Generally speaking, day kayaking is more popular among anglers. This activity is usually enjoyed when the day is hot, the sun is high, and the water is cool. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot go out on the water at night.
In fact, according to some anglers, the night kayaking is as much fun. When the world is quiet, the moon is high, and the stars are out, being out on the water is certainly magical. This activity can be calming, exciting, and a little terrifying all at once.
If you are a regular angler, you probably know kayaking is not all about the hull. There are several other features and accessories you need to consider to get the most out of your adventures. When it comes to night kayaking, one of the most important things that you’ll need is the best lights for night kayaking.
Before you continue onto my light recommendations, It would be a good idea to read my article on the legality of kayaking at night and what the legal light requirements are.
In this article, we have mentioned some of the best lights for night kayaking. Moreover, you can also find a buying guide explaining things that you should consider while buying a kayak light.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
Why You Need Lights for Night Kayaking
First of all, let’s start with the most basic question: why do you need a set of kayak lights?
Well, if you want to enjoy kayaking after dark, a durable set of lights is an absolute must. Here are some reasons why you should invest your money into the kayak lights:
The safety of your boat, as well as yourself, should be your first priority while going out on the water. Without a motor, kayaks are extremely compact and small, making them pretty hard to hear and see. A kayak light will offer visibility to avoid collisions with other watercraft.
A set of kayak lights can also help with navigation on the water. As we are talking about kayaking in the dark, it can become a challenge to see where you are heading. However, if you have lights for night kayaking, you will be able to observe your surroundings, avoiding any potential dangers and obstacles.
8 Best Lights for Night Kayaking
Unfortunately, finding the best lights for night kayaking is not actually a piece of cake. Due to their popularity, there are thousands of manufacturers offering these accessories with a variety of features and specifications. Therefore, you have to do your homework and invest your time before you invest your money.
To help you out, below, we have compiled a list of top 8 lights for night kayaking that might catch your interest:
When it comes to the best lights for night kayaking, no other product can beat the Kayalu Kayalite kayak lights. These highly portable kayak lights have everything you need to go kayaking in the dark. It is highly portable, lightweight, durable, and long-lasting.
The Kayalu Kayalite kayak light is nothing if not versatile. You can use this portable navigation light for scull, SOT, SUP, inflatable, dinghy, canoe, and kayak. It includes 2 bright LEDs with a titanium-infused white diffusion lens. Moreover, it comes with 3 AA alkaline batteries that can last for 100 hours.
We recommend investing your money into the Kayalu Kayalite kayak lights because these lights are durable and long-lasting. They are made of premium-quality material and are waterproof to 1000 feet. Moreover, these lights are deep water submersible and buoyant.
The Kayalu Kayalite kayak light comes with nylon-coated bungee and steel clips that can be attached to any pad eye or eyelet on the deck.
- Submersible up to 1000ft
- Light visible up to 2mil away
- Fully waterproof and buoyant
- Highly durable
- May overheat in case of misplacement of batteries
Another product that deserves a spot on our list is the RAILBLAZA visibility kit kayak light. This one might be a little expensive compared to the above-mentioned kayak light, but it is certainly worth every single penny. It is durable, strong, bright, lightweight, and long-lasting.
The RAILBLAZA visibility kit kayak light is one of the most durable and sturdy kayak lights available on the market. In fact, this model is specially designed for sports kayaks, ensuring you are getting the best lights for your kayaking adventures in the dark.
The best thing about the RAILBLAZA visibility kit kayak light is that it is a kit. This means it includes everything you need to be seen on the water both day and night. This kit includes a navigation light, a clip on the orange Flouro flag, Extenda pole 1000, and a Starport HD mount.
As this kayak light features the latest LED technology and is made of high-quality material, it is suitable for both recreational paddlers as well as kayak anglers.
- Floats light-side up
- Durable and long-lasting
- Decent battery light
- Includes drill-mounting hardware
- A little pricey
YakAttack is another popular store for manufacturing kayak lights. The YakAttack VISIPole II light is perfect for night kayaking. This light is made in the USA with premium-quality material, ensuring a long lifespan and exceptional sturdiness.
The YakAttack VISIPole II kayak light comes with 3 AA batteries that can last for up to 100 hours. Moreover, this device comes with 10,000 hours of lamp life, ensuring you enjoy your night kayaking without any issues. For more visibility, the YakAttack VISIPole II light also comes with an orange flag.
You can easily attach this light to the kayak track!
- Excellent battery life
- 3600 visibility
- Easy to use, slim and lightweight
- Adjustable mast
- GearTrac mounts or Mighty Mount are necessary
Next, we have the Attwood 14192-7 Navigation light kit. This kit includes all the hardware that you need to navigate over water, including a telescoping pole, mounts, white LED stern light, and green/red LED bow light.
