What Color Is A Boats Stern Light?

Last Updated on October 1, 2022

When you’re out on the water, it’s important to be able to see other boats and objects in the dark. One way to do this is by using boat lights. There are many different types of boat lights, but one of the most important is the stern light.

Stern lights on boats can come in a variety of colors, but the traditional color for stern lights is white. Some other common colors include red and green.

Stern lights are usually located near the back of the boat and are used to provide illumination so that vessels can see each other while sailing at night. They are also known as a “masthead light” or “all-round light”.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different colors of stern lights and what they mean.

Let’s find out!

What Color is a Boat’s Stern Light?

A boat’s stern light is a red light that is required to be shown on the stern (back) of a vessel during nighttime hours. It is important to have this light visible so that other vessels will be aware of your boat’s location and avoid running into it.

What Color Is A Boats Stern Light

The stern light is usually combined with a white steaming light, which is required to be shown at the front of the vessel when it is underway.

While the color of a boat’s stern light is not specifically regulated, it is generally accepted that red is the most visible color and therefore the best choice for this type of light.

Red lights are also easier for other vessels to spot against a dark background, making them more effective at preventing collisions.

So, if you’re wondering what color your boat’s stern light should be, the answer is red! This will help to keep you and your vessel safe when out on the water.

How Can You Tell if Your Stern Light Is Working Properly?

How Can You Tell if Your Stern Light Is Working Properly

There are a few ways to check if your stern light is working properly.

  • First, during the day, you can see if the light is visible from the back of the boat.
  • Second, at night, you can shine a flashlight on the light from the front of the boat to see if it is lit up.

If neither of these methods works, then you may need to replace the light.

What Do the Different Colors that Stern Lights Mean?

There are three colors that stern lights come in white, green, and red. White stern lights are used to indicate the vessel’s position when underway in restricted visibility.

Green stern lights are used to indicate the vessel’s position when anchored. Red stern lights are used to indicate the vessel’s position when aground.

For boat operators, it is important to be aware of the different meanings of the different colors of stern lights.

For passengers, it is important to be aware of the meaning of the different colors of stern lights so that they can be prepared in case of an emergency.

Are There Any Specific Regulations?

Yes, there are regulations that govern the use of stern lights in Canadian waterways.

In Canada, stern lights must be used when operating a vessel from sunset to sunrise, or when there is restricted visibility due to weather conditions.

Stern lights must also be used when anchored or moored in a navigable waterway. Stern lights help other vessels identify your vessel’s position, course, and intentions.

Using stern lights as prescribed by law helps to prevent collisions and other accidents on the water.

Do LED Stern Lights To Offer Any Benefits?

LED stern lights are becoming increasingly popular due to their many benefits. LEDs use less power than traditional incandescent bulbs, making them more efficient.

They also last much longer, so you won’t have to replace them as often. In addition, LED stern lights are much brighter than incandescent bulbs, making them easier to see in low-light conditions.

So, if you’re looking for a more efficient, longer-lasting, and brighter stern light, an LED is the way to go.


While the colors of a boat’s stern light are not mandated by law, it is important to use caution when changing their color.

Consider the visibility of your boat from different angles and distances, and make sure that the new color will be visible in both clear and dark water.

Most importantly, have fun with your boat’s lights and show your personality!