Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear.

The 7 Best Kayak Lights for Safer Summer Boating

Stay safe and steer clear of any murky waters while paddling at night.

the 7 best kayak lights for safer summer boating
Popular Mechanics; Courtesy Attwood

Kayaking is one of the most enjoyable summer activities, and with warm summer nights in full swing, you’ll likely want to be out on the water long after the sun goes down. But, of course, you’ll want to do it safely—and be able to see where you’re going. That's why kayak lights are such an important purchase for boaters, and why we've rounded up our favorite top-rated options to help make every excursion a little safer.

The Best Kayak Lights

What to Consider

Depending on how dark it is when you take your kayak out on the water, you’ll need to figure out how bright or dim your light should be. Kayak lights are often powered by batteries, so you’ll want to consider that before purchasing—especially if you need a certain type of battery that will increase the cost of your overall purchase.

You should also figure out which end of the kayak you’ll need the light situated at—the front or rear—so it can provide the most coverage in darker areas of the water. Most lights on our list can be placed at the front or rear of your kayak, but some attach in different ways.

How We Selected

Our kayak light picks below can be used on any kayak, although the items' sizes, prices, and styles of attachment to your boat vary. Every kayak light we cover has an average user rating of at least four stars, so you can confidently purchase the one that works best for you.

For more summer safety essentials, check out our picks for the best adult life jackets, kids' life jackets, and dog life jackets.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
1
Best Overall
Kayalite Bright White LED Light
Kayalu

  • Long run time
  • Sturdy

  • Light isn’t super bright

Key Specs

  • Light Source: LED
  • Position: Front or rear
  • Batteries Included: Yes

If you’re looking for a simple, yet functional light for your kayak, this is a great pick. It’s equipped with two bright LED lights, and can run for 100 hours on three AA alkaline batteries, which are included.

The light can be clipped onto a single point on any kayak, and it comes with a nylon-coated bungee cable to attach to an eyelet or pad eye to keep it upright. If the light happens to get submerged underwater, it can withstand depths of up to 1,000 feet.

2
Best Pack of Lights
Navigation Lights
Botepon

  • Inexpensive
  • Come in a pack of six
  • Easy installation

  • Might be too small for larger kayaks

Key Specs

  • Light Source: LED
  • Position: Rear
  • Batteries Included: Yes

These small but mighty lights are the perfect addition to any kayak. The bright LED lights can provide visibility over a half mile, and are best used for late-night exploring or fishing excursions. They’re made of silicone and have double hooks that can attach to kayak cords and boat rails, and are turned on with the click of a button.

The lights have three functions—flash, slow flash, and steady lighting—and come in a pack of six to provide an ample amount of light in the dark.

3
Best Clamp-On Option
Clamp-On LED Light Kit
attwood

  • Bright light
  • Long run time

  • Batteries have to be purchased separately

Key Specs

  • Light Source: LED
  • Position: Front and rear
  • Batteries Included: No

If you’re in need of enhanced visibility for your nightly paddling adventures, then you need a light kit like this one. It comes with a red and green LED bow light and a white LED stern light—both of which can be attached with a C-clamp mount.

The lights can run for over 150 hours on three AAA batteries, which have to be purchased separately. Reviewers give this set of lights high marks for being waterproof and durable, as well being bright enough to navigate the darker waters.

4
Most Colorful Lights
Red and Green Stern Lights
Shangyuan

  • Very affordable
  • One-year warranty
  • Very long lifespan

  • Red and green lights might be too colorful for some

Key Specs

  • Light Source: LED
  • Position: Front or rear
  • Batteries Included: N/A

Steer clear of any dark waters with these red and green LED strip lights. Due to their compact size, they’re more effective than some larger options, and can easily be situated on the front or rear of your kayak.

They’re waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, and work on an energy-saving, low power function with a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. The lights come with two wires, a screw set, and foam tape bases to attach to any kayak or boat. If the red and green lights pictured aren't to your liking, they’re also available in white.

5
Best for Emergencies
See-Me 2.0 LED Strobe Light
ust

  • Incredibly bright light
  • Automatically activates when submerged in the water
  • Long visibility

  • Expensive for its size
  • Doesn’t necessarily attach to a kayak

Key Specs

  • Light Source: LED
  • Position: N/A
  • Batteries Included: No

If you’re in need of a light that doesn’t have to attach to your kayak, or would be best suited for an emergency situation, then this portable strobe light is your best bet. Its bright LED light can run for 120 hours and flashes 60 times per minute so surrounding boats can see it.

In the event it’s submerged underwater, it automatically turns on, and it can provide visibility up to three miles. The light is powered by two AA batteries, which have to be purchased separately.

6
Best Strip of Lights
Navigation Boat Lights
Botepon
Now 22% off

  • Inexpensive
  • Available in four colors
  • Made of a flexible silicone

  • Not for those who prefer larger lights

Key Specs

  • Light Source: LED
  • Position: Front or rear
  • Batteries Included: N/A

While these lights are small in size, they’re bright enough to navigate you through the dark during your nightly paddling adventures. They provide up to three miles of visibility, and have a lifespan of 50,000 hours.

Simply attach the strip of lights to the front or rear of any kayak, or add them to the corners of your boat for additional light. They’re made of a waterproof silicone that won’t get damaged when they’re submerged. The lights are available in four bright colors, and reviewers say they’re great for nighttime navigation.

7
Best With a Flag
LED Flag
YakAttack

  • Flag is easily visible
  • Batteries included

  • Expensive

Key Specs

  • Light Source: LED
  • Position: Rear
  • Batteries Included: Yes

If you want more than just a light to be visible in the dark, then this light and flag combo is a great choice. The bright orange flag makes it easier for other boaters and kayakers to spot you out on the water, while the light increases your visibility.

This set includes a mount and hardware to situate the light and the flag at the rear of your kayak, as well as a set of AA batteries to power the light—which can run up to 10,000 hours. Reviewers give it high marks for being a great safety tool and providing enough light for nighttime paddling sessions.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below