Does your dog run off during his nightly potty trip? Or maybe your nighttime walk takes you past roads without street lights.
If you are having pooch visibility problems, then an LED dog collar is exactly what you need. This light-up collar allows you to keep track of your dog in the dark, fog and snow!
At DogLab, we spent 500+ hours testing and reviewing over 21 different LED collars and other accessories, like harnesses and leashes, to find the most durable, brightest and best quality LED dog collars available.
Here are just a few of the LED accessories we reviewed:
All to answer a simple question…
Which LED collar is best for your dog?
Want the answer? Read on!
Our Top Choices
- The best LED dog collars (and alternatives)
- The LED dog collars and accessories that didn’t make the cut
- What is an LED dog collar and does your pooch need one? (and the alternatives)
- Our testing process
The best LED dog collars (and alternatives)
In our hunt to find the best, we tested and reviewed over 21 different LED dog products. It was a long journey, but eventually, we narrowed the competition to 5 winners, each great in its own way.
To start, I’m going to share the best LED collar for most dogs. From there, I make recommendations for those of you looking for something a little more specialized, such as a budget pick, a light-up harness and even a leash that glows in the dark.
Best all-around LED dog collar
|glowdoggie Classic+||98 hours (claims up to 80)||400 yards|
|glowdoggie Ultra||24 hours (claims up to 25)||900 yards|
It’s funny – sometimes you come across a product that is so well-made that it doesn’t seem fair to compare it to the competition. I’m going to be straight up with you. After reviewing the glowdoggie, all other LED collars look like toys. This LED collar outclasses all others by a long shot.
Now, the glowdoggie isn’t a dog collar in the traditional sense. It has no attachment for a leash. Instead, it’s designed to be worn in addition to a regular dog collar.
Made in Germany, this is one of the few LED dog collars that claims to be 100% waterproof. And, it worked just as well in practice. My pup, Harper, loooves water. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a lake, puddle or even snow – she will play until she is drenched from head to tail. She gave this collar a good working out!
But I decided to take it a step further. I submerged the glowdoggie in water for 24 hours. When I woke up the next morning, the LED collar was shining as brightly as the day before, even after a good dunking.
Now, I found glowdoggies’ product range a little confusing. At a glance, the difference between the different LED collars is not clear – they all look incredibly similar. All up, there are 4 different collars. Let me break them down:
1. glowdoggie Classic+ – The base model glows for up to 80 hours off a single set of batteries. Uses 2 AAA batteries. Size: 14-29 inches
2. glowdoggie Classic+ Pro – The premium model’s key difference is that it glows for up to 100 hours. Uses 2 AAA batteries. Size: 14-29 inches
3. glowdoggie Ultra – The brightest LED collar ever, glowing for up to 25 hours. It doesn’t fade as the batteries run down. Uses 2 AAA batteries. Size: 14-29 inches
4. glowdoggie Mini – A small LED collar for miniature breeds. Uses 2 AAAA batteries. Size: 10-13 inches
So, which collar is right for your pup?
The glowdoggie Classic+ is my top pick. With claims of up to 80 hours of battery life, I was able to get 98 hours off a single set of batteries. That’s over three months of one-hour walks. For visibility, it was a strong performer too. I could see the collar from over 400 yards away.
For those of you who need something brighter, grab the glowdoggie Ultra. This is the brightest glowing LED collar on the market – it’s even clearly visible during the day.
But at night time is where it really shines. On a clear night, I viewed the glowdoggie Ultra from just over half a mile away. The downside is its battery life. To power the intense shine of this collar, only expect up to 25 hours of glow time. Still, even though this is considerably shorter than the other glowdoggie collars, it glows three times as long as the nearest competing LED collar.
The glowdoggie sizing goes up inch by inch and relates to the circumference of your dog’s head. The collar slides over your dog’s head instead of clipping around the neck. Harper was a size 16, underneath all that fur she’s smaller than she looks.
Measuring is key. You want a snug fit. If the collar is loose, it can twist. And if the battery pack rotates behind your dog’s neck, it can turn itself off.
Which brings me to turning the glowdoggie LED collar on and off. There is no off button. Instead, inside the collar is a fancy motion sensor chip. When the battery pack faces downward, the light switches on. When you hang it up on a hook, with the battery pack at the top of the collar, it turns itself off.
Pretty clever, huh?
Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better. The glowdoggie comes with a 2-year warranty. Although based on the quality, I expect this to last considerably longer.
Now, all this comes at a price. And this is the only downside. At this cost, this is one LED collar that isn’t for every budget. If price is the defining factor, then check out our cheaper recommendations below. This is a premium LED collar that comes at a premium price.
But if you value quality and reliability, then there is no going past the glowdoggie. There is a reason why glowdoggie LED collars are regularly used by Rescue K-9 units in Germany, Switzerland and Austria for keeping track of dogs in the dark – any product failure in these situations could cost lives. Closer to home, the glowdoggie is approved for use by the Jefferson County Dog Search Association.
Now, it’s very likely you won’t be using your glowdoggie collar in the same extreme conditions. But it’s nice to know that this product is trusted to hold up in bucketing rain and freezing arctic conditions.
If it’s in your budget, then there is no debating it. The glowdoggie is the best LED dog collar on the market. A premium collar with incredibly bright LEDs and extended run time make this an easy winner.
Best budget LED dog collar
|5½ hours (claims up to 5)||520 yards|
The Illumiseen LED dog collar offers incredible value for your money. In the daytime, it looks like any other snap buckle dog collar. If it wasn’t for the battery pack, you could easily mistake this for any other reflective nylon dog collar.
And that’s part of its appeal. The low-profile design makes the Illumiseen one of the best looking LED collars on the market. The nylon and clasp are durable and held strong when my pup attempted to race off after a squirrel.
Even so, I would be hesitant to recommend this as an everyday dog collar – like with all LED collars, there is little reason to use them in clear weather.
Press the button, and the LED collar lights up. Of all the LED snap collars we tested, the Illumiseen offers the longest view distance. I could see the bright glow of this collar 520 yards away. Bright enough for casual walkers and joggers to spot their dog in the dark.
LED lights have three settings – always-on, slow-flash or rapid-flash. My dog happily walks alongside me, so she doesn’t run or pull. I found the flash to be annoying – it was like walking with my own doggy disco.
However, there is no denying that the flashing light gets noticed. If you walk along roads where there are no street lights, then the flashing lights might just save your pup’s life. But for me, I found myself sticking to the always-on mode.
This collar charges by a USB cable that is included in the box. Simply plug the cable into your computer or phone jack, and you are good to go. It takes an hour for a full charge, and off this, I had 5½ hours of run time – just over a week of 40-minute walks.
Unlike our top pick, the sizing is much simpler and works the same as any other adjustable dog collar.
|X-X-Small||8.6 – 11.4 inches|
|X-Small||9 – 13.7 inches|
|Small||13 – 17 inches|
|Medium||16 – 20 inches|
|Large||19 – 24 inches|
|X-Large||21.6 – 27.5 inches|
Measure your dog as you would for a regular collar. If your pup is on either end of a particular size, choosing the next size up or down will result in a more snug fit.
Each size is also available in one of six different colors:
The color of the LED collar determines how visible it is. While green was the brightest at 520 yards of visibility, red lost visibility at 320 yards. It’s nice to have the option to choose your favorite color, say pink for your Princess Yorkie, but if you just want the brightest Illumiseen collar, you can’t beat green.
This LED dog collar is weatherproof. Not waterproof. The difference is that the collar can handle some light rain or snowfall. But in a heavy downpour or if your dog decides to paddle in a creek, you’ll ruin the collar.
At the time of reviewing, the weather in Upstate New York was its usual gloomy self. I was able to test this collar both in heavy snow and drizzling rain and can happily report that on both walks, this collar didn’t short out…
The puddle we came across on our walk is a different story, though. I didn’t see it, but Harper sure did. In the blink of an eye, my water-loving pooch jumped in. She rolled around as if her only mission in life were to soak up this puddle, splashing her LED collar in the process.
As water splashed on the button and charger connection, the collar shorted, and it immediately stopped glowing. Luckily, I was able to dry the collar out, and it now works just fine. Even so, I wouldn’t rely on this because I came across plenty of feedback from buyers stating that their LED collar never worked the same after it got wet. So, keep it dry!
It is also worth mentioning that the battery pack cannot be removed. It is permanently attached to the collar. Which brings me to one of the few gripes I have about this LED collar – it can only be spot cleaned. Fortunately, a quick wipe down with a damp sponge after each walk kept the Illumiseen LED collar looking good as new.
