Updated on

Have you ever been diving in the dark? If you’re a newly certified diver, it might seem strange to carry a flashlight underwater. However, if you’re diving at night or exploring overhead environments like caves and wrecks, you’ll need a torch to light your way. Your dive light is also an essential piece of safety equipment, helping you signal other divers in your group and boats on the surface. The best dive lights are super bright, easy to carry, and priced for every budget. But, which model fits in with your SCUBA setup?

If you’re buying your very first dive light, you might feel overwhelmed by options. Don’t worry! The Adventure Junkies have done the research already. In this article, we’ll help you decide which dive light is best for you, and teach you about all the vital features and functions to look for while you shop.

For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out the Best Dive Watches

 

Quick Answer - The Best Dive Lights

  1. Kraken 650
  2. Orcatorch D520
  3. Light & Motion Gobe
  4. Sea Dragon Mini
  5. Underwater Kinetics C4
  6. Tovatec UV
  7. Bigblue LED 1200
  8. Light & Motion Sola
  9. Bigblue Tech 3100
  10. Orcatorch D620

 

Comparison Table - Best Dive Lights

PictureNameSizeLumensModesPriceRating
Kraken 650Small6505$4.6
Orcatorch D520Small1,0001$4.8
Light & Motion GobeSmall5004$4.4
Sea Dragon MiniExtra-Small9005$$4.6
Underwater Kinetics C4Large5752$$4.2
Tovatec UVMediumN/A1$$4.5
Bigblue LED 1200Small12005$$4.4
Light & Motion SolaSmall1,2007$$$5.0
Bigblue Tech 3100Small3,1005$$$4.9
Orcatorch D620Large27003$$$4.8
PictureNameSizeLumensModesPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - Best Lights for Diving

Kraken 650

Specs
  • Lumens: 650
  • Size: Small
  • Battery: 18650 Lithium-Ion
  • Modes: 5
  • Lamp: CREE LED
  • Materials: Aluminum
Features
  • Option to Use AAA Batteries Instead of Lithium
  • Push Button On-Off Switch
  • Battery Level Indicator
  • SOS and Strobe Modes for Safety

BEST FOR: BUDGET

The Kraken 650 is an affordable and versatile dive light, ideal for budget shoppers and newly certified divers. This model includes three brightness modes, plus SOS and strobe for safety. This torch is lightweight and easy to wear around your wrist, clip to a D-ring, or stow in your BCD pocket. Plus, the Kraken 650 is more adaptable than similar designs and can be used at a 350 lumen maximum with three AAA batteries instead of lithium. Your light will last for a shorter time, and you won’t get as many lumens this way, but you’ll never miss a dive due to a low battery.

Orcatorch D520

Specs
  • Lumens: 1,000
  • Size: Small
  • Battery: 18650 Lithium-Ion
  • Modes: 1
  • Lamp: CREE XM-L2 (U2) LED
  • Materials: Anodized Aluminum
Features
  • Twist On-Off Switch
  • Narrow, Focused Beam of Light
  • Reverse Polarity Protection Guards Against Improper Battery Installation
  • Available in Multiple Colors

BEST FOR: JUST THE BASICS

If you’re the kind of diver who prefers basic, easy to use gear, the OrcaTorch D520 might be your best bet. This light twists to turn on instead of using a switch, so it’s less likely to flood underwater. Its ultra dressed-down robust aluminum design features only one operating mode, so you’ll never waste time pushing buttons. Plus, it uses a narrow and focused beam of light, perfect for guiding your way in the darkest of environments, including caverns and shipwrecks. The D520 also comes in a wide variety of colors, perfect for matching with the rest of your kit.

