Boat Headlights – Our Top 5 LED Headlights

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Boat headlights can be very useful when docking or navigating around obstacles in the water. It can be a challenge, however, to find the right ones for your boat. What are the best LED boat headlights?

Our top 5 recommended boat headlights are as follows:

  1. Nicoko Curved White Amber Lights – Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. Autosaver Fog Headlight – Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Samlight Fog Lights
  4. Samman LED Fog Headlights and Driving Lights
  5. Sufemotec LED Driving Work Lights

Some question whether boat headlights are legal or not. They can be blinding for oncoming boaters. Are boat headlights illegal? The United States Coast Guard (USCG) rules do not specify “headlights.” The docking light used when mooring can be considered a headlight. But this light is only used when docking and not when boating.

The U.S Department of Homeland Security emphasized that boaters should install lights that should not be mistaken as navigational lights and that they “do not impair the visibility or distinctive character of approved and properly placed navigation lights.”

Read on to learn more about our recommended boat headlights and the rules regarding boat headlights.

Also, for an excellent boat headlight, take a look at the Nicoko Curved White Amber Lights. These lights are simple to install, easy to use, and will make it easy to dock or navigate around obstacles:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

5 Best Boat Headlights

Below are 5 boat headlights that are great for docking or avoiding obstacles at night.

1. Nicoko Curved White Amber Lights

The Nicoko Curved White Amber Lights feature 50-inch 288 watts LED fog lights that can change between ten different colors and more than 72 strobe flashing designs.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

You can control the lights easily with a remote control. The multi-colored LED light bar application can provide RGB colors, such as red, green, blue, yellow, pink, purple, orange, and cyan lights. 

You can use the lights in your car, truck, or as LED boat headlights for docking. If you need a light lamp or a studio spotlight, Nicoko curved white amber lights could serve both your indoor and outdoor needs. You can even use them as your pub’s decorative lights. 

The most important features are their ability to be waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. Furthermore, the lights are made of durable and high-standard 5050 RGB halo strips and excellent bar housing that doesn’t quickly wear and tear. 

You could easily plug in the lights and control them with the user-friendly remote control. Also, you can customize your boat with the colors you want to use. 

2. Autosaver Fog Headlights

This Autosaver Fog Headlight is equipped with four by seven inches LED lights that are perfect for boats or other vehicles.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

They are 100% waterproof and made of high-quality materials. So, they can withstand inclement weather and all climate types.

The bright light sources are three and 51 watts LED, with 10,800 lumens and more than 50,000 lifespans. You can also utilize the lights in constructing your house due to their heavy-duty aluminum shell, durability, and weather-resistant features. The lights’ equally-tough polycarbonate lens can increase the lights’ emissions to provide sufficient lighting.

Aside from using the most advanced LED technology, the lights are also abrasion and scratch-resistant. 

3. Samlight Fog Lights

The Samlight Fog Lights feature two Amber LED headlights with 72 watts of power. The LED’s lifespan is over 50,000 hours due to its heavy-duty aluminum material and 3,500 LED chips. In addition, the lights are dustproof, waterproof, and shockproof.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

So, you could use them even during bad weather and in broad daylight, as they’re incredibly bright and sturdy.

You can easily install the equipment in your car, truck, SUV, or boat because of their adjustable braces and user-friendly features. Besides being reliable as lights for vehicles and boats, you could also use them to light your homes efficiently. You would surely benefit from their rust-proof and corrosion-free mounting hardware.

Also, you get a 12-month full warranty of the lights, excellent after-sales service, and lifetime customer support. 

4. Samman LED Fog Headlights and Driving Lights

The Samman LED Fog Headlights and Driving Lights include two 40W Amber Spot LED lights that are waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and weatherproof.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The aluminum, heavy-duty housing is equally tough and dustproof, quake-proof, and shockproof. The light pods’ lifespan is 50,000 hours. 

The reliable lights could illuminate brightly and at a longer distance, even during foggy weather, so rest assured that you’re safe. They would make for excellent LED boat headlights or pontoon bot headlights.

The built-in thermal cooling feature of the lights guarantees that they are always efficient in any inclement weather. You can navigate through the snow, rain, or scorching sun without worries. 

It’s easy to install since adjustable mounting accessories and brackets are included. You can install it in your house, car, SUV, boat, or any vehicle. There’s a 12-month warranty for the lights that you could take advantage of.

5. Sufemotec LED Driving Work Lights 

The Sufemotec Led Driving Work Lights set comprises a triple row LED light bar, with 3 watts of high-performance 6000K white light that you can use for 30,000 hours.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Designed as eco-friendly and user-friendly lighting, it has low energy consumption and adjustable mounting features that you can easily install.

The high-end aluminum housing is waterproof, shatterproof, dustproof, and weatherproof; you can sail through rain and fog or drive through snow, and your lights would still be functioning efficiently. They provide maximum brightness with a high-density light spread that penetrates through a dense atmosphere.

One of the unique features is a broader view of the multi-angle refraction due to the lights’ reflective plates strategically positioned on both sides. The lights could also be used in all types of vehicles, boats, machinery, mining, housing, as you can install the lights in any position you want to.

These Sufemotec lights would make for great pontoon boat headlights or bass boat headlights to use while docking.

Boat Headlights and Navigation Lights

Before you set sail on your boat, you have to learn the basic navigation rules. One of these rules is the legitimate use of headlights.

Boating at night is very different from boating during the day. The difference, of course, lies in the visibility of things around you. In contrast, daytime offers no problems with visibility. Nighttime is a whole new ballgame. Nothing is visible in the middle of the water, except for a nearby town’s flickering lights or the natural light coming from the moon and its reflection on the water. 

