How to Choose your Dive Lights ?
Why should you buy a dive light?
The dive light also called dive torch, scuba diving light, underwater light, canister light etc. has become an essential gear for scuba diver. As soon as you start to buy your own scuba equipment you will be able to dive more frequently and getting into different types of diving. At that moment, having certain dive accessories may come important. So if you are planning to experiment the following type of diving you must buy a dive torch :
- – Night dive, cave diving and wreck diving : If you do not want to get lost during you night dive, prefer bright dive light with a wider beam angle.
- – Tecchnical and deep diving : try to chose a torch with a bright and tight beam with a long battery life span
- – Underwater photography : here you will need to mount your light on strobes and prefer a wide, consistent and bright beam without hot spots to light your subjects
If you do not know, please remember that for your own safety you must carry two dive lights, your main and an emergency dive torch.
If you are not interested by the previous types of diving, and just want to go fun diving, know that having a dive light on your BCD pocket or on your wrist could be also quite usefull. More and more divers are bringing torches with them in order to examine more carefully holes and cracks finding fishs that they would have missed without it. For your fun dive, to look under rocks and insides holes better chose a small handheld narrow beam light that you can keep in your BCD pocket while scuba diving.
Guide to buying a dive light
You will face a vast choice when you will buy your first dive light, from the small compact dive light to huge lantern-type lamps.
There is also a type of dive torch called canister. Well known by wreck divers and cave divers, canister light consist of a battery worn at the waist and a small lamp connected together by a wire. Canister lamps are known to deliver better brightness even though this argument is less true today with the technological advances in this sector.
Sealing and resistance to pressure: : there is a lot of waterproof light in the market that are not at all made for scuba diving. Once underwater, the water will leak inside and your light will be usless. Make sure your diving light is well designed to withstand hydrostatic pressure.
Durability and reliability : prefer diving lamps designed in solid materials such as steel, aluminum, stainless steel or even titanium.
Rechargeable batteries : are the best choice if you dive more than once a year. Even if they are more expensive you will save money at the end. Moreover, they are the best environmental choice. If we have to point one downside is that they require an access to power.
Power and size : thought performance improves every year, there is still a size/power ratio. For your fun dive or as emergency dive torch a small model would be perfect. However if you are a fan of night diving, cave diving or even wreck diving, prefer a dive lamp with a wide and powerful beam.
Bulbs : it exist different models of bulbs tungsten, halogen, Xenon, HID, LED. Xenon, tungsten and halogen bulbs are the least expensive but have two disadvantages: they are slightly less powerful and use the battery faster. For comparison, a 10 watt HID lamp illuminates as well as a 50 watt halogen lamp, while using only 20% of the energy required for halogen. LED lamps are the best at the moment and have the advantage of being the most durable.
Price : diving gear are most of the time expensive, and this is the same for dive light. We won’t recommend to buy the cheapest diving lamp. As with the rest of your dive gear, choose solid, quality gear that will last years.
Dive torch, best brand?
Manufacturers are using a lot of different terms to describe the performance of their products such as lux, lumens and watts. It is really difficult for you to compare and find the best. Our test is designed to create an objective comparison. At Spotmydive, we have the chance to test a lot of brands and models. We especialiy like the Green Force brand. Green Force built diving lights since 1999 and quickly became a must in Europe and Asia for its expertise in LED lighting. By buying this brand, you are guaranteed to buy a product of high technology, quality and high durability.
The models that I recommend the most according to your practices:
- – For fun divers looking for a versatile, powerful and handy dive light for their daily dive we recommend strongly the popular Green Force Back Up Diamond 600/18650.
- – If you are an underwater videographer and you are looking for a dive torch to shoot your best footage, we should recommend you the Squid LED 5000.
- – For our technical divers friends, we definitely recommend the Hybrid 3 canister light. Thanks to its focused 20 degree hot spot beam, this dive light offers a versatile choice not only as a technical diving light, but also as a handheld canister diving light for different use. Moreover it is super easy to operate this dive torch thanks to its magnetic ring switch even if you are wearing thick gloves.
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