The 11 Best Bowfishing Lights of 2022 Reviewed – Let There Be Fish!

Bowfishing is becoming a hugely popular pastime that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

It can also be enjoyed at any time of day or night – providing you have the right gear.

And shooting when it’s dark is one of the most thrilling and rewarding aspects of the sport.

With that in mind, we take a look at the best bowfishing lights of 2022, with a view to helping you set up a rig to keep you on the water for longer.

A full buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow for some additional illumination.

Let’s get lit!

At a Glance – The Best Lights for Bowfishing

Before we highlight the products, let’s take an illuminating look at some of the things you should be looking out for.

These can include:

  • Types of Lighting – including LED, halogen, bow-mounted, and high-pressure sodium lights.
  • Water clarity – you’ll need different colored lights depending on how clear or muddy it is.
  • Lumens – how bright bowfishing lights are – and how bright they should be.
  • Durability – as ever, it’s nice to find products that last – especially in tough conditions.
  • IP rating – how water and dustproof your chosen lights are.
  • Power source – where’s the juice coming from?
  • Number of lights required – customize your set-up to suit your needs.
  • Cost – how much are these things, anyway? Keep reading to find out.

With these points in mind, we poured over plenty of bowfish lighting options, and picked out our top three that offer the best balance of quality, value, and practicality.

First up, is the Swamp Eye Light Bar, which has been specifically designed for bowfishing. Quite frankly, the option to adjust the color and brightness of these lights at a touch of a button is hard to beat.

For anyone on more of a budget, the Nilight light bar is ideal for a variety of vehicles, but works just as well on a boat, given the fact that it has an impressive IP rating of 67.

Then there’s the Fin-Finder Bowfishing Riser Light – a flashlight device that attaches to the riser of your bow.

That offers 600 lumens of light in a fully rechargeable unit, which will give you up to four hours on the water before it requires a new charge. Plenty of time to stick those fish well into the night!

Of course, there’s so much more out there than these picks, and I highly recommend staying switched on to this article, as we delve into some enlightening reviews!

The 11 Best Bowfishing Lights of 2022

Swamp Eye Bowfishing Light

Swamp Eye Bowfishing Light

One of the highest-rated bowfishing lights out there, the Swamp Eye light bar has been specifically designed for bowfishing – which is probably why it’s our number one pick.

Offering 120 Watts of LED lighting and boasting up to 12,000 Lumens, you can adjust the color of the output depending on the condition of the water.

The 24-inch-long bar illuminates more surface area than your average boat lighting, while the reflectors direct the light where you need it most, minimizing waste.

And it can be easily hooked up to a single battery or generator, with a run time of approximately 10 hours on a typical deep cycle battery.

Pros

  • Designed for bowfishing.
  • Tough, durable, aluminum frame.
  • Corrosion resistant.
  • Full color tone adjustability.
  • Also suitable for flounder gigging boats.

Cons

  • On the more expensive side.

Takeaway

They’re not the cheapest bowfishing lights out there, but as they’ve been designed specifically with the sport in mind, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better set on the market.

Nilight LED Light Bar

Designed for use on a variety of vehicles, this LED light bar just lends itself to being adapted for bowfishing.

120 Watts of power give you plenty of illumination for clear visibility, and it provides an unbeatable field of view when mounted at the side or bow of your craft.

The IP rating of 67 ensures the unit is 100% dustproof and can be submerged in a meter of water for 30 minutes before compromise, so it’s been designed to take a beating in any environment.

An adjustable mounting bracket allows you to rotate the light through 45-degrees, and the bar has a combination of both flood and spot beams.

Pros

  • Very highly rated.
  • Choice of lengths and power levels.
  • Easy-to-install.
  • Mounting hardware included.

Cons

  • The aforementioned mounting kit isn’t the best.

Takeaway

A terrific bowfishing light with the bonus of being available in different lengths – including a curved option – to cater for all kinds of boats and rigs.

Fin-Finder Splashlight Bowfishing Riser Light

Fin-Finder Splashlight Bowfishing Riser Light

As an alternative to boat lighting, the Fin-Finder Splashlight is a device that attaches to the riser of your bow, giving you light exactly where you need it the most – directly at your targets.

