The Top 10 Kayak Led Lights For Night Fishing And Paddling

Top 10 Kayak Led Lights For Night Fishing

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/13/2022

When it comes to paddling a kayak after dark, there is only one additional gear you will require, and that is a set of kayak led 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 days that summer has to offer 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

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 various available lights explicitly designed for use during nighttime paddling.

I'm going to take you through all the laws and regulations the United States Coast Guard has in place regarding the use of 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

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!

When you purchase through one of our links, we may earn a small commission because we are an affiliate of Amazon and other retailers. However, this commission does not increase your price for the product, and I sincerely appreciate it.

Quick Answer: The Best Kayak Lights For 2022

Do you wish you could read the whole article now but don't have the time? Don't get your hopes up! You should save this page as a bookmark and check back later to conduct a more in-depth analysis of the information provided below.

For the time being, all you have to do is scroll through our abridged list of the best kayak lights for your particular requirements:

  • The Kayalu Kayalite Portable Bright White Led Kayak Light is the Best Overall Product.
  • The Guardian Angel is the best high-end option.
  • RAILBLAZA Visibility Kit Kayak All-Around Safety Light Has the Longest Lasting Battery Life.
  • The YakAttack VISIPole II is the best option when carrying a flag.
  • Attwood 14192-7 Water-Resistant Deck Mount LED Navigation Light Kit Features a Variety of Mounting Options and is Versatile.

lighting options

  • Paddlers Supply Company's LED Kayak Deck Light with Suction Cup Base is the most cost-effective option.
  • Best Handheld: ENERGIZER Rechargeable LED Spotlight.
  • The UST See-Me 1.0 Waterproof LED Light is the Best Clip-On Light.
  • The 560-1110 Portable LED Bow Light from Innovative Lighting is our pick for the best low light.
  • Black Diamond Spot 350: The World's Finest Waterproof Headlamp.

Kayak Lights: What You Should Know Before Purchasing

Why You Need Lights On Your Kayak

Anyone intending to go kayaking in the evening is strongly encouraged to bring kayaking lights along. They serve two purposes that are entirely separate from one another and are as follows:

Navigation On The water

When the moon and stars aren't out, it might be difficult to see where you're going or what potential hazards might be in your path when out paddling.

That won't be an issue when you're out in the center of a lake, but if you get too close to the shore or move downstream, you could run into some trouble.

safety

There is a huge advantage to utilizing kayak lights since they allow you to see where you are going and steer clear of any hazards or impediments that may put you or your kayak in danger. That is a benefit that is not to be underestimated.

Safety

Kayaks are typically relatively small boats with no motor or other gear that propels the ship forward. As a result, it is tricky to see them and even more difficult to hear them.

If you have lights mounted to your kayak, you will be more visible to other forms of water transportation, such as boats, paddleboarders, kayakers, ships, and so on. They will be able to avoid crashes with you as a result of this safely.

The fact of the matter is that, in all honesty, Reason No. 2 is much more substantial than Reason No. 1, and this is the truth of the case!

safety

Suppose you have the good fortune to go kayaking in a city like Vancouver, Austin, San Francisco, Chicago, or Oklahoma City. In that case, you will have access to all the city lights, making it easier for you to see your way. If you do not have the good fortune to go kayaking in a city, however, you will not have this advantage. There are no lights in the immediate area when you paddle out in the middle of a lake in a national park. Still, the moon and stars are usually enough to illuminate your surroundings after your eyes have acclimated to the darkness. Of course, this assumes that your eyes have adjusted to the night.

If you are going near to shore, you only need a light source since it will let you avoid hazards (strainers, sweepers, fallen trees, and the shoreline itself) or if you are traveling up or down a river.

The other vessels on the water provide the most significant risk to your safety while you are out on the water, but this is especially true when you are in a busy body of water like the ocean or a lake with many other boats. If you are unable to see other boaters on the water, there is a chance that you may be engaged in an accident with another vessel. Alternately, a boat about to pass you could spot you in time to avoid colliding, but it might go so near you that it causes you to capsize.

safty of kayak

Kayak lights were developed mainly to serve as a safety component, much like a personal flotation device (PFD) or your bailing kit would. They give you a way to defend yourself from potential danger when you are on the water and among other vessels, such as sailing.

Regulations And Rules That Apply To Kayak Lights

For boats to comply with regulations imposed by the United States Coast Guard, they must display several lights. These lights include a red light on the port side, a green light on the starboard side, and white lights on both the bow (front) and stern (rear) (back). In contrast, this was not limited to motorized vessels but extended to those propelled by sail.

