kayak light

I ran a search on the archives and did not find any really useful recommendations for a simple bright 360 degree white running light for nighttime kayaking. I use an LED headlamp plus a small clipon LED on the back of my PFD but I would like to add something bright and visible on the deck. I bought a Seattle Sports Hydrostar deck mount post light some years ago for over $40 and the thing leaked the first time I used it and fried the electronics (just from mild splashing, it was never submerged and we were in freshwater), plus it was tough to mount on my folding kayak deck. So I’m a little leery of the Hydrostar, though that is the sort of thing I am looking for.

Princeton Tech just came out with a small waterproof LED unit (called the Meridian) but it seems to only have strobe settings – can’t tell from the product description if steady light is an option. Does anyone have one of these? I saw some paddlers on the river after dark on the Fourth, when we were paddling back from the firesworks, who had some super bright stalk type lights mounted on their decks, looked to be multi-LED’s – I tried to catch up with them to ask where they got them but had to stay back with the group I was shepherding and wasn’t able to get close enough.

Anybody have any product model suggestions?

there’s a solution here

More than one actually. You can get the suction cup mount and add an 8" extension bar with a light on the end.

I love Luci

– Last Updated: Jul-25-14 7:25 PM EST –

Might not be exactly what you're looking for, but Luci lights are solar, waterproof, fold flat, and pretty bright.


Edited to add Luci also floats.

why is the assumed marker light position on hull in front of kayaker…obscuring vision and too low.

Why not on the back of your head ?

try a drop zone marker ?



– Last Updated: Jul-26-14 8:05 AM EST –

makes an inexpensive (under $30) navigation light set. The mounting method stinks but if you're handy you can make something that works better. I used a scrap of sheet aluminum for the red/green bow light bracket and some PVC for the stern light. I can take some pictures if you're interested.

festive ?

try NRS…

emergency services and law enforcement lighting equipment searching will turn up units a few dollars more than the usual nautical supplies from West Marine or NRS.

If your concern is motorized traffic…

We evaluate the problem in road cycling. Answer there may be multiple small lights. The attempt is recognition at night by traffic not seeing you in daylight.

More info

– Last Updated: Jul-26-14 12:10 PM EST –

Here's a previous thread: http://www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=1442989

I use and recommend the Kayalite referred to by slushpaddler above at kayalu.com.

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tube light
I searching for some alternatives for visibility lighting I came across this waterproof tubular lighting (for bike frames) that might be an interesting way of increasing nighttime visibility on the water (though it would not solve the white safety light requirement.)


Also spotted this (below) and wonder if I could run the flexible “tail” through a chunk of PVC pipe and mount it to the deck rigging a la the Kayalu lite. Probably not waterproof, though.


Amazing how many configurations of LED lights there are about.

I’ll take a look at the Kayalu light – so far in photos I’ve seen I was not impressed with the brightness but maybe I’m judging it unfairly. Kind of pricey too. Though it certainly looks tough.

Yak attack

– Last Updated: Jul-26-14 7:03 PM EST –

Makes a great light/flag combination. I have rolled mine in salt water and it still works plus its American made and repairable.


I had previously purchased a Seattle Sports Hydrostar which was a POS, the base suction decomposed and they would not give me another one.


the cool thing about kayalu stuff
…is that once you have the mount, and a bar, it can do double-duty as a light/camera/gps holder. That and the materials make them worth the price IMO, it’s really a step above most deck lights.

pretty impressive
I checked out some videos of the Kayalus in use, including rolling, and it’s pretty impressive.

Stopped at REI this morning to see if they have them. should not have bothered – despite being right on the river and less than a half mile from the boat ramp from which many of us kayak, they have very little in the way of boats or paddling gear. Pretty pathetic: they had no kayak or waterproof lights at all, despite the fact that a signal light is required here for paddling after dark and we navigate major industrial rivers with shipping lanes patrolled by the Coast Guard.

Gonna bite the bullet and order the Kayalu. Thanks for the recommendations.