Best Underwater Flashlight Review

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If you are planning on doing some cave diving, wreck diving, or night diving, then a good underwater flashlight is pretty much essential. Scuba diving is a hobby that is already inherently risky, and you need the best diving flashlight to help you see in low-visibility conditions.

A great dive torch can make the difference between a safe, fun dive, and one that is mediocre or even disastrous. That’s why we have written this review of the best and brightest underwater flashlights to help you pick the right one for your diving needs.

Our Top Picks:

What You Should Know About Dive Torches

While a scuba diving light looks similar to a regular flashlight, they couldn’t be more different. There is a lot that goes into a dive light that makes it suitable for diving. It not only provides light underwater, but also can withstand the water pressure at depth and ensure no water makes it inside.

This is a big difference between the waterproofness of underwater products. Some are only “water-resistant” as opposed to “waterproof”. As the term suggests, items that are only water-resistant will resist water penetration up to a certain point. Beyond that point, perhaps after a certain depth or amount of time has elapsed, the device may not be able to keep water out.

A product that is waterproof is much more reliable. It should completely keep water from entering the unit even if it has been submerged for a long time. It should also have a significantly higher depth rating. In other words, it is far more durable and reliable than your average water-resistant product.

Furthermore, underwater flashlights need to be bright. The reason is that water is much denser than air and that makes it harder for light to travel far. You will need an extremely bright dive light, and the brightest underwater flashlight will provide several thousand lumens of brightness.

Lastly, dive lights are available in many shapes and sizes. They can also be handheld, camera-mounted, wrist-mounted, and can even be mounted on your mask!

Best Underwater Flashlights Recommendations

OrcaTorch D550

Sale
ORCATORCH D550 Dive Light 1000 Lumens Scuba Dive Torch Diving Light Submarine Flashlight with...
305 Reviews
ORCATORCH D550 Dive Light 1000 Lumens Scuba Dive Torch Diving Light Submarine Flashlight with...
  • Super bright: equipped with high quality Cree LED, the maximum output is 1000 lumens.
  • Bonus wrist strap: this scuba diving torch comes with wrist strap which fix the D550 dive light to the back of your hand, lets you diving freely...
  • Light and portable: this scuba diving light is a small and light weight tail magnetic switch diving light, it's very easy to operate underwater, and...

The OrcaTorch D550 has a reputation for reliability and is one of the best scuba diving lights you can get at an affordable price.

It has an operating time of over 2 hours and that should be more than sufficient to get you through a day’s worth of diving. It also comes with fully rechargeable batteries and the necessary cable and charging ports. It takes approximately 7 hours to fully recharge the battery from empty.

The D550 has a 1,000 lumens beam with a low setting and an emergency strobe setting to signal distress or to scare off predatory wildlife. Turning the D550 on and off is very easy thanks to the magnetic switch that is easy to operate while underwater.

Dive lights need to be durable, and the D550 has a body constructed from aircraft-grade, hard-anodized aluminum which is designed to withstand impacts. Furthermore, this material is also scratch, corrosion, and even somewhat fire-resistant though we do not recommend you test out that.

At a length of 144mm with a 25.4 diameter handle, the OrcaTorch D550 is the right balance of compact yet sturdy enough for travel. It only weighs a very lightweight 183g with the batteries removed. That leaves you with plenty of room to bring the rest of your scuba equipment!

Overall, the OrcaTorch provides excellent value for its price. It stands out from the rest with its superior durability, 50,000 hour life-span, and great after-sale care that will ensure that all of your issues get resolved.

Volador Diving Flashlight

VOLADOR Diving Flashlight, 1000 Lumen Waterproof Diving Torch Rechargeable Scuba Dive Lights 150M...
37 Reviews
VOLADOR Diving Flashlight, 1000 Lumen Waterproof Diving Torch Rechargeable Scuba Dive Lights 150M...
  • BRIGHT LIGHT - Equipped with high quality XM-L2 LED with over 50,000 hours lifespan. The maximum output brightness is up to 1000 lumens, gives you...
  • WORKING MODES - Magnetic tail switch, 4 working modes: High>Medium>Low>Strobe. Suitable for different situations. Continuous run time up to 1.5 hours.
  • SOLID CONSTRUCTION - Made of AL-6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum with military regulations III hard-anodized finish, abrasion and seawater corrosion...

