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5 Best Scuba Diving Lights (2023 Update)

Table of Contents

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 dive 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!

01/31/2023 02:53 am GMT
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
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FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
Our Top Pick
OtterAquatics Diver's Communication Torch (DCT)
5.0
$99.99

A scuba diving light and noisemaker in one package. With our patented Diver's Communication Torch (DCT) technology, simply shake it and point on your next dive!

Pros:
  • Patented underwater noisemaker
  • Amazing battery life
  • Very durable
Cons:
  • Lower lumens
  • Less established brand
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  • Lumens: 240
  • Burn Time On High: 8 Hours
  • Max Depth: 150m
  • Battery: Disposable
  • Price: Average
Best Overall
ORCATORCH D550
$94.95
Pros:
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Sturdy and reliable
  • Great for the travelling diver
  • Long burn time
Cons:
  • No indicator for battery life
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01/31/2023 02:53 am GMT

The Orcatorch D550 is one of our favorite dive lights based on a value perspective. For around a one hundred dollar price point, you get a well-built, compact, and capable light.

The torch has 3 modes: the lowest setting at 367 lumens and the strongest at 1000.  While the Orcatorch is There’s also a strobe setting. 

The light comes with rechargeable batteries that last for over two hours on high, and a seven-hour recharge time.

  • Lumens: 1200
  • Burn Time On High: 90 minutes
  • Max Depth: 100m
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Price: Average
  • Beam: Narrow
Budget Option
Genwiss Scuba Diving Flashlight
4.0
$36.99
Pros:
  • High-quality material
  • Comes with wrist strap
  • Long lifespan
  • Bright LED illimuination
  • Five different strobe modes
  • IPX-8 waterproof rating
Cons:
  • ON/OFF switch can be sensitive
  • Poor battery life
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01/30/2023 11:45 pm GMT

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.

  • Lumens: 1000
  • Burn Time On High: 2
  • Max Depth: 80m
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Price: Low
Scubapro NOVALIGHT 850 TEC
4.5
$237.00
Pros:
  • High power
  • Focused beam
  • Highly durable material
  • Excellent depth capabilities
  • Long burn time
Cons:
  • Batteries not included
  • Expensive
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01/31/2023 07:46 am GMT

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 aluminum this torch is lightweight yet built to last even the toughest dives. It has a double o-ring seal ensuring it’s leakproof.

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.

  • Lumens: 850
  • Burn Time On High: up to 7 hours
  • Max Depth: 300m
  • Battery: 3 C-cell Disposable/rechargeable batteries (not included)
  • Price: High
Most Versatile
Light & Motion SOLA Dive 1200 S/F
4.5
$279.99
Pros:
  • Super bright beam
  • Wrist mounted strap for hands free diving
  • Three power settings
  • Factory sealed housing
Cons:
  • Less streamlined
  • Expensive
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01/31/2023 08:21 am GMT

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.

  • Lumens: 1200
  • Burn Time On High: 70 minutes
  • Max Depth: 100m
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Price: High
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen

What Are Scuba Diving Lights?

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!

scuba diver with under water with a scuba diving light

Do I Need A Scuba Diving Light?

Blue scuba diving light next to the water

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

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.

Colorful reef photo with diverse fish and ocean life

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.

Scuba diver cave diving with a dive light

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.

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.

scuba diver night diving with a dive light

At 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.

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.

la galigo liveaboard sailing alone the coastline
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!

Otter Aquatics buying guide for dive lights

Frequently Asked Questions

This totally depends on your personal requirement in regards to the type of diving that you are doing. As a rule of a thumb any scuba light with an average beam angle  between 12 degrees to 75 degrees and a lumen output of 200 or greater should work fine for most recreational diving. If you are going on deeper, more challenging dives that require more light, then it is recommended to buy a torch with a higher lumen output. Check out this YouTube video for more tips:

Extremely bright!  For the average recreational diver in good visibility warm water, 1000 lumens is probably as bright as you need.

Most of our dive lights on this list are at least 1000 lumens, including the Orchatorch D550

If you ever do go on deeper, darker tech dives, then 1000 lumens will serve as an excellent back-up light.

There are a few ways you can carry your dive light underwater. The first is by using a wrist strap to control your primary light. You can also tie your primary onto one of your D-rings connected to your BCD. Some lights also come with a wrist mount for hands free diving. For back up torches you should put these somewhere they wont dangle or disturb your dive, but also be easily accessible, your BCD pocket for example. For some tips on how to secure your dive light check out this YouTube video:

Just like most land based electrical appliances, regular flashlights do not do so well in water.

Scuba lights are waterproof sealed and are designed to withstand the pressure of water at depth. Regular flashlights do not have this same design and may short out if they come into contact with water.

FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen

Conclusion

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!

Welcome to our blog!
Austin on a dive baot
I am a PADI Divemaster based in South Florida. With nearly 10 years of diving experience, I have accumulated the knowledge to help readers become better divers, buy their next piece of gear, and plan their dream dive vacation! Please contact me if you have any questions.

Our shop is a reliable and trustworthy destination to showcase our favorite expert tested products.

Official Otter Aquatics Noisemaker Dive Light
Noisemaker & Dive Light in One

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FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge
PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen