Bringing a dive light can change your whole perspective on diving! While they are obviously needed for a night dive, having a great dive light can bring out colors and reveal a hidden world you may have otherwise missed.
If you remember from dive class, colors start to fade the deeper you go, with red disappearing first. A dive light, even in shallow water, is an awesome tool for bringing back the color and is also good for safety. Come up from a night dive far from the boat? Dive light to the rescue. Want to see what is inside that shipwreck?* Dive light to the rescue!
Each of the dive lights in the table below are AT LEAST up to my standard and I have tested more than I care to mention. Below the table is more information on choosing the right dive light. Be sure to comment if you have any questions about choosing the best dive light!
|UK SL4 eLED L1 Dive Light||+LED |
+SGR #1 Pick
-May prefer bigger/wider beam
|Princeton Tec Nav Pack Dive Lights||+Covers all sizes|
+3 Color Choices
+Very bright lights
+Good battery life
+Pistol grip is a great feature
-May be overkill
|700/280/45 Lumens Respectively||$$$$|
|Dorcy 41-1467 Dive II Submersible Anti-Corrosion LED Diving Flashlight||+Twist top for easy on/off|
+100 m depth
+8 Hour battery life
-May need to replace lanyard
|Light and Motion Sola Dive Light 800||+Incredibly bright|
+Well designed and highly reviewed
+Great for photography
|800 lumen flood 500 lumen spot||$$$$$|
|Tovatec Aluminum Torch Flashlight||+Compact, good secondary|
+Narrow beam for spotting
+400 foot depth rating
+- Narrow beam
-Limited (3 hours) battery life
|Bigblue CF 250 Focusable Blue LED Light with Goodman Style Glove||+Led|
So what makes for the best dive light?
The main things to consider when choosing a dive light are:
Beam Brightness and angle
Primary or Secondary Light
1. Beam Brightness
At the end of the day, the brighter the light the better. For night dives, you are definitely going to want as many lumens as possible lighting up all the creatures of the night. For angle, a wide angle is great for generic dives that you need a wide area lit up and will not be exploring any wrecks or tight spaces. A narrow angle is ideal for exploring, looking at specific objects, and for signaling. I prefer a narrow angle as I like to hone in on a specific piece of reef and see all the little creatures that emerge. Many dive lights have multiple setting levels which is perfect for saving battery late into a dive.
2. Primary or Secondary Light
For most snorkelers, a secondary light will be all you ever need. Primary lights are large and are great for night diving, having long burn times, and light up a very large area. I own a few of each, but find myself bringing my smaller more compact secondary light on most every dive, and only bring my Primary for night dives and finding lobster. For the average diver or snorkeler, a secondary small light is all you will ever need. However, bigger can be better if you really want to light up the whole reef on your dive!
3. Intended Use
Do you plan on night diving for hours? Or simply snorkeling a reef and would like some extra light to see missing colors or into a few dark holes? For most people a medium size light that is well reviewed is perfect. I have used both large and small and regardless of whether I am freediving, snorkeling, or scuba diving, I like a medium size and compact light.
So what are you waiting for! Go ahead and take a look at the lights above and make an informed decision based on your needs. I own both a primary and secondary light but find my self often using my secondary as my main dive light. Good luck and stay bright!