Scuba diving is becoming increasingly appealing the world over, with more and more people putting on their snorkeling gear and exploring the great unknown under the surface of the water.
Any diver will tell you that diving is an unparalleled experience that brings much wonder and relaxation to their lives.
You can see a whole ecosystem of fish, rocks and coral that you would never have experienced from shallow diving.
You can ride alongside manta rays or dive even deeper to brush shoulders with the tentacles of squids and alien-looking deep-sea fish.
But one thing that you will not find a thousand fathoms deep is light. When it comes to exploring the depth, you’ll need a light that is reliable, powerful and will last you hours on end.
This simple beam of light will be a lifesaver if you find yourself without your bearings and needing to go back to the shore or your boat.
There are many things you need to consider when browsing for your next scuba light: the lumen, that is, how much light that it emits, how much battery power you have, as well as how quickly you can recharge it and whether it is waterproof (although the latter should go without saying).
So where can you get the best scuba lights? What features and properties should a decent scuba light have for you to be able to take it on your underwater excursions time and time again? How much can you be looking to spend on a top-quality scuba light?
Well, deep-sea divers need not worry, because we’ve got a list of some of the best scuba lights currently available on the market, along with a buyer’s guide that will help you shine a light on the must-have scuba light features. Then we’ll round off our article with a list of frequently asked questions from divers the world over.
So grab your snorkel and let’s take a deep dive into our list of the best scuba diving lights.
OUR TOP PICK
Our first light is one that comes very highly rated on Amazon, coming as one of their top choices for anyone who plans to plumb the depths.
It has an LED lifespan of 50,000 hours, so you won’t have to worry about your light getting low when you’re out on your own exploring the coral reefs - introducing the Orcatorch D520 Scuba Dive Light.
The impressive lifespan will certainly appeal to those who spend more than an hour under the water. You can swim to depths of over 1000 feet and this light will still be able to operate under the increased pressure.
You can dive up to 18 hours with the Orcatorch - although we recommend that you allow yourself a little breather in between.
The LED strength makes for a superb color rendition that will enable you to see tropical fish in crystal clear true colors. It comes with a twist head, so you should be able to turn this off and on without it getting too fiddly.
- The 18+ hour of diving time will certainly be a draw for people who don’t want their diving to be plagued by thoughts of going back to the boat. This is the perfect addition for deep-sea divers who want to spend a few hours under the water.
- The LED strength will illuminate even the darkest reefs and caves, great if you’re looking to study a particularly rare fish or want to collect trinkets while you're under the water.
- This flashlight has a sealed O-ring, which means it won’t take on excess water, even when subjected to increased deep-sea pressures.
- The price - this is one of the more affordable flashlights on our list. The Orcatorch is the ideal choice for any entry-level diver who wants a torch they can rely on.
- Some divers have complained that they can’t turn this torch off and on easily once underwater.
Next up we have a flashlight that is very versatile and doesn’t have to be used for just diving.
It also makes a good car light, hiking light and fishing light. But if you are using it for diving, then you can go up to 1000 feet underwater with this one and it is strong enough for you to use for underwater photography - introducing BlueFire 1100 Scuba Diving Flashlight.
This is the perfect light if underwater photographs are your thing. You can get optimum light and color rendition with the BlueFire, which can operate comfortably at over 1000 feet deep. You’ll want a reliable light that can help you navigate and set up the perfect selfie for you and your fishy friends.
The body of this light is made from copper, making it a durable device that will resist the erosion that you might experience after multiple dives. However, the manufacturers recommend that you wash your light in tap water after every use to reduce the likelihood of salt damage.
- This light can be used for multiple reasons, making it a great choice for the all-around adventurer. Take this flashlight from the lakes and oceans to the highest mountains - it won’t give out on you.
- The rechargeable battery feature is long lasting, which is exactly what you need when you’re 500 feet deep underwater without a power socket!
- The strength of the beam will illuminate hundreds of square feet and allow you to take snaps of some of the rarest and most colorful deep-sea fish.
- The price - this underwater flashlight is extremely cheap, considering the number of features it has, it’s the perfect entry-level torch.
- Some users have complained that this torch takes on water when turned to the off position.
Our next torch has a spotlight style and a larger handle, which makes it a great choice for divers with bigger hands.
It comes with a simple-to-use trigger that can be easily turned on and off when underwater, giving you maximum control of your lighting situation when you’re navigating the depths - introducing Princeton Tec Sector 5 LED Dive Light.
You can run this flashlight for up to 24 hours on one single set of batteries, which will be a relief for those first-time divers who are nervous about their torch giving out on them during their first excursion underwater.
You can control the level of light you want by squeezing the trigger at numerous pressures.
This torch is also very lightweight, so it will save you extra kilos, which will be useful if you already have a lot of weight on your back.
The sealed system of this flashlight will also ensure that you have no water leakage which will result in malfunctions at increased depths.
- The closed frame and materials of the flashlight will ensure that it won’t perish under extreme pressures or excess salt water.
- This torch will be able to survive up to 328 feet of water, which makes it a good option for shallow reef divers.
- The trigger option allows you to control the amount of light that gets released, which is great if you want to increase the beam to negotiate through a reef or you want to reduce the beam so as not to startle the beasts of the deep.
- These lights come in a range of colors, so you can customize it according to your wetsuit colors.
