LAST UPDATED: March 22, 2019
Best LED Road Flares: Our Top Picks for Roadside Safety
Invest in your roadside safety with our top LED flare picks
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON March 22, 2019
If you’ve ever been stranded on the roadside, you know it’s important that other drivers see you and your vehicle. In this guide, we’re going to discuss the best way to stay safe when you’re stranded: LED safety flares. A safe and reliable alternative to traditional road flares, the best-LED flares are sure to alert other drivers and aid you in a roadside emergency.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy LED Road Flares?
- Make your car visible to others. Breakdowns and accidents don’t often happen when and where you want. If you find yourself on the side of the road in the dark, mark your position with emergency lights so other drivers can adjust accordingly.
- Have a backup flashlight. Stocking your vehicle with a bright flashlight keeps safety on your side. In the event, your flashlight breaks or the batteries die, keep an LED road flare as a backup. LEDs last longer and shine brighter.
- Keep safety costs down. Being prepared doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Save the money you would spend on a week’s worth of coffee and get yourself something you’ll be thankful for during an emergency.
- Give something helpful to loved ones. An LED flare can keep friends and family safe as well. For beginning drivers, you can store one right next to the jumper cables and flat tire repair kit for easy access. They’ll thank you later.
Types of LED Road Flares
Non-Rechargeable Battery Power
Non-rechargeable, battery-powered LED flares are the most common type on the market. Using LED lights, These flares are the safe choice for power. There’s always a chance that your vehicle won’t be able to power a light. A supply of regular batteries, typically AAA batteries, can keep the power coming for hours.
Rechargeable Battery Power
Most rechargeable LED road flares plug into a cigarette lighter (12V) adapter plug, a USB cable, or a dedicated charging cord. Having the ability to recharge the light to extend the run time is more convenient than taking up cargo space in your vehicle with boxes of batteries.
Top LED Road Flare Brands
Stonepoint LED Lighting
Stonepoint LED Lighting is a family-owned company headquartered in Louisville, Colorado. In the lighting business since 1995, its main focus is to bring the best lighting options to customers at an affordable price, while still keeping an eye on its environmental impact. One of its most popular products is the LED Road Flare Kit, which comes with three individual beacons.
Though a new company, Heliar has already made its mark on LED lighting technology. By offering multiple lighting solutions for both indoor and outdoor use, Heliar has brought innovative products like the three-pack LED Road Flare Set to customers needing a simple solution during an emergency.
With its corporate headquarters in Nevada, Aervoe has been in business for over 40 years. Though its first products were paints and chemicals, it has since expanded to include everything from portable appliances and solar energy components to emergency preparedness gear. The 1164 Super Road Flare is a handy flare to have to be prepared for everyday driving.
LED Road Flare Pricing
- $10-$20: Start here if you’re not sure what type of LED flare you need, or if you just want to have a few around in case of emergency. These safety road flares probably won’t last longer than a few years if they see hard use. You’ll most likely get a single flare at this price.
- $20-$60: You can usually get a fair deal on a set of LED road flares in this range. Sets come with anywhere between two to six lights, depending on the brand. Many offer carrying cases or bags to store the LED traffic flares as well.
- $75-$300: If you’re more serious about safety, look at this price range. Options include encased, rechargeable sets for easy storage/transport and a variety of color choices.
LED flares come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Most safety flares have typical white or amber LEDs. You can choose from a number of different filter colors that tint the light to a designated color.
Different road flares have different flash patterns and settings. Some road flares include specific safety patterns, while others simply flash between strobe and solid lighting effects. We recommend choosing flares that strobe and flash, so you can light your way and signal to others if need be.
- Durability. LED road flares should operate in whatever conditions are present on any road, at any time. Their exterior should hold up to the elements as well. Choose an LED road flare kit for its ability to handle whatever nature can throw at it (meaning it's waterproof, rainproof, crushproof, and shatterproof), much like a good pair of work boots.
- Longevity. A flare is only so good as long as it emits light. In a worst-case scenario, you should be able to depend on an LED road flare’s light until you are safe, or help arrives. Look for roadside flares that have a long-lasting battery to have light well after you need it.
- Portability. Beyond handling a beating, the best LED road flares can fit into a backpack, storage bag, or car trunk. Find a road flare or set that fits without taking up too much cargo space.
Best LED Road Flares Reviews 2020
This three-flare set from SlimK comes neatly packaged in a storable duffle bag that won’t clutter up your trunk. Complete with batteries, these magnetic-base LED road flares are ready to go at a moment’s notice. Best of all, they’re shock-, water-, vibration-, and crush-resistant.
