice because the beam is not really altered by my hand movement as I run. Of course you do not get the distance you would get with a spotlight type of beam, but seeing that far is not really a concern when running. I only need to see things closer to me to prevent tripping, and I can generally see farther objects enough to know what is ahead in any way.
The package comes with two Knuckle lights and included batteries, but I generally only use one at a time. The second light really doesn’t illuminate much more than a single one will do by itself. Even while hiking with the family in deep woods a single light was more than enough for me to see with, so my wife had one while I carried the other and it worked awesome.
In February I will be using these lights while running the 2012 Iron Horse 100, and I believe they will work out wonderfully since I have thoroughly tested them since September. I recommend these to any runners, hikers, bikers, or anyone that has a need for some sort of lighting. They are priced reasonably, do not eat batteries, are comfortable to wear and use, and supply an awesome amount of light. Please go get your own.