Back when my German shepherds were young, we lived in a house across from a huge field. In the wintertime, we’d take the dogs out for nighttime walks in the snow. There’s nothing like the peaceful darkness of a winter sky. Snow provides a light background for you to see your dogs with — mostly. I remember feeling anxious once or twice during those walks when I’d lose sight of one of my dogs and call out for them. They were well trained, so they’d always return, but sometimes it would be almost a minute before I’d see the dark flash of fur running back to me over the snow.
These days, they have LED dog collars to fix problems like that! I wish I’d had one back then. It would’ve been nice, as well as kind of funny and fun, to see them bobbing around the field with their green LED collars. I wouldn’t have worried about calling my dogs back all the time because I would see exactly where they were.
Around the same time, I used to do a lot of early-morning jogging — as in 4 am early, always taking a dog with me — and while I was wearing a reflective vest, it would’ve been safer for both Bella and for me if she’d had a light-up LED collar. Something that alerted drivers to our presence before their headlights even passed over my reflective vest.
I spent several years living in places with a lot of sunlight…and then I moved to Alaska, where yes, we get lots of sunlight in the summer, but winter? We have all but four or five hours of darkness during the day. Last year, when we’d first gotten Eira, I joked that we went for a sunrise walk at 10 am and then a sunset walk at 2 pm. But it wasn’t really a joke because it was true!
Last year, I didn’t have a reflective vest for Eira, so I didn’t feel comfortable walking on dark, icy roads, often with my toddler strapped to my back. But I often took Eira out after my kid went to bed so we could enjoy nighttime walks in the snow like I used to with Bella and Clancy.
This winter, I’ll have both a reflective vest for Eira and a LED dog collar. Honestly the LED collar alone would do the trick, visibility-wise, but the more layers of protection you have for you and your dog, the better.
Eira models her LED dog collar.
Safety doesn’t have to be pricey. You can buy several different types of LED collars. Some are easier on your wallet and are also purely for walking your dog in low-visibility areas — you wouldn’t want to use the collar to attach a leash to. Other collars are sturdier. Still others are LED harnesses.
We’ll take a look at the best LED dog collars so that you can make an informed decision that’s right for you and your dogs.
BSEEN LED Dog Collar
This is the least expensive LED dog collar you can get — it’s less than a lunch for two at Taco Bell! If you need an affordable option, this is it. It’s a one-size-fits-all-dogs collar, which means you can cut it to the correct length for your dog. This takes away the need for measuring your dog’s neck, which is nice. It’s made of durable TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), so it’s water-resistant and weatherproof.
Like all good LED dog collars, this collar is rechargeable with an included USB charger. When charged at full strength, the collar gives off a 1640-foot radius of visibility for your dog. It also includes three settings: steady light, slow blink, and quick blink. After two hours of charging time, the battery should support 6-8 hours of quick-blink action, 8-10 hours of slow blink, and just 2-3 hours for steady glow. Keep that in mind before you head out on a long evening hike or ski session with your dog in the wintertime! You won’t want to keep it at the steady glow setting the whole time.
You can get this collar in green, blue, pink, and red, so there’s a color for every preference, each as bright as the last.
Illumifun LED Dog Collar
This is more like a typical collar — instead of plastic, it’s made of nylon webbing material. I really liked this aspect of the collar as I was searching for the perfect LED collar for Eira. The great thing is that it’s also very budget-friendly.
Even without the LED light turned on, this collar is bright and visible!
The durable material has a series of lights inside that’s operated by a USB rechargeable battery (the collar comes with the appropriate cord but you’ll have to provide your own wall plugin). As with the first collar, there are three options: steady, slow flash, and quick flash. Its charge time is 2 hours, but unlike the first collar, its longest-lasting flash is slow flash at 8-10 hours; second-longest is quick flash at 6-8 hours; third-longest is steady glow at 2-3 hours.
Unlike the first collar, this one features a D-ring for attaching a lead. There was one quibble I had with this collar. It has a fabric embroidered sign that signals that the on-off button is there. So I was trying to squeeze that black box covered in the fabric, thinking it would click or something. It took a second to realize that the power button was indeed on the box, but it was not a clicker-type setup. Instead, it looks like this:
The tiny white tab is the button that provides all three settings of flash, plus the “power off” setting. You can also see the USB charger port in this photo.
It’s a comfortable collar for Eira because the material is just like any other collar. The difference, of course, is that it lights up when you press the button! Watch the video below to see all the different settings in action.
