Best Dive Light
Top 10 Dive Lights Under Review
Goldengulf 1800 Lumen Dive Light
The Goldengulf has five modes, three power modes and a strobe and SOS mode. To change mode, you twist a ring which rests under the bulb shroud; the ring is marked to assist with this, but the markings are white on silver so can be hard to read. The light is bright and rated to 150m and can be used with 3 x AAA or a 18650 battery. The estimated run time is between 3 and 10 hours.
Cons: Twist function with poor detail
3000 Lumen XML-L2 LED Diving Torch
This torch has a rotating bezel underneath the bulb housing which you turn to select the different modes. There are three brightness settings and an SOS and strobe setting. The torch is black, and the modes are shown in white making them easy to read. It’s super bright yet just 15 cm long, so it packs some punch for its size. It can be powered by 3 x AAAs or a 18650 or a 26650 battery.
KC Fire 6000 Lumen Dive Torch
This torch has both adjustable brightness and beam settings, and it’s very hard wearing. It’s rated to 100m deep and has a wrist strap and a handle rather than a grip around the barrel. This torch is more expensive, but if you dive often, it offers the greatest flexibility for all conditions. It’s worth the investment.
Pros: Bright and fully adjustable
Cons: The price point is higher
Volador 1000 Lumen Dive Flashlight
The Volador is a robust handheld torch. Its top brightness is 1000 lumens, and it has a further two options for dimmer light. The LEDs have a 50-thousand-hour lifespan, and the runtime can be as long as 1.5 hours. The on and off switch is a push button in the base of the torch. The switch can be operated one-handed, and it’s also protected so that it’s difficult to accidentally turn it on and waste battery.
Pros: Good on and off switch design with adjustable brightness
Cons: Beam not adjustable
Goldenguy 1200 Lumen Dive Light
The Goldenguy is sturdy and has a push-button operation. Each push activates one of the four different modes, so you do have to scroll through them to switch it off. It’s rated to 100m and powered by a 18560 battery. It’s slim, easy to hold and is 16.5 cm long and comes with a wrist lanyard.
Cons: Battery not included
POMEX Led 4xXML-L2 Dive Light
The Pomex is a tough torch with 1000 lumens and offers the flexibility for you to use AAA batteries or a 18650. It’s rated to a depth of 150m. To change modes, you twist the barrel.
Pros: Battery flexibility
Cons: Twist function
OxyLED DF10 Flashlight
The OxyLED DF 10 offers a great price point for a torch rated to 150m with 1050 lumens. It has a lanyard attachment and a protected on and off switch. The brightness can be adjusted, and the modes feature a strobe function. This torch would make a great backup.
Pros: Good value
Cons: Might not be as durable as more expensive models
OxyLED DF20 Flashlight
The OxyLED DF 20 is the older model of the DF 10 featured above. The price point on this model is even lower, but the rated depth is to 24m which limits its usability. It does come with a very handy Velcro wrist strap for hands-free usage, and its bright yellow outer makes it very easy to find if dropped. It features two brightness levels and a strobe, but it has a twist functionality, which apart from the risk of flooding, is hard to operate when it’s strapped to your wrist. Overall this would be a great multi-purpose torch for an outdoor lifestyle.
Pros: Velcro wristband
Cons: Limited depth rating
BlueFire 1100 Lumen Light
The BlueFire is similar to the above OxyLED20 in that it’s bright yellow and comes with a wrist strap. It also uses a twist function to access two brightness levels and a strobe and is rated to 24m depth. The difference is that it’s twice as bright and you have the option to use 3 x AAA batteries as well as the 18650 rechargeable. It’s a great multipurpose torch with applications beyond diving.
Pros: Battery flexibility
Cons: Limited depth rating
Tonelife Mini Diving Mask Light
The Tonelife weighs 90g and is 97mm long and 26mm round at its widest point. It’s been designed to attach to your mask offering the underwater version of a headlamp. Once attached you can rotate it so that it’s angled where you need it. With an AA battery the light is 120 lumens, and with a 14500 battery you get 570 lumens; enough to see but not blind your buddy.
Pros: Great application for hands-free gauge reading and to help with other underwater tasks
Cons: Not versatile
Before choosing, consider how much use your torch will get. Think about how often you dive, where you dive and when you use a torch. If you dive on holiday and would only use a torch for the occasional night dive while you are away then one of the more value options might be more suitable. If you regularly dive, deeper and like to explore the sites nooks and crannies, then you would be more likely to invest.
Buying a torch for diving feels like it should be a simple task, that is until you start looking at the options. There’s an unbelievably large range of lights available but to make your choice easier we have broken it down into the features you need to consider.
Bulb or LED
It’s rare to find a bulb torch now, they use more power and have a fragile filament which makes them less able to roll with the rough and tumble of diving. LEDs are more efficient, more reliable and last a lot longer. The number of LEDs will vary, but the brightness of the overall unit is measured in lumens.
Lumens measure how much light you get from a torch. More lumens mean it’s brighter and fewer lumens mean it’s dimmer. It’s a good tool for comparison but remember that beam intensity also plays a role in the strength of the light.
With some torches you can change the brightness; this is a great feature for differing conditions.
A narrow beam will cut through in low visibility and is good for pointing when diving in daylight. A wider beam is great for night diving in good visibility as it will illuminate a larger area of reef. Like your car headlights in fog, a wider beam will rebound in bad or low visibility. Some torches allow you to switch between a wide and narrow beam which is handy for differing conditions.
If you’re looking for a torch to add color to GoPro footage, then you need to have a wide beamed torch that has a constant, not flickering, light. The light needs to be even without hotspots so that the footage is evenly colored.
Some lights come with a rechargeable pack, and some use standard batteries. Think about where you will use your torch and the availability for charging. With a torch that uses standard batteries, you can still buy rechargeables but have the flexibility to substitute when you can’t charge by mains.
A hand-held torch should come with a lanyard or have a way that you can easily attach one to it. This way you can wear it around your wrist or attached to your BCD and be able to drop it when needed. The grip of a hand-held torch should be comfortable for you to hold.
Some lights have a battery pack with a cable that runs to a torch head. The pack fixes to your tank, and you thread the cable and site the torch head, usually, on top of your wrist. This configuration is popular for technical diving or those dives that benefit from free hands. The pack offers a longer burn time, and the configuration leaves your hands free for other tasks.
Although they are a simple piece of kit to use, you do want to make sure that you can use them easily with and without gloves. Understand if single-handed operation is important to you. Apart from a way to turn them on and off, there might be options to change the beam width and strength. Be cautious of those that twist the barrel to adjust. If twisting the barrel is the way that you would open them to change the batteries, it is easy to flood them accidentally. Look for switches that can’t be accidentally turned on too; you don’t want to waste battery.
You could spend a small fortune on a torch but remember that they are one of those pieces of kit that can be easily dropped or flooded. Only spend what you could afford to lose and replace without too many tears.