Divers who are looking for a compact and affordable flashlight that provides great illumination should consider the Volador dive light.

It has a sturdy aluminum-alloy body that is corrosion-resistant, which is ideal for both fresh and saltwater use. At its maximum brightest setting the Volador flashlight can output 1080 lumens for a full 90 minutes – more than adequate for a night dive.

There are options to adjust the brightness settings to help conserve battery and provide the appropriate amount of light for the diving condition. Even if you leave the flashlight on the brightest setting, its battery has a 50,000 hour lifespan and it can last even longer if you are conservative with how you use it. The battery is included with the flashlight, as is the charging port and cable.

The Volador dive light packs a lot of power into its tiny frame. It only measures 118.1mm long, 31.5mm in diameter, and weighs 130g without the battery, so it is the perfect flashlight to bring when you are flying to your scuba destination. With that said, its small size can somewhat work against it when you are trying to adjust the settings while underwater or with thick gloves on.

77outdoor Sofirn SD05 2550 Lumen Dive Light

sofirn Scuba Diving Flashlight, SD05 3000lm Powerful Waterproof Light, 100m Underwater, with...
300 Reviews
sofirn Scuba Diving Flashlight, SD05 3000lm Powerful Waterproof Light, 100m Underwater, with...
  • ✔Super Bright: 3000 lumen (max), the beam distance of this diving waterproof flashlight is up to 100m(max)
  • ✔Smart Design: Rotating the magnetic ring to turn on/off the light and to select the brightness from low, medium to high.
  • ✔Rechargeable and Durable: Powered by one 21700 or 18650 Li-ion rechargeable battery. Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy case and hard-anodized finish...

The Sofirn SD05 dive light is a powerful dive light that outputs 2,550 lumens on its highest setting and is waterproof up to 100m. It can be powered by either a single 21700 battery, but 18650 batteries work as well. The SD05 measures 120mm in length with a body that is 29mm in diameter. With the CREE XHP50.2 LED, it provides a 6000k (cool white) light beam.

The SD05 is designed to withstand whatever you have to throw at it. It keeps water out with its 2 O-rings, one at each end of the body tube, and one on either side of the glass as well. Since it takes a 21700 battery it is slightly larger than other lights that take 18650 batteries. The SD05 comes with a lanyard that is attached to the tail side, but it doesn’t have a clip and is too large for most pockets anyways.

Just how far can you see with a light that boasts to output 2,550 lumens? Just to give you an idea, even in murky water during the night, we were able to see approximately 2 meters through the cloudy parts of water.

Adjusting the brightness of the light is straightforward. It uses a rotating design instead of a button which is intuitive to use. Simply rotate it until it reaches the next level of brightness, or in the other direction for descending levels of brightness until it turns off. We found it turned smoothly and had no issues using it even with thick gloves on.

When you are using the light on its highest setting, it has an operating time of about 1.5 hours. On medium you can expect approximately 2.5 hours, and on low, 8 hours. Assuming normal usage, the actual run time is probably somewhere between 3-5 hours.

XS Scuba Divers LT360 Wide-Angle Light

XS Scuba LT360 1000 Lumens Wide Angle Dive Light
14 Reviews
XS Scuba LT360 1000 Lumens Wide Angle Dive Light
  • Multi-position button switch HIGH-MID-OFF
  • HIGH is 1000 lumens, MID is 500 lumens
  • Battery duration – 2.3H @ 1000 lumen / 4.5 H @ 500 lumen

One issue that is prevalent in many dive lights is that they have no way to control the brightness of their powerful beams. Occasionally one might need to dim their lights for close-up work such as writing on a slate or checking on some gear.

The LT360 from XS has addressed this particular issue with its magnetically controlled dimmer switch that is easy to operate and provides possibly the widest range of power mode settings ever seen on a dive light.

The design of the LT360 is very intuitive. Simply move the slider along until the light turns on. The further along you slide, the brighter the light beam that the head emits. The high intensity and power of the white LED that this model uses can pierce through dark and murky water to provide excellent visibility and truer colors.