It’s fully rechargeable and offers up to four hours of continuous use before needing a top-up from the AC/DC.

The screw thread on the base of the flashlight easily attaches to a mounting point on your bow, while a remotely trigger pressure switch gives you 600 lumens of brightness where and when you want it.

And it also comes with a convertible mount, so you can use it as a standard flashlight as you see fit.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Water-resistant casing.
  • Battery and charger included.
  • Non-slip handle.
  • Heavy-duty aluminum design.

Cons

  • Being able to adjust the color of light and brightness would have been awesome.
  • Quite pricey for what it is.

Takeaway

A solid option for mounting on your bow to give you precision light when and where you need it, the Fin-Finder is going to do just that – find more fish in the dark!

Ustellar LED Flood Light

Next up we have these 80 Watt LED floodlights that can provide 8000 lumens per bulb.

With an IP rating of 66, they’re more than suitable for mounting on a boat – although note that they cannot be submerged.

An advanced heatsink keeps things cool, while a mounting bracket is easy-to-install and can rotate the light through a full 180-degrees.

Made with a heavy-duty aluminum house and tempered glass, they have been designed for a variety of uses around the home.

However, they’re also proven to function as excellent bowfishing lights – which is why they’re here.

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • Efficient cooling system.
  • Modern, minimalist style.
  • Wide beam angle.
  • Anti-UV outdoor cables.

Cons

  • Reports of a short lifespan.

Takeaway

A nice set of bowfishing lights that will get the job done – and with their improved heatsink technology they do it pretty efficiently, too. And don’t forget you should check out what’s new in the bowfishing bow world while you’re in the market for lights.

Quans LED Flood Light

These 30 Watt security lights are affordable and compact, offering a choice of warm white or cool white which makes them some of the best bowfishing lights for muddy water as you don’t want to go too bright in such conditions.

An IP65 rating keeps things protected, and they’re designed to work well in the rain.

Energy saving with long life technology, they’ll give you the equivalent of a 170 Watt halogen bulb, and require virtually no maintenance.

Just remember they’re low voltage, so don’t hook them up to a high-voltage generator, otherwise, you’ll burn them right out.

Pros

  • Affordable price point.
  • Ideal illumination for bowfishing.
  • Easy-to-install.
  • 120-degree beam angle.

Cons

  • They won’t last that long – but you get what you pay for.

Takeaway

A decent lighting option for the more casual bowfishers out there. They’re not going to last forever, but at this price, they should serve you well for a few seasons.

GearOZ Coon Hunting Lights Headlamp

We might as well stay on this train of thought and offer up another option to anyone who isn’t happy working with electricity, or isn’t fortunate enough to have access to a boat.

This is an excellent LED headlamp you can easily use for bowfishing, offering four modes so you can cycle through the right kind of light for how, where, when, and what you’re fishing for – with the amber light giving you ten yards of underwater illumination.

And with an IP rating of 68, it’ll certainly take a beating no matter the weather or conditions.

Check out this review for more good headlamps for fishing.

Pros

  • Amber, green, white, and yellow lights.
  • 15-hour run time.
  • Fully rechargeable.
  • Hat option available.
  • Gift box included.

Cons

  • Not suitable for illuminating wider areas.
  • Might be a little too cumbersome/bulky for some.
  • Expensive for a headlamp.

Takeaway

Another great alternative to boat lighting, the six settings and choice of LED colors in one unit is a real winner for hunting with this headlamp setup. Just so long as you don’t mind looking like a coal miner, then this is grand.

Linkstyle LED Submersible Fishing Light

Here’s an altogether different option that is more commonly used by traditional anglers to light underwater and attract their next catch.

Fully submersible, this has an IP rating of 68, with a five-meter power cord and battery clip.

Available in choice of green, blue, and white, it offers 1000 lumens of brightness across an eight-sided design so you have 360-degrees of illumination to leave no stone unturned.

Made with a high-quality LED and aluminum alloy frame, filled with clear silicon, and super-easy to set up, they’re designed never to leak, and provide up to 50,000 hours of continuous use.

Pros

  • Excellent price.
  • Compact, portable size.
  • Salt and freshwater compatible.
  • Built-in weight for sinking.
  • Battery clips included.