Here’s a photo, too, so you can see how it glows with bright light when it’s turned on.
The photo is a little blurry because darkness + moving dog = blurry photo. And it looks like the collar has a clone in the photo, but it doesn’t! It was on the slow flash setting when I took this photo.
If you were driving on a dark street at night, you’d definitely see this blob of green light and wonder where it came from. It would make you slow down, creating safety for the dog and walker in question, before you got close enough to see the pair out walking.
I chose the large collar for Eira, and it fits well because it’s adjustable. It also comes in extra small, two sizes of small (check the measurements on the product description for details), and medium. Eira will be able to wear her large size collar during many more Alaskan winters, and I’m glad! This collar has made me start looking forward to six months of snow and night. There’s nothing like a peaceful walk in the silent, snowy world with a loving and well-illuminated dog at your side.
Illumiseen LED Dog Collar
While a little more expensive than the first two collars, this one is still relatively budget-friendly and it offers the most size options, which is important. We want ALL dogs of all sizes to be safe! The sizes for this collar are: x-x-small, x-small, small, medium, large, x-large. That’s six sizes! And the collar is adjustable, so you’ll be able to make it comfortable on your dog’s neck. Just make sure you measure before ordering.
Also, keep an eye on this product’s listing page for deals. The seller lists several promo codes you can use if you buy more than one collar. If you have several dogs of different sizes, this is the perfect collar for you. One one-hour charge gives five hours life for any setting, of which it has the same three as the other collars. It’s USB-charged, comes with a cable, and is available in six colors, including blue, red, yellow, and green.
Piccpet LED Dog Collar
Do you live in a rainy state like Seattle or Portland? If so, you know that dogs have to be walked, rain or shine. While you might have an umbrella for such occasions, do you have an LED dog collar? Or even better, a waterproof LED dog collar? If not, you need one. Rain can cause almost as much lack of visibility for cars as darkness, and seeing the flash of your dog’s waterproof LED collar will help keep you both safe. This collar has also been tested in extremely cold weather, so if the collar I got for Eira decides it’s not a fan of winter, I might have to snag this collar too. It’s also been submerged underwater to make sure it still works while wet.
Made of soft nylon webbing, this is a comfortable collar that will keep Fido safe for years to come. It’s available in small, medium, and large, and in four different colors.
Noxgear LightHound Illuminated Harness
Back when I was younger and fitter (and not yet a busy mom!), I used to run a lot. One summer in college, between my freshman and sophomore years, I decided to tackle a half-marathon. Each day I’d work all day as a hotel maid, ride my bike home, and then run six, eight, or even ten miles. I really don’t know what I was thinking! That’s too much exercise in one day, and now I have knee issues to prove it.
But Bella usually loved to join me on these runs, especially since I jogged pretty slowly to keep my stamina going. Sometimes the runs lasted into the dusky evening hours, but when you run with a dog or do a more intense activity, it’s nice to have a harness instead of a collar that yanks on their neck. An LED harness would’ve been the perfect option for Bella and me back then!
While this harness is pricier than our other options, it’s a perfect fit for any hiker who likes to stay in the mountains until dusk or sunset. You might think the road is the only place you’ll need to use an LED collar, but the truth is that you can benefit from it anywhere. Out in nature, it’ll keep you visible to hunters and even animals that might otherwise be surprised by you — an unpleasant experience for all involved!
One super neat thing about this vest is that it comes with eight colors. That’s right: every single vest has eight different colors that light it up! It’s visible from over half a mile away, made from durable, comfortable fabric, and comes with a USB charging cable. In one charge, you get twelve hours of light. It’s lightweight and totally waterproof. So much so that you can even toss it in the laundry after a muddy day on the trail.
Because of all its strengths and perks, this harness is definitely worth the price.
It might also be on Eira’s Christmas list in a couple of years when we start trying winter sports with her!
There are several wonderful options in this article. We hope you’ll pick one to keep you and your dog safe on nighttime walks. Safety is nothing to take lightly, especially if you live anywhere with cars or vehicles of any type. (Which is almost everywhere people live!) While those behind the wheel definitely hold the responsibility of driving responsibly and safely, humans make mistakes — and you don’t want those mistakes to cost any lives or cause injuries. So make it as easy for drivers as you can to see you and your dog walking at night, in a rain or snow storm, or in other low-visibility conditions.
Who knows? An LED dog collar might just save your dog’s life.