Best Dive Lights: Reviews for 2020

Looking to purchase a new dive light? We reviewed 8 of the best dive lights currently on the market. Be prepared in any situation!

Dive lights are absolutely necessary if you are a frequent diver as it allows you to dive deeper into the underwater world, explore a sea cave, a shipwreck or discover coral reefs. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to try night diving– a good quality dive light will help you make the most out of diving at night. 

You don’t want just any dive light, but the best you can buy with your money.  

Top Dive Lights on the Market by Category

Dive lights can be used in many scenarios, so we’ve decided to categorize each item into a category they’re most suited for. There are many questions that need to be considered including whether you need a dive light with a strobe, how many dive lights do you need, and how do you look after a dive light?– Don’t worry, this article will answer your questions. 

This article will take the difficulty out of choosing and buying the right dive light for you. It will also offer some tips for buying lights as well as advice on looking after dive lights. Keep reading for the dive lights that we believe are worth your investment.

Best Dive Light for Night Snorkelling: Light and Motion SOLA Light 1200 S/F 

Light and Motion’s Sola Dive 1200 Spot/Floodlight is a great option for night snorkelling. The light comes with two power levels, a 12-degree spot beam and a handy and ergonomic, hand mount for single-handed use. The dive light weighs at just 285g and is also extremely compact. The light can be used as both a spotlight and a floodlight. 

The light emits an output of 1200-lumens as a spotlight and 500-lumens as a floodlight. The floodlight offers 60-degrees of lighting to fill your whole field of vision. The light has two power levels that are simple to interchange. It is powered by a li-ion rechargeable battery and lasts for over 270-minutes of power when being used on the lower setting. 

  • The light offers 2 different power levels
  • 12-degree spot beam and 60-degree floodlight beam 
  • Emits 1200-lumens as a spotlight and 500 lumens as a floodlight 
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery, with 270-minute battery life 

Pros: 

  • The torch is extremely tough but lightweight and compact and weighs only 285g 
  • The torch offers both a spotlight and floodlight option 
  • Long battery life
  • Perfect for travel

Cons:

  • The torch is more expensive than many others on the market

Best Dive Light for Photography: Macro Hydra 2500 Macro Light

This light is perfect for underwater photography– it is a compact, light and versatile for macro underwater photography and video. Kraken Sports has become one of the top retailers in underwater lighting. The Macro Hydra 2500 Macro light is suitable for underwater photographers, videographers, and filmmakers. 

Despite it being marketed as a macro light, the Hydra 2500 is highly versatile. It features a variety of light colour modes including red, blue and pink. The model also includes a burst mode which allows the light to work as a strobe when connected to a camera. The light creates beautiful soft lighting for underwater photography. The light also works for wide-angle, making it versatile for different photography styles. 

Key features:

  • Underwater photography light 
  • Variety of light features 
  • Suitable for wide-angle and macro photography

Pros: 

  • The Hydra 2500 small size means that it is a great option for travelling photographers
  • It is lightweight and simple to move underwater with one hand
  • The light features a burst function 
  • Natural light colour 
  • Powerful 2500 lumens
  • The light’s 100-degree beam makes it a great option for wide-angle photos and videos, the 20-degree beam is perfect for macro photography
  • Multiple colour options 

Cons:

  • Small battery life due to its compact size. At 100% on the floodlight setting, the light lasts for just 55 minutes or equal to the length of one average dive. However, there is an option to buy extra battery packs
  • The floodlight beam option may be too strong for focus photography
  • The light is relatively powerful however does not emit as much light as a dedicated strobe light. 

Best Dive Light for Murky Water: Dive Rite LX20 LED Primary Scuba Diving Light

The Dive Rite light emits 20,000 lumens, making it a high powered model that is perfect for diving in murky water. The light comes with a 6-degree concentrated beam as well as a rotating magnetic switch. The design includes an ergonomic soft handgrip making it easy to hold with a single hand when diving. 

The light is larger than many others on the market, but it weighs only 1.5 pounds, making it an extremely lightweight option. The light comes with four batteries and is rechargeable–meaning that it is highly energy-efficient and helpful in an emergency situation. The light features two power levels, a softer option and a second powerful penetrative beam, making it perfect even for diving in murky waters.