Cons

  • Concerns of it drawing a lot of power.
  • Not that suitable as a more permanent boat option.

Takeaway

Another decent choice for casual night bowfishing, this is an inexpensive option that will help you see the area and attract and catch some fish. And pick up one of these excellent bowfishing reels if you want to up your game in that department.

Sucool LED Flood Beam Lights

This is a great package of eight floodlights that makes for a one-stop-shop when it comes to bowfishing lighting.

Each unit offers 48 Watts, with LED bulbs that have a 30-degree angle of vision. They have an IP rating of 67, which means they’re fully dustproof, and can be submerged for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water without compromise.

Made from a durable aluminum, they’re durable for use in a variety of different situations, but the set of eight makes it super-easy to fully light your small to medium-sized craft for all your bowfishing needs.

Pros

  • Outstanding price for what you get.
  • Easy to install.
  • Ideal lumens for bowfishing.
  • Durable construction.

Cons

  • Can drain a battery quickly – you might need extra power options for the set.

Takeaway

One of the best LED light sets for bowfishing on the market, this will get you out onto the water in next to no time, so you can worry about sticking a catch rather than how you’re going to see it.

Seapon Pontoon Boat Light

Something a little different now with this LED light strip for use around your boat as a fishing light or internal deck light.

For bowfishing purposes, this offers a full five meters of lighting, with a water and dustproof rating of IP65.

Very easy to install, the flexible ribbon is perfect for curving around the contours of your craft, and provides a smooth, even, and continuous light spread through each LED.

Self-adhesive backing is included to make installation even easier, and it can be cut to length if so desired. Not only that, but it looks really cool, too.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • 50,000 hour lifespan.
  • Mounting clips and screws included.
  • Doesn’t scare fish.

Cons

  • Not the brightest option available.
  • Won’t illuminate very far from the boat.

Takeaway

It might not have the best range for bowfishing, but this is still a decent option if you want something easy-to-install and don’t need off-the-chart lumens. Perhaps a good option for nighttime kayak bowfishing more than anything else.

Weisiji LED Light Bar

This 20-inch light bar has the capability to change the colors with a remote control. This makes it ideal for bowfishing (and I’m surprised it’s not more widely used as such).

You can change the light to suit your conditions at the push of a button, and they offer you 252 Watts of power – so illumination isn’t going to be a problem.

IP rated to 68, the unit is tough and durable, suitable for use in all conditions.

And even if you don’t manage to catch any fish – you’ll still be the life and soul of the party when you’re out there on the water.

Pros

  • Eight color combinations.
  • Compatible with all kinds of boats.
  • Versatile use.
  • Heat dissipation fins.
  • Mounting brackets included.

Cons

  • The remote isn’t the best.

Takeaway

Bowfishing is a fun and often sociable sport – night or day – and this set of lights will certainly turn some heads if you bring them to the meet. Aside from that, they’re just great for adjusting to the conditions you’re fishing in.

AMS Bowfishing H2Glo Lighted Nocks

AMS Bowfishing H2Glo Lighted Nocks

As a little bonus, I thought it would be a good idea to include these useful lighted nocks from AMS Bowfishing.

Perfect for seeing your shot like tracer fire, the nocks light up as soon as the arrow is released, and can be switched off to preserve power when not in use.

The price is for a pack of three, and they are, of course, shockproof and water-resistant. As this particular product is only compatible with AMS Tiger Shark arrows, you can check out this version which offers universal fit lighted nocks, instead.

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • Automatically lights upon release.
  • Identify your shots.
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • No use for illumination.
  • Only suitable for AMS Tiger Shark arrows.

Takeaway

A nice little addition to your gear for bowfishing at night, these lighted nocks make it easy for you to follow your shot right into the water.

How to Choose the Best Lights for Bowfishing – A Buyer’s Guide

There are a few things you need to consider before purchasing a set of lights for bowfishing, so read on for some expert tips and advice on what you should be looking out for.

hunter aiming with compound bow on a hill

Why Use Bowfishing Lights?

Bowfishing is predominantly a spring and summer sport, and these seasons offer ample daylight hours in which to enjoy the hunt for as long as possible.

However, bowfishing at night is also a thrilling experience (sometimes even more so) and attaching lights to your craft allows you to continue the fun well after dark.

