Do you recall a time when you were diving in clear water during the day and could have used a dive light to peer into crevices and caves to see what was lurking in the dark? Or maybe you wanted to get your buddy’s attention and were not carrying a traditional tank banger. Tapping the shaft of the dive light on your tank would do the trick.
A dive light is an essential piece of equipment scuba divers should take advantage of on every dive. Whether diving in murky water, clear, day, or night, a dive light brings back color to a blue world. If you already own a dive light, consider using it regularly if you don’t already do so. If you have yet to invest in a dive light, we are now going to look at some of the qualities to look for in making this important investment.
First lets talk about types of lights.
Conventional lights are the most basic and inexpensive but they use a lot of power. The cost of batteries in the long run may not be worth it. These lights use bulbs that emit a yellowish color and do break if bumped around. Thankfully they are cheap and easy to replace. Conventional lights are best suited for use as backup lights these days since there are so many other options on the market.
High Intensity Discharge lights (or HID lights) are the best and most expensive on the market right now. They burn bright and white. The bulbs do break and some are more challenging to replace but these lights aren’t battery hogs like conventional lights, so you can save money in the long run.
LED lights: These are my personal favorite for a primary light. They are cheaper than HID lights, more durable, and use a fraction of the battery power. That being said, not all LED’s are the same. Some give off different hues of light and it can be tough to find one that casts a large enough beam.
What to consider before buying a dive light:
Your primary light should have a large, bright beam. When it comes to size, bigger is not always better.
Your backup light should be smaller, something you can clip on to your BCD or tuck into a pocket. It is just as important as your primary so look for a durable light; it’s likely to get tossed around a bit.
Battery life is crucial. Especially when diving at night. A good rule of thumb is to plan for enough battery power for twice the amount of your planned dive time.
Another quality to not look over is durability. A light that can handle some abuse is best. It can help put your mind at rest.
Grip style is a preference. There are three common styles: torch grip, pistol grip, and the Goodman handle. Choose the best one for you!
I hope these tips help you when deciding to purchase a new dive light!