Paddle Board – Easy way to add lights

August 22, 2022
Posted in Video

DIY Paddleboard Lighting

I’ve had a handful of people ask me how I put the chasing LED lighting kit on my paddleboards. So I will put a simple How-to – DIY Paddleboard lighting page.

When I first saw some lighting kits for sale on-line they were all too much money and looked pretty lame. I wanted a really strong glow and I wanted the ability to have the “chasing lights” depending on the modes available.

I figured if I was going to pay a few bucks it better look good. So I bought a handful of LED kits that were designed for cars since they should be waterproof. Well I found out that not all LED kits are created equal. I ended up buying about 5 different kits and trying them. Seeing what had the features I wanted and would be able to last a while at least.

Features that were a must, was the ability to use my phone to to change the settings and colors. Also to be able to be underwater for a long period of time. I tried out a few and many didn’t handle the water for long periods or at all.

The one I settled on claimed it was Waterproof Grade: IP68.

Waterproof Grade: IP68. (Devices backed by an international standard rating of IP68 are deemed fit enough to withstand dust, dirt and sand, and are resistant to submersion up to a maximum depth of 1.5m underwater for up to thirty minutes. *Based on test conditions for submersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.(Devices backed by an international standard rating of IP68 are deemed fit enough to withstand dust, dirt and sand, and are resistant to submersion up to a maximum depth of 1.5m underwater for up to thirty minutes. *Based on test conditions for submersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.

So I bought this kit and submerged it in a kiddie pool for an entire week in my backyard. I figured if it lasted an entire week at minimal depths it should be fine for a few hours while paddle boarding.

What you will need to add chasing lights to your stand up paddle board.

AMAZON LINK – This Chasing LED Kit – I have tested a few Chasing LED kits, many that claimed to be waterproof or have chasing features. This one worked best for the stand-up paddleboard. I have used this kit on inflatable paddle boards (iSUP) and my solid paddle board (SUP). This kit is designed for cars, which is 12 volt so I used a lithium Ryobi 18V rechargeable battery, you can choose any battery source you want, but I had these laying around. They make it bright and last awhile.

AMAZON LINK – If you have an 18V Ryobi rechargeable battery system this battery adapter is cheap and is super easy to connect. I paid around $11 for is a good quality adapter. Find me on instagram and reach out to me and I can help you out if you have any questions.

AMAZON LINK – Clear Gorilla Tape, I used this to make sure it adheres well since it will be submerged underwater for a while. You can get this locally at most hardware stores but Amazon has it cheaper than some places I found. It goes on easy and comes off easy on my boards.

Install Steps

Click the images for full size

The LED kit will split into two lines of LED wires with three LED strips on each line. Lay them down in-line and zip tie the three strips together. See the image. There is a lot of excess wire, which needs to be folded and kept aside. I zip tied these together as well along side of the main strips. (Note – since these are chasing lights, it is more difficult to cut these wires and reattach them since there are many lines running inside and to keep the integrity of it being waterproof.

Here is a close up of the wiring. I kept the wires in the middle section of the LEDs. Ideally keep things as inline and compact as possible. Do not remove the adhesive on the LED strips, this wont hold. Just use the zip ties and line up the strips flat along the board.

Makes sure your board is clean and “DRY”. Use the clear Gorilla Tape to tape down the LED kit and wires to the board. You don’t want any wires hanging so tape down most of it to the board. It sticks great and when you are done for paddling for the day it comes off easy. I have left it on my board for a week and it still came off pretty easy. If you have any residue left behind if you left it on for a week, it does come off. I would only use the LED kit for the evening and night rides. I wouldn’t leave this on all summer.

Connect the wiring to the battery adapter you choose. You can see the Ryobi adapter and battery I am using.

Connect the wiring to the battery adapter you choose. You can see the Ryobi adapter and battery I am using.

Now is a good time to connect to your bluetooth before you actually get to the water.

I keep my battery strapped to the top of the board to the bungee so it doesn’t fall into the water. The battery system & wire isn’t waterproof so this is all at your own risk. I have used this for more than a year now and many people have asked how I did it. I am only trying to share what I did.

Follow me on Instagram and DM me if you have any questions. I will try to help if I can.

This DIY is all at your own risk, this works for me and may not work for everyone. Test the tape on your board or find a tape you may prefer to use or try.

Again it took me a while to find a kit that works underwater without leaking or having issues. I would love to get pictures of your setup or night pics on the water. Find me on instagram and share them if you get a chance.