FAQ >> Kayalite™ Deck and Stern Light FAQ
Can my own navigation lights impair my night vision?
Seasoned mariners are well aware that the only way to see at night while motoring, sailing or paddling in extremely dark conditions is to baffle or prevent any rays of light from being directed at the vessel operator (that's you!). On a very dark night, even the light of a candle glowing from behind you onto your deck's surface will refract (be redirected off the surface) backward into your eyes and will impair your ability to see in the dark.

The iris in each eye is an aperture that is finely tuned to open wide in the dark, maximizing the number of rays of light capable of reaching your retina. The arrival of light refracted toward you from the bow of your craft above ambient lighting (moonlight, starlight) will reduce the diameter of your iris. You may not be able to see potentially hazardous flotsam such as floating logs, or even unlit buoys, ropes, tow lines, fishing lines and vessels.

It is extremely important when considering your navigation lights for night paddling and boating to ensure that light from your own equipment is prevented from being directed, reflected or refracted back into your eyes — especially while you are under way. Our design and testing of early Kayalite prototypes helped us develop an optimal height for a stern light that would reduce or eliminate the possibility of rays of light from illuminating the fordeck of a kayak while maximizing visibility of the kayak as viewed from other vessels.

In some circumstances it is important to be able to turn off your navigation lighting momentarily in order to improve your night vision. For this reason, we recommend mounting a Kayalite within reach.

If you anticipate looking behind you while underway, consider baffling your stern light to protect your vision. You may have a headlamp, PFD light or foredeck-mounted white light to ensure that your craft is visible to oncoming vessels. A bow light can be baffled at its rear side to prevent any rays from being directed at your eyes.

Click here to read a more comprehensive FAQ regarding optimal navigation lighting.
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