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Kayak Lights - A Necessity for Night Paddling - 10 of the Best [2024]

Top 10 Kayak Led Lights For Night Fishing

Top 10 Kayak Led Lights For Night Fishing

Updated on 5/20/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail đź‘‹ Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott

When it comes to paddling a kayak after dark, there is only one additional gear you will require: a set of kayak lights.

Paddling at night is an activity that has always appealed to my sense of adventure. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy kayaking even more when the sun is high in the sky, the day is warm, and the water is nice and refreshing. Most paddlers wait till this time of year to get out on the water and take advantage of the warm, bright summer days in the way they were meant to be enjoyed.

However, nighttime sports provide their own unique and exciting set of opportunities. Being outdoors in nature may feel almost mystical on nights when there is a clear sky, the moon is shining brightly, and there is little or no noise in the surrounding environment.

Kayaking throughout the night is an experience that will completely change the way you view the sport. It's a strange concoction that manages to be both exciting and terrifying while also calming all at the same time.

light kayak

light kayak

 

Kayak Lights On Our List, With All The Information You Need To Know

 All The Information You Need To Know

All The Information You Need To Know

Best Overall: Kayalu Kayalite Portable Bright White Led Kayak Light

  • A tension strap is the type of mount.
  • Waterproofing rating of IPX8, suitable for up to 330 meters
  • The lifespan of the battery: 100 hours

This kayak light kit is meant to be seen from all sides, and it has a radius of illumination that extends 360 degrees, making it easier to identify you from any direction. Because it has a battery life of about 100 hours (when using 3 AA batteries), it will keep you safe and readily visible throughout the night.

The white light is attached to a pole that is 18 inches in height and can be fastened to the deck of your kayak using a tension strap. Compared to a light secured with a suction cup or a drill, this one has a far lower risk of breaking and is significantly more difficult to misplace. Additionally, who may push it over without causing any damage to either your kayak or the light itself? It is one of the most long-lasting lights available due to the robust marine-grade metal they chose for the pole.

One unique feature is that if you don't have someplace to clip the light onto your deck, you can purchase a separate deck-mounting kit and quickly attach the hardware to keep it in place. This function is available even if you don't have anywhere to clip the light onto your deck. In addition to being one of the lights that perform the best and are the most reliable, it is also one of the most adaptable lights on our list.
 

Best High-End Option: Guardian Angel

Product tested by Board and Kayak

Things we like:

  • LED lights are apparent and come in various hues, including yellow, green, blue, and red in addition to white.
  • Small in size, light in weight, and highly portable
  • A transportable electronic device resistant to shock can also function in wet environments.A light output of up to 500 lumens is possible.

Things we don't like:

  • Pricey
  • If you hook it onto your flotation device (PFD), it won't be visible to anyone behind you.
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  • Magnetic is the type of mount.
  • IP68 stands for waterproofing.
  • The lifespan of the battery: are 93 hours

That is a one-of-a-kind kayak light for sure! The light is attached to your lifejacket, coat, shirt, or kayak deck using two strong neodymium magnets rather than a clip that slides onto your flotation device (PFD). It is light enough to be seen from 5 miles away, yet it only weighs 3 ounces and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Its light output is sufficient to be seen from that far away. What a shining example!

The Guardian Angel's exterior is made of durable polycarbonate material with an IP68 rating (waterproof and dust-proof). It is not designed to be submerged, but even if you capsize the vessel and swim to land, it will not become harmed by the water or soggy.

The compact gadget features ultrabright LEDs facing the device's front and back and flashing emergency and work lights. All these functions may be activated separately and are managed by a single button that is very easy to use on the device.

You will have around 93 hours of continuous runtime provided to you by the built-in lithium-ion battery pack.

The Guardian Angel is a genuinely game-changing kayak light that you would consider purchasing, even though it is more expensive and compact than most of our other top recommendations.

 

Best Battery Life: RAILBLAZA Visibility Kit Kayak All Around Safety Light

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.6

Things we like:

  • The light may be seen from any angle thanks to the pole's adjustability (it can extend up to 3 feet).
  • Made in New Zealand, this product has a long lifespan and is of excellent quality.
  • Included are the mounting hardware and a flag to use with it.
  • Battery life that's about average, and the longevity of LED lights is excellent.
  • Floats with the shiny side facing upwards.

Things we don't like:

  • It is necessary to drill holes into your kayak for this (unless you have gear tracks)
  • On the more expensive side
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  • Drill-mounted is the type of mounting.
  • Protection against water intrusion: IP8, up to one meter
  • Battery Life: Over two hundred hours

This mounting kit with complete visibility gives you several alternative options to help keep you safe when you're out at night. It comes with a 360-degree LED stern light and an orange flag designed to increase visibility during the day and at night. A pole with an extension of three feet will lift the light above the height of your head so that people approaching from any direction can see you.