Light & Motion Gobe

Specs
  • Lumens: 500
  • Size: Small
  • Battery: Rechargeable 2.6 AH Lithium
  • Modes: 4
  • Lamp: CREE LED
  • Materials: Glass Filled Nylon
Features
  • Interchangeable Light Head
  • Sealed Battery Compartment Prevents Flooding
  • Micro-USB Charging Port
  • Suitable For Use Above Water As A Standard Flashlight Or Bike Light

BEST FOR: USE ABOVE AND BELOW WATER

Most dive torches overheat fast when used above water, but the Light & Motion Gobe won’t. This light’s sealed interior battery compartment and glass-filled nylon exterior help keep its temperature low. So, you can use the Gobe to set up your gear by torchlight, and then jump straight in the water with it! Its specialized USB rechargeable battery saves money and is an Earth-friendly alternative to disposables. Plus, you can charge the torch without opening its internal sealed compartments. If you’re hoping to use this light for multiple uses like underwater photography, its interchangeable head will help you choose the perfect beam for each dive.

Sea Dragon Mini

Specs
  • Lumens: 900
  • Size: Extra-Small
  • Battery: 18650 Lithium-Ion
  • Modes: 5
  • Lamp: CREE LED
  • Materials: Anodized Aluminum
Features
  • Option To Use CR123 Batteries Instead Of Lithium
  • Push Button On-Off Switch
  • SOS And Strobe Modes For Safety
  • Small, Lightweight Design Is Ideal For Dive Travel

BEST FOR: DIVE TRAVEL

The Sea Dragon Mini is one of the most compact lights around, but don’t let its small size fool you. This is one powerful dive torch! Designed for dive travel, this extra-small model packs 900 lumens into a very compact package. It comes equipped with five modes, including SOS and strobe for added safety and signaling. The option to use a rechargeable lithium battery or disposables makes it easy to carry spares so you’ll never miss a dive due to a dead battery. Plus, this light is so small that you can easily tuck it into a BCD pocket or even the sleeve of your wetsuit.

Underwater Kinetics C4

Specs
  • Lumens: 575
  • Size: Large
  • Battery: C-Cell Alkaline
  • Modes: 2
  • Lamp: LED
  • Materials: Polymer, Rubber
Features
  • Corrosion Resistant Composite Plastic Body
  • Toggle On-Off Switch
  • Oversized Pistol Style Grip
  • Protective Rubber Lens Boot

BEST FOR: BEGINNERS

If you’re new to diving, you might struggle a bit to use your new dive light underwater. The Underwater Kinetics C4 is a classic easy to operate model, with one large toggling on and off switch. It uses standard C batteries, in a spacious and simple to load internal chamber. Plus, its heavy-duty rubberized boot will withstand years of wear and tear, protecting your torch’s inner mechanics and lamp from shock and impact. While the C4 will seem bulky and oversized at first glance, its size is highly practical for newbies. A large pistol grip keeps this light in your hand at all times, and its chunky plastic exterior makes it nearly impossible to lose.

Tovatec UV

Specs
  • Lumens: N/A
  • Size: Medium
  • Battery: 18650 Lithium-Ion
  • Modes: 1
  • Lamp: 395nm LED
  • Materials: Anodized Aluminum
Features
  • Creates A Fluorescent Effect Underwater
  • Sliding On-Off Switch
  • Twist Adjust Narrow To Wide Beam Of Light
  • Option To Use AAA Batteries Instead Of Lithium

BEST FOR: UV LIGHT

The Tovatec UV is not meant for use as a primary dive torch because it does not emit a visible beam of light. Instead, it’s intended for use during specialized fluorescent night dives. Because most underwater organisms emit a neon glow when exposed to UV light, this type of torch reveals an entirely different spectrum of color, ordinarily invisible to human eyes. Unlike competing models, the Tovatec UV requires no external lens filters or accessories. Plus, it’s more lightweight than similar designs and switches easily between lithium and AAA batteries. Keep in mind that this dive light is not suitable for signaling or illumination, even as a backup.

Bigblue LED 1200

Specs
  • Lumens: 1200
  • Size: Small
  • Battery: 18650 Lithium-Ion
  • Modes: 5
  • Lamp: XML LED
  • Materials: Anodized Aluminum
Features
  • Push Button On-Off Switch
  • Battery Level Indicator
  • SOS And Strobe Modes For Safety
  • Small, Lightweight Design Is Ideal For Dive Travel

BEST FOR: OVERALL VALUE

Experienced divers have favored the Bigblue LED for years. This is a reliable and dependable model that will last for seasons to come, and it’s equipped with all the features you’d expect from a high-end dive light. Five operating modes, including SOS and strobe, give you finite control over your dive’s lighting. An external indicator on the light’s switch warns you when battery power is low. And, the Bigblue LED is perfectly sized for stowing on a D-ring, or in BCD and tech pockets. This torch also makes an excellent backup for cavern, cave, and wreck divers who prefer a larger canister for their primary light source.

