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How Many Lumens Do You Need For Fishing At Night?

March 15, 2022 7 min read

How Many Lumens Do You Need For Fishing At Night?

Many fishermen prefer to fish at night, and the reasons for this vary like it can be the type of fish they want to catch, or simply this is the time they have available. Night fishing brings a whole new set of challenges to angling, and one of those is the need for lighting. What kinds of lighting do you need? How many lumens do you need for fishing at night?

For night fishing, you will need at least 100 lumens in a headlamp for performing tasks, 400 lumens for area lighting, and 200 lumens or more to illuminate the water to attract insects which attract minnows which then attract larger predatory fish. Waterproof or weather-resistant lights are ideal.

Fishing at night can be peaceful because fewer people are out on the water, but your tackle box may look different for night fishing. You will need additional gear to help you not only rig up your rods in the dark and set your bait and lures, but also know the right lighting setup that will help you catch more fish!

How Many Lumens Are Best For Night Fishing?

Lumens is a unit of measure that many people find confusing, and sometimes they confuse the wattage of the light with the brightness of the light.

The lumen unit of measure is used to measure the brightness of the light, while the wattage of a light is to measure the energy consumption of the light and is not directly related to brightness. If you are still confused about what lumens are, we have a detailed article that will explain lumens for you in layman’s terms.

Suffice it to say, when you look for a fishing light, you need to consider the lumen unit of value of the light to establish how bright the light is and whether it will be suitable for night fishing or not.

So when selecting lights for night fishing, how many lumens do you need? There is no one answer to the lumen question since the lumens of the light will be determined by the need that you want to use the light for.

Here are our lumen recommendations for various night fishing applications.

  • For lure tying and rod setup and general personal lighting, a headlamp of at least 150 lumens.
  • For general area lighting, a light of about 400 lumens or more would give good general lighting.
  • For attracting insects, and water penetration, you would need a light with a minimum of 200 lumens, but the brighter the light, the better it will be for this function.

These light lumen recommendations are all minimum values that would get the job done, but brighter lights will do a better job, so always go with a light with a higher lumen value than the minimum requirement. 

close up pic of an STKR BAMFF tactical flashlight posing on a fishermans kayak with beautiful lakeside scene

Can You Fish At Night With A Light?

You can most certainly fish at night with a light. If you are night fishing from the bank, you probably can make do with a good headlamp to provide enough light to rig your rods and lures or bait and for general personal light.

If you are doing cast and retrieve fishing with a lure, a headlamp is also ideal, but you have bait out on a bobber with several rods in the water, you may need an area light to give enough light to see what is going on with all the rods.

Boat fishing at night is a different situation, and some states have regulations as to the minimum lighting you need to have on a boat at night. In some locations, it is a red and green navigational light, while other areas require a 360-degree light that illuminates the whole boat. Make sure to check the local boating regulations before you head out on the water at night with your boat.

Some people like to fish with minimal lighting because they feel the light disturbs the fish, and they prefer dim lighting for the adventure. Other fishermen prefer bright lights because they attract insects that attract minnows, which in turn gets the predatory fish interested in the activity and rings the dinner bell for them.

Whichever method of lighting you prefer for your night fishing, it is definitely possible to catch fish at night with lights blazing.

What Is The Best Light Color For Night Fishing?

If you are considering a nighttime fishing excursion, you may wonder what color lights would be best for this activity.

White and green lights have been shown to be the most effective for night fishing. White and green lights have great penetration deeper into the water, and green lights, in particular, show up less of the particles suspended in the water, so you get a deeper view, even in murky water.

The lights are not necessarily used to see the fish or even to attract the fish, but rather to attract the insects that the fish are attracted to. White light does this very well, and insects will be attracted to the bright white glow of white LED lights.

You may also want to have a headlamp that has a red light option that you can use to rig your rods and lines and still preserve your natural night vision if you prefer to fish with limited illumination.

fisherman looking thru tackle box using a flexit headlamp pro red lighting mode by STKR Concepts

Is Nighttime Fishing Good?