Many divers prefer how the dive torch uses a slider instead of buttons and switches to operate it. Furthermore, thanks to its powerful light beam and how easy it is to adjust it to more manageable levels for close-up work, many divers (us included) think it is an excellent dive torch.

Goldengulf Cree XM-L2

Goldengulf Cree XM-L2 Led Scuba Diving Flashlight Torch Underwater 100M Waterproof Submarine Light...
294 Reviews
Goldengulf Cree XM-L2 Led Scuba Diving Flashlight Torch Underwater 100M Waterproof Submarine Light...
  • Original CREE L2 Led, Super Bright High Power
  • Handy Size, Sturdy Design, Great Quality
  • Best Suited for: Diving, Camping, Hiking, Trekking, Hunting, Fishing, Car Emergency......

If you are looking to maximize your dollar, then consider the Guldengulf Cree XM-L2. Its standout feature is how incredibly long-lasting it is. It has a battery life of 3-4 hours on the highest brightness setting, which is more than adequate for a dive.

With that said, the lifespan of the Cree XM-L2 is rated at 100,000 hours. That’s right, this dive light is designed to last you for years. It is rated up to depths of 100m and at full brightness runs at 1,000 lumens. The battery can be fully recharged in 7 hours and all charging accessories come included.

With measurements of only 145mm in length and 44mm in diameter and weighing only 233g, the Cree is very compact. It is also constructed from durable, corrosion-resistant aluminum and comes with a wrist strap. With that said, some customers have complained about the On/Off switch jamming on occasion.

Scubapro Novalight 850

Scubapro Nova 850 Diving Light
16 Reviews
Scubapro Nova 850 Diving Light
  • Equipped with a Cree XPL LED, the light offers 850 lumens of light, with an extended light head shroud to keep from blinding other divers.
  • SCUBAPRO's machined-aluminum body features a rugged matte black finish with blue accents, ensuring both long-term durability and a sleek appearance.
  • Powered by three C-cell batteries, the light offers a battery life of up to 7 hours on full power—or longer when used on 50% mode.

The Novalight 850 from Scubapro is slightly larger than other diving torches, however that gives it a sturdy feel. Utilizing three C-Cell batteries, the Novalight 850 has a 7 hour run time and can even be used for multiple dives without the battery running out.

The beam produces ip to 850 lumens and the Novalight uses the Cree XPL LED that lasts around 50,000 hours. It has an incredible depth rating of 150m, which most divers might as well consider to be “as deep as you want to go” since not many people will dive lower than 100m. It keeps a watertight against the high water pressure seal thanks to its dual O-ring design.

As we mentioned, the Novalight 850 is fairly large with a length of 253mm and diameter of 44.6mm and weight of 292g. This size makes it easier to grab onto when diving, however it does occupy more space than most lights when packing it for traveling. The handle is sturdy with excellent grip. It features a twist-to-turn-on design and can be used even with thick gloves on.

TONELIFE Mini Diving Mask Light

TONELIFE Mini Diving Mask Light Scuba Helmet Torch Attach On Mask 150M Waterproof Use Aa or 14650...
6 Reviews
TONELIFE Mini Diving Mask Light Scuba Helmet Torch Attach On Mask 150M Waterproof Use Aa or 14650...
  • Mini Size! - Diameter(head)26mm;Diameter(body)20mm;Length 97mm ; Pack of 2 means it include Torch + Bracket !!! 2parts!!
  • Deep Performance! - Depth rated to 200m (656feet), so you wouldn't worry about your instruments in low light situations. The dive lightprovides just...
  • Two Battery Type! - 120 lumens (1xAA battery); 570 lumens (1x14500 li-ion battery) (Battery NOT included)

The TONELIFE Mini Diving Mask Light is designed to attach to your mask, making it basically the underwater equivalent of a headlamp. Since you will be carrying it with your head, naturally it is designed to be as compact and lightweight as possible –  weighing 90 grams and with measurements of 97mm in length and 26 mm in diameter.

Once connected to your dive mask, the swivel allows you to adjust how it is angled to provide light where you need it. If you use a simple AA battery the TONELIFE dive light is 120 lumens, however if you equip it with a 14500 li-on battery it can output 570 lumens; enough to see and not enough to blind your dive partners.

