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If you’re a diver that loves night diving, then having the best scuba diving light possible is pretty essential!

A great scuba diving light, or torch, can make the difference between a great night dive and one that’s average, or even disastrous.

But you’re here because you’re not sure which one to get.

Here’s the quick answer:

The best dive lights and torches on the market are:

Either way, this guide will help you figure out if you need a scuba diving light, and go in-depth on some of the best options on the market.

Let’s dive in!

Comparison

orcatorch d520 best scuba diving lights
Price Brightness Size
$$ 1000 Small
Price Brightness Size
$$$ 1200 Small

What Are scuba diving lights?

Scuba diving lights are essentially underwater flashlights! They come in a number of different designs but many just look like a sturdy flashlight.

Vitally, they are water-resistant, as opposed to waterproof.

Water-resistance means that it can withstand the external pressure that comes from being submerged in water.

Items advertised as “waterproof” will normally survive brief submersions in water but are not designed for lengthy exposures to pressure at depth!

Also, they are usually brighter than your average flashlight because water is much denser than air, so the light does not travel as far. The result is a great flashlight!

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be handheld, wrist-mounted, camera-mounted, or even mounted on your mask!

Do I need a scuba diving light?

If you’re going night diving, it’s pretty obvious that you need a torch.

But…

Scuba diving lights are more versatile than you might think.

Many scuba divers love to take a torch with them on a standard dive during the daytime. There are three main reasons for this:

Peekaboo

On many dives, especially on wrecks and reefs, there are lots of little nooks and crannies which can hide all sorts of fish and underwater beasties. Torches are the best way to see these shy creatures, and it’s a great way of directing the gaze of your buddy or students without touching the wildlife.

all the colors of the rainbow

dive liveaboard egypt seasonAs you might remember from your open water training, water absorbs colours. As you descend, colours start to disappear, beginning at the red end of the color spectrum.

So, when you’re 30m below the water, almost everything has a blue/green tinge. When you shine a torch on the coral or fish, the light source is much closer and less light is absorbed.

As a result, you can witness the true beauty of the underwater world! It’ll also help take your underwater photography to the next level, without breaking the bank.

into the caves

Lastly, cave diving! Whether it’s a tiny little cavern or a labyrinthine cave system, like the ones in Sardinia, you’re going to need a good torch!

Cave diving can be intimidating at the best of times, but having a good, reliable torch will alleviate some of your worries.

tank caves

Many scuba divers also enjoy having their own scuba diving equipment. Many dive centers will charge for the use of a torch, so many divers see it as a worthwhile investment.

It is also one of the only pieces of scuba diving equipment that requires no training and won’t break the bank. Even if you never use it whilst scuba diving, at least you have an excellent flashlight.

A torch can be a useful purchase for any diver, no matter how junior. However, we would recommend getting some of the more basic scuba equipment first, like a reliable and well-fitting mask.

Night diving

Night diving is, of course, the main reason to purchase scuba diving lights. It goes without saying that humans can’t see very well in the dark! So in order to see all the weird and wonderful creatures that come out at night, we need a great scuba diving light.

At night, you are completely reliant on your torch beam. This is why it’s crucial that you are well-acquainted with your torch and know that it’s reliable.

It can also be a very important safety feature. A good dive light makes it less like that you will lose your buddy, or that the boat will lose you! It’s also a good deterrent for any sea creatures who you’d rather not get too close to…

There are a few things to consider when planning your night dive:

Destination

It can be beneficial to dive somewhere you know at night. If you’re familiar with the site and orientation, you will be more relaxed and enjoy the dive more! You will also know all the best spots for animal encounters and be less likely to get lost, which can happen much more easily in the dark.

Daytime preparations

It is a great idea to prepare your dive gear during the daytime. There is nothing worse than hunting around the boat for your torch in the pitch-black when everyone is waiting for you!

Logistics

It is vitally important that everyone in the dive briefing knows how to communicate underwater.

It is also important that everyone in the group and on the boat is well-acquainted with the surfacing procedures, as well as lost diver scenarios. Not only is it best practice, but it could be lifesaving.

la-galigo-liveaboardA liveaboard can be a great way to try night diving for the first time as many of the logistics of travel will be taken care of for you.

Additionally, many liveaboards welcome divers back on board with a hot chocolate, which can only be a good thing!

Somewhere with excellent macro life and calm conditions, like the Philippines is a great place to start.

Enjoy!

Night diving can take a little while to get used to, but once you do, you will be amazed!

You will encounter an entirely different landscape and different creatures than during the day. From hunting sharks to bioluminescent octopus and squid, there’s always something new to see!

Night dive tiny octopus

The 5 Best Scuba Diving Lights

Cheap or pricey, handheld or wrist-mounted, we’ve trawled the internet for some of the best scuba diving lights on the market.

Let’s check them out.

volador best scuba diving lightsThe Volador is the best scuba diving flashlight for divers who want compact and affordable illumination!

The aluminum-alloy body is extremely durable and corrosion-resistant, perfect for use in fresh and saltwater.

At full brightness, the Volador can reach 1080 lumens, which it can maintain for 90 minutes - plenty of time for a night dive.

It also features medium and low brightness settings, as well as flash and SOS settings. At full brightness, you can expect a 50,000-hour lifespan from your Volador.

The battery comes included in the price and is fully rechargeable. It also includes a recharging port and cable.

The Volador is a cute and compact model, measuring just 118.1mm long and 31.5mm wide, making it perfect for travelers.