For the price, you won’t come across a better LED collar. With its fast charging, bright LEDs and durable nylon strap, this is a great LED collar at a budget price. Highly recommended.
Best LED dog harness
|10 hours (claims up to 12)||680 yards|
I’m going to level with you. Most of the LED dog harnesses that I reviewed performed poorly. Poor-quality materials and failing lights were common, but that’s what makes the LightHound even more impressive. Despite weak competition, they didn’t just make an LED harness that is slightly better than the others – they knocked it out of the park!
Curiously, this was the only LED dog accessory that didn’t exceed its advertised run time in always-on mode. In fact, it fell two hours short. I consistently averaged 10 hours of run time, but this isn’t a complaint. At 10 hours of use, the LightHound Harness was the longest-lasting rechargable LED accessory I reviewed. Ten hours from a single charge? That’s darn impressive in its own right.
I’ll add that if you are in a hurry, a 1-hour charge gave me a whopping 8 hours of use. Great if you forgot to charge the LightHound after the last use. The battery pack charges through a USB cable that is included in the box. You need to plug it into your phone charger or find a spare USB port on your computer to charge the batteries.
The battery pack is slightly bulky, but your pup won’t notice it as it sits on his back. Even though this location is exposed to the elements, I am happy to report that it’s weatherproof. The harness kept shining through light rain and snow. Like most other LED dog accessories, it’s weatherproof not waterproof. So, keep it away from puddles, lakes and heavy rainfall.
The LED lights turn on with a quick press of a button located on the top of the battery pack. From here, choose between 8 colors and a variety of flashing and fading modes, providing you with many options. The mode where the harness slowly cycles through each color was my favorite.
In our visibility test, the lights on this harness could be seen from 680 yards away. Better still, it didn’t matter what direction my dog faced. I could still see her at this distance. Note that the color-changing mode could be seen from even further. At just over 800 yards, it was one of the most visible LED dog accessories I reviewed.
Sizing runs slightly small. Harper, my pup, is ordinarily a medium. To make sure you buy the right fit, use this chart:
|Small||11½ – 20 inches||Under 15 pounds|
|Medium||17 – 29 inches||14 – 45 pounds|
|Large||23½ – 40 inches||40 – 95 pounds|
|X-Large||31 – 47½ inches||90+ pounds|
The harness can be slipped on and off in seconds. It slides over your dog’s head, buckles under the stomach and tightens over the chest with the pull of a simple strap. The process was simple, and in moments, I achieved a snug, comfortable fit. Like other adjustable harnesses, you need to perform these steps every time you place the harness on your pup or remove it.
Your leash attaches to the harness by a ring that is located on the rear of the harness. Unfortunately, this makes the LightHound unsuitable for pullers. To put it simply, harnesses with a rear attachment encourage the dog to pull as your pup tries to prove that he is stronger than you. If your dog is a puller, I recommend using an LED collar with a harness designed to prevent tugging like the PetSafe Easy Walk instead.
All told, the LightHound is an almost perfect LED harness. While it may not be appropriate for those of you with a strong puller or if you have arthritic hands, the LightHound is without a doubt the best LED harness on the market.
Best clip-on LED dog collar light
|22 hours (claims up to 20)||760 yards|
Already have the perfect collar for your dog? Only plan on using an LED collar a few times a year? Or maybe you want to keep a portable collar light on hand, just in case.
If you nodded yes, then check out the SpotLit. It checks both these boxes and more. This small LED light clips onto your dog’s collar, providing instant light. Once you are done, unclip it, and throw it in your junk drawer until next time!
Don’t be fooled by its tiny size! When facing you, this small LED light is incredibly bright. I could see it from 760 yards away as long as my dog was facing my direction.
In closer quarters, the glow is much more visible. I was able to see the light as it shined off my dog’s chest and illuminated the ground around her – even when she was facing the opposite direction.
When you first see this LED light, you may wonder how a battery fits inside. It’s powered by a CR2016 battery – you know, those small, flat silver-colored batteries. I had 22 hours of glow time off a single battery. Two batteries are included in the box.
There are two different modes: Always-on and flash.
Like most other LED lights we tested, the SpotLit is available in a range of colors…
Can’t decide? Then check out the SpotLit Disc-O. This collar light allows you to choose from one of five different colors at the press of a button. Still can’t decide? Choose the Disc-O option, and the SpotLit cycles through all the colors – it’s like your own doggy disco.