Key features:

  • The Dive Rite LX20 emits 20,000 lumens
  • It features a 6-degree penetrative beam and rotating magnetic switch
  • Ergonomic, soft handgrip makes it easy to use
  • Weighs 1.5 pounds
  • Its four batteries are rechargeable

Pros: 

  • 6 degree concentrated beam
  • Rotating magnetic switch
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with 4 batteries

Cons

Larger than other Dive lights

Only two options for power levels

Best Dive Light for Mask: MINI-Q40 MK2

The Mini Q40 MK2 is a small but powerful dive light. Despite its compact size, the model emits a powerful amount of light. The light comes with an easy to use push switch which is simple to find even when you are wearing thick diving gloves. The Mini Q40-MK2 can emit up to 250 lumens for up to 5 hours of use. 

The light runs on four standard AA batteries and it is simple to keep the light on wherever you are. Its small size makes it suitable for travel and long diving trips abroad. The light weighs only 6 ounces and measures 7.5 inches making it easy and stress-free to pack when you are travelling. The penetrative, focused beam works even in murky water. 

Features

  • Compact size
  • 250 lumens
  • 5 hours of battery life
  • Runs of 4 AA batteries 
  • Weighs 6 ounces and measures 7.5 inches

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 5 hours of use
  • Ergonomic and easy to use

Cons

  • Doesn’t cope well at depths below 150 meters
  • Out of its depth in certain diving situations

Best Dive Light for Spearfishing: Mares EOS 5 LED

Aluminium paired with high-power mono LED technology results in a veritable “light cannon” – and at an unbeatably low price. With 13,000 lux and a burning time of up to 16 hours, you can turn night into day. The idea of the Mares development engineers was to design a compact, handy and yet powerful lamp that, on top of that, weighs little when it comes to weight restrictions for air travel. Of course, the in-house quality standards also had to be met.

So the decision was quickly made to use aluminium for the lamp housing and to use a high-power LED as the light source, which is operated using self-replaceable and commercially available C-alkaline batteries (three) or rechargeable batteries. So Eos 5 can be charged at any time and easily carried in hand luggage. The aluminium used is corrosion-resistant and effectively protects valuable electronics from impact and shock. The lamp head is screwed onto the housing via two O-rings, whereby a double seal effectively protects against the ingress of water. Eos 5 is very comfortable and balanced in the hand. With a total length of 22 cm, it fits easily into the jacket pocket or can be attached to the D-rings with a loop within easy reach. In addition to the long burning time, Eos 5 is also equipped for deep operations. If you want to try it out: The housing is pressure-resistant tested up to 120 m water depth.

Key Features

  • • High-Power / Watt Mono LED
  • • Aluminum casing
  • • 16h burning time

Pros

  • High Power
  • Aluminium casing
  • 16 hours of light
  • Compact and can be easily attached to D-rings
  • Weights little

Cons

  • Resistant only up to 120m
  • Higher than the average price

Best Dive Light for Your GoPro: Light & Motion Sidekick Duo

The SideKick Duo is a great option for use with a GoPro camera. It comes installed with both spot and flood beams but is smaller than a GoPro. The light emits an impressive 600 lumens considering its compact size. The 90-degree floodlight and 23-degree spotlight are effective for point of view photography work. 

While the buttons may take a while to get used to, the light is simple to use once you have become used to the controls. The light comes attached with an adapter that connects it to any GoPro Hero model. It can also be attached to the Dive Arm Kit which is a short, flexible arm mount. The quality aluminium design and factory-grade li-ion battery ensures the light is of high quality and long-lasting. 

The small, compact Light & Motion Sidekick Duo is the perfect option in the affordable diving light category. It revolutionises point of view photography by offering a versatile and balanced lighting option. 

Key Features:

  • High quality, powerful but compact 
  • Runs for 60 minutes on the highest setting
  • Charge time of 270 minutes 
  • Impact resistance of 1 metre
  • Max output of 600 lumens
  • Weight of 123 grams

Pro:

  • It is designed to easily connect to any GoPro mount and can also be used with other adapter styles 
  • Its toggle allows a range of 23 to 90-degree spot beam and flood beam respectively
  • It is compatible with snap-on filters that can diffuse light and alter the light colour
  • It is precision-engineered to ensure high quality and high definition photos

Cons:

  • The light runs for only 60 minutes meaning it can only be used for one average dive at a time
  • At 600 lumens the light is not as powerful as other models on the market

Highest Quality Dive Light: Nova 2100 SF

The powerful diving lamp Nova 2100 SF is equipped with high-quality Cree LEDs and offers a 65-degree wide flood beam with 2100 lumens and a 15-degree wide spot beam with 800 lumens. With the one-button operation, the diver can easily and easily switch between five modes. The flood mode is available with 100 per cent or 50 per cent luminosity. The spot jet can also be used with 100 per cent or in combination with the flood jet. 