With a depth rating of 200m, this dive light can withstand immense pressure. It is an ideal choice for a hands-free light that will illuminate your gauges and help you see your nearby surroundings in areas with limited light.

Princeton Tec Sector 5

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Princeton Tec Sector 5 LED Dive Light (550 Lumens, Neon Yellow)
138 Reviews
Princeton Tec Sector 5 LED Dive Light (550 Lumens, Neon Yellow)
  • Packs A Powerful 550 Lumen Beam With The Convenience Of A Pistol Grip
  • Momentary Or Constant Illumination
  • Momentary On Via A Half-Pull And Constant On Via Full Pull

For divers who want a dive light that isn’t shaped like a cylinder, perhaps the pistol-grip design of the Sector 5 dive light from Princeton Tec is more to your fancy. Holding onto its handle is surprisingly comfortable and ergonomic since you do not have to tilt your wrist like you would in a traditional flashlight just to point the light forward.

But what is probably the most convenient aspect of the Sector 5, besides the pistol grip design, is its momentary illumination feature. What this does is provide a momentary light that can be helpful if you want to conserve battery. Fully squeezing the trigger gives constant illumination, and with its 5 LED lighting system, it will provide 550 lumens.

This dive light is highly reliable thanks to how long it lasts. The 4 x C-Cell batteries can provide 24 hours of light, which can last several dives before it runs out. Additionally, it weighs 650g and its compact design makes it easy to pack for traveling.

Genwiss 1000 Lumens LED Dive Light

Genwiss Dive Light, Diving Flashlight Underwater Lights Scuba Diving Flashlight, 1000 Lumens...
715 Reviews
Genwiss Dive Light, Diving Flashlight Underwater Lights Scuba Diving Flashlight, 1000 Lumens...
  • Bright Torch: Super bright XPL- LED flashlight the maximum output brightness is up to 1000 lumens, Dive Light can be used in maximum 80meters...
  • Switch 5 Modes: High / Medium / Low / Strobe / SOS. The diving flashlight has a magnetic induction rotary switch on the neck. It allows you to adjust...
  • Solid Durability: Made of high quality aluminum alloy material with anti-abrasive coating for waterproof, shock proof, free-scratch, 1.5 meters...

The Genwiss dive light is a super bright LED dive light that can output 1,000 lumens of brightness. It’s heavy duty and reliable, capable of being used up to 80m underwater and with a lifespan of 50,000 hours.

You can adjust the brightness setting to suit your needs. With 5 modes to switch from – high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS, there is a mode for nearly every situation. Furthermore, thanks to the magnetic induction rotary switch found on its neck, the Genwiss dive light can have its brightness adjusted easily according to the situation. It is perhaps one of the most versatile lights on the market.

Furthermore, this dive light can take a beating. It is made from high-quality aluminum alloy material that is shock proof, corrosion, scratch and abrasion-resistant, and can withstand 1.5 meter drops. This light can withstand the trials of daily life both in and out of the water. Whether you are scuba diving, or taking it outdoors for hiking, fishing, swimming, sailing, or even caving.

The Genwiss dive light ensures water is kept out of its internals with its 3 O-rings which provide an incredible watertight seal, with a rating up to IPX-8. You will have to lubricate these rings after each dive and replace them if they are damaged to ensure the device’s longevity.

When fully charged, this dive light can last for 2 hours on High settings, or up to 13 hours if kept on low settings. The actual duration will probably fall somewhere in the middle, somewhere between 3-5 hours, if you are taking steps to conserve battery. The Genwiss dive light comes with batteries and charging accessories included.

Light and Motion SOLA

Light & Motion SOLA Dive 1200 S/F Underwater Light
39 Reviews
Light & Motion SOLA Dive 1200 S/F Underwater Light
  • Ultra compact lightweight (285 grams); extremely bright 2 mode dive light (1200 lumen flood 500 lumen spot); 3 power settings per mode; perfect for...
  • No flooding with factory sealed housing
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery with run times up to 270 minutes at low power

Next on our list is the SOLA dive light from Light and Motion. This torch features a 12-degree spot beam with two power levels and comes pre-installed on a hand mount to allow for one-handed operation. With a weight of only 285g, and dimensions of 8 x 8 x 6 inches, it is fairly lightweight and compact.

