I wear a baseball cap witha 50 watt froggin light on it. It's all the light you need in my opinion and I dont suffer from neck strain. I run without any much of the time but if someone behind has a light and they shine it on you without a light of your own you can't see crap. So thats my quarters worth it used to be 2 cents but my opinions have had to go up to compensate for recent losses and my new motor coming soon.
I run 4 Chrome KC lights on my boat right now, but before that I had 4 J.W. Lights that had complete rubber surrounds that I loved. (They don't cost an arm and a leg either)
I also put a couple S.S. Q-beam adapter plugs on my boat so I can always plug in a q-beam.
I prefer to drive with a q-beam and I really only use the cage lights when I am stopped to light everything up.
I have used remote control spot/flood lights.
I just preffer to use a q-beam and back it up with a couple J.W. Lights mounted on the cage.
probably 75% of my running is at night and I have a ciggarette lighter plug in on my instrument panel to which i have a 100 watt headlight that plugs in, i also have it wired into a rheostat so that i can turn it down as dim as i want which helps sometimes when frogging, you can use a handheld spotlight, just cut the end off and put clips on for the battery, or i could sell you one of the lights that my dad and i make that are very similer to the ultralights which is a very light bulb that is just as bright as the old aircraft landing lights, which is what most people have used for a long time, but they are a quarter of the weight which makes them more comfortable to wear, i live in orlando also and get home from work on the evening of the 5th, if you wanted i could show one to you or help you put something together, i have a single kc light mounted under my footstand that i almost never use, it limits your visibility to right in front of the boat and if someone is in front of you its in their eyes every time they turn their head to the side, i would go with the headlight or if i was only gonna go every once in a while you could go quick and easy with the handheld, and i may mount a single light to the boat as a backup.
ps. did you see the pictures of the old timers, see why i think it is the same mold
I go oldschool headlight only. 100 watt aircraft landing light mounted to the inner part of a welders helmet. I do a lot of night running (especially this time of year) and this allows you to see everything.
the headlights i have for sale are just like the one on the left in ricks picture, i can also make one with the 100 watt aircraft landing light but the others are 100 watt also and just as bright and much more comfortable due to weight
I personally have never used mounted lights on any of my boats. Seems to me like their always going up & down and, like you said, light'n up the bow or somebody's back.
Handheld's will get you by in a fix. They're cheap and you can get them at Walmart. Of course you can't hold on as good in the rough stuff. I still like having one in the bow for a spare. If not for me, for somebody else and if you never see it again, you ain't lost too much.
I have two headlights. One is a small froggin "ultralight" (like cntry141iq mentioned) that you can get at Diamondback, Classic, or maybe Alumitech. The other is a big light mounted on a hard hat. It is heavy, but it will flat reach out there and spot the little landmarks that I use (like maybe a single cabbage palm, fence post, etc.). Maybe one of these days I'll learn how to operate my handheld gps and won't need the landmarks.
I also like shutting the light off every chance I get, but when the water's high around here and you're back behind the tree line, you need light.
Here's the two I use:
If you've got a hard head & a strong neck that big bulb is a "Philips Sealed Beam Lamp" #4049. I get them here for about $12.00: http://www.atlantalightbulbs.com
I have a regular household plug with it's own switch mounted on my boat. The smaller switches on a big light like that don't seem to last very long.
I have cage mounted KC lights, don't use them very much. Most of the time I don't care to see what is right in front of me, I need to see where I am about to go. I prefer to use a baseball cap with an automotive H-3 bulb (i can swich between 55 & 100 watt bulbs) the spare bulbs are about $6. also have an ultralight as a backup, the spare bulb for that one is about $25.
By the way do you have running lights? - red/green on the bow and a white light on the stern of your boat.
I saw a very small light this weekend that slides onto a baseball cap. A guy is making them to sell ($25 I think). He will be calling airboatworld magazine soon to place an ad I think. It looked pretty good to me.
If I'm riding, I love the q-beam the best but if I'm frogging I use a small headlamp with much less light.
Is this like the clip-on light you were talking about Airboatcapt2? I can't remember who made it but it uses a projector beam light, up to 50w at home depot or can find 75w at industrial lighting stores.
Not that my opinion matters but from what I have seen, at night if you are going through a tight trail what good do the lights being on the cage do for you. They get bumped and moved around and they seem like that are harder to use than that spot light like cchardt uses. But again that is my opinion.
They don't have to be on the outside of the cage, we have been putting many sets on the inside of the cage and they work great, and you never have to worry about bumping them. Have you seen them on my boat ms.cchardt?
I love the way they light up a trail but I never use them by themselves.
When you're out at night, periodically shut your light off and take a good look at any landmarks you can see. You never know when you'll have to navigate without lights. Sometimes it's easier to see where your going without lights anyways.