Key features:

  • High-quality Cree LEDs
  • 65-degree wide flood beam emitting 2100 lumens
  • 15-degree wide spot beam with 800 lumens

Pros: 

  • Emits up to 2100 lumens
  • Five different light modes
  • 15 to 65-degree beam range

Cons: 

  • The light is more expensive than many others on the market

Most Power Dive Light: Sea Dragon 2500

The Sea Dragon 2500 packs quite a punch, boasting 2500 lumens. It’s able to last a full 60 minutes on high power before the low power indicators blink. Before switching to lower power mode, which continues to output 1200 lumens for another two hours, which was quite impressive. In addition, the light features an intuitive ­single ­push-button switch, three-light battery-level indicator, and three power levels with strobe and SOS flash.

Key Features: 

  • 2500 lumens
  • Ergonomic single push-button switch 
  • Three light battery level indicator 
  • Three power levels 

Pros:

  • Powerful 2500 lumens light

Cons:

  • The battery does not last as long as others on the market
  • Not as cheap as some other models available 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you choose a dive light?

The diving light should have a large cone of light to be able to illuminate an entire area. Therefore, when buying the diving light, make sure that the device emits at a large angle so that your field of vision is not restricted.

For example, you can choose a second supplementary light with a narrower focus in order to focus on details with a targeted light. In this way, small crevices or reefs can be illuminated with pinpoint accuracy so that the accuracy can be better examined.

In our diving light test, the permissible depth is an important factor that you should take into account when choosing the right lamp. Dive lights that are carried at depths beyond the specified maximum depth can no longer withstand the increased pressure, thus the risk of damage increases dramatically.

Different designs are offered for different purposes. Heavier lights are made of thicker material and are more suitable for deep dives, while lighter lights are more suitable for shallower water.

With regards to batteries, you need to consider where you are. Do you have access to new batteries, or would it be better to get a rechargeable one and not worry about batteries? Since the lights can be quite luminous, they’ll consume quite a lot of energy. Before each dive, be sure to recharge your battery. Alternatively, you can store backup removable batteries in a water-resistant container inside your diving bag.

Some dive lights also offer a dimmability or a strobe mode, which can be used underwater for safety. The regularly flickering light can be used to indicate your location to a dive buddy, even in cloudy waters with poor visibility.

How many lumens should a dive light have?

Lux (Latin; light) is the unit of illuminance. This indicates which luminous flux occurs per area. It describes the ability of a light source to illuminate a surface at a certain distance with a certain brightness. In addition to specifying the illuminance, you must always specify the distance at which it was measured.

For a diving light, the lux value provides information on how much light arrives at the specified location. However, this information isn’t typically published by manufacturers.

Lumen (Latin; light, luminaire) is the unit of luminous flux and specifies the amount of light emitted or light energy from a light source. The distribution of light is not taken into account. With a light bulb, for example, the light shines approximately spherically in all directions, i.e. at a 360 ° angle.

For a diving light, the lumen value provides information on how bright a torch can be.

A good balance of lumen on a dive light should be around 500 – 1000, this way you get the perfect balance of brightness to allow you to enjoy the view underwater without blinding everything.

Battery Pack or Batteries?

Battery Pack or batteries as a power source for diving lights?

This is quite situational and can depend on where you live. If you’re in an isolated area, then you may not have easy access to new batteries, and a rechargeable dive light would be much more convenient.

Halogen or LED which is better?

In the field of diving lights, LED diving lights are the most common, but there are also some models with halogen lights. Nowadays, it’s recommended that you get dive lights that are either HID or LED. Halogen isn’t going to provide anything colour-wise that HID or LED cannot already provide.

Conclusion

There are many choices of dive lights on the market, and can be used for many scenarios. Which one to buy, is ultimately determined by the sort of diving you like to do and your preferred price range. For most divers, a simple handheld diving torch with more than 1000 lumens, a beam angle of around 10 degrees, a burning time of 2 hours at full setting and a colour temperature of around 5000 Kelvin will certainly suffice. Handheld diving torches with these properties and with a solid quality should cost between 50 and 100 dollars.

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