- Some users have complained that the light has failed them within a few minutes of use.
Next up we have a very cool-looking wrist-mounted light that will allow you a free-handed approach when it comes to diving.
It utilizes no less than 9 LED lights that can be operated in dual beam functions, so you can fully illuminate the darkest crannies of the underwater world - introducing Light and Motion Sola Dive Light.
This light is fixed to your wrist via a durable strap, which leaves your hand free to be able to use equipment such as harpoons if you are thinking of going spearfishing or free-diving.
You can also store and carry this torch quite easily due to its lightweight material. This is ideal if you want to reduce the weight of an already heavy gear bag.
This rechargeable light can operate up to 100 feet, which makes it a slightly shallow diving light than some of the others on this list.
However, if you are keeping it close to the surface, this is still a reliable light, having over 270 minutes of charge on low power.
- The hand-mounted light means that you can use it as the lighting system for your underwater video or photo camera. This is probably the best budget light for underwater photography.
- The lightweight construction makes it great for divers who want to get up and go with very little gear. Due to the shallow diving strength, this is the best flashlight for freedivers.
- The multi-light function is very diverse, allowing you to operate at different beam levels, directing it in potholes, around crags or into bottomless caves.
- The price - this flashlight is probably the most expensive on our list, which might deter the occasional diver who doesn’t plan on going underwater more than a few times a month.
Our final light is probably the best looking and coolest sounding on our list, and when it comes to functionality and resilience, it certainly lives up to its reputation.
The compact design is made from anodized aluminum, so it won’t succumb to the salt erosion that a lot of deep-sea flashlights experience - introducing the mighty SeaLife Sea Dragon Mini.
This light is extra small, but with 900 lumens of power, it certainly overextends its compact size.
It is also very versatile, allowing you to operate the flash at different light settings, such as strobe and SOS.
If safety and signaling are important to you (as they should be) then you’ll want to consider this water light.
- This compact torch is easy to store away in your pocket, meaning that you can go diving without the need for any gear at all, which will certainly appeal to free divers.
- The power of this small torch cannot be underestimated, it has 900 lumens of focussed beam, which means you can easily navigate yourself through tight crevices without having to worry about squeezing an oversized torch head through.
- This battery is rechargeable, but you can also use disposables, so you can tuck a few spares in your swimming shorts or wetsuit and replace them while you're out in the water.
- The different light options make it a great choice for diving in teams, where communication through light patterns will be essential.
- The shorter lifespan and limited power might not be ideal for those who want to engage in long-distance diving over many hours.
Best Scuba Diving Lights Buying Guide
Scuba lights come in all shapes and sizes and with varying powers and charge capacities, so there might be no such thing as a right dive light, rather which dive light will be the most suitable to the type of diving you’ll be doing.
However, there are certainly agreed on basic features that your flashlight should have to get you through an average diving session that lasts over a few hours.
How Bright Is Your Diving Light?
Usually, the brighter the beam of your light, the better. If you are diving at night time, this will be especially important.
Some diving lights will be able to focus or widen the beam, this will be crucial if you want to view as wide an area on the ocean floor as possible.
You might also be able to adjust the brightness, which might be handy if you don’t want to spook certain fish with your presence.
What Angle Of Beam Can You Achieve?
Whether you opt for a tight beam or a wider beam will depend on the volume and consistency of the water you’re swimming through. If you can expect a lot of sediment, then you’ll probably want a wider beam to enhance your visibility.
If there is more murky water, you’ll want to set your flashlight to a tight beam that can cut through the dense water and help you navigate your way through quicker. Think of it in the same way as you might set your car lights during thick fog.
What Types Of Battery Does Your Flashlight Take?
Different battery options obviously affect the lifespan of your flashlight, so you’ll want to be thinking about how long and how deep you plan on diving when buying your next one.
Alkaline batteries are generally cheaper to purchase, as they are cheaper to make. This will be more suitable for an entry-level diver who doesn’t want to spend too much on batteries. However, an alkaline battery won’t last you too long and the performance is generally weaker.
Lithium batteries provide a much superior performance and are more environmentally-friendly than some of the other models of battery out there, as they can be easily recycled after using them.
These batteries are more expensive than alkaline batteries, although they are more powerful and last longer.
Rechargeable batteries might be the best option if you are looking for something that ticks the boxes both in terms of being ecologically friendly and saving you an extra few dollars.
However, the likelihood of you being near a power source when underwater is low, so some divers might not see the point of rechargeables.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Lumens Should You Have For A Diving Light?
This depends on the type of diving that you’re going to be doing. For shallow diving, you might want to have something that only has 125 lumens, which might save you money and come in a lighter construction.
If you are investigating underwater ruins or shipwrecks, we recommend that you have something between 500 and 800 lumens, to better see your direction of travel in murky water as well as illuminating the intricate details of your antique ruin.
Which Is The Best Dive Light To Go With?
You’ll need to find out the type of environment you’ll be encountering underwater as well as the visibility of the water.
If you expect to be diving through clear water, then you probably won’t need anything stronger than 100 lumens. For murkier water, you’ll be needing something nearer the 1000 lumens mark.
Ideally, you’ll want a torch that can switch between lumination strengths, allowing you that added versatility as you switch between different diving depths and locations.
Underwater flashlights will also have different methods of turning on and off, so figure out whether you’ll be using this feature inside or outside the water.