It also comes in at only 130g without the battery, so you can fill your luggage with more scuba diving equipment!

The only downside to the small size is that changing the brightness settings can be fiddling, especially underwater.

Pros
  • High-quality material
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Compact
Cons
  • Can be fiddly to set brightness
Resistance
100m
Material
Aluminium
Battery
Rechargeable
Weight
130g
Lumens
1080
Price
Low

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The Goldengulf Cree XM-L2 is a super bright, reliable model and one of the best scuba diving lights out there. 

The battery is fully rechargeable in around 7 hours and comes with recharging capabilities.

The battery life is 3-4 hours at full beam, so you'll have plenty of time to dive!

At full brightness, the Goldengulf can reach around 100m and runs at 1000 lumens. The lifespan of the Goldengulf is around 100,000 hours, meaning that you can rely on this torch for years. 

The Goldengulf measures 145mm long and 44mm long. It weighs in at just 233g. One of the only negatives of this scuba diving torch is that the on/off button can jam.

Pros
  • High-quality material
  • Strong beam
  • Comes with wrist strap
  • Long lifespan
Cons
  • Slightly more expensive
  • On/Off switch can jam
Resistance
100m
Material
Aluminium
Battery
Rechargeable
Weight
233g
Lumens
1000
Price
Mid

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orcatorch d520 best scuba diving lightsThe Orcatorch D550 is one of the best scuba diving lights around and it has a reputation for reliability. 

It comes with fully rechargeable batteries and the requisite charging port and cable.

The battery life at full beam is over 5 hours, more than enough to see you through a day's diving.

The beam is around 1000 lumens and there is also a low setting and strobe setting for emergencies or defense. The magnetic on/off switch is big and easy to configure underwater.  

The battery is fully rechargeable in around 7 hours and comes with recharging capabilities. The battery life is 3-4 hours at full beam, so you'll have plenty of time to dive!

The body is made from aircraft-grade, hard-anodized aluminum for maximum impact, scratch and corrosion resistance. This model is so durable, it's even fire resistant - though we don't recommend testing it! 

At 144mm long and with a 25.4mm diameter handle, the Orcatorch feels pleasantly sturdy in the hand whilst still being compact enough for travel. It weighs in at a light 183g without the batteries. 

The price of the Orcatorch is higher than similar models. The added durability, 50,000-hour lifespan, and after-sale care make the higher price well worth it.

Pros
  • Comes with wrist-mounted strap
  • Compact size
  • Very durable
Cons
  • Slightly more expensive
Resistance
150m
Material
Aluminium
Battery
Rechargeable
Weight
183g
Lumens
1000
Price
Mid

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scubapro novalight 720 best scuba diving lightsThe Scubapro Novalight 720 is a larger model than some diving torches, which gives a good sturdy feel. 

The rechargeable batteries mean that you will never run out - all you need is a power supply.

It also has a run time of over 10 hours at full beam, so you won't need to worry about charging it every night.

The beam is around 720 lumens and the model has a bulb time of around 50,000-hours. With a water resistance depth rating of 300m, it outstrips many cheaper models for depth.

Of course, not many people will ever dive below 100m! Dual O-Rings make it extra watertight. 

The model is 232mm long, making it a more sizeable bit of kit. This size can be reassuring to hold whilst diving but it does make it less travel friendly.

The design is sturdy and the handle grippy. With an easy twist-to-turn-on design, it is ideal for use underwater, even in thick gloves. 

Pros
  • Easy twist on/off function
  • Good grip
  • Deep water resistance
Cons
  • Bigger design
  • Higher price
Resistance
300m
Material
Aluminium
Battery
Rechargeable
Weight
358g
Lumens
720
Price
High

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Light and Motion SOLA Dive 1200 is one of the best scuba diving lights on the market at the moment.

Though coming in at a higher price point, it packs a punch. 

The rechargeable batteries are inbuilt, so you don't have to deal with losing them. Just plug it in to recharge - simple!

The downside of this is that at full flood beam, the battery life is just under two hours. 

The light on the SOLA is super bright. The narrower spotlight beam racks up 500 lumens whilst the floodlight setting is a whopping 1200, enough to light up dives even in the murkiest conditions. 

The design is not like a classic scuba diving light. It is short and compact and comes with a wrist-mount. This is ideal for scuba diving as it leaves both of your hands-free.

The body is factory sealed, which helps to ensure excellent water resistance. The large on/off switch is easy to operate, even underwater and in thick diving gloves.

It is a petite model, 101.6mm long, and weighs only 254g including the battery. This compact design makes it perfect for traveling. 

Pros
  • Super bright beam
  • Wrist mounted
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Less streamlined
  • Higher price
Resistance
100m
Material
Aluminium
Battery
Rechargeable
Weight
254g
Lumens
1200
Price
High

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Scuba Diving Lights: The Buying Guide

When purchasing a scuba diving light, there are a few vital things to consider. This handy guide can help you make a great purchase when you’re not sure!

best scuba diving lights quick buying guide

Conclusion

After reading this guide you should know whether or not you should get a scuba diving light (you probably should), a few of the best on the market and what to look for when you’re purchasing one!

Now you’ve got the diving light sorted, how about a new dive computer?

We know you want to…

Rachel Thannhauser Administrator

Rachel is a divemaster and full-time writer from Southampton, England. She loves the ocean, CrossFit, cooking, and travelling as much as possible – pandemics allowing!

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