The lens of the Attwood navigation light is made of polycarbonate, which is reliable and compatible. This kayak light can be used with 3 AAA batteries to run for more than 150 hours. It even supported 2 different mounting options. You can either utilize the adhesive pad or screw down your kayak lights.
With a shatter-proof polycarbonate lens, all the fragile and electronic parts are stored in shock-proof housing for better durability and long life.
- Affordable navigation kit
- Well-designed, sturdy hardware
- Red/green and white lights provided
- Multiple mounting options
- Not the brightest lights for kayaking
You can also get yourself the LED bow light made by Innovative Lighting. This item is known for its budget-friendly price tag and sturdiness. It can be used with 4 AA batteries. However, you will have to buy the batteries separately.
The Innovative Lighting LED bow light offers white lens color, which is certainly an ideal option for night kayaking. Compared to incandescent, this kayak light uses up to 90% less energy. Moreover, it has an average lifespan of around 100,000 hours, making it one of the most durable bow lights for kayaking in the dark.
With a suction cup, the Innovative Lighting LED bow light comes with shock-resistant Neoprene Accents and one-piece molded white body Construction.
- Buoyant and waterproof
- Fairly inexpensive
- Easily mounted
- Lightweight and compact
- The suction isn’t quite secure
The UST See-ME 1.0 is certainly not the longest-lasting or brightest kayak light on our list, but it is an ideal backup plan. In fact, this model is specially designed for emergency cases. If your primary light gets damaged, runs out of power, or fails, you can use UST See-Me 1.0 for navigation.
As a backup light, this model is durable, versatile, and reliable. It is waterproof up to 1 meter. Moreover, you can use 2 AAA batteries with these LED lights. However, you’ll have to buy these batteries separately. The UST See-Me 1.0 LED light is Considered unbreakable with up to 17 hours of constant light. You can use a Lanyard cord to mount this light on your kayak.
- Extremely budget-friendly
- Unbreakable LED bulb
- Ultra-reliable and easy to operate
- Lightweight and compact
- Not the brightest and longest-lasting light
The Shoreline Marine light kit is highly portable and features excellent craftsmanship. You can use a clamp-on style to set up with LED light. The good thing about this light kit is that it comes with all the necessary hardware that you need to mount it to your kayak.
In addition, the Shoreline Marine light kit comes with two different clamp-on mounts, allowing you to set up this LED light on the bow or the stern. The kit includes two lights as well (white and red), allowing you to mark both ends of your watercraft.
The LED lights can be powered by 3 AAA batteries that you need to buy separately. As this light creates low amperage, you can use the Shoreline Marine light kit for hours. one of the biggest selling points of this kayak light is its portable and compact design. Due to its design, you can permanently mount it to your kayak!
- Bi-color navigation light
- Easy to install
- Dual clamp-on mounts
- Durable and long-lasting
- A little pricey
Last but not least, we have the Guardian Angel safety lights. Now, this kayak light is probably the most expensive item on our list. However, to its high-end built and elegant design, it is certainly worth every single penny.
The Guardian Angel safety lights are completely unique. This model uses 2 neodymium magnets for mounting instead of clips. The magnets are powerful enough to stick with the shirt, coat, lifejacket, and even the deck of your kayak.
The Guardian Angel safety lights are compact enough to fit into the palm of your hands. Although it is smaller in size, this one can still produce enough light to be seen from up to 5 miles away. It is completely dust-proof and waterproof. However, this light is certainly not designed to be submerged.
- Chargeable lights
- The output of around 500 lumens
- Lightweight and compact
- Highly-visible kayak light
- Quite expensive
Light for Night Kayaking – Buying Guide
When it comes to lights for night kayaking, you have several options. There are thousands of companies out there manufacturing these lights with a variety of features and specifications. As no two companies are the same, the same goes for their products. Therefore, you have to invest your time before you invest your money.
To get the best lights for your kayaking adventures, you have to consider some things, such as your budget, light output, battery life, Construction, and many more. To give you a better perspective, below, we have compiled a list of some things to Consider while getting yourself LED lights for night kayaking:
Budget is, of course, one of the most important things to consider while making a buying decision. The last thing you want is to get an expensive light for night kayaking that will leave you broke. Therefore, always stick with your budget.
An inexpensive light does not have to be of the worst quality. Read the reviews and get a budget-friendly product that is both durable and reliable. Instead of spending hundreds of bucks, it’s reasonable to get a backup LED light with an affordable kayak light.
You also have to consider the light output of your selected model. To make this point simple, keep in mind that an LED with more lumens will offer more visibility. Get yourself a bright light that is easy to see at night.
It’s noteworthy to mention here that a powerful light will consume comparatively more energy. Moreover, this type of light will be heavier as well.
