Exploring the underwater world is incredibly appealing as there is much to be discovered. Full of color, it is often hard to understand the full beauty of it due to the lack of light. Not just required for evening dives, there are many caves and covered areas which require additional lighting. Having the best underwater scuba diving light will allow you to get the most out of your dive.
As this is such an important addition to you dive set, we have constructed a list of the best dive lights on the market.
How To Choose A Underwater Dive Light – Buying Guide
Scuba dive lights reviews speculate amongst what the most important feature in a dive light should be. However, the following features are agreed to be the most important features to look for.
Typically, it is understood when looking for lights that brighter is better. This is no different in the underwater world, especially when diving at night time. Many lights will have an adjustable brightness that makes them perfect for any environment.
Whether you choose a tight beam or wide beam flood depends mostly on the type of water you are diving in. Wide beams will illuminate a much larger area and are therefore most useful for clear water use. This will create the most visibility in wide open spaces.
In murky water with less visibility you will want to opt for a light with tight beam rather than a wide angle. A tight beam will allow you to see further distances by cutting through the murkiness. This is similar to high beams being used in the fog. This is also useful when used for spotting or looking into tight spaces.
How To Choose The Best Dive Light
There are features that make the best dive light. These have the ability to influence your safety and fun on your dives. Before getting into the water, especially for a night dive, you should understand the features of your dive light.
Types of Dive Lights
When diving at night you should dive with at least two lights for safety. This way, if one stops working you aren’t literally left in the dark.
Your primary light will be the one you use during your dive. It will have the strongest lumen rating and give you the ability to see your surroundings. You should make sure this light is durable and has a full battery.
The secondary dive light is essentially a backup. You will only use this light if your primary option doesn’t work. This means it should be somewhere on your body that you can get to easily and fast. Secondary lights are usually smaller than primary lights, which means they will have fewer lumens.
Angle Of The Beam
Most people simply don’t understand what companies mean by beam angle. It is essentially how the beam of light interacts with the environment. For example, a wide beam angle will give you the widest field of view. Instead of forming a single beam of light it disperses it widely in front of you. A small beam angle will create a pillar of light. These lights are more for looking into crevasses or at a small point. With that being said, they can be good for diving in low visibility waters. A wide beam angle will shine light on all the particles around it while a small beam light will “cut” through them.
When considering the type of battery to get for your underwater strobe, you are likely contemplating the best type to choose. This is an important consideration as the last thing you want is for your battery to die while underwater at nighttime. You will also want a battery that performs quite well to be sure to get the full brightness.
Each battery type has its advantages and in turn a few disadvantages. You will want to take this all into account before choosing the right ones for you.
Traditional Alkaline Batteries
This is a great option for travelers as they are found almost everywhere in the world. They are also relatively inexpensive making them a great choice for those on a budget. With that being said, alkaline batteries certainly do have their flaws. They have a lower performance level and the battery life on these is quite short.
This battery type is a better choice as it provides superior performance. Being more eco-friendly, these batteries can be recycled after use. Function comes at a price as these are not found as commonly as alkaline batteries and are quite a bit more expensive. For those traveling it is worth noting that these batteries are often difficult to get on a plane.
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This is the ideal choice for frequent divers. An excellent choice for both the environment and your wallet these batteries perform quite efficiently. It is worth considering that you will need to allow for time in between dives to recharge your battery. For travelers, these battery types also require access to electricity which can be difficult when in a foreign area.
Type Of Lightbulb
You may be overwhelmed by the selection of lights on the market. From LED, HID, and XENON the choice isn’t as hard as it seems.
A XENON type dive light will be the least expensive but also have the lowest lumen rating of the three. XENON is a fancy way of saying incandescent. This type of light requires a lot of battery power to keep it shining bright, meaning it will also have a short battery life. Why people like this type is because of the natural light it makes. Instead of a sharp white light, XENON makes a softer more natural dive light. This makes it great for underwater photography.
LED dive lights will provide some of the brightest light while lasting the longest. They are one of the most efficient light bulbs available. This means they will also give you the longest battery life. With that being said, LED lights can create a colder light with blue hues.
High intensity discharge (HID) dive lights are the previous generation of LED lights. They were popular years ago but LED lights have surpassed them.
Q: How Many Lumens For A Dive Light?
There is no one answer to this question. One dive may require a light that has 500 lumens while another dive 125 lumens would work. All of this can vary depending on the location and environment you’re diving.
For example, if you’re planning on diving a shipwreck a lower lumen light will work, especially if you’re diving during the day. This will allow you to navigate the rooms of the ship without having to carry a large light around.Night dives may require a more powerful light. For this environment, a light with around 500 to 800 lumens will be the lowest you’d want to go.
Q: How To Choose The Best Dive Light?
Knowing the environment you’ll be diving in will help you determine the right light for you. If you are looking for the best dive light that has the capability to switch between lumen settings will be best. For example, a light that can be switched from 100 lumens to 500 or even 800 lumens will be best for nearly every scenario you throw at it.
Q: What Is The Brightest Dive Light?
There are dive lights that push the 1000 lumen limit. Even though these lights exist we don’t recommend you get them. These lights are actually too bright. Keep in mind, even on night dives you will be diving with other people. If you have the brightest best dive light possible you can affect their dive as well.
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Exploring the underwater world is an excellent experience and opens your eyes to an entirely new ecosystem. Even under the bright daytime sun, diving 30 feet underwater will require at minimum a compact backup light to maintain good visibility. This number can be greatly reduced if diving in murky water. When diving at night time it is essential that you have both a primary and a back up light on hand. Having the best dive light is important so that you can enjoy the full beauty of this largely unexplored underwater world.
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