Light & Motion Sola

Specs
  • Lumens: 1,200
  • Size: Small
  • Battery: 18650 Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Modes: 7
  • Lamp: CREE LED
  • Materials: Glass Filled Nylon
Features
  • Wrist Mounted For Hands-Free Use
  • Corrosion Resistant Composite Plastic Body
  • Sliding On-Off Switch
  • Twist Adjust Narrow To Wide Beam Of Light
  • Battery Level Indicator
  • SOS And Strobe Modes For Safety

BEST FOR: HANDS-FREE USE 

Some SCUBA divers find carrying a torch inconvenient or uncomfortable. The Light & Motion Sola solves this problem with its hands-free wrist-mounted strap, made from ballistic grade Cordua fabric. This accessory allows total use of both hands during your dive, making it a top pick for working divers, as well as tech and sidemount enthusiasts. The Sola has an easy to use sliding on and off switch, and a simple twist changes between its seven operating modes. While this model might cost a bit more than similar designs, its innovative and intuitive features make it well worth the extra expense.

Bigblue Tech 3100

Specs
  • Lumens: 3,100
  • Size: Small
  • Battery: 32650 Lithium-Ion
  • Modes: 5
  • Lamp: XML LED
  • Materials: Anodized Aluminum
Features
  • Double O-Ring Sealed For Deeper Diving
  • Ergonomic Gripped Handle
  • Push Button On-Off Switch
  • Battery Level Indicator
  • SOS And Strobe Modes For Safety

BEST FOR: ADVANCED APPLICATIONS  

If you’re diving beyond the recreational limits or taking on super dark environments, you’ll need a powerful light. With over 3,000 lumens, the Bigblue Tech 3100 is one of the strongest torches in its class. But, you have plenty of brightness settings to choose from if you prefer less power. This hard-wearing piece of gear is compact and lightweight enough for dive travel but still sturdy enough for everyday use, and a top pick among dive pros. Plus, it’s cold water compatible thanks to its ergonomic gripped handle that makes it easy to grasp and hold, even if you’re wearing thick gloves.

Orcatorch D620

Specs
  • Lumens: 2700
  • Size: Large
  • Battery: 18650 Lithium-Ion
  • Modes: 3
  • Lamp: CREE XHP70 LED
  • Materials: Anodized Aluminum
Features
  • Double O-Ring Sealed For Deeper Diving
  • Wrist Mounted For Hands-Free Use
  • Locking On-Off Switch
  • Reverse Polarity Protection Guards Against Improper Battery Installation
  • Separate Battery Canister

BEST FOR: CAVES, CAVERNS, AND SHIPWRECKS   

Canister lights like the Orcatorch D620 are best for technical, sidemount, cave, cavern, and shipwreck divers. This dive light uses a wrist mount, and an ultra-bright LED bulb for a super illuminated hands-free experience underwater. Its separate battery canister is separated by a cable, so it’s easy to store. Plus, it holds far more charge than a standard light, so it’s perfect for extended bottom times and multiple immersions. This model features polarity protection so you won’t burn it out if you install its batteries backward, and a locking on and off switch that will never budge without you activating it, first.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A DIVE LIGHT

 

SIZE

Your light’s size will determine how bulky it feels when you dive with it. And, it’s an especially important consideration if you’re packing a dive bag for travel. 

If you’re new to the sport, consider a larger sized light. It will be easier to hold on to underwater, and you’re less likely to misplace it. An oversized torch will come in handy later for marking entry and exit points or for use as a spare. Keep in mind that you should always dive with a backup light in case your primary fails. Smaller sized torches are perfect for this because they are easy to store in your BCD’s pocket. But, they aren’t always practical for use as a main light source.

