Running at night is an entirely different world. You view this world through the beam of your headlamp. Running with the right light is important to staying safe, running well, limiting eye fatigue, and managing your effort. Here are some tips on choosing a lamp that will best suit your specific needs.

Tip #1: Battery location–front vs rear

Headlamps are made with either the battery pack in the back or in the front. Rear positioned battery packs distribute the weight of the headlamp on both sides of the head. This allows for much larger batteries to be used for more brightness and longer burn times. “All-in-one” headlamps, with the battery pack in the front, are normally lightweight and compact. This low-profile design makes it easy and comfortable to use for different types of activities.

Tip #2: Performance–brightness vs burntime

Running with a bright light makes it easy to see the terrain ahead, allowing you to relax and run faster. However, the brightness of a headlamp is intimately linked with the battery life. The brighter your headlamp is, the shorter the battery life. Don’t choose a lamp solely on how bright it is. Find one that also provides you with enough burntime to allow you to safely finish your run.

Note: Petzl’s REACTIVE LIGHTING technology automatically adjusts the headlamps brightness based on how dark it is around you. This type of performance extends the burntime while providing maximum brightness when it’s needed.

Tip #3: Energy source–disposable vs rechargeable

How often do you run with a headlamp? For occasional use, disposable batteries work best. They hold their charge even after not being used for long periods of time. For regular or frequent use, choose a headlamp with a rechargeable battery. These are easily charged for maximum performance before every run.

Note: Petzl’s HYBRID CONCEPT technology allows you to switch between disposable and rechargeable batteries quickly and easily with no adaptor. This versatility allows the headlamp to be used in many different ways.

Tip #4: Light settings–to see vs to be seen

On uphills, set your headlamp on a low-light setting to conserve battery life. On fast downhills, increase brightness to better see the fast approaching terrain ahead. Bring spare batteries or a backup headlamp on long runs. Use the strobe setting during semi-lit stretches so that traffic can easily spot and avoid you.