Whether you are planning to night dive, dive wrecks or dive underwater caves, having a good dive light is essential, as it will offer you the maximum safety and enjoyment.
There are a lot of models out there with different features. It all depends on what you are looking for, your budget and your needs. That’s why I’m here to help you make the right choice. We have already reviewed other essential gear, like scuba masks, regulators, dive computers, BCDs, underwater cameras and dive knives.
Today, I’m going to review the best dive lights on the market so you can pick the one that best fits your needs.
Top 10 Best Dive Lights
Best Scuba Diving Lights: Budget – Mid Range
PHANTOM AQUATICS 1500
“The brightest for its compact size”
The Phantom Aquatics 1500 features three levels of brightness to adjust depending on the situation.
Thanks to its narrow, bright beam and compact size, it’s a great dive light for wrecks or murky diving, or as a backup light.
UNDERWATER KINETICS eLED
“Strong, consistent, wide beam”
The UK Light Cannon eLED Dive Light delivers powerful 825 lumens illumination and maintains this brightness throughout the battery life.
It features a wide beam which is great for taking photos and videos, scanning a reef at night or exploring the interior of a big wreck.
“Great price and performance”
The Volador Flashlight is a medium-size dive torch with long-runtime batteries and rugged construction.
The maximum brightness is 1000 lumens, and it features several light modes. It’s a great dive light at a very reasonable price.
LIGHT & MOTION GOBE 850
“Great wide-beam dive light”
The Light&Motion GOBE 850 features a wide beam, which is great for night diving or illuminating a wide area for taking photos or video.
It’s quite compact, ultralight and affordable: One of the best deals on the list.
SEALIFE SEA DRAGON 1300
“Great for underwater photography and videos”
The Sealife Sea Dragon 1300 is a compact and well built diving light that provides a bright, 8º spot angle.
You can easily adjust between five light modes, including full power, half power, quarter power, blinking and SOS light.
PRINCETON TEC 5
“Wide beam and long runtime”
The Princeton Tec 5 provides a powerful 550-lumens wide beam with the convenience of a pistol grip for momentary or constant illumination.
Its batteries guarantee 24 hours of burn, which is great for such brightness. It’s lightweight, compact and powerful.
IST SPORTS LUMO
“Good size/brightness/price balance”
The IST SPORTS LUMO is a compact pocket-size dive light with a great overall performance. The torch works perfectly on land as well as underwater.
It features an output of 800 lumens, a narrow beam angle, three selectable operation modes, very resistant construction made from high-grade aluminum, compact size, durability and long-lasting batteries.
UNDERWATER KINETICS AQUALITE S-20
“Practical narrow-beam dive light”
The UK Aqualite S-20 is a comfortable, compact and ultralight dive light. It features a bright 500 lumens LED lamp, long runtime peformance and a concentrated spot-focusing beam.
You can fit the diving light to your wrist, making it very comfortable to wear.
Best Dive Lights. Top End
LIGHT & MOTION SOLA 1200
“Versatile and perfect for travel”
The Light&Motion Sola 1200 is a very powerful, ultralight and compact dive torch.
It is a very versatile dive torch that comes with two functions: a massive flood and a narrow spot beam. Therefore, you can use it in any situation. It’s a very popular high-quality dive light.
IKELITE GAMMA LED
“Good performance and price”
The Ikelite Gamma LED offers quality, a simple design and a good value for the money. The main features are: narrow 10 degrees light, 350 and 220 lumens (depending on the model), 10 hours of battery operation and water resistance of up to 400 ft – 120 meters.
It’s not the most powerful torch on the list, but it could be a good option for those seeking a reliable product.
A few things to consider when choosing the best underwater light:
TYPE OF LIGHTS
There are basically three types of lights: primary , secondary and photo video lights.
Primary dive lights should be very bright and durable. They usually have a powerful, bright light which is perfect for night diving. The batteries must run for a long time.
Secondary dive lights are used as a backup light in case the primary light fails. They tend to be more compact and lightweight, so you can fit them in your BCD pocket. Most of them have a narrower beam.
Photo video lights feature the widest and brightest beam. These are perfect for recording with wide angle cameras like the GoPro, and also for general photography and video.
DISPOSABLE OR RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
It’s important to look at the main features based on the type of diving you practice. That’s why, besides the power, light type, angle, etc, you must also pay attention to the batteries. Running out of light while diving inside a wreck or in a deep cave is the last thing we want to happen. In addition, powerful batteries will improve the light’s intensity and brightness.
Let’s look at the available options so you can find the battery that best suits your light and the type of diving you practice.
These are the common batteries we all know. The main advantage is that they are easy to get practically anywhere in the world. This makes them a great option for travelers.
They’re typically priced reasonably, though because they aren’t rechargeable, in the long run they end up being more expensive. The main disadvantages are: they pollute quite a bit, they don’t offer the best performance and their battery life is usually shorter.
Lithium batteries have higher performance than alkaline batteries. They come in different shapes depending on the device for which they are designed. They can also be rechargeable or recyclable. The main disadvantage is that they are not easy to find when you’re traveling. They also tend to be more expensive than alkaline batteries.
In addition, you may experience some problems when carrying these types of batteries in an airplane, as they are controlled by air safety regulations. If you’re carrying just a few batteries, you should be fine.
Rechargeable batteries can be alkaline, lithium or made of other chemical compounds. If you’re going to travel, I recommend that you get rechargeable batteries in your home country or in a big city because they can be difficult to find in some isolated diving places. If you want to save in the long run, enjoy good performance and be more eco-friendly, look for rechargeable batteries.
If you’re going to do several dives in a row, keep in mind that you’ll need a socket and some time so that the batteries fully charge. In this case, you should bring alkaline batteries as backups.
XENON, LED AND HID DIVE LIGHTS
Xenon dive lights are usually less expensive, but they don’t provide the same amount of brightness that LED or HID do. On the plus side, Xenon lights give warm, natural colors versus the bluish colors of HID and LED.
LED and HID systems have a more powerful and lasting intense light. The amazing high color temperature of HID lighting is being surpassed now by the next generation of LED systems. Thanks to their higher efficiency and ruggedness, LED dive lights have become the most popular choice among divers.
Find the best scuba diving light depending on your needs:
For “night diving,” exploring reefs and wide areas, you should get a wide-beam bright dive torch.
For “technical diving,” planning to explore wrecks or caves, you should go for a narrow-beam dive light with long lasting batteries.
For recording video or underwater photography, a video diving light with a wide and bright light would be best.
For looking into crevices and under ledges and diving in murky water with limited visibility, a tight-beam bright light would be the best option.
A FEW EXTRA TRIPS:
- If you are getting into night diving and wreck diving, I recommend buying a high-quality dive light. You will realize that despite the price difference, the investment is worth it.
- Think about taking a PADI specialty course to practice these activities safely: Night Diver Course, Wreck Diver Course and Cavern Diver Course.
- Take proper care of your scuba light. Clean it with fresh water after every dive. Once it’s clean, let it dry and store it in a dry place protected from the sun.
- Read the instructions carefully and take special care of the batteries. Some batteries must be stored in a certain way, recharged from time to time, etc.
- Do not mix different types of batteries. Do not mix used batteries with new batteries.
- If you are going to explore caves or big wrecks, I recommend that you always carry a backup light. A simple and economic light will do the trick. The important thing is to have an emergency light.
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Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 10 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.