The SpotLit is weatherproof not waterproof. It held up just fine to light rain and even mud that splashed over my messy pup, but it’s not going to hold up to a nighttime swim in a lake or even a puddle.
I’ll admit that I am a big fan of SpotLit’s portable size. It allowed me to pack it in my handbag and keep it on hand, just in case my doggy walks take longer than expected.
Do you have more than one dog? The SpotLit is the most affordable way of keeping track of multiple dogs at night. I met an owner of three Labradors – Luna, Lucy and Boots – at the local dog park who agreed to test a SpotLit on each – green, red and blue.
We waited until it was dark enough that each dog looked like a black, blurry shadow, making it difficult to track which dog was which. After clipping on the LED lights, it was so easy to track each dog around the park. We knew exactly which dog to call back based on the colored glow of their collar.
While this is the cheapest light-up collar solution, you still need to factor in the cost of batteries. I highly recommend buying in bulk. For less than $10, I grabbed 15 Energizer batteries, which will be more than enough to last an entire year of walks.
Nite Ize backs their clip-on light with a worry-free guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact them for a repair, replacement or exchange.
Bright, portable and affordable, this is a great alternative to larger LED collars. Highly recommended.
Best LED dog leash
|7½ hours (claims up to 5)||520 yards|
Want to light up your nighttime walk like the 4th of July? Grab an LED leash as well. There will be no missing you walking your dog in the dark, surrounded by a soft glow of light.
Of course, you don’t have to pair an LED collar with an LED leash. You can clip this leash to the ring of any dog collar. Great if your pup has a preference for a particular harness or collar.
As a leash, it works as well as any other nylon leash. Nothing groundbreaking here. What you are buying this leash for is its LED glow. And that’s where it shines. Literally. I was able to see this LED leash from an impressive 520 yards away.
The leash is rechargeable and offers an impressive 7½ hours of run time off a 5-hour charge. Be mindful that unlike collars, this leash comes with two battery packs, both of which need to be charged.
The reason for this is that an LED leash is considerably longer than a dog collar. So, the LED strip is separated into two sections with a battery pack for each strip.
The metal clip was high-quality and moved freely. I had no issues with it getting stuck on the ring of Harper’s collar.
The leash is available in two lengths of 4 foot or 6 foot and 6 colors:
These are the exact same colors as the Illumiseen LED collars. You can either buy to match the collar or mix it up and choose two different colors.
Just like the LED collars, the leash has three light modes:
Just one more point worth mentioning. Be prepared for compliments and questions. I learned on my trip to the dog park that LED leashes are still not commonly known. I had three different dog owners come up to me and ask about the leash and how it worked.
My only complaint about this leash is that the LED strip is only on a single side of the leash. If your leash twists, the lights can point in a different direction. Even so, I was considerably more visible with this leash than without it.
It would also have been nice if there was a loop for me to attach a poop bag holder to. However, that’s a minor gripe that in no way affects the performance of this LED leash.
If you want to skip the LED collar and still shine, then the Illumiseen LED leash is worth checking out.
The LED dog collars and accessories that didn’t make the cut
Not every LED dog accessory can be a winner. The following LED collars, leashes and harnesses fell short in one way or another when compared to our top picks.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the LED accessories listed here are not necessarily bad. They were just held back in one way or another. Others were considerably more flawed. Based on our testing, the recommendations above get it right. As a result, there is little reason to choose a runner up.
Can you imagine a headlamp designed for dogs? That’s the idea behind the PupLight Safety Collar. I can see the appeal… Why carry a flashlight when your dog can do it for you? When it works, it works great. I was easily able to see up to 40 feet ahead. However, this light shining ahead is dependent on your dog holding his head up so that the beam of light can shine forward. I don’t know about you, but my dog spends a lot time with her head down, sniffing at things. In these moments, the light barely illuminates more than the ground ahead of her nose. While the locking mechanism helps mitigate this to some extent, you’ll still experience moments when your vision drops to near zero when your distracted dog turns his head or faces another direction. The light doesn’t replace your pup’s collar because there is no ring for identification tags. Instead, it should be worn in addition to a regular collar. The unit is light enough that even Pooka, a 10-pound Chihuahua mix, was able to carry it around without difficulty, although admittedly she was hesitant at first. If your pup walks with his head raised, then this is worth checking out!