In fact, you’re seriously missing out if you DON’T have a nighttime bowfishing setup – so get on it!

Types of Bowfishing Lights

LED lights are the most common as they have multiple advantages and are ideal for use as a bowfishing option. They’re easy to install given the fact that they are powered by low-voltage batteries, usually very lightweight, and inexpensive.

They’re also available as headlamps and bow (as in weapon) mounted options, which are well worth considering as an alternative to lighting around a boat.

The biggest disadvantage of LEDs is that they will run out eventually, but some last considerably longer than others.

Halogen lights are high-powered options that require a mains or generator to run.

While they’re pretty straightforward to install, they’re not quite as ready-to-go as LEDs, and will take some know-how when it comes to setting them up.

High Pressure Sodium lights will also require powerful generators, and they’re few and far between to purchase.

While some bowfishers do use them, they’re often regarded as overkill, as I believe them to be more suitable for lighting up billboards.

Water Clarity

When selecting your bowfishing lights, it’s important to understand the type you should choose based on how clear or muddy the water is in the area that you most commonly fish.

  • For muddy water, you should be looking for warm yellow, green, or white LEDs that will help visibility in the face of sediment. These colors work similarly to using a dipped headlight beam in fog, as they won’t reflect back and blind you.
  • For clearer water, it’s best to use cool white LEDs, which will help penetrate the depths and improve your chances of spotting fish.

Remember, when it comes to bowfishing, brighter isn’t always better, and you certainly don’t want to be frightening your quarry.

Which brings us nicely onto talking about lumens.

Lumens

How bright do bowfishing lights need to be? Well, this is where the lumens number comes in.

A lumen is a unit of luminous flux, and represents the quantity of light output by a single source – per unit of time. To keep things simple – the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light.

For bowfishing, you’re probably looking at 900-1000 lumens per light. However, it all depends on the kind of set-up you’re looking for, and how bright you personally want your rig to be.

It will vary from bowfisher to bowfisher, area to area, and boat to boat.

If all you’re looking to do is spot the fish, you’re unlikely to need anything particularly bright, whereas some bow anglers prefer to illuminate as much and as far as possible.

Durability

Anyone who is rocking bowfishing lights on their boat will understand that durability is key when it comes to their overall quality and how long they’re going to last.

These devices are going to take a lot of punishment – especially when shaking and rattling on the back of the trailer as you boost at 70 MPH down the highway to get to your favorite fishing spot.

As such, they need to have the strength and build-quality to take a beating. Cheaply-made, flimsy units aren’t going to cut it and will likely fall apart their first time out.

With that in mind, look for lights that are built to last, with decent reviews regarding their durability.

IP Rating

As well as the overall durability of the light casing and bulb, the IP rating of a light is very important, as it’s an indication of how water and dustproof it’s going to be.

The first digit represents dust and debris. The second digit represents moisture.

The higher either of these numbers, the better the device will be able to repel foreign bodies that can cause significant damage – such as dirt and liquid.

So, for example, a light with an IP rating of 67, such as the Nilight flood bar, is 100% dustproof with a rating of six, and can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes with its moisture rating of seven.

Obviously, for bowfishing lights, it’s advisable that they have higher IP numbers than your average home security system, given the environment in which they’ll be working.

Thankfully, given the fact that they all need to be used outdoors, most floodlights in this class are well protected from anything that might try to compromise them.

For more information, take a look at this article and have IP ratings explained.

men fishing from boats with lights at night

Power Source

More powerful units will need larger batteries or even gas-powered generators.

Remember, you should take noise into consideration, as you really don’t want to frighten the fish, or be pissing off any of your fellow bowfishers – or anyone else who happens to be using the waterways.

Quieter generators will cost a fair amount of coin, so unless you’re willing to fork out, you should avoid lights that require that level of power.

Number of Lights

This is entirely up to you and will depend on where and how you’re bowfishing.

You might want a setup that surrounds your whole craft and offers the widest field-of-view and/or range. In that case, it’s estimated that a typical bowfishing boat should have six lights.

Of course, this is dependent on the type and size of the craft you’re using, so you should adapt the number for use with your own boat.

And consider purchasing a set of lights that come with more than one unit to save some money.