SlimK’s flares can be seen up to one mile away in the dark with nine different flashing modes. You can even use these flares as flashlights if necessary. Depending on the mode you choose, the flares will last up to 36 hours. A built-in hook allows for hands-free use, so you can stick a road flare anywhere on your vehicle’s exterior.
The main drawback here is that they’re battery-powered. Though the safety flares can last up to 36 hours, you may need to have a set of batteries nearby as backup. With some preparation, however, these are a great accessory to have, whether you’re driving, hiking, boating, camping, or even taking a midnight stroll.
Simplistic and sturdy in design, these LED beacons from Magnatek come with their own plastic carrying case. They’re easy to assemble and break down. Best of all, this bright set will cost you less than a dinner for two.
The LED flare beacons are battery-powered, only using three AAAs. The light is visible up to 1,000 feet in the day time and 3,000 feet at night. With such a tall profile, these flares are ideal for a number of situations. You can either place them on the ground or attach them to your car via the magnetic base.
The biggest drawback of these LED road flares is they only include three settings, which will limit your lighting options on the road. Weighing less than a pound each, however, they’re a great solution for almost any driver on the road.
While they’re certainly not the cheapest set, these LED lantern flares from SmartFlare have a unique design with versatility in mind. A wide base and open, clear frame allow the most light possible to surround you and your space. You can also choose between a one-, two, or three-flare set depending on your budget and needs.
Take a flashlight, lantern, and flare, then wrap them up into one—you’ll have the SmartFlare LED Lantern. A total of 22 LEDs light the interior of the flare, which lasts for up to 18 hours of continuous use. The magnetic base can stick to a number of surfaces, and the “no-roll shape” ensures you won’t lose precious light at the worst moment.
These lanterns aren’t as easy to store as other models, meaning you may have to make some room in your car to carry these around. On the other hand, the flares are a great investment if you’re looking to consolidate your lighting accessories into one convenient package.
If you're looking for something in addition to road flares, this emergency roadside light kit is a good option. It features three beacons as well as a thermal blanket, a two-in-one window breaker, a seat belt cutter escape tool, and battery replacement tools packaged in a high-quality storage bag.
Since a road flare won't function if the batteries are dead, it's nice to have a product that makes swapping out batteries an easy chore. This kit comes with keychain screwdriver tools and instructions on how to change the AAA batteries, which are pre-installed. The safety flares are also waterproof, impact-resistant, and magnetic, so you can affix them to the side of your car, truck, or RV if you choose. The 15 LEDS are extra bright and feature nine modes for visibility. They are also reusable in case you break down more than once.
One downside with these flares is they can be hard to see in bright daylight. Also, they are very lightweight and may move when vehicles pass by them. Another complaint is that some of the other items in the kit may not be the best quality or may be missing.
The standout feature with these flares is that they are DOT-compliant. The kit includes three roadside safety discs and nine pre-installed batteries as well as a multi-tool, seatbelt cutter, whistle, and storage bag. The batteries are designed so they won't drain during storage, and the flares' ABS construction protects them from being crushed. In addition, these flares are waterproof and won't scratch the surface if you place them on a vehicle's roof or hood.
The flares are super strong and feature 15 bright LEDs with nine different flashing modes, which makes them visible from as far away as 5,200 feet. The LED lights can be used as a flashlight or to warn other drivers about a stranded vehicle. The flares are reusable and also appropriate for camping and boating. In addition, the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty, and you get a 100-percent refund if you're not satisfied with the product.
Unfortunately, these flares are a little expensive compared to some other brands. Also, the extra items included in the kit are nice extras but not necessarily what you need when you're looking to purchase safety flares.
The nice thing about this package of flares is that you get four instead of three, which isn’t common in most kits. The discs are easy to turn on: Simply press the button for three seconds. The flares are a vibrant red/orange and feature LED lights that are long-lasting. They are also compact for storage purposes and have several different modes, including SOS.
The flares have a waterproof backing plate to protect the batteries from damage. They are maintenance-free and don't require any upkeep, which makes for a hassle-free operation. Grease Monkey Engineering also provides a one-year, money-back guarantee if you're not happy with the product, which provides some peace of mind.
However, you must use Energizer Max or Duracell Coppertop AAA batteries in the flares to prevent corrosion, which can cause the devices to stop working. In addition, cheap batteries will prevent certain modes from operating correctly. There have also been some complaints that only a few of the modes work.
You get four highway beacons featuring extra-bright red LED lights in this kit. They feature three flash modes (strobe, flashlight, and solid). Twelve AAA batteries are included as are two storage cases, so you can disperse the flares into two separate vehicles. The case is durable and portable and doesn't take up much storage space.