In the flashing emergency mode, the battery should survive up to 200 hours, the low brightness work mode should last up to 160 hours, and the total brightness navigation mode should last up to 25 hours.

The light kit requires three AA batteries to operate (not included). With the help of the fastening pack, you won't have any trouble drilling the hardware into your deck. After installation, the light pole may be added or removed by unscrewing it from the attached base to accommodate varying lighting requirements.

A bonus is that if your kayak already has gear tracks installed, you may buy an additional track mount and save drilling holes in your kayak, allowing you to attach more gear tracks.

 

Best with Flag: YakAttack VISIPole II

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.6

Things we like:

  • Easily maneuverable, lightweight, and thin in profile
  • The carbon fiberglass mast is exceptionally long-lasting.
  • Who may adjust the height of the mast between 14 and 48 inches
  • 360-degree visibility
  • Long-life for both the LED bulb and the battery

Things we don't like:

  • Mounting is restricted to the MightyMount and GearTrac systems only.
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  • The track is the type of mount.
  • Waterproofing rating of IPX8, suitable for up to 330 meters
  • The lifespan of the battery: 100 hours

This flag and light combo are perfect if you want something portable and discreet. Above the high-visibility orange flag is where the ultra-bright LED light bulb has been put on top of the fiberglass mast 3/8 inches thick. Who may adjust the height to a maximum of 4 feet, and the mast is durable enough to bend without breaking.

The battery life is around 100 hours, using three AA batteries as its power source (batteries are not supplied). The LED light has a life of about 10,000 hours, which is quite usual for LED bulbs, but it produces a remarkably brilliant light for its diminutive size.

Because the light kit is placed on gear tracks, you must purchase and install gear tracks if you do not already have them installed on your vehicle. However, it is only compatible with MightyMount and GearTrac products now.

 

Versatile Mounting Options: Attwood 14192-7 Water-Resistant Deck Mount LED Navigation Light Kit

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.5

Things we like:

  • Various mounting solutions are available, including drilling and sticking them to your deck.There were white and red/green lights available.
  • Excellent for canoes, kayaks, and bigger boats as well.
  • Solid and well-designed mechanical components
  • Excellent price tag

Things we don't like:

  • Lacking complete water resistance 
  • Not bright enough
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  • Types of Mounts: Drill-mounted or Adhesive Mounts
  • Uncertain about its ability to repel water
  • Battery Life: One Hundred And Fifty Hours

This specific Attwood light kit gives you two different lighting options, one of which is a stern white light that is put on the mast, and the other is a red/green bow light that is shorter. It complies with the safety rules for boats up to 23 feet in length, and it is an excellent choice for a kayaker who plans to paddle around a lot of larger-powered boats and sailboats since it is so versatile.

When set to their default mode, the lights run for around 150 hours, and each unit requires three AAA batteries to function. The electrical components are encased in a robust, shock-resistant metal chassis, and the polycarbonate glass covering the LED light bulbs prevents the bulbs from breaking. There is no information on who can find a particular IP rating; nevertheless, customer reviews imply that it is not entirely waterproof.

The lights each come with 3M VHB adhesive pads ideal for sticking to your deck even when the weather turns rough and wet. However, you can also use the provided hardware to drill-mount it to your kayak if you want a more robust solution. The pads are perfect for sticking to your deck even when the weather is rough and wet. Combined, they weigh only 6.4 ounces, making them an alternative that is not only user-friendly but also very lightweight.

 

Best Budget: Paddlers Supply Company LED Kayak Deck Light With Suction Cup Base

Product tested by Board and Kayak
LED Kayak Deck Light

Things we like:

  • It can be fastened or suction-mounted to a personal flotation device.
  • Exceptionally long-lasting, impervious to water and air, and free from leaks
  • very brilliant light in the shape of a flare
  • Excellent prices

Things we don't like:

  • Over time, the rubber that makes up suction cups will break and lose its ability to adhere.
  • Doesn't float
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  • Mounting Method: Combined suction cup and clip-on
  • Uncertain about its ability to repel water
  • The lifespan of the battery: 100 hours

That is, without a doubt, the most extraordinary kayak light for you, especially if you want to save money without sacrificing quality. Although it is the most cost-effective alternative on our list, we did not have to compromise on its longevity or dependability to reduce the price.