 

LUMENS

Lumens are a unit of measure used to describe a light’s brightness. The higher the number of lumens your dive light puts out, the brighter it is. If you’re exploring super dark environments like caves, you’ll want a torch with 1,000 lumens or more. But for night diving, that number of lumens might be excessive. No matter what kind of dives you’re planning, a light with multiple brightness settings to choose from is best. 

 

MODES 

Most dive lights come standard with one to three brightness modes. But, if you’re a dedicated diver, you’ll probably prefer a model with even more mode options. Using your dive light at a lower brightness is more comfortable in some dive environments, and it preserves your battery life. Other standard modes include SOS and strobe, which are typically used for signaling other divers and boats on the surface. 

 

MATERIALS 

No matter what type of dive light you choose, it will likely be made out of aluminum or rugged, composite plastic. Both are sturdy and rust-resistant materials suitable for divers who are hard on their gear. But, if you’re a newly certified diver, plastic might be your better option. It requires less cleaning and care and is less prone to corrosion. Aluminum makes for a more lightweight torch but will also show more visible wear and tear over time. 

 

LAMP 

Most modern dive lights use LED lamps because they are longer lasting and more environmentally friendly than traditional bulbs. No matter which type of LED your light uses, it should keep burning for years with proper care and maintenance

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

 

DOUBLE O-RING SEALED 

Dive lights use rubber O-rings to form a watertight seal around their batteries and lamps. This barrier helps keep water, salt, and sand from corroding the light’s interior. As you dive deeper and experience greater pressure changes, your torch becomes more vulnerable to flooding. That’s why deep and technical divers usually opt for a model with more than one line of defense. 

 

FLUORESCENCE 

Fluorescent night diving uses UV light to reveal the colorful neon glow emitted by some marine wildlife. These vibrant shades, ordinarily invisible to the human eye, cast the coral reef in a whole new light. Remember that UV lights do not make the dive environment brighter and won’t work as a primary or secondary light source. 

 

INTERCHANGEABLE HEAD 

Some lights feature an interchangeable head. Much like a camera lens, this allows you to attach different filters, colored lenses, focused beams, and other specialized accessories. 

 

SEALED BATTERY COMPARTMENT  

A sealed battery compartment prevents flooding by removing the need to open and close your dive light. Instead, this type of torch uses a port, typically USB or Micro-USB to charge. 

 

OPTION TO USE STANDARD OR LITHIUM BATTERIES

Some dive lights can use a standard AAA, D-Cell, or CR123 battery interchangeably with a lithium battery. This feature allows you to pack plenty of backups so you’ll never have to dive low on power. Divers planning remote vacations or liveaboard trips will find this feature especially helpful. 

 

BATTERY LEVEL INDICATOR 

Battery level indicators are usually displayed in colored LEDs on or around a dive light’s main switch. This early warning can prevent light failure during a dive. 

 

REVERSE POLARITY PROTECTION 

In some dive lights, installing your batteries backward or upside down, can cause a short circuit and light failure. Reverse polarity protection prevents damage to your light’s internal mechanisms if you make this common mistake. 

READ MORE

For more of our top scuba diving gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

4 Responses

  1. Evan

    I’m assuming all of these are IPX8 rated or is there is there another level?

    • Antonio Cala

      I believe so. They are specifically designed to use them while scuba diving. So they are all IPX8 rated at least.
      Although, I don’t really know if there’s another level when it comes to waterproof lights.

  2. James Dutreaux

    Hey Antonio thanks for the great post. I’m an avid kayaker and am looking to take my experience to the next level by starting to dive. I found this article very informative in terms of picking the right light. Thanks for sharing! Btw, what is your favorite dive location?

  3. Kader

    Good selection of diving light Antonio. Great work.

    I am actually not a fan of diving. But used to go sometime. I read the article through and intended to ask a solution from you. When it come to tight beam or wide beam, i prefer a mix of both. Can you recommend me a rechargeable flashlight for diving that can provide me a good mix of throw and flood so that I can manage them when I need?

173 Shares
Tweet
Pin150
Share23
Email
Flip