Super-Easy Cockpit Light

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2014 • all rights reserved

Super Easy

I’ve written four(!) other posts about great cockpit lights (LED candles, a solar light, strings of lights under the bimini, and a portable light).  Now comes a super-easy-to-do idea from TBG reader Donna Fisher Szabo, perfect for charters or taking to the beach.

While preparing to go cruising on their own boat, she and her husband have been doing a couple of charters each year.  And they always take along a small LED flashlight on a lanyard (see my favorite).

To make a nice, non-glare light in the cockpit, they simply hang the flashlight in an empty translucent one-gallon water bottle by tying the lanyard to the handle.  You can see in the photo at the top of this post what a nice soft light it gives off — perfect for eating or enjoying a drink without spoiling the ambiance.

An LED flashlight gives off virtually no heat, so there is no risk of it melting the plastic.

The small one-LED flashlights will run anywhere from 32 to 100+ hours on a single AA battery, and using a lithium battery will improve that anywhere from 4 times to 8 times (results depend on the model tested and who did the testing).

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  1. You can do the same thing with a translucent Nalgene or other plastic bottle to have a subdued, colored, mood light.

  2. Jim and Barbara Shell says:

    We have cut the bottom out of the 1 gallon milk jug and cut small holes near the spout and pull it over a kerosene lantern for softer light. We got the idea from some boating book. The kerosene lantern does not blow out easily inside the milk jug. It could serve as an emergency anchor light.

  3. Jim and Barbara Shell says:

    Correction: We cut the top and bottom out of the milk jug. The bail of the lantern must exit through the top.

  4. for an instant all-round dinghy light, we have used a translucent go-cup put over a flashlight

  5. cool idea, thanks!!!

  6. She always has brilliant ideas. Pun intended.

  7. Cool.

  8. Chris Laletin says:

    I’ve used a milk jug with an led flashlight for an anchor light in a pinch. Easy to raise on a halyard.

  9. What a great idea!

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