To be seen or not to been seen. Both ideas are to be focused on by a paddler. I have always impressed on fellow paddlers that they should do everything within their power to be seen as they paddle at night. And paddle with care assuming that other boaters do not see them.
A lot of captains do take care of their surroundings when driving their boats through the navigational markers. A small well lit kayak crossing the boat channel can appear to be further away than it actually is. To help with being seen I have added reflective tape, reflective deck lines, and three lights on my kayak. I have one white light on my bow, one on my PFD and one on my stern. The thing about having a light on the stern is that in a low volume boat a paddler should try to position their light as high as possible. And the higher it is the easier it maybe seen in large swells.
Below is pictured two types of deck lights.
The taller light is made by Kayalu, it is their Kayalite model. I have had it for almost a year and tested it’s durability on several types of kayaks. It has taken a beating and it is still shining bright.
Unlike most deck lights this one uses a carabiner (karabiner) and an elastic cord to keep it fixed on to the kayak. The problem I have found with suction cups is that sometimes they separate from the deck in crashing waves or during rolling. I also sometimes paddle through mangrove tunnels and have had branches pluck suction cup lights of the deck.
So far the elastic cord has given the light just enough flexibility to remain sturdy in surf, rolling and being smacked around by branches. My concern was how would the carabiner hold up to saltwater. I have not washed it with fresh water nor have seen a need to oil it. It is no longer shiny and the spring is still working.
If you are planing on using it on a fiberglass kayak I would use a small part of a shower mat that has the suction cups. This would give some protection to your gel coat. That is the only down side to having this type of locking system.
Otherwise this is a great light. And I will be using it for many future paddling adventures. – Jeff