Because who can paddle them, kayaks are classified as "vessels under oars." They are not required to have the same deck-mounted lights as larger boats; instead, they must have either an electric flashlight or illuminated lantern with white light that they present "in sufficient time to avert a collision." This requirement applies only to boats less than 26 feet in length.

glass bottom kayak

To put it another way, if you want to paddle during the night, you must have some bright white light on board your kayak. If you don't, you won't be able to see anything. You can equate your kayak with a headlamp, a flashlight, or the conventional lights on the vessel's stern, bow, and sides. All of these options are workable substitutes that who should take into account.

Be aware that you must have a visible signaling device on the water, such as a pyrotechnic flare if you intend to be on the water at night. While bigger vessels need to have them throughout the day, kayakers only need them when they are out on the water during the evening or night.

Even while the laws do not require you to use complete lighting systems as they do for larger vessels, I believe it is still a good idea to consider selecting for maximum visibility anytime you paddle during the night. That is especially true if you are traveling a longer distance.

glow dark

It makes the waterways safer not just for you but also for any other vessels that could be utilizing them at the same time. Anything that can save you from getting into a collision or having an accident is, in my opinion, a terrific notion. That includes anything that can prevent you from having an accident.

What You Need To Know About Kayak Lights

Let's get into everything you need about selecting the most OK kayak lights to safely get out on the water. You may choose from a wide variety of alternatives, each of which has a unique layout, set of features, and capabilities, as you can see from the list, we provided earlier in this paragraph. It is essential to have a solid understanding of the functions performed by each type of lighting to select the choice that caters to your preferences and requirements the most effectively.

There Are Many Different Kinds Of Kayak Lights

There are essentially four different kinds of kayak lights to choose from, and they are as follows:

Lights That Who Can Hold In The Hand

Flashlights and spotlights that who may hold in one's hand are widespread items included on fishing and boating equipment lists. Today's market offers a staggering variety of options for boat spotlights and LED torches capable of producing extremely high levels of illumination.

Lights That Who Can Hold In The Hand

However, there aren't that many that provide the extreme waterproofing required to safeguard the flashlight in the event it falls overboard, or your kayak turns over. In addition, you are required to hold the flashlight in your hand, which means that you cannot shine the light while paddling simultaneously.

Helmet Lights And Headlamps

Headlamps are standard accessories for people who spend time outside in the evening, such as hunters, anglers, hikers, snowboarders, snowshoers, and skiers. They take up very little space, are highly portable, and do not need the use of either hand. Others are worn on top of the head and secured by an elastic band, while some are linked to a helmet. A headlamp is a constructive accessory when fishing from a kayak in low light conditions.

The following are some of the drawbacks associated with the use of headlamps and helmet-mounted flashlights:

  • There is no guarantee that they will be particularly watertight.
  • If you drown, they have the potential to fall off your head or helmet.
  • They are not the source of light with a tremendous amount of brightness.

Clip-On Lights

Clip-on lights are typically small flashlights with a carabiner or clip that allows the user to attach the light to their flotation device (PFD). You won't ever have to fumble about the kayak cockpit to fit them because they are fastened straight to your lifejacket, making them hands-free and instantly accessible.

Clip-On Lights

On the other hand, because of their diminutive size, they won't be able to produce a significant amount of light; hence, they will be significantly less noticeable compared to the many other lighting solutions.

Lights That Are Mounted Onto The Deck

Most boats are equipped with navigation lights that may be positioned on either the deck or the vessel's hull. A few different kayak lights are available, but most have the same general layout. Usually, these lights are battery-operated and mounted directly into the deck (rather than connected to a boat motor or battery).

How Can Lights Be Mounted On A Kayak?

There are five primary mounting options available, which are as follows:

Clamp-On

This particular form of mount resembles an enormous version of a C-clamp made of metal, and it is secured to your kayak. Because of the curvature of most kayaks' hulls, this kayak is often best suited for sit-on-top kayaks. These mounts are usually made of heavy-duty materials, and once they are fastened in place, they are unlikely to slip or shift.

Clamp-On

However, they are cumbersome to handle and can only be put in very particular areas on your kayak, and if they are overtightened, they might potentially harm the kayak's hull.

