The 10 Best LED Vests
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in October of 2015. There are few things in life better for your health than a long, challenging jog or bike ride. But if your busy schedule requires you to exercise in the early mornings or evenings, make sure, you stay safe with one of these high visibility LED vests, which alert drivers that you're sharing the road with them. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best led vest on Amazon.
Choosing An LED Vest For Work
A good reflective vest will catch light and will be clearly illuminated when hit by light such as that from an approaching car's headlights.
If you have ever driven down a highway or strolled down a city street, you have seen workers wearing bright safety vests. Wearing high visibility garments has become standard operating procedure for road crews, construction workers, surveyors, security personnel, and many others as well. Anyone working in an area near roadways, in proximity to construction machinery or other large equipment, or among large volumes of moving material such as one finds in a warehouse or on a dock must be able to see his or her coworkers with ease and to be seen by their associates and the public.
The easier it is to be seen, the safer you are at work. Just as daytime driving lights reduce automobile accidents on the road, high visibility belts and vests reduce the chance of injury (or worse) at worksites. A good reflective vest will catch light and will be clearly illuminated when hit by light such as that from an approaching car's headlights. But standard safety vests see greatly diminished efficacy after darkness when not caught in direct beams of light. Thus the growing popularity of LED safety vests.
LED bulbs are lightweight, bright, and energy efficient. They also produce minimal heat, thus a safety vest sporting multiple LEDs is comfortable for use in all climate conditions. Choosing the right LED vest for use in a professional setting first means considering other type of gear you have to wear. If you work in cold conditions, or you wear bulky safety gear, then a highly adjustable belt and suspender style of LED garment is ideal, as these units can easily fit over thick jackets or protective suits. While few LED vests are likely to restrict your range of motion in any marked way, these minimalist options will preserve the best freedom of movement.
However, an LED vest with more overall surface area can serve better during daytime; many safety vests are essentially the same bright "neon" vests that catch sunlight by day, simply fitted with LEDs to shine after dark. If you vary between day and night shifts, one of these vests will be your best bet, provided it works suitably with the rest of your gear. Fortunately, most LED vests are affordable enough that the responsible professional can buy more than one, thus always being able to choose the right safety gear for the situation.
The Sportsman's LED Vest
If you frequently jog, bike, or skate at night, then you have likely had your share of close calls with motorists or with other pedestrians out after dark. Unless you restrict your nocturnal exercise to brightly lit city or suburban areas, you will likely regularly find yourself in low light while in close proximity to others, with motorists presenting the largest danger.
This setup won't impact your night vision; your own eyes can help to keep you safe from threats ahead of you.
Many of the LED vests that serve the worker well won't work for the person looking to exercise safely. A loose fitting safety vest can be an annoyance as it flutters in the breeze and is jostled by your movement, and it can prove less effective as some of its LED bulbs are potentially obscured by said movement.
Other options, such as the belt and suspender style of LED vest might work well for the cyclist whose torso stays predominately still, but are not the best option for the jogger. The jarring motion inherent in running can lead many LED vests to ride up on the runner, creating chafing or simply being a frustration as the garment bounces around distractingly.
An ideal choice for a sportsman's LED vest is one that anchors around his or her chest, ensuring a secure fit that won't move during exercise. This helps keep the runner or cyclist focused and comfortable, and ensures that the safety lighting they chose stays in place and visible. It's a good idea to select an option that concentrates maximum lighting on your back and features only a bit of illumination on the front. This setup won't impact your night vision; your own eyes can help to keep you safe from threats ahead of you.
A Sobering Look At Statistics
The following statistics are both unnerving and informative; there is no denying that grim information can be gleaned through studying the reports compiled each year by agencies such as the Transportation Research Board or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it's information that motivates safe behavior.
The best way to stay safe while on your bike or on your feet is to stay alert and highly visible.
Each year, experts estimate that approximately 1,100 workers are killed in automobile accidents involving work zones. And more than 50,000 Americans are injured annually in crashes taking place in work zones. Most take place on roadways with speed limits set at 55 miles per hour or higher, where reaction time is limited (and damage worse due to the forces involved). Wearing bright, illuminated safety gear is the best way for a worker to keep himself or herself safe, as it gives the motorist a second or two more time to see the person and potentially correct their course.
The deaths and injuries among pedestrians are even more severe: more than 4,700 people on foot are killed by a vehicle in most years, and a staggering 150,000 are badly injured in many years. Many of these accidents involve people simply walking across a street on their way to work or while shopping, but a large percentage of the accidents involve joggers.
As for cyclists, as many as two percent of the fatalities involving a motor vehicle accident were people riding a bike. The best way to stay safe while on your bike or on your feet is to stay alert and highly visible.
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