The BSEEN LED Dog Collar vaguely resembles a glowstick necklace. Unlike other collars that come in different sizes, the BSEEN collar comes with 28 inches of clear tubing that you cut to length with a pair of scissors – one size fits all. These cut-to-fit collars are often referred to as LED dog necklaces as they slide over your dog’s head in a similar fashion. The rechargeable battery offered almost 10 hours of use and had visibility of just over 500 yards. Its performance is impressive. My only concern with this LED necklace, and all other necklaces, is that you have to latch them well. One came loose when it snagged on a branch. Just like that, I couldn’t see Harper in the darkness. Other reviews recommend taping over the connection with clear packaging tape, which helps avoid this problem. Overall, highly recommended.
While Nite Ize might have knocked it out of the park with their SpotLit, their LED Dog Necklace wasn’t the same home run. Don’t get me wrong, a visibility of 300 yards is still impressive, but it came in last when compared to the competition, all of which could be seen from an additional 100 yards at a minimum. Otherwise, it performed similarly to the BSEEN LED dog collar above, except that it runs off of replaceable batteries.
At first glance, Nite Beams’ LED Pet Collar looks similar to our budget recommendation. The Nite Beams is powered by CR2032 disposable batteries, offering me 5½ hours of life. It’s worth mentioning that other LED collars in this price range had a rechargeable battery pack. At 440 yards, the visibility is also lower than our top pick. Sizing runs small.
Unfortunately, Nite Beams’ attempt at a harness was considerably worse. Like their collar, the Nite Beams LED Rechargeable Dog Harness sizing ran small. But perhaps more worryingly, the battery began to fail on the second use after which we were only able to get a total of 38 minutes of glow time before running flat. A second unit was purchased, but the LED lights didn’t work on the rear half of the harness out of the box. Not recommended.
During initial testing, the Blazin’ Safety LED Dog Collar from Blazin’ Bison was a strong contender. With an impressive 8 hours of battery life off a single charge, the largest range of color choice and visibility of 400 yards, there is a lot to like about this LED collar. Unfortunately, its claims of being weatherproof let it down. Light rain, which didn’t affect other LED collars, was all it took to short out the battery pack. Even after drying it out, I couldn’t bring this collar back to life. Sure, if you can keep it completely dry, it’s a great collar. But given others could handle heavy, wet snow, I see no reason to recommend it.
What is an LED dog collar and does your pooch need one? (and the alternatives)
To put it simply, an LED dog collar refers to any collar that contains super small light bulbs called LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).
At the push of a button, these tiny lights turn on, creating a bright glow around your dog’s neck that can be seen from up to half a mile away.
Some come as a complete collar with a ring for identification tags and a leash…
Others are a necklace that slides over your dog’s head, worn in addition to your pup’s regular collar.
As you see, LED collars are available in a wide variety of colors, shapes and styles. The only thing common among all LED collars is that they each need a power source…
Some are powered by disposable batteries…
Others have a battery pack that can be charged with a USB cable…
There is also a range of other LED dog accessories, including leashes, harnesses and even clip-on lights that all light up. These products provide an alternative means of visibility. For example, maybe you have a Pug that can’t wear collars. I also review these light-up products.
Now for the big question:
Does your dog need an LED collar?
Well, if you were to ask me a couple of months ago, I would have said no. Prior to reviewing these products, I was convinced that LED collars were little more than another doggy fad, targeted at owners who want to create their own doggy disco.
But having spent over 500 hours testing and reviewing various LED collars, my opinion has changed. Now, I don’t know how I got by without one. In fact, I begged DogLab to let me keep my top recommendation – I didn’t want to give it back. It may have even saved my dog’s life. But more on that in a moment.
I’m gonna be straight up. LED collars are not right for every dog. But let’s take a look at the different scenarios where an LED collar can come in handy.
First, these collars light up. So, the most obvious use is lighting up your dog at night, right?
It goes without saying that LED collars are perfect for walks at dusk when your surroundings soon become dark.
LED collars are extra-handy for black dogs. Their black fur blends in with the night, turning them invisible once the sun goes down, even when streetlights are around. If you have ever owned a Black Labrador, you know exactly what I am talking about – they are like ninjas!
Okay, so you still won’t be able to see your black dog in the dark, but you can keep track of him by the glow around his neck. It’s hard to blend into the shadows when you have bright lights revealing your position.