Cup With Suction

That is a "more contemporary" choice that has skyrocketed in popularity over the past several years. Suction mounts consist of a thick rubber cup that generates suction when applied to the vessel's hull. That allows the horse to remain in place without requiring a heavier and larger mounting device. Be careful, however, that the surface must be clean and smooth for the suction cup to attach well. There is a possibility that you will not have the most secure grasp on your kayak if it is filthy, scraped, or dented.

Cable Under Tension

The eyelets or D-rings built into the kayak's deck are meant to accept tension cables that clip onto them. The clip is constructed into the base of the light, allowing it to sway ever-so-slightly and bend over as required. If your deck already has some mounting gear that you can use to clip the morning, too, this is one of the more handy installation choices.

Cable Under Tension

On the other hand, if it is not drawn tight, you may discover that you are continuously picking up a light that has fallen over in the turbulent waves.

Mounted On Tracks

The decks of more and more kayaks, and fishing kayaks, in particular, are being outfitted with gear rails that make it possible to mount extra hardware and accessories safely and securely. Various kayak lights are available that may be attached to the gear tracks of the kayak. They provide a mounting option that is both highly secure and very handy, but they are only functional if your kayak has gear tracks and, in some cases, only a particular gear track. If your kayak does not have gear tracks, you will not be able to use these.

Mount The Drill Bit

For the most stable attachment, it is often better to drill directly into the deck or hull of the kayak, similar to how many other kayak accessories are mounted. Lights attached to your kayak by drilling often include screw-down mounting plates affixed directly to the kayak. 

Mount The Drill Bit

You will need to feel comfortable drilling holes in your kayak to use them, even though they are the safest alternative. Once installed, they cannot be adjusted in any way; thus, you must do it correctly on the first go.

What You Really Need To Know About Light Bulbs For Kayaks

It is reasonable to state that nearly all of today's kayak lights will produce light with the usage of LEDs, which stands for light-emitting diodes.

LED lights have a low energy consumption compared to other types of lighting, providing much greater light while emitting much less heat and using much less power than conventional bulbs. They also often have a longer lifespan and are far more damage resistant than most other illumination solutions. In addition, they are, without a doubt, far more economical to run throughout their lifespan.

What You Really Need To Know About Light Bulbs For Kayaks

The vast majority of kayak lights consist of a straightforward LED light bulb linked to one or more of the following:

  • Arrangement of mounting components (as explained above)
  • A source of power (either rechargeable AA or AAA batteries or standard AA or AAA batteries).
  • A pole to elevate it above the water so that it may be seen more clearly

Nevertheless, there are a few alternatives to choose from that come with more sophisticated lighting characteristics. The following items fall into this category:

Diffusion Lens: As its name suggests, a diffusion lens "diffuses" or scatters the light produced by your LED. Put another way, it diffuses the morning without making it less brilliant. It will not diminish the visibility of your kayak light—on the contrary, it will increase the glow by spreading it across a broader area (the surface of the lens)—but it will make the light less dazzling to other vessels or paddlers that are in the vicinity.

fishing light kayak

The opposite of a diffusion lens is a spotlight, which this lens type is called. On the other hand, spotlights do not diffuse the light; instead, they increase the amount of illumination by generating a cone of light that is intently focused on a more constrained region. They are solid and highly brilliant, making them ideal for fishing, boating, or hunting in dark conditions when you need to illuminate a specific area of water or coastline.

Neither of these is required to paddle a kayak at night without risking injury. Nevertheless, the specifics of your situation will determine whether or not they become helpful to you.

Kayak Light Waterproofing Guide

Waterproofing is an essential consideration for any kayak gear, including kayak lights, but it is necessary for kayak lights. Considering that it will be on, around, and potentially even in the water, it must endure being wet or falling overboard. That is because who will use it everywhere and possibly in the water.

You'll find an "IP rating" on every waterproof good (like IPX8 or IP65). Although these ratings can appear a bit complicated at first glance, you'll quickly realize that they're relatively straightforward.

Kayak Light Waterproofing Guide

Permit me to summarise it for you in a nutshell:

  • "Ingress Protection" is what "IP" stands for in this industry.
  • The initial digit or letter provides information on "Solid Particle Protection" (dust, dirt, etc.)
  • The "Liquid Ingress Protection" is specified by the second digit or letter in this phrase (including water).

Now, let's look at the Ingress Protection (IP) ratings of one of the goods we have put on our list.

The Kayalu Kayalite Portable Bright White Led Kayak Light has a rating of IPX8. It is our selection for the product that is the best overall.

