10 Best Dive Lights | April 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Heading down to explore the depths of the ocean can be one of the most spectacular visual experiences available on Earth. That is, of course, if you can see what's in front of you. Illuminate your way with one of these dive lights that will allow you to enjoy all the glories of marine life clearly at depths of up to 500 feet. Skip to the best dive light on Amazon.
10 Best Dive Lights | April 2017
Overall Rank: 6
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 5
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
The Dorcy 41-1467 is impressively powerful given its relatively light weight and compact size. It has a brightness output of 220 lumens, which matches models weighing in at twice its heft, and it runs on six triple-A batteries.
  • beam is well-concentrated
  • anti-corrosion finish
  • some units have faulty wiring issues
Brand Dorcy
Model 411467
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The OrcaTorch D520 is small but powerful, with a neutral color temperature of 5000 kelvin that helps your underwater videos and photography look their best. Its triple O-ring seal ensures no water will leak into its aluminum housing if secured properly.
  • includes handy wrist strap
  • leds rated for 50000 hours of use
  • 2-hour battery life is a bit short
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
Every ThorFire Scuba 2000 is pressure-tested at depths of 100 meters, so you can be sure it'll stand up to whatever you have in store. It features a convenient grooved handle grip and three powerful LEDs for a maximum output of 2000 lumens.
  • rotary switch controls brightness
  • aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • specialty batteries not included
Brand Thorfire
Model pending
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
Designed to be attached to your camera rig with its included handle mount, the BlueFire 5000LM boasts 10 super-bright white LEDs, plus four red and four blue ones so you can achieve the perfect lighting effects to enhance the colors of the deep.
  • wide angle beam for good coverage
  • easy-to-read battery level indicator
  • o-ring seal may fail over time
Brand BlueFire
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
The Tovatec Fusion Video is available in three sizes, the largest of which is capable of a 1000 lumen output. The mid-range choice is a good handheld model for most people exploring the ocean floor with 530 lumens. It features an adjustable beam angle of 12-100 degrees.
  • aluminum body with rubberized grip
  • three power settings and strobe mode
  • some quality control issues
Brand Tovatec
Model FUS530
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The versatile Light and Motion Sola 1200 can easily switch between its two settings, one of which provides a focused spotlight and the other a wide-angle flood beam that gets as bright as 1,200 lumens. Both options are adjustable with high, medium, and low intensity modes.
  • regulated output prevents dimming
  • comfortable wrist harness
  • considerably expensive
Brand Light and Motion
Model 850-0295-D
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
The Goldengulf 4000LM uses a textured reflector surface to create an even beam rather than a single hot spot surrounded by diffuse light, an issue with many models. Its skid-proof exterior and detachable strap ensure it won't go anywhere when you need it most.
  • includes a hard carrying case
  • comes with batteries and charger
  • great value for the price
Brand Goldengulf
Model pending
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
The Underwater Kinetics SL4 eLED L1 is designed to get the most out of its four C batteries, shining bright for more than 10 hours on a single set. It is easy to flip it on or off with a thumb or forefinger, even underwater.
  • waterproof to depths of 150 meters
  • secure front-facing rotary switch
  • impressively powerful for its size
Brand Underwater Kinetics
Model 80121
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Princeton Tec AMP League 100 is a good enough torch to serve as its user's primary source of illumination, but it's also a perfect backup for the well-prepared diver, as it is inexpensive yet reliable and easy to maneuver. It boasts a 14-hour run time.
  • delivers a 260 lumen output
  • available in four colors
  • sculpted shape provides an easy grip
Brand Princeton Tec
Model LG1-NY
Weight 10.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
The Evolva Future Technology D02 is designed to illuminate the depths so they'll look best on video, whether you're shooting professionally or just to show your family and friends where you've been. It includes a 1-inch ball joint for camera mounting.
  • triple o-ring sealed
  • two red leds lower color temperature
  • six easily togglable output modes
Model pending
Weight 11.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Making The Most Of Your Underwater Adventure

Scuba diving is one of the most rewarding, exciting activities around. A dive beneath the waves reveals an almost magical world alive with strange and wonderful creatures and rich with unique sights ranging from coral reefs to kelp forests to the wrecks of sunken vessels. The properly prepared diver can have the time of her life while underwater, but when it comes to scuba diving, preparation, training and experience, are absolutely critical not just for enjoyment, but for safety.