The SOLA is great in a pinch. It can double as both a spot and floodlight, and you can get change between 500-lumens and 1,200-lumens of brightness respectively. What’s more, you can get the benefit of a completely clean, powerful beam that covers a 60-degree angle which is as wide as your field of vision.

With two power levels, users can increase or decrease the power to suit the diving condition. The SOLA is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last up to 270 minutes on a single charge on the lowest power setting. The battery sits in a sealed housing that ensures water stays out.

Furthermore, the Light and Motion SOLA is highly robust and packed with features that make it a worthy investment. Our favorite feature is the grip and mount accessory that comes included with the SOLA. It makes it very easy to hold and attach onto your arm so that you will never drop it.

SeaLife SL672 Sea Dragon

SeaLife SL672 Sea Dragon 1500F UW Photo/Video Dive Light Kit
12 Reviews
SeaLife SL672 Sea Dragon 1500F UW Photo/Video Dive Light Kit
  • Sea Dragon dive/photo/video lights, the 1500F light can be easily mounted to one or more extendable flex arms, grips and trays.
  • Sea Dragon lights are universal and can be easily mounted to any camera or arm system using an optional Flex-Connect ball mount adapter (SL995).
  • SeaLife offers the Sea Dragon 1500F in two variations; as a complete set containing grip, and GoPro adapter, or in a head-only version.

The SeaLife SL672 is a flashlight that is specifically designed to give you the lighting you need to shoot underwater photographs or videos. There is a slight difference between camera lights and traditional flashlights.

To start, the SL672 uses SeaLife’s proprietary Flex-Connect system so that it can be attached to various arms, trays, and grips. It even comes with a GoPro camera adaptor and other accessories to connect to smaller cameras. You need to have both hands free to operate the camera, and so camera dive lights must be mounted elsewhere.

Next, the SL672 is an intuitive and relatively simple-to-use light, which is crucial when you are navigating deep and dark waters. With its one-button operation, users can figure out how to use it in just a few minutes. The large red button located at the top toggles between a few features. First is the SOS flash, then the emergency strobe, then power modes at 25%, 50%, and 100% respectively.

Durability is key in an underwater light, and as usual with the SeaLife Sea Dragon line of dive lights, the SL672 is designed to be durable and sturdy. You can easily feel how tough the anodized-aluminum head is, and the built-in swivel mount adjusts so smoothly and stays put when tightened.

In terms of its size and shape, the SL672 is smaller than a soda can and somehow manages to produce a powerful, uniform light that will illuminate the environment and give you the shots that you are after.

Why Do You Need a Diving Flashlight?

Don’t leave home without your trusty dive torch, especially if you plan on diving at night. Diving lights provide many benefits and are highly versatile. Even if you are diving during the day, you should still bring a dive light with you for the following reasons:

They help you see smaller fishes

When diving in reefs and wrecks, there will be many nooks and crannies that conceal various underwater creatures. As wonderful as it would be, not all fish are willing to parade themselves for your viewing pleasure. Sometimes you have to seek them out yourself, and they will be hiding themselves from potential predators and large swimming monkeys.

A bright dive torch is the only way for you to see these shy creatures. It is also a good way for divers to communicate with each other with simple instructions like “look here” or “don’t touch that” without disturbing the wildlife.

They help you see color better

As you will remember from your Open Water course, water absorbs a lot of color. Therefore, the deeper you descend and the farther light from the sun has to travel through the water, many colors start to disappear starting from the color red, and all you end up seeing is a blue/green tinge over everything.

By the time you reach depths of 30m or deeper, red has all but disappeared. However, if you have your own light source, you can shine it on a single fish or coral. Since the light source is much closer, not much color will be absorbed and you can get a better idea of how things should look.

Therefore, you can enjoy the underwater world in its true glory. Furthermore, if you are doing underwater photography or videography, you can capture these unforgettable moments as close to reality as possible.

They help you dive at night

The most obvious reason why you’d get a dive torch is so you can safely dive at night. Due to the density of water, light doesn’t travel very far. Your vision at night on land is not indicative of how pitch black it truly is underwater. Furthermore, many fishes and sea creatures only come out at night. Without a dive light, you will never be able to experience this.

