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By BeAight
I'm thinking about putting lights on my Ascend FS12T. If you have lights on your kayak, what did you use? Pictures encouraged!!
By turkeytx
Academy strip lights with 12V deer battery mounted in a waterproof dry box in my Ascend.
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By SaltStrong
Check out the Yak Power kit by Southern Audio Services ( http://www.yak-power.com ). They have several different slick solutions from the basic to full scale lighting package inside and outside of the kayak. All the lighting packages are very watertight and much easier to replace when the day comes for a new strip of lights.
By hipshot
You may want to check the laws before investing in lights. I have seen some lighting kits that aren't remotely in compliance, and (insert profit-driven manufacturer or retailer here) sold it to me won't help you if you get into a jam over the lights.
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By kickingback
hipshot wrote:You may want to check the laws before investing in lights. I have seen some lighting kits that aren't remotely in compliance, and (insert profit-driven manufacturer or retailer here) sold it to me won't help you if you get into a jam over the lights.

If you give him a bit more info that would be helpful.
I have never run into an issue with placing lights on a kayak. It is neither illegal nor wrong to add them to your own kayak if you want. Lights inside the cock pit help you see better in dark light conditions. Green lights on the outside help you draw in bait while anchored. You CANNOT be moving with the green lights on as legal navigation lights are red and green and I have been told that someone cannot tell what way you are turning as you have green on both sides. Makes sense as the nav lights are for motorized boats, yaks, or canoes and must be in use when in motion. Anchored you can turn them off and turn on the green if you like. You can turn on the white inside while moving you you want. Not against the law to have lights in your cabin. As for a White all around light that regulations call for all a kayak needs is a flashlight to signal someone that they are on the water, HOWEVER, the best bet is to be safe as possible and have a light that can be seen 2 nautical miles and have that light on and at a height that can be seen 360 degrees around you. Use the flashlight as more safety to show someone you are there.
Read the local regulations and make sure you have the correct lights and know how and when to use them you should be fine.
As for me, I have 4 green LED strip lights 3' long on each corner, 2 white interior lights, 8" red and 8" green led navigation strip lights on bow, a 36 LED spot beam on the front of my yak, and my all around light is home made from bright white LED's fashioned into my flag pole with an SAE connector to plug into kayak or use with portable 12v AA battery box velcroed to pole. I tested the light with a friend and could he could see my light 5 miles away! Go figure. There will always be one person that argues and says that it must state "Coast Guard Approved to be seen 2 Nautical miles". I have never had a game warden or Coast Guard look for a tiny little label saying that...HEHE...but they will still argue with you...don't fall for their trolling. Go with what you know.
By hipshot
Okay, since someone still can't admit he's speaking out of place, here's Rule 20. It's the law:

(a) Rules in this Part shall be complied with in all weathers.
(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to
sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except
such lights as cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or
do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the
keeping of a proper look-out.

(c) The lights prescribed by these Rules shall, if carried, also be exhibited
from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and may be exhibited in all other
circumstances when it is deemed necessary.
(d) The Rules concerning shapes shall be complied with by day.
(e) The lights and shapes specified in these Rules shall comply with the
provisions of Annex I of these Rules.

Now, if you're an incredibly awesome person with an agenda and an ego, all of this doesn't matter. But if you're a mere mortal, you may find yourself in a situation where the lights in or on your kayak become a factor in an incident. If you are displaying green lights all over, for instance, you aren't in compliance. Or if you have cockpit lights on constantly, which affect your night vision, you aren't in compliance. Somehow, I doubt that incredibly awesome person who says, "It is neither illegal nor wrong to add them to your own kayak if you want.", even after having been shown that he is wrong, will be showing up at the scene to straighten out those incompetent authorities on your behalf, and I doubt that he will assume the liabilities from a tragedy, if one should result, from your putting those lights on your boat and being involved in an incident as a result.

If you want to know whether the lights you are considering are legal, read the statute. Don't rely on someone who hasn't a clue what he is talking about, or who won't admit he is speaking out of place. Because the statute is what will determine what is or is not legal in court. How many times an ignorant fool did it and wasn't cited will mean nothing. If you are an adult, you can choose which way you go. But you should base your choice on the facts, not some egotist's agenda.
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By TimmyT140
There may be colored lights that don't attract as many as white light, I dunno. I went frogging a couple of weeks ago and they were swarming my headlight, it was bad. I had Off on, they were still trying to land and bite. I had a Thermacell riding in the yak right in front of me and it was choking me out, didn't seem to faze the bugs all that much, I guess it helped some.
Maybe lights on the front would keep them away from you, but white lights in the seating area sounds like a recipe for disaster, at least in the summertime..
By hipshot
Something I used to do in the bass boat at night, when it wasn't windy enough to blow it off, was place a styrofoam cup over the 360 degree light. It would make the light less bright, but it created a much larger point of illumination, and it was very easy to see at a distance. The bugs would mostly congregate at the light; it would really draw them in, and I got a lot less attention from them up on the bow. Still, they didn't completely ignore me........ You just have to remember to take it off before you crank the outboard and take off. Sometimes a really big critter would land on the cup and stroll around, and actually cast a moving shadow up at my end of the boat. Eerie......... If I had a partner fishing aft, he/she would still get bothered less by the bugs, and the light wasn't such a blinding distraction. It can be hard to see in the dark, and cast accurately in the dark, with that bright light glaring at you from the side.

