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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.

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!

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP PICKS FOR BEST DIVE LIGHTS

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QUICK COMPARISON
Orcatorch D550
  • Very reliable
  • Three modes of strobe
  • Long lasting burn time
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Kraken Sports NR-1200
  • Compact and tough
  • 18650 rechargeable battery
  • Super bright
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Genwiss XM-L2 2000
  • Easy to operate
  • 2-year warranty
  • Robust aluminium alloy
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Scubapro Novalight 850 TEC
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Double O-ring seals
  • Extended light head
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Light And Motion Sola Dive 1200
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • Spot and floor-flight setting excellent for underwater photography
  • Hands-free
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The 5 Best Scuba Diving Lights

  • Lumens: 1000
  • Burn Time On High: 2 hours
  • Max Depth: 150m
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Price: Mid range

The 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 2 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 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.

What we love

  • Comes with wrist-mounted strap
  • Compact, light and portable
  • Highly durable material
  • High, medium and hidden strobe modes

Downsides

  • Slightly more expensive

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  • Lumens: 1200
  • Burn Time On High: 90 minutes
  • Max Depth: 100m
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Price: High

The Kraken Sports NR-1200 is one the best compact yet tough and bright torches around. Coming in at 1200 Lumens it is an essential piece of kit for any travelling diver.

It’s 100m depth rating and 90 minute battery time is the perfect accessory for most recreational dives. It’s lightweight and sturdy design with its long lasting battery life will be your best friend for plenty of dives!

What we love

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Sturdy and reliable
  • Great for the travelling diver
  • Long burn time

Downsides

  • Is quite expensive

With Worldwide Shipping

  • Lumens: 1000
  • Burn Time On High: 2
  • Max Depth: 80m
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Price: Low

The Genwiss XM-L2 scuba 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.

You can adjust the strobe mode to suit your preference whilst diving. With 5 modes to switch from – high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS, there is a mode for nearly every situation underwater. It is perhaps one of the most versatile lights on the market.

What we love

  • High-quality material
  • Comes with wrist strap
  • Long lifespan
  • Bright LED illimuination
  • Five different strobe modes
  • IPX-8 waterproof rating

Downsides

  • ON/OFF switch can be sensitive

With Worldwide Shipping

  • Lumens: 850
  • Burn Time On High: up to 7 hours
  • Max Depth: 300m
  • Battery: 3 C-cell Disposable/rechargeable batteries (not included)
  • Price: High

Where underwater lighting is an absolute must, The reliability, performance and simplicity of the Scubapro Nova 850 Tec will never fail to impress. The rugged design of the single mode 850 lumen focused beam is perfect for lighting up dark spaces in wrecks, caves and hidden crevices.

Made from heavy-duty aluminium this torch is lightweight yet built to last even the toughest dives.

Divers looking for a simple yet highly effective torch for illumination on both day and night dives should seriously consider the Scubapro Nova 850 TEC.

What we love

  • High power
  • Focused beam
  • Highly durable material
  • Excellent depth capabilities
  • Long burn time

Downsides

  • Batteries not included
  • Expensive

With Worldwide Shipping

  • Lumens: 1200
  • Burn Time On High: 70 minutes
  • Max Depth: 100m
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Price: High

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.

What we love

  • Super bright beam
  • Wrist mounted strap for hands free diving
  • Three power settings
  • Factory sealed housing

Downsides

  • Less streamlined
  • Expensive

With Worldwide Shipping

Free US Shipping over $50

What Are scuba diving lights?

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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?

best scuba diving lights

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 season

As you might remember from your open water training, water absorbs colors. As you descend, colors 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.

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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.

night dive scuba diving lights beamAt 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!

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

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!

Which one did you choose? Let us know in the comments below.

Now you have some lights, why not get yourself an underwater camera? Then all that’s missing is some action!

Check out our guide to the best cameras for scuba diving and other diving accessories here:

12 Best Cameras For Scuba Diving

5 Best Scuba Diving Knives & Shears

5 Best Dive Compasses Reviewed (Updated 2022)

 

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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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