Nighttime fishing can be good for many reasons, and the reason that fishermen choose to fish at night will vary from person to person.

Many fishermen like to fish at night because of the peace and quiet it affords due to there being fewer people about out on the water at night.

For others, it may be because the species of fish they are going after are more active at night, and for others, it may just be to catch bigger fish.

Fishing at night with a light will also attract large predatory fish into the shallows to feed on smaller fish or animals such as frogs the frequent the edge of the water at night. The large fish that are normally in deep water during the day will venture to the shallows under cover of darkness and hunt in the shallower water.

Night Fishing Light Setup

In order for you to get a set of ideal fishing lighting gear, we at STKR Concepts can get you set up with a full set of night fishing lights that are sure to more than meet your requirements.

Our lights are robust and made for the outdoors, and we pride ourselves in producing lighting products that not only provide light but that solve lighting problems.

Area Lighting

For area lighting, and especially 360-degree lighting for a boat, we have our ILLUMiDOME product, which is a mini waterproof outdoors lantern. It boasts a bright 220 true lumens brightness, can run for 100 hours, and has 4 different lighting modes, including a 360-degree option ideal for providing area lighting on the bank of lighting on a boat. 

It is waterproof, so you could even use it as a floating light on the water to attract insects to the water, which will, in turn, attract the fish. 

man shoreline fishing a lake at night sitting next to a tent scene illuminated by a FLi-Pro telescoping light

Beach or Shoreline lighting

To light up the shoreline, we recently came out with our newest product, The FLi-Pro Telescoping Light. This light is in a category of its own as it is designed to be spiked down into the ground and then extended eight feet up into the air. It then uses its 1200 lumens to cast light down in a 40-foot radius!

You can sit comfortably under this 40-foot dome of light and control it wirelessly with a small magnetic remote. The light can be taken off the telescoping stand/tripod and be used a traditional flashlight as well. All of this and its easily recharged using a USB type C cord.

pov from inside a small boat out on the water at night. There is a dog and STKR Flexit light at the front of the boat. Mountains silhouette and moon in the night sky background.

Lights To Attract Insects

For attracting insects, and to be directed over the water, our range of FLEXiT lights, in particular, the FLEXiT 4.0 light, is the ideal candidate.

This light outputs an impressive 400 lumens, has a magnetic base which allows it to be attached at various heights to any metal structure and the face of the light is flexible, allowing it to be folded to direct the light how you need it. This STKR Concepts light will also work for an area light as well.

In the same series, we have a solar-powered version, the FLEXiT SOLAR, which offers 500 lumens. This light can be charged via the built-in solar cells or charged from a power source with a micro-USB port.

Both these light options have a red light option as well as the bright white light option.

Female night fishing a small body of water facing away from camera wearing a FLEXIT headlamp pro 6.5 from STKR Concepts

Fishing Headlamps

A headlamp is probably the single most important light source that you want to have with you on a night fishing trip.

A headlamp gives you light wherever you are looking and keeps both hands free to rig your bait, lures, and rods.

STKR Concepts has two headlamp offerings that are great for night fishing. The FLEXiT Headlamp 2.5 is a 250-lumen headlamp that offers 180-degree lighting for better peripheral vision as well as a rear-facing safety red light. This headlamp is powered by 3 x AAA batteries.

The FLEXiT Headlamp PRO 6.5 offers an impressive 650 total lumens as well as red light modes to preserve your night vision or if you want low impact lighting on your fishing trip. 

It also has a rear-facing red light that is operated independently. The headlamp is powered by a rechargeable battery which can be recharged with a USB cable.

The bright light of the FLEXiT PRO 6.5 makes it a great night fishing companion.


The amount of lumens needed for night fishing is just one aspect that you should look for on a good quality fishing light.

Generally, you are going to need more than one type of light when you go night fishing. You will need area lights, multiple lights to attract the insects which attract the fish, and you will need a good quality headlamp.

Fortunately, at STKR Concepts, we have got you covered on all accounts for all your lighting needs, whether it be for camping, night fishing, or lighting your garage or your workshop! We pride ourselves on manufacturing quality products that solve lighting needs.

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