At night, your only light sources will come from you and your diving partners’ dive torches. That is why it is essential that you are very comfortable with your torch. It also must be exceptionally bright to illuminate the environment.

Your dive torch is also one of the most important pieces of safety equipment for night diving. With it, you are less likely to lose sight of your buddies or the boat. It’s also how you can communicate with each other and acts as a deterrent for certain sea creatures that are wary of your light.

They help with cave and wreck diving

It’s basically impossible to do any sort of cave or wreck diving without a reliable dive torch for night diving. Whether you are exploring a tiny little cavern you found, or a labyrinthine cave system, you need a bright torch to see where you are going!

Even in optimal circumstances, cave diving is extremely risky, and having a good dive light contributes to the “ideal” circumstance. Furthermore, if you plan on cave or wreck diving a lot, you will need your own gear. Dive centers will charge you for using their torch and who knows if their loaner is even reliable.

Furthermore, a dive torch is perhaps the most intuitive piece of scuba equipment out of the rest; it requires no training and they are affordable. Even if you don’t end up using it much for night or cave diving, a dive light is still a flashlight and you can still use it like one.

Dive torches are useful no matter if you are a professional diver or just starting out. You would do well to have one as part of your scuba kit; they may really come in handy during an emergency.

How to Safely Dive in Low-Visibility Conditions

If you are planning on diving in low or no-light conditions, there are a few things you should consider in order to safely dive. In terms of gear, you will obviously need the brightest underwater flashlight you can get your hands on. But just as important as gear are the following considerations:

Destination

If you are diving in areas where you’ve already been, this can drastically reduce the chances of an accident. When divers are already familiar with the site and layout, then there are less surprises and everyone can be more relaxed. Furthermore, you will have a better idea of the best locations or vantage points to safely spot animals. You will also be less likely to get lost.

So if you have the chance to scout out an area during the day, then it will greatly improve your odds of a flawless night dive. In a similar vein, you should also prep your dive gear when it is still light out. There’s nothing worse than fumbling around at night trying to find your torch while all of your dive buddies are waiting on you.

Logistics

It’s important that everyone on the dive is on the same page when it comes to how to communicate underwater. It’s equally important that everyone in the group knows what to do in the event one of the divers is lost, or how to safely surface. Not only is it good practice, but it can literally save a life.

Liveaboards are a fantastic way for first-time night divers to find fellow like-minded divers who are eager to experience the thrills of night diving. Not only is it an easy way to meet people, but you won’t have to worry about the logistics of traveling with a bunch of gear either.

Furthermore, many liveaboards will greet returning divers with a cup of hot chocolate and other small comforts which is a small gesture that means a lot. If you can find a liveaboard in an area with lots of macro-life and calm conditions, such as Thailand or the Philippines, then those are great places to start.

Brightest Underwater Flashlight: Buying Considerations

In our review section, we provided a list of the brightest underwater flashlights currently on the market. However, perhaps you are wondering what criteria we used to compile this list. Perhaps you are thinking of doing some research on your own. No worries; in this section we provide an overview of the factors you should consider when searching for a dive torch.

Type of Lights

We have already distinguished underwater flashlights from traditional flashlights. But even among underwater flashlights, there are some more distinctions to be made. Each type of light has different features and brightness levels. Furthermore, each light will help divers in different ways and it is important that you select the right one for your needs.

Primary Dive Light

A primary dive light must be very bright and robust. It should feature long-lasting batteries which can last for hours while maintaining a very bright light beam and shape. This light will be your main light so it needs to clearly illuminate wherever you point it at, even in the most low light conditions such as cave, wreck, or night diving.

Secondary Dive Light

A secondary light is your backup light. They should be small, compact, and lightweight. They are not intended to replace your primary dive light. Should anything happen to your primary dive light, like if the batteries suddenly died or you damaged or lost it, then you need to be able to quickly reach for and activate your secondary light.

Ideally, you never need to use your secondary light. Secondary lights are only used in the event of an emergency. With that said, to be safe, you should treat the secondary light as if you will be using it. Thus, you should always check that the secondary dive light is working and that it is fully charged before each dive.