The battery life of this deck-mounted LED navigation light is around 100 hours, and it has a range of visibility of up to 2 miles. Even though no official IP certification is available, the manufacturer says it is waterproof and leakproof up to a depth of 1,000 feet (equivalent to an IPX8 rating). The end is designed to look like a flare and emits an unmistakable light that is strong enough to draw the attention of even bigger boats to your location.

It is simple to attach this light to your kayak thanks to the suction cup base; nevertheless, several users have voiced their dissatisfaction that after two to three years, the rubber stops functioning correctly and begins to crack. Using the hook lanyard, you can permanently attach the light from the mast to your flotation device (PFD). Now that's what I call the ultimate in convenience!

 

Best Handheld: ENERGIZER Rechargeable LED Spotlight

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.6

Things we like:

  • A flashlight that is both very brilliant and highly lasting
  • Reliable and versatile
  • High resistance to impact while maintaining a satisfactory level of waterproofing
  • Despite the severe weather, it remains bright.
  • Outstanding reach for the flashlight beam

Things we don't like:

  • There is no user guide, or manual supplied.
  • The battery life may be less than advertised (one user said around 2 hours on max output)
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  • Handheld is the type of mount.
  • Waterproofing: IPX4
  • Battery life is between 4 and 9 hours.

That is the perfect flashlight to accompany you on any watercraft, be it a canoe, kayak, or boat. It has a light output ranging from 300 to 6000 lumens, and its beam can travel more than 1,000 feet. It is incredibly bright. Although its battery life is the lowest of any light source (just 4 hours on maximum output or 9 hours on low setting), it will be sufficient to identify yourself to passing vessels or discover any possible water risks. Even though it only has a battery life of just 4 hours on maximum output or 9 hours on low setting, it will be just what you need.

The LED light bulb in this flashlight is extremely long-lasting, and a rigid plastic casing protects it. It is resistant to impact, can shine through fog or rain, and is waterproof up to a depth of three feet. Even if your hands are chilly or you wear gloves, you won't have trouble using them because the buttons are so big.

 

Best Clip-On: UST See-Me 1.0 Waterproof LED Light

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.6

Things we like:

  • Miniature in size and very light in weight
  • It fits inside your life jacket and has a lanyard for you to secure it.
  • Simple in its functioning; very dependable
  • LED light bulbs that cannot break.
  •  Inexpensive

Things we don't like:

  • Not bright enough
  • If it is misused (by twisting the top in the wrong direction), it will pop up in the battery compartment, which puts the batteries in danger of being destroyed by water.
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  • A lanyard is the type of mount.
  • Protection against water: IPX7, submersion to a depth of 1 meter
  • Battery life is equivalent to 17 hours.

That is not light on our list that shines the brightest or stays lit the longest, but it is an excellent option to have as a backup if your primary source of illumination is unable to function correctly, runs out of power, or is harmed by water. If circumstances take a turn for the worst, this ultra-durable and lightweight LED safety light will be your backup plan for staying safe and getting rescued.

It does not come with any clips, but it is designed to remain firmly in place regardless of how vigorously you row since it is tiny enough to fit into the straps of your flotation device (PFD). You always have the option to secure it to your flotation device (PFD) with the lanyard that comes with it. If it does become dislodged, the lanyard will ensure that it remains within easy reach if you require it.

The operation, which consists of just twisting a switch on or off, is quite simple, and the light can be seen from up to 3.4 miles away on a clear night. Because it has an IPX7 classification, it can withstand being submerged in water for up to one meter. The best part is that it weighs less than 2 ounces and can operate for up to 17 hours with just 2 AA batteries.

 

Best Bow Light: Innovative Lighting – 560-1110 Portable LED Bow Light

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review
4.5

Things we like:

  • The on/off switch is a heavy-duty sealed switch that may use safely in wet situations.
  • Condensed yet maintaining its lightness
  • Simple to assemble
  • Affordable to most people.
  • buoyant and impervious to water

Things we don't like:

  • There is just a limited amount of technical information accessible.
  • The suction isn't all that reliable.
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  • Suction is the type of mount.
  • Uncertain about its ability to repel water
  • Battery Capacity: Unknown at This Time

This additional feature will increase your kayak's visibility to anyone in front of you if you already have a light on your kayak's stern mast. It has a one-piece body that is consistently water-resistant and sturdy if you capsize or crash your kayak, and it is built with a straightforward suction cup that can be mounted to the bow of your kayak in a matter of seconds.

The LED light bulb has a lifespan of about 100,000 hours, and when it is powered by four AA batteries (which are not included), it has a battery life of at least 15 hours or more (according to one user review). It illuminates red and green to alert approaching vessels of your port and starboard sides, which is an excellent feature for complying with laws set down by the United States Coast Guard.