Before you even consider a scuba diving excursion, commit to learning all the basics of dive safety, and find an instructor or a tour group that will lead and assist you during the dive. The more time you spend learning how to safely scuba dive, the more enjoyment you will ultimately reap from the hobby. And once you have mastered the activity with the assistance of trained and experienced professionals, you will be free to start diving with friends and family.

Once you have become an experienced enough diver to justify assembling your own kit of scuba diving gear, make sure not to overlook getting a great dive light. If you enjoy night time scuba diving, or you bravely enter underwater caves or shipwrecks, then of course a dive light is an imperative piece of gear. But even if you tend to dive only during the daytime, and even if you tend to stay at shallow depths, it's still a good idea to have a diving flashlight on hand.

On a typical day, sunlight can be perceived down to a depth of 200 meters below the surface of the ocean; that's 656 feet, which is well below the 130 foot depth limit set for recreational dives by the World Recreational Scuba Training Council. Still even at this relatively shallow depth, the sun's brightness is much reduced, and clear viewing, especially of smaller objects, will be made much easier with a dive light, especially if you want to shine some extra light into a nook in that coral reef.

And even when you don't anticipate the need for a dive light to help you see, you might need the light help you be seen in the event of an emergency. Either way, a scuba dive light is available to adventurers on almost any budget, and is an investment well worth the cost even if only as a precaution.

Choosing The Best Dive Light

When choosing a dive light, first consider whether it is likely to see regular use and in what application. If you're an underwater videographer, you need a big, bright dive light with a pistol-grip handle that can quickly and accurately be shined anywhere you point your camera's lens. If you're going out for some spear fishing, you need a compact unit with a lanyard that can be quickly released when you need both hands. And if you're simply buying a dive light as a wise precaution for use in an emergency situation, then you want a light that's plenty bright, but also small enough to not get in the way during all those dives where it remains unused.

As for the actual light source, LED bulbs are highly efficient and usually the best choice; while xenon lights can be even brighter, they also rapidly drain the batteries.

Also consider whether your new dive light will indeed be used exclusively underwater. Many flashlights designed for use by divers also make a great tool for the plumber or fisherman or for anyone else frequently around water, or for use in the rain or snow as you change a tire or just walk the dog.

Just be sure to note that, unlike most conventional flashlights, many purpose-built diving flashlights can get incredibly hot when not submerged. If you are looking to get a flashlight that can serve as your dive light as well as a flashlight suitable for above water use, then be sure to look for units not prone to this heated issue, as it were.

Dive Light Maintenance

Even the best dive light on the market is only as good as its housing and seals. And these elements will be invariably compromised by use, damage, and simply by age. If you are a regular scuba diver, you should be ready to replace your dive light regularly, perhaps as often as annually. Test each light above the water before each dive, and submerge it in a sink or tub before its first use.

Before each dive, take the time to replace the batteries in your light. Batteries are cheap, especially when you consider the proposition of being left in the dark in the deep. Also make sure to take the light apart and inspect its o-ring; if there are any gouges or cuts in this all-important sealing device, the light may be compromised. Replace the o-ring if it seems at all necessary.

And make sure to thoroughly rinse off your dive light in fresh, clean water after each use (especially after dives in salt water) and then fully dry it. The light should be stored with its batteries removed and with the unit out of direct sunlight.

Remember that scuba diving is a safe and enjoyable activity, as long as you use common sense and follow best practices.

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Last updated on April 22 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.