One of the best things about these flares is their versatility. You can hold them in your hands to signal for help, place them on the ground or on your vehicle to set a perimeter, or hang them from your hood to see the engine compartment. They have a magnetic base that enables them to stand upright or attach to a magnetic surface. The company also promises to issue a refund if you are not 100 percent satisfied with the purchase.
One downside is that you have to remember to change the batteries after a few months to ensure that the flares will work; however, this isn't uncommon with this type of product. There have also been some complaints that the included batteries are dead on arrival, which necessitates purchasing new batteries, driving up the cost.
If you're looking for minimalism in a roadside beacon safety kit, this is a good choice. Plus, it's affordable. You get two LED emergency road flares, two upright stands, and one plastic storage case. The flares have three operating modes—solid, strobe, and flashlight—to either attract attention or to illuminate a surface area.
It is very easy to set up and operate these basic flares. Simply screw them onto the base and turn them on. They also come with magnets, so you can attach them directly onto your vehicle if required. They're very bright and a great product for the price.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides. First, you only get two flares in the package, which is less than what most competitors provide. In addition, each one requires three AAA batteries, which are not included.
Wagan has been making automotive accessories for more than 35 years, so it knows how to produce good products. The company touts its F.R.E.D. Light as the "original" flameless LED flare. You get a three-pack of LED lights with 10 different modes, including spotlight, double pulse, single blink, and SOS. These modes last anywhere from six to 28 hours. Three AAA batteries are included.
The lights are very simple to use; just press the button and hold it down to turn them on, and move through the various options to select the mode. These lights are very bright and visible up to a mile away at night. They provide 360-degree coverage and come with magnets, so you can stick them on metal surfaces, such as your vehicle's hood. They also have an extendable hook if you want to affix it to a backpack. Many cyclists use these flares because they're compact. Overall, they're rainproof, crushproof, and durable.
One downside is you must remove the plastic plate off the back to enable the batteries and then screw it back together before they work. This could be a hassle if you don't do it in advance and are stuck on the side of the road at night. They're also low-profile, so they can disappear in heavy snowfall.
This LED light beacon is simple but effective. It features two lighting modes: blinking and a steady light. The flare has a magnetic base, which allows you to place it on any metal surface. It is also waterproof and durable and requires the use of four AA alkaline batteries, which are not included. The light is 3.8 inches wide and is visible up to 5,000 meters away.
One of the best things about this product is how bright it is. It is very easy to see, and the magnet is strong. Many users purchase this light to warn others of a parked car or in a convoy situation so following drivers can keep track of the lead vehicle. It also does a good job on the back of a quad when you're plowing snow.
Unfortunately, you only get one beacon for the price. This may not be enough to set up a perimeter during a roadside emergency. Also, there have been some complaints that the batteries don't stay tight in the compartment.
Tips for Proper Use of LED Road Flares
- Before storing your new LED road flares, make sure each one has fresh batteries. Test the flares to make sure they are working properly.
- Periodically check the battery life. This is an easy five-minute task you can do while getting gas, checking your oil, or right before a road trip.
- Keep the owner’s manual handy. Will you remember those nine flashing modes when you find yourself in a pinch? Store the manual with your LED road flares for reference when necessary.
- When setting up safety flares, make sure to cover the highest and lowest points around you. Generally speaking, the higher you have a beacon, the more chance you have of being seen. If you only have one flare, place it near the highest point.
- Make a whole safety kit. Keep a bag packed with non-perishable foods and water next to the flares. Add other items like an extra set of clothing, gloves, a blanket, and basic medical supplies.
LED Road Flare FAQs
Q: Can I drive with these LED road flares on my car?
A: The short answer is “no.” While the magnets are strong enough to hold the flare on a car, it’s never a good idea to drive at high speeds with them. It might be necessary to reposition your vehicle to a safer spot, in which case you can leave the LED safety flares on to alert other drivers. It’s best to remove them before driving away.
Q: Can’t I just use my car’s built-in hazard lights?
A: In the event you don’t have access to hazard lights or need extra, portable lighting, LED road flares are extremely handy. Both your vehicle’s hazards and LED road flares are useful together, when possible, to have the most light possible.
Q: Do I need to buy more than one road flare? How many is enough?
A: One flare should be enough to keep you visible, but more is always better. It’s a good idea to have a few around in case the batteries go out, one breaks, or another mishap occurs. That way, you’ll have a backup ready to go.
Q: What color of flare should I buy?
A: The choice is up to you. Red and white lights are always a good choice, but it’s up to your preferences and budget. Just make sure they are highly visible.
SlimK’s 3-Pack LED Road Flares are the best flares on the market today. Affordable and storable, these safety flares have your back since they can be seen up to one mile away after dark.
If you’re looking for the best value instead, choose theRed LED Beacons from Magnatek. They’re easy for other drivers to see and provide a large amount of light.