Kayak lights/need advice....

I have been looking at the tek-lite stern light…called the maufacturer to find out how the aluminum one can be mounted on kayaks(don’t think I really want the plastic one with the suction cup; but open to advice)…anyway to my surprise they don’t sell a base to go with the light…the suggestion was to go to my hardware store and get a u-shaped clamp…??? Anyone able to advise or offer a better product to buy?


tie it under some bungies
the fact that it’s bright and white is good enough,certainly mounting it vertically is a fine idea but will it stay in that position during rescues? Why not get a piece of wood, drill the appropriate sized hole and bungie the piece of wood to the perimeter line?

I’m assuming you’re using the red/green in front otherwise it’s not really a running light by itself.

kayak lights
actually the white stern light would meet the requirements for our state;Florida, but yes, I do want the red/green bow lights also.

Some manufacturer is “missing the boat” and should come out with a base mount/kayak mount that would be minimal; like our fishing pole holders; can’t believe the tek-tite people don’t have this covered…if worse comes to worse I suppose I could cable tie it to something; I was thinking there must be a manufactered base out there that I don’t know about.


I just bought the

– Last Updated: Oct-11-05 4:40 PM EST –

tek tight Mark III
on the advice of a friend who has one. He basically secures it to the back of his pfd and lets it hang down the middle of his back.

As for the front, I bought, again on his suggestion, the navlight
This straps onto the front deck bungee. I also have a 17 foot sailboat that I can use both lights on as well. It's a bit pricey for both lights, but works quite well.

I’ve looked at these
Or at least looked at the webpage. My concerns:

Way expensive for single low power LEDs. Kind of old technology.

The lights don’t seem designed to shine through the correct angle of view. A boat higher up will see both the red and the green when looking from either side. I could be wrong, but side angles (supposed to be to 72 degrees towards the stern?) don’t look right.

Doesn’t seem to have taken any effort to spread the light through the range of view. LEDs are quite directional. I’m sure there is some light to the sides but most of it looks like it goes to the front.

It looks like a good try but I sure hope someone comes up with a better option.

try it

– Last Updated: Oct-12-05 11:04 AM EST –

the fabric cover that holds the two LED flashlights can be configured to shield from above. For that $60 package you have two BRIGHT 3 AA cell 2 LED flashlights that will burn for DAYS,,or probably a years worth of night paddling. Figuring the cost of two $25 lights and a $10 sewn package it's a fair price for a low production item. There isn't ANYTHING else on the market that can handle submersion and not interfere with paddling.
LEDs as a category can vary alot, it takes lenses and reflectors to get a good beam out of them just like incandescents. In the Techtite light the two garden variety white LEDs shine forward into a 2 1/2" long colored cone with a white piece of twisted plastic down the middle. The light through the sides is appreciable. It's a lot brighter than the 2Dcell red/green lights you see at marine stores for dinghies. I've had people on sailboats say "wow, I need that for my dinghy".
It could be better designed but I don't think the price would go down given that it's adapted from existing flashlights.
A good set-up would be a single unit where the two LEDs are shining out in the proper direction all driven by four AA. Instead of half the light wasted as it shines into the fabric sack. Something about the size of a pack of cigarettes.
In retrospect one could probably configure buniges or webbing to secure the flashlights seperately on either side of the deck below the coaming if it wouldn't interfere with the skirt. These are bright lights.

See the MidSeptember post on lighting
I pulled this up from the Search Archives posted on Sept18 by Adrian Roth. (I use the same configuration (waterproof)):


My wife and I have been using Guardian lights from EssentialGear.com. We use a red and a green on the bow and two white lights, one on each side behind the cockpit (where they won’t interfere with night vision). As I recall, I paid approximately $12 each for these lights. People on fishing boats have told us that they had no difficulty seeing us at 500 yards on a moonlit night (on a really dark night we probably would be visible at a greater distance). These are really small lights that we clip onto our perimeter lines. Hope this information is useful.


these look good…
my only concern would be the cost of the coin lithium batteries as opposed to AA bateries; but then you can buy lots of batteries for the $35 difference…these could be a possibility.


