Luci Lights

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2015 • all rights reserved

Luci Lights: Really bright solar lights that are perfect as dinghy lights, in the cockpit, emergency anchor lights and more! Add one to your ditch bag, too.

We have two of these Luci lights and absolutely love them. They’re a very lightweight solar light that give off a lot of light. Ten LEDs put out more light than almost any other solar option I’ve seen — 80 lumens.

They have a switch — not a photocell — and so are great for applications where you want to control when the light is on and when it’s off. The switch toggles between on-bright-flashing-off.

A sunny day will charge them for 12 hours of use.

Luci lights come flat and you have to blow them up (easy — and I’m not good at balloons). They’re 5″ in diameter and 4″ tall when inflated.

Little straps at the top and bottom make it easy to attach them anywhere. I wondered how strong those straps were — would they break and I’d lose our light? — but they’ve done well in the squalls we’ve had. They’re waterproof and will float.

Here in Boot Key Harbor, it seems like half the boats are using them for dinghy lights. We changed ours shortly after we saw other boats using them (the prior owner of our boat had been using a solar yard light which didn’t put out nearly as much light). They are much cheaper than the commercial dinghy lights, brighter, and don’t take any batteries.

Luci Lights: Really bright solar lights that are perfect as dinghy lights, in the cockpit, emergency anchor lights and more! Add one to your ditch bag, too.

A few dollars worth of PVC and we had a nice pole screwed to the back of the dinghy to hang the light from so that it was above our heads and could be seen all around.

Luci Lights: Really bright solar lights that are perfect as dinghy lights, in the cockpit, emergency anchor lights and more! Add one to your ditch bag, too.

I just used a couple of cable ties to hold the light to the PVC. And even though the solar cell is right below the PVC and thus gets some shade, it still fully charges.

We use the second one in the cockpit as a “bright light.” If we’re finishing up a project after dark, or as Dave is hoisting the dinghy on the davits, the “bright” setting is great. Dave also finds it helpful for grilling.

For eating dinner, the regular “on” is good for us (we like to see what we’re eating). If we’re sitting out later, we usually turn the Luci off and only have the Solar Kandle Rail Lights — they’re not bright enough for eating for us, but Luci is a little too bright to just be mood/safety lighting. I’ve also been known to tie a bandanna around the Luci to soften the light a bit.

Luci Lights: Really bright solar lights that are perfect as dinghy lights, in the cockpit, emergency anchor lights and more! Add one to your ditch bag, too.

Note: since we bought ours, they’ve come out with some that are a softer light (Luci Lux) — that would be great for just sitting out, but sometimes we need that bright light . . . hmm, decisions, decisions.

If your cockpit mounting place is under a bimini, you can put a carabiner on the Luci and hang it from a lifeline during the day to charge, then move it in the evening.

In addition to the white lights that we have, you can get Luci lights with colored LEDs. Some boats use these as an easy way to find their boat at night — turn it on before you leave, then just look for the boat with the blue (or green or red or whatever) light when coming home.

Others hang one from the bow and stern as extra anchor lights (not the legally required ones) to make it easier for fishing boats coming in and out of anchorages in the dark to see them. Another related use is as an emergency anchor light. While Luci probably isn’t visible quite the 2 miles that the regs specify, if your primary anchor light has a problem or you lose power, it’s a lot better than nothing and can easily be hoisted with a halyard.

The flashing setting on the switch is good as an emergency beacon. If you have a medical emergency, go aground, are taking on water or have another emergency, a flashing light lets those coming to help find your boat quickly and easily.

West Marine carries the basic white Luci lights for the same price as you can get them elsewhere. The colored ones are a bit cheaper on Amazon, and Amazon also offers a wider selection of models.

NOTE: Luci also makes what they call a “Emergency” light with only 4 LEDs. It’s a little cheaper, but not as sturdily built and doesn’t put out nearly as much light.

P.S. These would also be fantastic lights for camping trips!

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  1. These are FANTASTIC!!!! We have two on our boat – they last for several hours and are very bright!

  2. We love our Luci!!!.

  3. Great as “signature” lights to help identify your boat in a crowded anchorage at night.

  4. This is great Carolyn going to get some. Do you know what the difference is between the orginal and outdoor ones?

  5. We have one in the heads ‘just in case’, and it gets taken on trips away as well. Fabulous and worth every penny.

  6. Bryan Cooley check these out!!!

  7. Just wish they didn’t have to be manually turned on after sundown. We have the multi colored light. Great light but it only last maybe 3-4 hours even with lots of sun. Our solar rope lights were still on at 6:30am today.

  8. Their listing in Amazon only advertises 65 lumen vs 80. Have they upgraded the product but not the listing?

  9. We use these in the cockpit attached by carabiners and have had a strap break, so we only hang them when we’re using them now. Love them.

  10. Found one floating on Norman Island. And it works brilliant. I will be ordering more for sure.

  11. Love it, thanks for the review

  12. We have three on our boat and LOVE them. great for cockpit lighting, dark dock walks, extra anchor lighting and for finding your boat in busy anchorages (flashing mode). Believe it or not, they are a quality product and at least in the middle latitudes they last all night long.

  13. Have 3 now!

  14. We LOVE our Luci’s! We use them as night lights for the girls, cockpit light and we even have one in our ditch bag.

  15. We love ours. In addition to the ideas above, we also hang one on our lifeline near where we board so if it is dark, we can just light up the boarding area. We keep one hanging from the mizzen near the companionway entrance too. It is always charged from the sun and available if needed. Love these things.
    We even have 2 we keep deflated on a shelf near one of the ports, so they get charged in the event we needed another in an emergency.

  16. Love ours and have used them for many of what you mentioned.. Only problem is one of mine has a slow leak.. When the inside cools it collapses back down.. It still works, and charges while collapsed, I just have to blow it up every time I want it on. Very useful product though

  17. Love Luci Lights. We have one in the cockpit that recharges during the day and lights up at night. Awesome! 🙂

  18. Tom Samuelson says:

    Thanks Carolyn,
    After your review I ordered the Luci Lux and a Luci Aura. Can’t wait to bring them to the boat and try them out. They seem to be just like your review! Thanks again….

  19. Susan Parker says:

    These are great! I bought the kind that have different colors.

  20. John Jenks says:

    Hi Caroline.
    We bought one of each of the Luci lights and have them under our bimini on the fly- bridge of our cruiser and use them in the salon as well. We have been using them for the last 5 weeks and love them.
    Thanks for the recommendation.
    John Jenks Sydney Australia

  21. Greatest invention ever!

  22. Agreed!

  23. We bought some for gifts at Christmas and 1 for us!! Love them. The multicoloured works well in the cockpit on a light blue which makes a soft filtered light.

  24. Bought one before I left for Panama. Should have bought a couple more. Friends have ordered them online.

  25. We love ours – hang it off our solar panel/dinghy davit arch at night when we are out – helps us find our boat at night. We just ordered a colored one to make it even more distinctive.

  26. Rachel Eveleth

  27. We are luci lovers!!

  28. Cool! Where’s the best place to buy them?

  29. Agree, we love ours too! Free safety.

  30. They are great for other uses as well. Using one now on a backpacking trip.

  31. Hmm… We were given one, and I thought it was a gag gift! Guess I should look at it again?

  32. Best lights ever!

  33. Michael Feeney

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