Red over Green vs a tricolour, and other lighting things

As part of the coming haulout (also know as the ‘time to stick shit on the mast because I don’t want to climb the mast EVER) I started to look at redoing my lights. Neither the anchor light (on top of the mast) or the steaming light (front of the mast) worked, so they both had to be replaced, and hey, why not replace them with LEDs? In fact, why not replace the nav lights as well while I’m at it! And may as well finally replace the interior lights with LEDs…

After a buying spree, I ended up with

2 LED strip light replacements (for kitchen and bathroom)


1 dome LED replacement (for cabin)


Stern Light LED


LED front nav fitting red/green


LED steaming/deck light combo


LED anchor light


2x LED spreader lights (for use in combination with the deck light, if I need to mess around on deck in the dark. Also good for parties. I hope).


I got these all from – they seem to have a lot of good press and shipping was REALLY cheap to Canada, surprisingly. Still, like everything else marine, painful on the wallet. Hopefully I won’t have to touch any of these in the lifecycle of the boat though!

I still have some lights left in the cabin – I have a lil dome light above the barometer that needs to be replaced, and also around 8 crappy LED dome things that are AWFUL and need to be changed out (they provide a tiny spot of non-adjustable shitty looking light). I’ll probably do that another time – my idea is to replace all the little 8 LED domes with a connected set of decent LED lights with a nice soft light, and attached to a dimmer, so I can use it for mood lighting or whatever.

Now, for the discussion that prompted the title of this post. On my size of sailboat, if sailing, you have the choice of deck lights

Navigation Lights - Sailboats - All Sailboats


OR a tricolour (this is a combo red/green/stern light that sits at the top of your mast).

Navigation Lights - Sailboat - Tri-color


Another option is to use a 360 red light over a 360 green light on your mast as well as the deck lights, or just use the deck lights.

Navigation Lights - Sailboats - Option Mast Top Light


After a lot of discussion I am going with the Red over Green (last pic), since they can be used at the same time as the deck lights. It’s a less seen combination, but being able to run the deck lights (giving your direction) in addition to the red over green lights (giving you a lot more visibility, esp in heavy waves) seems better to be than just running either the tricolour or the deck lights. This is kind of a touchy topic it seems, and a lot of people would disagree :).

The tough part is working out how to display a red over a green light, both 360, without being obscured by the sails. I think I may have to make a custom mount near the top of the mast for it. Fun…



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