If you’re not in some spacious water body, and there could be a chance you would collide with other water vessels, you should observe the basic rules of night boating.

Navigation Rules When Night Boating

Arrange and Adjust Your Lights to Increase Visibility

Your lights’ arrangement and brightness can either decrease or increase your visibility. Having too bright lights inside and outside of your boat can reduce your visibility and that of other boaters.

Think about how a flash of the bright light of an oncoming car on the road can temporarily ‘blind’ you when you’re driving. It’s the same thing when boating. You can ‘blind’ yourself and other people with your too-bright lights. 

So government authorities have seen the need to regulate the use of lights for night boaters. The use of blue lights is prohibited in most states, and the rules vary for each type of boat. To find out if this rule encompasses your current location, you have to get in touch with your local government. Learn more about what rules are applicable in your area. 

Wisconsin bans the use of blue accent lights while at anchor or underway. The state has authorized only patrol boats to use blue-colored lights. 

In Arizona, the local government has banned blue-colored lights in boats, except for law enforcers.

The U.S Department of Homeland Security emphasized that boaters should install lights that should not be mistaken as navigational lights and that they “do not impair the visibility or distinctive character of approved and properly placed navigation lights.” Also, you have to ensure that your lights “do not interfere with the operator’s ability to maintain a proper lookout.”

The U.S. coast guard advises against purchasing lights that do not meet the required specifications.

Navigate Slowly

During the nighttime, visions can be confusing. The light’s reflection on the water worsens visibility inside and outside the boat. Thus, you have to navigate slowly and decrease your speed. Take note of your surroundings unless you’re in the middle of the vast ocean, where you’re alone. 

Most probably, that fishing vessel in the distance has his net all over a large area, so keep your distance, at least a few miles away.

Use only navigation lights required by law, and avoid colored blue lights or too bright lights or headlights.

As a general rule, the U.S. Coast Guard prohibits unnecessary lightings, especially headlights, if they interfere with navigation. 

Requirements for Navigation Lights

The U.S. Coast Guard has guidelines on the use of lights, depending on your boat’s length, purpose, and type. Typically, recreational boaters use less than 39 feet boats. These are the requirements for this type of boat: a stern light, a masthead light, and sidelights.

You should place a white stern light as close as possible to the stern, while you must set the white masthead light at the boat’s centerline, over the fore and aft. On the other hand, you must place a green light on the starboard side and a red light on the port’s side.

This white, green, and red navigation system for boats has also been adopted by planes to enhance their visibility in the night sky.

The goal is to increase visibility, so those other vessels can see you, while you can see them too, to avoid mishaps or collisions that could cost lives.

Furthermore, if your boat is for recreational purposes, your lights must also meet the requirements of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) located in your state/area.

Required Lights While on Dock

Aside from these required boat lights, you have to be careful not to add any bright colored lights to your boat that would violate your area’s rules. Here are some general rules regarding the required lights for your boat.

LED boat headlights
  1. The anchor light must be white in the boat’s forepart and must be visible for two miles.
  2. Power-driven boats that are less than 23 feet (seven meters) long should display anchor lights when anchored in a fairway, anchorage, or a narrow channel, where other boats usually navigate.
  3. Power-driven boats that are more than 23 to 66 feet long are also required to display anchor lights, except when they are docked in a specific area assigned by a government authority.

What Happens If You Violate the Rules?

There are corresponding fines for each violation. For lighting violations, the fine ranges from $100 to $300, depending on your violation’s type and severity.

Why Don’t Boats Have Headlights?

Boats have ‘docking lights’ instead of headlights. As previously mentioned, pontoon boat headlights or bass boat headlights can decrease your visibility because they can be too bright. The headlights can also interfere with the other boaters’ visibility, causing them to make dangerous maneuvers that could result in accidents.

Also, LED boat headlights are not actually useful because boats are in a multi-dimensional area, where boaters must be aware of all vessels coming from all directions and underneath them to stay safe.

Are Boat Headlights Illegal?

Concerning that, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has stated clearly that in its Navigation Rules 20b that:

“The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times, no other lights shall be exhibited …” Read more of USCG’s Navigation Rules here.

This rule doesn’t specify headlights since it’s a general statement, but the term “no other lights” includes your headlights.

Furthermore, with the proper navigation lights, you can see other vessels, while they can see you as well. 

Besides the white, red, and green lights, there are other lights that you may encounter on the water. If you see a green light over a white light, it denotes a trawling boat. So, you have to avoid the area around it, as its net may have covered that area.

The boat headlights are not called because they are only used when docking, so they are called ‘docking lights.’ They are only used when docking and not when boating.

We’ve discussed boat lights that you could run on your boat. Let’s now proceed to some popular LED boat headlights products that you may want for your boat.

Conclusion – LED Boat Headlights

Our 5 picks for the best boat headlights are as follows:

  1. Nicoko Curved White Amber Lights Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. Autosaver Fog Headlight – Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Samlight Fog Lights
  4. Samman LED Fog Headlights and Driving Lights
  5. Sufemotec LED Driving Work Lights

Your boat’s headlights should conform to the navigation rules set by USCG. The Coast Guard had made one rule clear: not to use any other lights except those required. These ‘other lights’ include your headlight. You should not use headlights at all times, but you can use them when docking.

This is why they are normally called ‘docking lights’ and not ‘headlights’ because you can only use them when docking and not when driving your boat. Take note of the navigation rules and enjoy your boating adventure.