Camera Light

Divers planning on shooting underwater footage know that cameras need light in order to function. Unfortunately, water absorbs light and that makes it harder for natural sunlight to provide enough light for good underwater shots. That is why underwater photographers should bring their own light source to get the perfect shot.

Camera lights are different in function and design to traditional dive lights. These models have a much wider and brighter beam size. Thus, their beam shape is different, and camera lights can be mounted on various trays, attachments, and other mounting points for ease of operation. You can even mount a camera on an underwater scooter for ease of operation.

Bulb or LED

Bulb torches are obsolete and are being replaced by LED lights. Bulbs require more power to run and have a fragile filament which means they are more likely to break when handled roughly.

LED lights on the other hand are more energy efficient and durable. In other words, they not only last longer but they are more dependable overall. The amount of LED lights vary by flashlight, however the number you should care about is the number of lumens it can output.

Lumens

Lumens is a unit of measurement for how much light your dive torch can produce. More lumens means the light is brighter. Fewer lumens means it is dimmer than ones with higher lumens. It is an easy way to compare which flashlights are brighter, however the light intensity also plays into the quality of the light.

Additionally, some flashlights have adjustable brightness settings. This is a great feature if you do not need maximum brightness all the time and want to conserve battery life.

Beam Size and Shape

Another consideration is how wide the beam’s angle is and the shape of the prospective underwater flashlight.

You might be thinking the brighter the light, the better. That is true to an extent. However, do not forget the beam angle and how you will be using the light. For example, if you will be diving in narrow caves, a wide light will not be much use. If you are diving in an open but dark environment, then a wider angle will work better. Whether you pick a wide or narrow beam light depends on how you plan on using it.

If you will be diving at night or in low light conditions, then the maximum level of visibility is needed. For this purpose, you need to find the brightest wide-angle underwater flashlight. They are also excellent for SOS flash use.

On the other hand, if you will be doing lots of close-up work in a cramped environment, such as in a cave or a wreck, then a concentrated beam of light is better. A flashlight with a narrow beam can help you shine into crevices and under ledges so that nothing escapes from your view.

You can get the best of both worlds if you find a flashlight that can switch between wide and narrow beams which is particularly useful when the environment is constantly changing.

For a camera torch, you need to find a wide-beamed torch that provides a consistent light that does not flicker. The light distribution should be even, without any hotspots, so that the footage will have uniform brightness.

Battery

Some lights use standard batteries. Others come with a rechargeable battery, charging port, and cable. Consider how you will be using the light and if you have access to a power source to charge your dive light. Torches that use standard batteries have the flexibility of substituting with rechargeable ones if needed.

Handle

Every piece of scuba equipment should be attached to something, otherwise it will be lost to the depths if you lose your grip on it. Thus, the handle of your hand-held torch should not only be comfortable to hold with excellent grip, but it should also have a lanyard or a way to connect one to it. The lanyard can then be worn around your wrist or attached to your buoyancy control device (BCD).

For technical diving, the torch is designed a bit differently. They will have an external battery pack with a cable that connects to the torch head. The battery pack will be attached to the tank, and the cable is threaded to the torch head which sits on top of your wrist. This configuration is beneficial for tec dives or for dives that require you to have your hands free. Furthermore, the battery pack provides a longer burn time.

Functionality

Even though a dive torch is very intuitive to use, you should know how your specific dive lights function even if you have no visibility, which can happen if your primary dive light suddenly dies on you.

You have to know the location of all the switches and buttons, where it is located on your person, and how to use them with thick gloves on or without. Determine if a dive light is designed for single-handed operation. Do you know how to adjust the beam width and brightness?

The design of a dive torch is also important when it comes to safety and functionality. Be wary of lights that utilize a barrel twisting design to adjust the settings. If twisting the barrel is also how you access the battery compartment, then it is possible to flood the device by accident. Also be aware of the placement of switches and buttons. If it is easy to turn on by accident, you can waste precious battery life.

Budget

How high is your risk tolerance? When it comes to safety, there is no limit to how much some are willing to pay to attain it. However, that thought should be balanced with the fact that dive torches are frequently dropped or flooded. There are ways to prevent this, of course, but there is always a possibility of it happening regardless. With that said, you can get a dive light under $50 that can fulfil your needs if you don’t need all of the bells and whistles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How bright should a dive light be?

