If you’re a fan of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), then you know that there’s nothing quite like the feeling of gliding across the water, taking in the sights and sounds around you.
However, as the sun begins to set, your adventure on the water may be cut short, or it may become difficult to navigate without proper lighting.
If you have paddle board lights, however, nighttime is when the party gets started.
In this guide, we will take a closer look at the different types of LED light kits available on the market, and what to consider when selecting one for your next SUP adventure.
Do You Need Lights on a Paddle Board?
Yes, if you are paddle boarding during low-light conditions, such as dawn, dusk, or at night, you will need to have lights on your paddle board. These lights make you more visible to anyone else who is also on the water.
In most cases, it is required by law to have lights on your paddle board when paddling during low-light conditions.
The exact requirements for lights vary depending on the specific body of water, so it’s important to check with local authorities or posted park regulations to make sure you are following the correct guidelines.
But That’s Not Why You’re Buying a Light Kit…
If you’re here, you’re probably not looking for navigation lights. (If you are, check out our post on navigational lights here.)
LED lights can add a colorful and visually stunning effect to your paddle board, especially when paddling at night. These kits allow you to customize the look of your board and make it stand out on the water.
Whether you’re looking to create a colorful light show or simply want to add a subtle glow to your board, LED light kits can help you achieve the effect you’re looking for.
So, let’s talk about LED light kits for paddle boarding:
What Materials Are Best?
First, you’ll want to make sure that the lights are designed specifically for water use and are waterproof. You don’t want to risk damaging the lights or your paddle board by using lights that aren’t designed for use in or around water.
Second, consider the reason you are using a LED light kit. Some kits come with a variety of different colors and modes, allowing you to customize the look of your paddle board to your liking.
Other kits may have a more limited color range or be designed to provide more functional lighting, such as white lights that can be used to improve visibility during low-light conditions.
Another factor to consider is the battery life and run time of the lights. You’ll want to make sure that the lights will last long enough for your paddling sessions, and that they won’t drain the battery too quickly.
Where to Buy Paddle Board Lights
Typically, shopping online is a convenient option, allowing you to compare prices and features across different brands and models, and often providing access to customer reviews and ratings to help you make an informed decision.
When shopping for paddle board lights, it’s important to consider factors such as the quality of the lights, their waterproof rating, battery life, and installation process. Be sure to choose lights that are designed specifically for use in or around water, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that the lights are installed securely.
The Best Option: Nocqua Spectrum P2
Installing LED Light Kits on Your Paddle Board
First, think about where you want to install the lights on your paddle board. Consider both the aesthetic effect you want to achieve and the practical aspect of ensuring the lights are visible to other people on the water.
Most kits come with adhesive pads, zip ties, or other mounting hardware to attach the lights to your board.
When installing the LED light kit, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that the lights are installed properly and securely.
This will help to prevent any damage to your paddle board or the lights themselves, ensuring everything works perfectly in the water.
Second, clean the surface of the paddle board where you plan to attach the LED lights. This will help ensure that the adhesive pads or other mounting hardware will stick properly. You can use soapy, warm water for this.
Next, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching the LED lights to your paddle board. Most LED light kits come with wiring that needs to be connected to a battery, so it is important to secure the battery pack in a place where it won’t get damaged.
Finally, test the lights and make sure they are working properly before you head out on the water. The lights should be bright enough to be seen from a distance. If they are underwater, they should be fully secured to prevent it from coming loose in the water.
Are There Environmental Concerns with Using Paddle Board Lights?
Yes, there can be environmental concerns associated with using paddle board lights, particularly if the lights are not used responsibly or are not designed for use in or around water.
One of the main concerns is the potential for the lights to cause light pollution, which can disrupt natural ecosystems and affect the behavior of nocturnal wildlife.
Paddle boarders should be mindful of their surroundings and avoid using overly bright or flashing lights, particularly in areas that are known to be habitats for sensitive wildlife. This means that the best place to use paddle board lights are manmade lakes that do not harbor light-sensitive wildlife or plants.
Additionally, lights that fall off or become loose can become litter in the water or wash up on shore, causing harm to the environment. Some LED lights may contain harmful chemicals or heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, or mercury, that can leach into the water and harm aquatic life if they are not disposed of properly.
Paddle boarders should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disposal of old or damaged LED lights.