For kayaking adventures, it is always best to avoid as much weight as possible. Unless you have a motor mount with your kayak, an overweight kayak can put a lot of stress on your body. Therefore, you have to consider the weight of your lights as well.
You can get all sorts of kayak lights from the market, from lightweight and highly portable models to heavier ones. The mounting option of your selected kayak will determine its actual weight. Generally speaking, the metal light and C-clamps housings are relatively heavier than suction cups and plastic housings.
An over-large and bulky LED light can cause several problems while installation. Moreover, they can also cause irritation. Alternatively, if you get a light that is too small, it will certainly offer less visibility, leading to accidents. Therefore, get yourself a compact model that still offers higher lumens.
The durability of your LED light is certainly one of the most important things to consider. You don’t want to buy a light from the internet that won’t even last for a few days. Generally speaking, LED lights are quite durable and long-lasting. But, they are certainly prone to deterioration and breaking.
The durability of your kayak light will be determined by its material. Normally, these lights are made with either plastic or metal. Both of these approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, while the plastic lights are lightweight and waterproof, they are certainly not as sturdy as the metal ones.
Alternatively, an LED light made from marine-grade, high-quality metal will certainly cost you a lot of bucks. Moreover, these types of lights are usually heavier than plastic ones.
The actual battery life of an LED light is certainly an important thing to consider!
Believe us; you don’t want to change the battery of your LED light during night kayaking just because it has run out of juice. This approach is both dangerous and potentially inconvenient. Fortunately, the LED light usually comes with excellent battery life. Even an inexpensive model can last for up to 100 hours on AA or AAA batteries.
Regardless of the model, all kayak lights are battery-powered. You can either get a light that supports AA/AAA batteries or a rechargeable light. We recommend getting a product with a built-in rechargeable battery. These lights might be a little expensive, but they are more convenient.
Moreover, a rechargeable light can save you several bucks in the long run. This is because an LED light that is powered by AA or AAA batteries might require regular investment on a weekly basis. Moreover, changing an AA or AAA battery while paddling can lead to damage to the power supply.
You also have to consider the mounting options before investing your money into a certain LED light. Here’s everything you need to know about the different mounting options for kayak lights:
- Drill Mount – Unless you are using an inflatable kayak, it’s best to use the drill mount option. A light with the drill mount option uses screw-down plates that are screwed directly to the kayak. Therefore, this option is considered the most secure kayak light mount.
- Track Mount – Most fishing kayaks come with gear tracks, allowing you to upgrade your vessel and use more accessories with your watercraft. There are several kayak lights available out there that can be mounted using the track mount option. This one is also secure and convenient. However, this option is only applicable if your vessel has a gear track.
- Tension Cable – kayaks usually contain several D-rings and eyelets. You can also use a tension cable to mount your kayak light with these eyelets and D-rings. If your deck has some reliable hardware to clip your light to, this mounting option is an excellent choice for you.
- Suction Cup – Most modern kayak lights come with suction cups. This mounting option features a rubber cup that generates suction when used on the hull. As a result, you can install your kayak lights without even using any bulkier and heavier mounting systems. However, if your vessel is scratched, dented, or dirty, this mounting option might not be useful for you.
- Clamp-On – This one is probably the most common mounting option used to set up a kayak light. It features a C-clamp that can be used to mount your lights. This mounting option is an excellent choice for you if you have a sit-on-top kayak. Keep in mind that this mounting option is unwieldy and heavy. If over-tightened, this option can even damage your kayak.
The final decision is completely up to you. You can select an LED light with any mounting option. However, make sure your selected mounting option does not affect your kayak adventure.
When buying a kayak light, you can even look for special features, such as lightweight, windproof, waterproof, and many more. The most important feature you should look for is the waterproof design. As you are buying a light for kayaking, your selected model will certainly be waterproof.
However, there are different degrees of waterproofing, and not all models are the same on this front. If a certain model cannot withstand submersion of at least 1 meter, it is not worth your time and money. You can check the waterproofing rating system to determine how waterproof a certain model really is!
Are you planning to go kayaking in the dark? If YES, then you certainly need to find the best lights for night kayaking. These lights are designed to offer safety as well as navigation.
There are thousands of kayak lights available in the market with a variety of features and specifications. While some are known for their durable constructions, others are popular because of their budget-friendly price tags.
Above, we have mentioned our top 8 picks when it comes to the best lights for night kayaking. The Kayalu Kayalite kayak light is undoubtedly the best pick for anyone. It is durable, strong, lightweight, portable, waterproof, and many more.
Alternatively, if you want a high-end product, you should try out the Guardian Angel safety lights. This model might be a little expensive, but it is certainly worth every single penny.