  • The letter "X" denotes that there is no protection level that has been given; in this example, there is no protection against the intrusion of solid particles (although this protection isn't going to be necessary because the filter is going to be used primarily on water).
  • The number "8" indicates that it can withstand “immersion beyond 1 meter.”After that, the manufacturer will determine the maximum depth of immersion, which in this case is one thousand feet.

paddling light

Do you see how straightforward that is? You should have no trouble locating the comprehensive IP Rating Chart, which will assist you in quickly determining the degree of water resistance offered by your kayak lights at a glance. The greater the IP rating (especially the second digit), the more effective the waterproofing!

How to Choose The Right Kayak Lights For Night Paddling: Some Important Considerations

Before you choose whether or not to buy kayak lights, there are a few factors that you need to think about to ensure that you make the right choice.

Options for Mounting the Devices in Other Places
In the last part of this discussion, we went over the many different methods that may mount something, as well as the multiple benefits and downsides associated with each.

A few distinct arrangements of the deck might function with C-clamps.

Some Important Considerations

When applied to either highly dirty kayaks or damaged in some way, there is a risk that suction cups will not stick to the kayaks.

Using lighting that is installed atop gear rails to illuminate the area, it is required to have gear tracks installed beforehand (or plan to install them yourself).

When you drill holes in your hull to install your lights, you risk causing damage to your boat.

Consider which of these options makes you feel the most at ease, and based on that choice, conduct your shopping following what you find.

Light Output

It is important to remember that a higher lumens rating will result in a lighter that is both more conspicuous and brighter. But lights with a higher lumen output are more inclined to be bulkier and take up more energy than those with a lower lumen output.

Light Output

Visibility Distance

Several manufacturers of kayak lights will provide information on the most significant distance from which their lights can be seen rather than go into depth about the number of lumens that their lights emit. Who will include this information in the product description? When it is dark outside on the lake, this is still another helpful strategy that can utilize, and who can use it to estimate the degree to which the lights will be seen.

Power Generation Facility 

Each light on a kayak will be powered by a battery, a standard AA or AAA battery that can replace, or a rechargeable battery built directly into the light.

Even while built-in batteries are more convenient and better for the environment, they may not have sufficient juice for lengthy journeys that last for multiple days. If they sustain damage, develop a fault, or cease working entirely, they are also more expensive to fix.

Power Generation Facility

The cost of operating devices that are powered by AA or AAA batteries is typically higher, and there is also the possibility that opening the battery compartment to change the batteries could allow water to seep in, which would damage the power supply. The cost of operating devices powered by AA or AAA batteries is typically higher. This risk exists in circumstances where it is essential to change the batteries in the middle of paddling.

Battery Capacity And Its Availability

That is undoubtedly an important facet that should not be neglected and should not be ignored!

It is not something you want to be forced to do in the middle of paddling just because the light you were using ran out of power; doing so is inconvenient and poses the risk of injury. It is not something you want to be forced to do in the middle of paddling just because the light you were using ran out of power.

Battery Capacity And Its Availability

It will be a relief to learn that there are lights on the market that have a lifespan of more than 100 hours and are easy to recharge when you are not using them in your kayak, which will guarantee that they have enough charge at all times.

Durability

Even though LED bulbs have a high level of durability, the other light components may be susceptible to damage or deterioration over time. Plastic is a lightweight material impervious to water, but marine-grade metal is more durable and resistant to wear than plastic. Plastic is an excellent material for usage in weather-exposed settings.

Size

It will be a pain in the rear to install a hefty and considerable kayak light, and there is a possibility that it will be distractingly in the center of your field of vision while you are attempting to enjoy your evening paddle.

Size

On the other hand, an excessively dim light will make it harder for passing vessels to detect it, increasing the risk of an accident.

Weight

Likely, your kayak will already be rather hefty when you get it, so the last thing you want to do is add more weight than it already has. C-clamps and marine-grade metal light housings are often heavier and bulkier than plastic light housings, suction cups, and track mounts, typically more lightweight and compact. Additionally, plastic light housings tend to be more severe than metal equivalents.

Smart Advice For The Secure Operation Of Kayak Lights

If you are considering going kayaking, the following are some valuable ideas that will allow you to get the most out of the light that is mounted to your kayak:

Bring spare batteries and put them in a bag that will survive the weather conditions you may encounter. If the light stops functioning in the middle of your paddle, you won't be unhappy that you included a spare set of batteries or a fresh power pack in your dry bag just in case it happens.