LED chem lights?
are those the ones from essentialgear? About 6" long with two small button lithiums in the base? They’re nice but the amount of light is a tiny fraction what the 3AA lights put out. My preference is to have a motor boat going 15mph be able to see me clearly as another boat, albeit a slow one. At 15mph that motorboat will cover close to 100’ in five seconds. A dull glow can get lost in bright shore lights reflecting off of wave tops. “hey Joe,do you see that light?..” “where?,” “over there,about 11oclock”.

And that’s 100’ of maneuvering room lost in discussion.

no, these look like round
lights…according to the post above, they were visible from 500ft by other boats…any one else try these lights or know anything about them?

I do think we were pretty limited by what is out there…doesn’t seem to be anything designed by a kayaker for a kayaker by any manufacturer…again, it is a shame tek lite doesn’t recognize the need for some sort of base on their aluminum model.(for the stern light)

saw one on
the Old Town site. Looks like the light, and rod, fit into a bracket that you fasten to the hull. Not sure if it meets your needs, but have a look.

I have used mine for two night paddles with them on steadily and so far no battery issues. They are supposed to last many hours and I like mine as it is easy to make them “blinkers”. Talk about looking like Xmas with the red and green blinking lights…not to mention, they work very easy on my decklines with the clips. (and make awesome tent lights while camping)

Got a pump? Plus DIY gizmo. 2 fer ya
I use a smallish light–takes two AA batteries, in an orange tube, sold at West Marine. I think it is intended as an emergency beacon to put on your pfd. It has a string-loop on it with a locking slide like sleeping bags and tent bags have to keep them closed. In the kayak, I always carry a hand pump. Put the base of the light in the squirt tube of the pump. Put the string loop around the t-handle of the pump and tighten up the slide-lock. Put the pump under the bungees on the stern deck with the light standing straight up. It stays there, and stays in position through rolling the kayak.

Astute readers will note that my body blocks the white light from being visible from 360 degrees, which is the requirement. I like it this way because I don’t like the light in front of me where it ruins my night vision. I carry a second light, usually a head lamp, that I turn on if approached from the bow. Not strictly legal, but I don’t get run over and as long as I see approaching boats before they see me I won’t get ticketed.

The head lamp is a bit of a vulnerability, since I don’t think it will stay on through a roll. I do usually try to carry a back up.

I experimented with a DIY headlamp adaption that worked pretty well. I took a white, plastic aspirin bottle, about 5 inches high, 2.5 inches diameter. I removed the top and cut a hole in it that was just less than the diameter of the top, so all I had left was the edge of the top, the part with the screw threads. I glued this top to the lens of the headlamp–it was just the right size. Then remove the labeling from the bottle and screw it onto the head lamp. Turn the lamp on and you have a bright white bottle. I put the head lamp on backwards and turned the lens to the sky so that the bottle stuck up above my head. Presto–a human beacon head. That worked pretty well except that I was using a cheap lamp with old fashion bulbs that drained the batteries after little more than an hour of continuous use. I should try it again with an LED lamp, but I have never gotten around to it. If you use the right bottle and lamp combo, it would float and you could recover it if it came off in a roll.

I have a fluch mount fishing pole holder that I can put a PVC pipe with a light attached to it in. Works great! I use the inflatable light which I bungee onto the PVC.

Guardian LED
I have a couple of the Guardian lights. They are small, waterproof,easy to attach and use, and can be seen from pretty far away. I like them. The “coin” style battery life is very good, and I think cost is reasonable. I think you can check them out at www.essentialgear.com .

NOTE: I can’t recommend them as certified by the USCG or actually meeting any legal requirements. I just know they are great in conjunction with a headlight in the places I paddle where there is limited motorboat traffic. There have been some very informative and knowledgeable discussions on the subject of maritime class lighting on this forum in the past. Recommend a search of the archives.

I’d like to thank those that contributed to those discussions and ask if they could please chime in (again) with links or info they might have.


jeez,why didn’t I ever think of that? good one.

Seattle Sports light
Anyone try or seen one of these?


I can’t quite figure out how it would work without shining in your face, but it’s interesting and innexpensive. I’ve searched around, but have not found anyone mentioning it.

Piece of wood
Mount the light to a piece of wood that will stay under the bungee cords on your rear deck.

hydro star
I use one of those as a red/green bow light, and i put electircal tape on the side, back, and top so it isnt in my eyes, great light

It looks so simple and the price is nice. Thanks.