When I worked in a boat, I had all of the lights on the patrol boat (especially the blue strobes) elevated above my line of sight and shielded underneath so that they would not shine into the cockpit or glare off of any of the surfaces in the cockpit. That makes a huge difference in preserving your night vision. For pursuits I mounted two spots inside 8" PVC tubes that kept all of the light out of the cockpit. I chased a burglar (he burglarized a waterfront house, threw all the loot in their bass boat, and used it for his getaway vehicle) in a stolen boat one night. He had turned his lights off and fled when I lit him up with the strobes. I could see everything clear as a bell, but the glare from my lights off of all the surfaces in the bass boat destroyed his night vision, and he got scared and gave up. He had a loaded rifle, but decided not to shoot because he couldn't see me behind those bright lights in my dark boat. Not all crooks are stupid.........
By hipshot
We could always tell the rookies on the lake. Most newbs buy either a personal watercraft or a pontoon. Apparently there's some sort of requirement in Texas that all pontoon boats have to come with what they call "docking lights". They are invariably mounted on the bow, just inboard of the sidelights. The newbs would drive around all night with their docking lights on, proud of their safety mindset. I used to stop them to ask them why they had their docking lights on; they were invariably flustered and bewildered that I was stopping them. I actually put some of them in my patrol boat and drove them a ways ahead of their pontoon, and asked them to identify their sidelights. Instant epiphany: those bright white docking lights (usually a bargain brand of "driving lamp" from an automotive supplier) washed out the sidelights! No red. No green. Just blinding white light, killing everyone else in front of them on the water's night vision. I always promised them that if I had to stop them again for that, I would issue a citation. I never had to write it.........

I would also tell them that while they could see everything clearly immediately ahead of their barge, they were essentially blind to everything thirty yards or more from their boat. Once they tried navigating without their docking lights, they invariably understood. I got a lot of, "Wow! I can see so much better at night now!" calls after they tried running without those stupid docking lamps on.

Many people go out at night lacking a basic understanding of the role lights play in observing and in being observed. I would like to see mandatory boater education for people who boat in coastal waters and in urban area lakes and rivers. I think that it's a long way off from being mandated, but it is sorely needed. Too many people don't understand that the lighting requirements are all about other vessels seeing you; not you being able to see what's around you. Too many people go out at night lacking a basic understanding of how night vision works, and how important it can be on the water. There are valid reasons for the regulations imposed on vessels. Don't get your education from a slow learner with a big ego and an agenda, who says in the same thread that he is unable to look up the laws because it's too complicated, and that he knows the law and follows it to the letter (his words). Get your legal guidance from the statutes themselves. You can Google the "Texas Parks and Wildlife Code" and read Chapter 31, which is the Water Safety Act. The State of Texas defers, as do all of the other states, to the Rules of Navigation. They are the Federal and International regulations, and you can Google "Rules of Navigation" to read them yourself.

You are responsible for knowing and following the laws, and receiving your counsel from an idiot on the internet is not the wisest way to protect your interests. The Coast Guard, or Texas Parks and Wildlife, may not stop and cite you for a minor infraction if you are not causing a problem. But that minor infraction may become a huge factor if you are involved in a near miss, a collision, or an injury/fatality incident.

Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
By killjug
Has anyone talked to a game warden about this issue. Rule 20 is coast guard and the coast guard does not address the use of lights designed to attract bait fish. Also as far as lights in the cockpit to assist in visibility while not moving I don't see anything in the coast guard reg about work lights. Just think some guidance from the people we are most likely to encounter would be helpful.
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By kickingback
I have talked to GW's and Houston police (Lake Houston) and I have green LED's all around on my yak and my jon boat.
I fish more at night than during the day so I know what I am talking about. Trust me. Not sure why hipshot above is ignorant to the laws even when it is in black and white in front of him. He has no clue what the heck he is talking about. He probably doesn't even fish at night. All I know is he has a pisspoor attitude.
At night you must display a white all around light to be seen at all times. If you are moving and you have a motor of any kind you need the red/green bow lights. You do not need the red/green if you use a paddle or peddles.
If you have green LED's like mine you can turn them on if you are sitting still and anchored. You cannot have them on while moving in any way. The reason is the green lights can be confused with the bow light if someone is coming toward you. The red light says you are turning right and the green shows when turning left.
Like I said back in June, you can have LED's all over your boat or kayak if you want. Just don't "travel" while the lights are on or you could get a ticket just like you can get a ticket if you don't have the lights with a motor.
You can have the interior lights on anytime you want but it can make seeing hard as the light is in your eyes if your moving at night so I wouldn't advise it.
Using fishing lights while anchored is not regulated. You can have a generator on a boat and run very bright lights if you want, BUT, you have to be anchored.
The guy that tried to beat me up is ignorant of the law. I spoke to the GW's and police and I am right. Go check if you like. but I am right. If anyone wants to chime in again you better come with facts and names of GW's or police. I have names and numbers if you would like to call and get a clue yourself...
By hipshot
Wow! You've been shown the law yet you still don't get it. I can see why you stated that TPWD is incompetent; your reading comprehension is pretty much nonexistent.

Put whatever you like on your boat, I couldn't care less. Just quit telling people who ask a legitimate question about the law that it's perfectly legal to do something prohibited by law. And quit telling them that the law requires them to use equipment that it doesn't.
By killjug
Thanks kickingback that's what I wanted to know. My reading of the coast guard regs. are in line with yours and just wanted to see what the people with boots on the ground that enforce the laws said.
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By kickingback
No worries Sir. I am here to help where I can. I know I am right and it is a shame that someone like this guy does not want anyone to know the facts and truth about boating on Texas waters.
I just don't understand why people have attitudes toward others when they are trying to help others. Maybe he will get a new attitude of others this Christmas. We can only hope and pray.
If you need the GW's and police names just give me a shout and I'll give you their phone # and names and they can explain it better. I guess I didn't explain it well enough for hipshot to understand the truth even when someone calls them out for being wrong.
See you out on the water friend!

Oh and BTW, tonight is going to be an epic fishing night according to tide charts. The midnight bite is going to be great if you can get out. Use them lights if you have them!
By killjug
Decided to put this to rest so I contacted the Coast Guard. Here are the questions I asked and their responses.

1. What lights are required when moving at night on a kayak using solely human power?

1. According to USCG Inland Navigation rules, Rule 25 states that at a
minimum: A vessel under oars (to include a manual only kayak) shall carry an
white electric flashlight or lantern which can be displayed in sufficient time
to prevent collision.

2. If a kayak is anchored can it use green LED strips attached to the hull at the bow or stern or both while fishing to attract bait fish?

2. Vessels may use additional lights so long as those lights cannot be
confused with the navigation lights of a vessel or impair the visibility of
either the kayaker or other vessels. I cannot provide a more specific answer
than that, because each vessel/light is so different.

3. Are there any color of light that is prohibited to be used on a kayak while anchored as a work light?

3. A vessel less than 7 meters is not required to show anchor lights so long
as they are not near a channel, anchorage, fairway, or location where other
vessels frequently operate. That being said the same rules apply as in number
2 above. Nothing that can be confusing or blinding.

So it looks like that as long as you are anchored in a kayak, the light is not blinding you or other boaters, and its not a blue flashing light you can have any light you want, unless it looks like nav lights in the wrong place.

Just proves that when in doubt ask the experts.
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By OrangeQuest
You guys are talking about federal law (USCG). State law varies from state to state and can be more strict. Also some local areas can also apply restrictions to bodies of water you are traveling on at night.

Knowing the law in your area is never a bad thing but if told by law enforcement that you are in the wrong and arguing about it is. It is easier to fight what is legal or not in court than on the water.

By the way, red light will not attract bugs, you keep you night vision and can see things that reflect light better-like the reflectors they put on channel markers.
By killjug
Yes in this case for Texas waters the TDPW regs are less strict than USCG regs. The main argument inn the thread was how USCG rule 20 applied to lights on kayaks. That's why I emailed the USCG to get guidance on the subject.
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By kickingback
Kudo's on you for calling. We all need to help each other without slamming each other in these forums. If you feel you are right post and explain but don't get nasty over information you may be wrong with. Hipshot, I hope you are better now and not bent out of shape. Like I said, I was only trying to help. I hate confrontations but I will explain till I am blue in the face if I am right to help you learn what you don't already know or are wrong about. Not beating you up like you tried to do me above but letting you know to go easy on others when they are trying to help just like you. I never beat up TPWD like you stated and I was never mean to you until you were mean to me. Let's let bygones be bygones. OK?
I think this thread is closed now.

Thanks so much, everyone! Very helpful.

Thanks for sharing Justin!

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