Alternatively, you might be the kind of bowfisher who prefers standing in one spot and having a more focused illumination in that area alone.

If that’s the case, then perhaps using a headlamp or other focused light is the preferable way to go – like a riser-mounted flashlight that attaches to your bow.

Either way, there’s no right or wrong answer to this – have fun with it, play around, and enjoy building your own, unique bowfish lighting rig.

Cost

You can spend as much or as little as you like on lights for bowfishing – depending on the effect you wish to achieve, the size of your boat, or if you even have a boat in the first place.

Just bear in mind other expenses, such as how much it’s going to cost to run them, and if you need to spend extra money on installation and setup.

I always advocate for buying the best you can afford – relative to how much you’re going to use them.

You don’t need a $500 lighting set up if you’re only going out once or twice a season.

camouflage compound bowfishing bow with arrow

FAQs

How many lumens do you need for bowfishing?

It really depends on personal preference, but I would say somewhere between 600-1000 lumens is a good starting point for each light.

You certainly don’t want it too bright as you’ll scare everything off.

Be wary of people and websites telling you otherwise, or trying to sell you something just because it claims to be brighter than the sun.

Can you use LED light bars for bowfishing?

Yes, you most certainly can. And indeed, I’ve included a couple of good examples in this review.

In fact, LED light bars make for some of the best lights for bowfishing because of their design and easy installation.

You can get away with mounting two or three bars around your boat instead of trying to install a bunch of individual floodlights.

What are the best lights for bowfishing?

Again, it depends on a number of factors, including what you’re fishing for and where, as well as the conditions of the water.

But LEDs make the best lights for bowfishing, and if I had to pick one for my boat, I’d go with this option for clear water.

However, if money were no object, I’d probably kit my boat out with lights that are fully adjustable at the touch of a button, such as this option from Swamp Eye.

When is it fine to use warm white for bowfishing?

You can use a warm white anytime for bowfishing, but they’re especially recommended for use when the water is cloudy, muddy, or contains debris.

What is the best type of bulb for a bowfishing light?

LED bulbs work best for bowfishing, and you should choose warm yellows, greens, and/or whites if you’re fishing in water that’s stained, muddy, or cloudy in any way.

Cooler, brighter whites are the best for clearer waters.

Do I need a generator for bowfishing lights?

Generators can be great for powering lights, as they’ll last a lot longer than a battery.

However, they’ll be significantly louder, trickier to set up, expensive, and are only designed for more powerful lighting systems.

As such, you don’t need a generator for bowfishing – but if you want to run longer and brighter, then it will probably be a better choice for your needs.

How do I set up bowfishing lights?

There are many ways to set up bowfishing lights, and how you do it will depend on the lights you choose, the power source available to you, and the type and style of boat itself.

Unfortunately, it isn’t “one-size-fits-all.”

That said, take a look at the two videos below for a couple of examples of different set-ups – and hopefully it will give you inspiration on how to go ahead with your own.

For a generator setup:

For a battery setup:

What color light is best for bowfishing?

Use cool white lights in clear water, and warmer colors such as greens, warm whites, or yellow in muddier conditions or when fishing in stained water.

It’s pretty much the same if you’re trying your hand at spearfishing instead, so follow that link if you’d rather shoot fish with a speargun over a bow.

Can I use solar lights for bowfishing?

Meh, it might be possible – but you’d need to choose a solar light that could be turned on and off, and make sure it’s had a full, uninterrupted charge during the day.

How much light it provides and for how long will depend on the quality of the unit, and how much direct sunlight it’s had before you set out.

Even the best solar lights will see a significant dip in brightness if it’s been charging on a cloudy day, rather than in bright sunlight.

As such, for reliability, solar lights aren’t usually the go-to option for bowfishing, and are more suitable for illuminating your driveway back home.

That said, you’re more than welcome to try, as if they work well you can save a small fortune on power, not to mention their silent operation.

Summary

Providing you can power it from a battery or generator, you can pretty much use any lights you want for bowfishing – but some work much better than others.

I hope this article has helped you find the best bowfishing lights in 2022 that are right for you.

Let me know which option you’ve got for and why.

In the meantime, stay bright, and happy hunting.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Recent Content