Some owners go so far as to slip an LED collar on their dog when their dog goes potty outside at night. This way they can ensure their dog doesn’t wander too far.
If you walk multiple dogs at night, then it can be difficult to keep track of which is which, especially when you take off the leash!
By equipping each dog with a different-colored LED collar, you’ll know exactly which is which as they race around the yard and the one to call back if they wander too far!
If you walk in an area without street lighting, then an LED collar is an essential safety device – they give cars advanced warning of your location. I noticed this walking on some of the streets near my home. It’s so dark that cars driving by can’t see me until they are right on top of me. Seriously, it’s so dark that barely anything can be seen but the light of my dog’s collar…
That green glow was perfectly visible to drivers. I noticed that cars adjusted their driving path 200 or so yards in advance as they spotted my dog’s glowing collar in the distance. An LED collar in this situation could very well save your life!
But LED collars are not just for those who walk at sundown.
Have you ever been on a misty mountain trail walk? The foggy air can make it difficult to keep track of your furry friend as he sniffs around the bushes. LED collars shine through the mist, allowing you to locate your pup within seconds…
If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the glow of an LED dog collar in the shrubs – try spotting that dog without an LED collar!
The same goes for keeping track of your dog in the snow…
And for camping, an LED collar is a must. In fact, this is my favorite use for them. When I went camping, I kept the LED collar switched on during the entire camping trip. Even during the day. My dog, Harper, has a bad habit of sneaking off to hunt snakes. The collar made it considerably easier to keep track of her in the shadows of the trees.
Does your dog love to play in the woods? We interviewed one owner who slides an LED collar over her Chocolate Lab every time he explores the woods near her ranch. She is concerned that a hunter might mistake her pup for a deer and uses an LED collar as a way to advertise that it’s a dog.
Closer to home, I can recount a story during this test where an LED collar might have saved my pup’s life. Harper is curious but generally well-behaved. One night, she saw a raccoon crossing the road and sprinted after it. Unfortunately, I was not able to hit the lock button on her retractable leash fast enough.
Fortunately, a car driving down the road saw her and slowed down. Now, it’s possible this car would have seen my dog even without the LED collar, but there was no missing the bright light around her neck that screamed, “Hey, look out!”
As you see, an LED dog collar is useful in any scenario where visibility is an issue. However, I will add that it’s fun watching two or three LED-collar-wearing dogs sprint around the park at night, as if the collars are floating – it’s a great light show!
On the flipside, if you stick to walking on bright, sunny days, then I’m not sure you will find much use for an LED collar. If you have found yourself in any of the above scenarios, then an LED collar is life-changing and highly recommended.
Our testing process
At DogLab, we take reviewing darn seriously. We would never recommend a product that we wouldn’t happily use with our own precious pooches. That’s why we thoroughly tested every LED collar and accessory featured in this guide.
This was the longest product test to date. By the end of the process, we spent a combined 500+ hours researching, testing and reviewing the most popular (and even some unpopular) LED dog accessories on the market.
Want to know more about our testing process? Read on!
Rounding up the LED dog collars and accessories
LED dog accessories is an interesting product category. At first, we were shocked to discover that there are over 300 different LED collars listed on Amazon alone. However, as we dug deeper, we soon learned that the vast majority of these products are generic re-branded products from overseas.
In fact, many of these LED collars were identical in every way except for the brand name printed on them. We interviewed numerous store owners to separate the name brands from the pretenders. Once we weeded out the duplicates, there were not a whole lot of LED collars left.
We then went a step further and researched LED harnesses, leashes and clip-on LED collar lights. Given that there were not enough of these products to justify their own best of guide, we decided to include them here.
To account for variables, every LED dog product we tested was neon green when possible. The reason we settled on this color was that it was available for almost every brand.
All up, we put 7 brands to the test:
- Blazin’ Bison
- Nite Ize
- Nite Beams
With our list complete, it was time to go shopping. Each LED accessory featured in our review was purchased from Amazon.com, Chewy.com or glowdoggie.com. Yep, at DogLab, we buy every product at the same price you would pay.
How did we test the LED dog collars?
Let’s face it, you can’t review LED collars without a dog. That’s where my gorgeous pup, Harper, comes in:
Here you see her modeling an LED dog vest. She’s wondering why I keep attaching all these different lights to her. I’ll bet she feels like a Christmas tree.