Smart Advice For The Secure Operation Of Kayak Lights

It is undeniably advantageous to do so, even though doing so will need you to carry around one or two more ounces of weight.

Make sure that everything is in good working order by putting it through its paces before you jump into the water by giving it a test. A cautious kayaker will always double-check their equipment before venturing on the water. The first time will be when they are packing their kayak, and the second will be after arriving at their destination.

Be sure to carefully inspect the kayak's light in the same manner that you will evaluate the personal flotation device (PFD), dry bag, and other equipment contained within your kayak.

If you want to verify that it is working correctly, you can turn it on and pay attention to any flickering or dimming that may occur. That might signal that the power source is malfunctioning or another issue.

 Night Fishing And Paddling

Using some clean water, clear away any dirt or debris that may be on the light. Be sure to give the lamp a good rinsing with some fresh water each time you use it while kayaking in the ocean or another body of salt water to eliminate any salt residue that may have been left behind.

Salt can corrode the power supply if it is allowed to enter the system. The lamp may have salt residue removed by a straightforward cleaning process, which will significantly extend the bulb's lifespan.

Position at a spot that is inconvenient for gaining access to the batteries. When you return to your house, remove the batteries from the kayak light and the battery pack, allowing you to store the batteries in a different spot in your home.

Doing this will prevent any power loss that might lead to your gadget losing its battery at the most inopportune possible time.

light

It is essential to keep the charge on the light constantly. Before taking action, you shouldn't wait until your power pack or batteries have entirely run out. Give yourself time to relax and reenergize consistently by making it a goal to do so at least once a week during the busiest portion of the paddling season and at least once a month once the paddling season is over. You won't ever have to worry about whether or not your light is powered up and ready for use on a journey throughout the night if you do it this way before you set out.

How To Paddle A Kayak In The Dark And Stay Safe

Individuals who intend to go out on the lake at night should make it a priority to practice safe boating techniques, which is an absolute must.

To keep safe after dark:

  • Make sure you are well-prepared in advance. Be sure that you are familiar with your route, the available amount of time required for your journey, and how you will be able to return to your car if you cannot return to where you started your journey. That will ensure that you do not get lost along the way. You must ensure that everyone else is aware of your plan. In addition, before you get in your kayak and head out onto the water, make sure that you carefully examine all of your gear and make any required adjustments. Who should do that before you venture out onto the lake? That is something that we must emphasize several times!

kayak light

  • Check the forecast one last time before you head out the door. Be very sure that you are aware of whether or not that cloud cover is going to turn into rain or a complete thunderstorm while you are out on the lake, and also make sure that you are aware of whether or not the temperature is going to decrease while you are out there. Check the forecast often during the day, and then do so shortly before you leave the house, just in case of abrupt and unanticipated weather changes.
  • Prepare yourself for the cool weather and the later hours of the day. Bring along some warm, water-resistant clothing and shoes just in case the temperature drops abruptly. Also, prepare for the possibility of snow. In addition, regardless of whether or not the weather report predicts that the sky will be apparent, you should still make preparations for the potential that clouds could come in by bringing along an extra flashlight or spotlight in addition to the standard kayak lights.

paddling light

  • Be visible. Having clear sight is an absolute need whenever you are on the water, and this is especially true in situations when you will be navigating the sea alongside other boats and vessels. Don't just settle with a single, simple kayak light; consider using a flag, high-visibility clothing, a personal flotation device (PFD), and even additional flashing lights to ensure everyone around you can see you. That will help prevent accidents.
  • Keep to the same course as you have been in waters that are already familiar to you. Never try anything new or take unnecessary risks when paddling your kayak out on the water in the middle of the night. It is conceivable that you may run into an unanticipated difficulty or crash into a hazard that would have been easy to see and avoid during the day, but that will transform into a dangerous threat when the sun goes down, increasing the risk of severe injury or death. You should limit your exploration of new rivers to the early hours and stick to well-traveled and secure waterways during nighttime.

kayaking

  • Keep an eye out for boats and ships that are powered by motors. During your paddling excursion at night, you will probably see them as the most dangerous. You shouldn't only make sure they can see you; you should also keep an eye out for them and avoid areas frequented by boats and ships. In addition, you should make sure that they can see you.

Even though you don't need to put in a lot of work to stay safe while kayaking at night, taking even these simple measures might go a long way toward preventing a horrific incident from occurring on your after-dark voyage.

Kayak Lights On Our List, With 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, so it will make 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 make you 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 on the market due to the robust marine-grade metal that those chose for the pole.

Light Output

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.
Pros:

  • Extremely long-lasting; will never get brittle or bend.
  • Completely afloat and impervious to water
  • A diffusion lens can lessen the brightness you and your other paddlers experience.
    The light that can be seen up to 3 kilometers away
  • Up to a depth of one thousand feet submersible

Cons:

  • Possibly will overheat if the batteries are not appropriately positioned.
  • It is conceivable that someone standing in front of you cannot see the light due to your body since it is blocking their view.

Best High-End Option: Guardian Angel

  • Magnetic is the type of mount.
  • IP68 stands for waterproofing.
  • The lifespan of the battery: 93 hours

That is a one-of-a-kind kayak light for sure! The light is attached to your lifejacket, coat, shirt, or even the 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 allow it to be seen from that far away. What a shining example!

The Guardian Angel's exterior is 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.

Best High-End Option: Guardian Angel

Along with flashing emergency and work lights, the compact gadget features ultrabright LEDs facing both the device's front and back. 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 do well to consider purchasing even though it is more expensive and compact than most of our other top recommendations.

Pros:

  • 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.

Charging might take anything between 2 and 8 hours.

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • If you hook it onto your flotation device (PFD), it won't be visible to anyone behind you.

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

  • 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, both of which are designed to increase your 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.

RAILBLAZA Visibility Kit Kayak All Around Safety Light

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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • It is necessary to drill holes into your kayak for this (unless you have gear tracks)
  • On the more expensive side

Best with Flag: YakAttack VISIPole II

  • 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.

YakAttack VISIPole II

Because the light kit is placed on gear tracks, you will need first to 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Mounting is restricted to the MightyMount and GearTrac systems only.

YakAttack VISIPole II GearTrac Ready Light with Flag (V2FM+FPG)
4.6/5
100%
Easy to use
90%
Water resistance
88%
Easy to install
70%
Value for money
70%
Durability
68%
Sturdiness

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

  • 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 is compliant 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 have a runtime of around 150 hours, and each unit requires three AAA batteries to function. The electrical components are encased in a robust metal chassis that is shock-resistant, and the polycarbonate glass that covers the LED light bulbs prevents the bulbs from breaking. There is no information that who can find on a particular IP rating; nevertheless, customer reviews imply that it is not entirely waterproof.

Resistant Deck Mount LED Navigation Light Kit

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Lacking complete water tightness
  • Not bright

Attwood 14192-7 Water-Resistant Deck Mount LED Navigation Light Kit, Marine Gray Finish
4.5/5
86%
Easy to install
84%
Adhesion
82%
Brightness
74%
Suction power
72%
Value for money

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

  • 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 there is no official IP certification 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.

Kayak Deck Light Paddlers Supply Led Kayak Deck Light

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 are always fortunate to take the light from the mast and attach it to your flotation device (PFD). Now that's what I call the ultimate in convenience!

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Over time, the rubber that makes up suction cups will break and lose its ability to adhere.
  • Doesn't float

Best Handheld: ENERGIZER Rechargeable LED Spotlight

  • 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.

ENERGIZER LED Rechargeable Spotlight

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're wearing gloves, you won't have trouble using them because the buttons are so big.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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)

ENERGIZER LED Rechargeable Spotlight PRO600
4.6/5
94%
Brightness
90%
Battery life
90%
Water resistance

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

  • 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 the 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 serve as 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.

Waterproof LED Light for Emergency

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.

Pros:

  • 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.
  • Very inexpensive

Cons:

  • Not bright
  • 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.

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

  • 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 put on the stern mast of your kayak. 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.

Portable LED Bow Light with Suction Cup

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • There is just a limited amount of technical information accessible.
  • The suction isn't all that reliable.

Best Waterproof Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot 350

  • 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 if you want to enjoy hands-free paddling without having to deal with the difficulty of 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.

Black Diamond Equipment Spot 350 Headlamp

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 as far as 86 meters when set to its highest or as little as 8 meters when set to its lowest level. The "brightness memory" setting allows you to turn off the light while maintaining the brightness level you most recently selected.

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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Kayak Lights FAQs

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 You Have The Ability To Build Your 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.

Do I require A White Light, Or Do I Also Need

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.

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

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.