Can I ride my jet ski at night legal? What kind of jet ski lights can be used? We answer these questions and more in our latest guide.
Jet ski lights (or the lack thereof) are somewhat of a gray area in the world of PWC.
At the time of writing, there are no PWC models that come with headlights built-in. There are a few different reasons for this, but the main one is because it’s usually illegal to ride a jet ski at night.
However, jet ski lights have other purposes, and can still be a worthwhile investment.
Read on to see why you might want to get some PWC lights.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Are jet ski lights even legal?
Most states not only have laws against night riding but against riding during sunrise and sunset as well.
That being said, it’s definitely recommended that individuals check their local laws as they can vary greatly based on location.
However, the lights themselves are not illegal as they have other purposes (see the next section).
People who are familiar with DNR know that they rarely hesitate to issue tickets, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are rumors of certain states allowing night riding, but they have strict regulations surrounding it.
Always be cautious of these rumors, and be sure to double-check with local officials first.
Recommended: Check out our guide to electric jet skis next.
Reasons why people have jet ski lights
Although riding a jet ski at night is illegal in most places, having PWC lights isn’t typically against the law. At first, it might not make a lot of sense to have jet ski lights if night riding is illegal, but they have other uses.
- The primary purpose of jet ski lights is for emergency situations. If for some reason an engine breakdown occurs, it may cause someone to be out past riding hours. Whether a PWC runs out of gas, or simply breaks down, it can often be a while before the problem is solved. A set of jet ski lights can make a PWC visible to other vessels and can be used to flag people down.
- One of the much less common situations for PWC lights is when riding in smaller waterways with a thick canopy. Depending on how much brush is surrounding the waterway, there may not be a lot of sunlight peaking through. Of course, this is very situational, and not very common, but it’s still a possibility.
- The last reason why someone may be interested in jet ski lights is for foggy days. Some regions and waterways get much more fog than others. In those circumstances, jet ski lights can be very beneficial. Most people wouldn’t want to ride on a foggy day, but those who use PWC to fish may be more inclined to go out regardless.
Other than the reasons stated above, there aren’t very many uses for jet ski lights.
Are there any jet skis with lights?
Well, actually there is one that we’re aware of. But it’s very expensive and it’s definitely not common as a recreational watercraft! In fact, I’m not even sure if it’s available to the general public.
The model in question is the Sea-Doo SAR. A PWC that’s specially designed for coastguards and rescue teams. Check it out in action in the video!
Recommended: Check out our guide to PWC beach carts next.
The 5 Best Jet Ski Lights
Again, night riding is illegal in most states, and jet ski lights should only be kept as a precautionary measure. Since most states don’t allow night riding, there aren’t very many companies that make jet ski lights.
However, there are some good alternatives that can work well in emergencies. They’re either designed for motocross or mountain biking so they are waterproof and used to being bumped around.
Our Top Pick – Bright Eyes 1200 Lumen Lights
This is perhaps the best light made by Bright Eyes. It’s very similar to some of their other models, but with significant improvements.
For starters, this 1200 lumens rechargeable light is fully waterproof. Unlike other options that are simply water-resistant, this light can hold up against all of the elements. It has a 6400 mAh battery that can last up to 5 hours on high, 10 hours on medium, and 26 hours on low.
Overall this is a really good option. It comes with a charging cable, instruction manual, velcro straps, o rings, a diffuser, and a headlamp harness.
Bright Eyes 300 Lumen Handlebar Lights
Despite being designed for bikes, the Bright Eyes 300 lumens handlebar lights can also be used on PWC. They come in a pack of two and can be installed in a matter of seconds.
These led lights can be adjusted from 80 to 100 lumens. They’re entirely waterproof, but not immersible. One of the coolest features about these lights is how easy they are to detach. Instead of simply using them as jet ski lights, they can be used as individual flashlights.
Blitzu Gator Rechargeable Light Set
The Blitzu Gator is a 390 lumens rechargeable light set. They’re made to mount onto handlebars, so they can work well as jet ski lights in an emergency. Aside from that, they’re intended to double as emergency flashlights so they can function in a wide variety of situations.
This light set comes with 2 mountable lights. They can both swivel 360 degrees, and don’t require any tools to mount.
Arguably the biggest benefit of these lights is their ability to recharge using the USB port. This allows them to be used time and time again, making them a great investment.
Recommended: Need a lift? We cover electric trailer dollies next.
Cycle Torch Shark 500
The Shark 500 gets its name from the powerful 500 lumens light it emits. This rechargeable light can last up to 2 hours or more on a single charge. It has a relatively simple design and can be mounted in seconds. This specific light requires no tools when being put on or taken off. As a bonus, it comes with a tail light made of aircraft-grade aluminum.
This light is IPX 5 rated, meaning that even when it’s pouring rain, the light still has all functionality.
Blitzu Cyborg Tail Light
A Blitzu Cyborg tail light can be a great option when it comes to emergency jet ski lights. The built-in rechargeable light is an excellent way to alert others of a stranded pwc. It offers 260 degree lighting to make sure anyone passing by can easily spot it. The Blitzu Cyborg can be easily mounted to a vest, belt, or helmet within a just few seconds.
Although it doesn’t function well as an independent flashlight, it can still be a great option as an emergency light.
Is it worth it to get jet ski lights?
If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that the legality of jet ski lights is location dependent. A lot of people claim that riding at night is legal in some areas with proper lighting, but it varies between states. Always check local laws, and be wary of any information gathered from unofficial sources.
At the end of the day (literally), a set of jet ski lights can be useful in emergency situations. Having some sort of light to flag others down, or simply help with navigation can be a huge benefit. Just keep in mind that regardless of legalities, riding at night can be very dangerous. If possible, night riding should always be avoided.