 

Best Waterproof Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot 350

Product tested by Board and Kayak

Things we like:

  • Outstanding luminosity and a wide variety of settings
  • Superior longevity of the battery
  • Good IPX8 waterproofing
  • Even after many hours of use, the garment is comfortable to wear.
  • Conveniently small but remarkably hardy

Things we don't like:

  • When your hands are chilly or wearing gloves, it might be challenging to operate buttons with a small surface area.
  • The weakest color is red.
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  • A headlamp is the kind of mount.
  • IPX8 rating for water resistance; may be submerged up to 1.1 meters for 30 minutes.
  • Battery life can last up to two hundred hours.

This waterproof headlamp is just what you need to enjoy hands-free paddling without difficulty mounting kayak lights since it is precisely what you need. Because it has been given the rating of IPX8, it can survive being submerged for up to 30 minutes at depths of up to 1.1 meters. Additionally, it is more than capable of withstanding any quantity of rain.

The headlamp is powered by three AAA batteries in the packaging and lasts from 3.75 hours (when the floodlight mode is engaged) to 200 hours (on the lowest setting). You can choose how much of a spotlight you want to shine with a beam that can reach 86 meters when set to its highest or as little as 8 meters when set to its lowest level. The "brightness memory" setting lets you turn off the light while maintaining the brightness level you most recently selected.

It is the headlamp everyone who goes kayaking, hunting, fishing, or camping should have!

Night Fishing

In all honesty, it's something that everybody ought to try at least once in their lives, and if you're astute and well-organized as possible, you should make it a point to do it regularly.

In all honesty, that sums up everything! If you have an excellent kayak light, you won't have to worry about your safety while you're out on the water, and you'll be able to take full advantage of the tranquility and clarity of the summer nights on the lake, river, or ocean.

In the following paragraphs, I will analyze the available lights explicitly designed for nighttime paddling.

I will take you through all the laws and regulations the United States Coast Guard has regarding using navigation lights.

In addition, I will discuss the ins and outs of purchasing a kayak light so that you can leave this piece of writing with the knowledge necessary to select the solution that is most suitable for the available kayaking equipment to you.

kayak light

kayak light

You can trust me when I say that you'll want to read all the details so that you can be fully informed and prepared to enjoy those glorious nighttime paddles safely!

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have The Ability To Build Your Kayak Lights?

Absolutely! As I've already indicated, the only item that the United States Coast Guard requires kayakers to carry along is either a flashlight or some form of an electric lantern. That is the only thing that is needed in kayaks. You are not required to bring along any special lighting or lantern because no regulations require that you do so. Our colleagues over at Sea Kayak Explorer have written an excellent piece on DIY Kayak Lights that you can read if you are interested in getting some ideas for making your own set of bespoke kayak lights.

Do I Need Sidelights In Addition To The Stern And Bow Lights?

Kayakers do not need to carry any of these lights with them; boats are the only ones required to have them. On the other hand, most individuals who operate motorboats are accustomed to looking for colored sidelights in addition to white bow and stern lights. Red sidelights indicate the port side, while green sidelights indicate the starboard side. If you have all of these lights, larger boats traveling in the other way will be able to see you more readily.

Do I require A White Light, Or Do I Also Need Red And Green Lights?

The red and green navigation lights only serve one purpose: to signal which side of the vessel in which, enabling other vessels to select how to pass you safely. It is not required for kayakers to use any color of light other than white; however, if you are paddling in an area where there is a lot of traffic involving motorized boats, you might wish to use the red and green lights as well.

Can I Replace The Lights On My Kayak With LED Strips Instead?

That is a notable new trend that has gained popularity as a direct result of the recent availability of LED light strips, and it is one that you should jump on board with if it is something that interests you. It is possible to fasten the LED light strips to the sides of your kayak and then switch them on in the evening to illuminate your route while you paddle. Because of this, it will be easier for other individuals to follow in your footsteps. Adding LED light strips to the sides of your kayak is not only perfectly legal, but it is also risk-free. That is because rules that govern larger vessels and ships do not apply to kayaks, and Kayaks are free from these restrictions.For safety, I strongly advocate purchasing at least one light that is either deck-mounted, portable or fashioned like a headlamp. White light travels the longest in low-light settings, providing a more reliable source of illumination in the event you become trapped in dense fog or precipitation. In conditions when there is not a lot of light, the white light will always travel the farthest. To a large extent, kayak led lights were designed to fulfill the role of a safety component, much like a personal flotation device (PFD) or a bailing kit would. When you are on the water and among other vessels, such as sailing, they provide a means to protect yourself from potential danger.