How bright a light should be depends on the type of flashlight you want to carry. As mentioned above, there are three types of lights. A primary dive light should be as bright as possible so that you can dive during the night or in low light conditions. It should also be robust and have a long battery life.

The brightest primary dive lights can provide as much as 20,000 lumens of light output. With that said, operating time is also a major concern. A light that bright will only get a few minutes of use. Ideally, you should get a light that has adjustable brightness settings and you should be constantly adjusting it depending on the dive conditions. This way, you can dive for hours before the light runs out of battery.

A secondary dive light should be lighter and more compact than a primary dive light. This is because it will only occasionally be used whenever the primary dive light is out of commission. Secondary dive lights can vary in terms of power, shape, and size. However, you should look for one with around 500 lumens of power.

The third and final type of light are camera lights. They serve a different function than primary and secondary dive lights. Camera lights are designed to emit a powerful and direct beam at wherever it’s pointed at. They are intended to help you get a beautiful shot in a focused area, whereas primary dive lights are intended to help you illuminate as much of the environment as possible.

What is the best dive light under $50?

Hey, we get it. Scuba gear can be expensive. But sometimes, if you dig a little deeper, you can find a product that provides incredible value. And you can definitely get some decent dive lights under $50. The best dive light is one that fulfills your needs. So if a $50 dive light does what you need it to do, then who’s to say it’s not the best one for you?

First, ask yourself these questions. Are you looking for a primary dive light for cave, wreck, or night diving? Or perhaps a reliable secondary light that you can count on should your primary torch fail? Do you want a wide-angle or narrow beam?

Then there’s the more practical side of things. Does the dive light have a comfortable grip, is it easy to use, and is it bright enough for the kind of diving you plan on doing? Also consider features like what type of modes it has, or if the power switch is in a convenient location and is it easy to activate?

These are some of the considerations we had as we were compiling our list of best underwater flashlights. Depending on your budget, you may find a flashlight with only some of these features, or all of them and more. Thankfully, by scuba equipment standards, a diving flashlight is probably one of the more affordable pieces even if you get a high-end one.

How do I select a dive light?

Choosing a dive light doesn’t have to be difficult. Yes, if you want all of the bells and whistles, then there are plenty of things to consider. However, how much of it is just marketing, and which factors are truly the most important? We believe there are only three main considerations:

  1. The type of dive light you need: Primary, Secondary, or Camera Light?
  2. How bright is it in lumens?
  3. What is the beam size and shape?

Some optional but highly recommended features are an SOS flash feature or emergency strobe to communicate to other divers that you are in distress.

After the first three essential factors have been considered, then comes some other important questions you need to ask yourself. How heavy is the light? Is it easy to carry around and operate? Is the power switch easily accessible?

If you plan on scuba diving at night or in large open areas in low light conditions, then you need a light with a bright, wide-angled beam to illuminate the area as much as possible. If you need to look at tiny nooks and crevices, then a narrow-angle light will be more effective. Any extra features will depend on if you have the budget for them or if you deem them necessary for your needs.

How many lumens does a flashlight need for night diving?

In order to safely dive in clear water, the recommended light output is 1,000 lumens. It follows that if you plan on doing night diving or diving in murky waters, you’re going to need a bigger light.

Primary dive lights designed for night diving are extremely powerful. There are models that provide as much as 20,000 lumens of light output, however an acceptable number is 1,000 lumens or more. If you will be diving in poor light conditions, you should get the brightest light you can afford.

Best Underwater Flashlight: Parting Words

Since a dive light has the highest risk of getting lost or damaged during a dive, many divers are tempted to spend as little as possible because it sometimes seems like dive lights are disposable. However, you must consider that if you are diving at night or in a low-light environment and your light source suddenly fails, the consequences may be deadly.

For this reason, we recommend searching for a reliable, bright underwater flashlight that can keep you safe. Remember to search for not only a good primary dive light, but a reliable secondary dive light as well. As with all products, you get what you pay for, so if you want the widest, brightest flashlight with all bells and whistles included, well, it’s a small price to pay to experience the wonders of night diving.

Last update on 2021-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API