Harper is a German Shepherd x Border Collie mix. Besides a few small patches of white fur, she’s mostly black and easy to lose sight of when the sun goes down. She was the perfect candidate for this test.
I also enlisted the help of:
- Pooka – Chihuahua mix
- Holly – Boxer Foxhound
- Norris – Miniature Australian Shepherd
- Luna, Lucy and Boots – three Labradors
With my team of doggy testers on board, it was time to come up with the testing criteria for each LED collar.
First, I wanted to test the run time. The rechargeable LED collars were charged for 12 hours prior to use, imitating an overnight charge. Those that ran on disposable batteries were loaded with the Energizer Max battery brand.
Not wanting to wait around with a timer in hand, I set up my webcam to record the glowing dog collars. From here, I simply measured the time on the video from when it was switched on until the time the LED collar stopped glowing. I repeated this process three times and averaged the time.
Next, I wanted to see how the rechargeable LED collars performed on a one-hour charge. If you forget to charge your LED collar the night before and your dog’s designated walk time is approaching, then you want to make sure it can last throughout the walk on a quick charge. Interestingly, no collar failed this test. All collars charged to 60-80% of their capacity in under an hour.
The next test was for visibility. For this, I had my husband hold our dog in place while I walked until I could no longer see the LED collar. With some collars offering a view distance of over half a mile, this quickly became my nightly exercise routine. I then recorded the distance where I lost visibility. I swapped with my husband, and he did the same for the next collar.
Testing was done on nights that were clear, offering an unobstructed view of each collar. Since this is Upstate New York, there was an abundance of opportunities to test the visibility in the snow. However, this was quickly scrapped when I realized the snowfall wasn’t consistent. Instead, I used the snowfall to test each collar for weatherproofing, which brings me to my next point.
While all collars we reviewed claimed to be weatherproof, only a few were waterproof. So to test these claims, I took each collar out in a snowfall and a light rain. I then observed whether the LED collar shorted out.
I also factored in fit, durability, quality and price into whether or not to recommend a particular LED collar – these points are explored later in this review.
Our testing observations
While testing the qualities listed above, we made some observations that are worth mentioning.
Okay, so this one came as a surprise. The color of the LED collar that you choose can have a drastic impact on the viewing distance.
In a comparison of the same collar brand, we noticed green was the most visible color at a distance. Warmer colors, like yellow, red, orange and pink were all less visible.
In our test, green was visible from 520 yards away. Red lost visibility at just over 300 yards. That’s a considerable difference.
Now, I must stress that in closer quarters, it matters less what color you choose. But if you want a collar with maximum visibility, green and white performed the best.
Weatherproof vs Waterproof
When we interviewed customers, there seemed to be confusion between the phrases weatherproof and waterproof.
To put it simply:
Weatherproof – Resistant to light rain and light snowfall, but prolonged exposure may damage the collar.
Waterproof – Can be submerged underwater, survive torrential downpours and tunneling through deep snow.
We found that weatherproof is an annoying claim to test and varied from collar to collar. Some weatherproof LED collars could tolerate light rain while others fizzled completely.
If your dog is water-addicted and loves to jump in lakes, rivers, your swimming pool or even small puddles, then only a waterproof LED collar will survive. Our top pick can be submerged underwater for 24 hours, glowing the entire time!
LED collars are an additional purchase
After testing every LED collar, we concluded that these won’t replace your everyday collar any time soon.
Even though the nylon LED collars we tested were durable, these products contain electrical components that offer another point of failure.
Dogs are capable of dishing out an incredible amount of wear on their collars, from scraping themselves against trees and shrubs to scratching at their neck with their hind leg.
While each collar held up well enough during our review period, I have doubts that they will last through everyday wear.
We recommend buying an LED collar in addition to a good day-to-day collar and swap over to an LED dog collar when you need the extra visibility.
Phew, if you made it this far, congratulations! You now know which LED collar is best for your pooch.
A recap of our results…
The best LED dog collars and accessories we tested:
- glowdoggie LED collar – Best all-around LED dog collar
- Illumiseen LED collar – Best budget LED dog collar
- noxgear LightHound harness – Best LED dog harness
- Nite Ize SpotLit – Best LED clip-on collar light
- Illumiseen LED leash – Best LED dog leash
Which LED dog accessory does your pup wear? Let me know in the comments below!