These solar lights are actually made to use on a boat, with mountings that work on stanchions and rails. Really high quality, too!

Solar Kandle Rail Lights

If you’re looking for just a little bit of light in the cockpit, or as you’re boarding the boat, small solar lights are great. They charge themselves during the day and automatically light up the area when it gets dark.

Solar_Rail_Lights2We loved them when we were ashore or on a friend’s boat at sunset, both because we’d automatically have a bit of light when we were climbing out of the dinghy and because they made it easier to find our boat in a crowded anchorage or mooring field. We think it also made our boat more visible to other dinghies and fishing boats who didn’t always see a masthead anchor light.

The first set of “solar yard lights” that we bought in Mexico ten years ago were expensive and didn’t last very long — and we had to create our own mounting system (and we lost two of the lights in a wicked thunderstorm when our mounts failed). But we were hooked on the concept and knew that someday someone would make solar lights that were actually designed to be used on a boat.

A couple of weeks ago, one of  The Boat Galley’s sponsors — Steve at Sea Dog Boating Solutions — contacted me about the solar lights he’s now carrying. Now, I know that you can get the cheapie lights at Walmart and just plan to replace them periodically — for us, every couple months as they quickly rusted out in a salt water environment and every year (sometimes sooner) if you’re in fresh water. And you still have to come up with some way to mount them where you want them — not always the easiest thing, we learned.

The Solar Kandle Rail Lights are more expensive at just under $20 each. But they are so much better and will last so much longer!

  • Mounting system is included and you can put them on just about any standard 1″ or 1.25″ stainless railing or stanchion or any other pipe or wood dowel
  • Easy installation on any vertical, horizontal or angled rail — no cutting, drilling, wiring or electrical hookups. Just tightening Phillips-head bolts.
  • Interlocking spring loaded swivel bracket allows simple 360° positioning & locking of light
  • Positioning arm pivots up & down up to 90° for angled stanchions
  • Virtually nothing that will rust — light is heavy duty plastic and the nuts and bolts are stainless.
  • The light will turn on automatically at night and stay lit for 5 to 8 hours (assuming a full day of sunlight; light will turn off sooner with less sunlight)
  • Manual ON/OFF switch for nighttime navigation — this is a biggie, it’s usually hard to turn yard lights off as the switch is inaccessible . . . and sometimes there isn’t a switch!
  • Rechargeable battery can be replaced if needed over time (AA Ni-MH) — the battery is the reason most solar lights fail and being able to replace it means the light will last far longer.

Says Steve, “The lights are holding up well over time.  This is our second year using them on our boat and the lights still work well and look great.”

You can get the Solar Kandle Rail Lights at Sea Dog Boating Solutions and on Amazon.

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  • Mike McCollough
    Posted at 15 August 2014 Reply

    The lights look cool. How do bugs like them?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 15 August 2014 Reply

      I don’t know about other people, but we’ve never had real bug problems with the little LED solar lights. A few bugs, sure, but nothing at all like the number of bugs around the stern light.

  • Lauren Reese Dehaan
    Posted at 23 May 2015 Reply

    I have 6 of these on Southern Comfort and love them.

  • Yvonne McTeer
    Posted at 23 May 2015 Reply

    it would be nice to have a few on Modaki

  • Jim Allen
    Posted at 23 May 2015 Reply

    I got some also and they are great

  • Christine Warren
    Posted at 23 May 2015 Reply

    We were just driving down the road talking about getting these to put around the rails of our boat!

  • Beth Browne
    Posted at 08 November 2016 Reply

    Been thinking about this ever since I first saw this post. Our solar cockpit light (one of the yard sort) finally died and I’m excited to get this one. An on-off switch is going to be awesome for stargazing and cockpit sleeping. Thank you, Carolyn!

  • Bruno Barswazy
    Posted at 06 April 2017 Reply

    I do not recommend them. The UV kills the plastic body and they are good for one season then they cease to function. The battery is fiddley, the wiring is weak and water got into the light assembly. I suspect Asian construction.
    The idea is good.. I was in Florida and attended a boat show and bought one. It did not survive in Canada, perhaps it needs a more conducive climate. On the left coast it goes to -10 C in the winter, the rest of Canada , -40c. So that is the test. Perhaps it needs a heater of some sort? Cheers.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 06 April 2017 Reply

      We’ve had ours for three years in the South Florida and Bahamas sun — still working great. The only thing we’ve done is to replace the rechargeable battery.

  • Peggy Bowers
    Posted at 23 September 2017 Reply

    We have a set of these. Unfortunately the solar lens clouded and rendered them useless. I would not recommend them.

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