Installing LED Lights On Your Kayak

Kayak LED Lights
Lights installed on a Native Propel and Hobie Pro Angler.

A good set of kayak LED lights can make all the difference when it comes to lighting up the night, safety and style. When fishing on lakes or rivers with unrestricted motor use it is very important to have high visibility to other boaters, particularly in foggy or rainy situations. In addition to higher visibility, adding kayak LED lights can help with orientation and navigation while night fishing by illuminating some of the bank structure, which is can be important when casting near cover in the dark.

Adding to lights to your kayak can seem daunting, but can be simple if you take your time and follow some key tips in this easy kayak DIY project:

  1. First, choose a good set of lights that are waterproof, durable and bright. My choice and recommendation is to use Vorocon LED Lights which are more affordable than some other high end brands but are very durable and easy to install.
  2. Secondly, spend a good amount of time thinking through where you want your lights on your yak and apply painter’s tape along this line to help you apply the lights evenly when the time comes. I would suggest applying them above the water line, but also in a place where they are not in your eye line while sitting in your kayak. (this will reduce visibility due to glare)
  3. Be sure to have your power source and wiringlightsbatteryboxsmall thought through before applying your lights. Your wires coming from the lights will need to be an appropriate length to reach the battery. I used a 9v battery box with a small switch so I could easily turn the lights on and off and stowed the box in a water tight storage space.
  4. When it is time to apply the light strips, drill the smallest hole possible to fit your wire at one end of the desired light strip position and feed in the wire.  Then slowly peel back the adhesive strips and apply an activator solution using a Q-tip along the desired light line. Press down the lights firmly as you move along, using the painter’s tape as a guide. Go slowly but make steady progress to ensure a straight line!
  5. Finally, after the LED strips are applied, pull off the tape and use silicone to fill in any gaps in the wire holes. Hook your wiring together with your battery of choice and you are done!