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It’s obvious that a dive light is necessary to scuba dive at night to help you navigate, see your gauges, and observe interesting aquatic life. But it’s also a good idea to carry a light during the day to peer inside wrecks, see under ledges and light up caverns. You’ll use it on all your scuba diving adventures to look into the cracks and crevices where shy creatures hide. Visit your PADI Dive Center or Resort to get advice about dive lights.
Standard Dive Light Features
- Rugged case that is watertight and pressure proof.
- A dependable switch that is easy to turn on and off, even when wearing gloves.
- Watertight o-ring seal(s) that give you access to the batteries and the bulb.
- Many lights come with a wrist lanyard or clip so that, even if you accidentally let go, the light is retrievable.
Dive Light Styles
Primary lights are generally large models with powerful, wide beams, however, you can also find very bright small lights. Backup lights are usually smaller with narrower beams – something you might carry on every dive and definitely on night dives so you don’t end up without a light if your primary light fails.
Optional and Desirable Dive Light Features
- Batteries are either rechargeable or disposable.
- Initially, rechargeable systems cost more, but will pay for themselves if you use your dive light often and are a better choice environmentally.
- High-quality disposable batteries are great for a dive light you only use occasionally.
- Bulbs and battery power influence a light’s brightness.
- Halogen and xenon bulbs produce bright light but consume a lot of battery power.
- LED (light emitting diode) bulbs are highly durable and energy efficient.
- HID (high intensity discharge) bulbs provide twice as much light from half as much battery.
- A handle or mount allows you to comfortably carry your light either in your hand or attached to your dive equipment. Some small lights mount on your mask, your wrist, a hose, your camera strobe or anywhere else you can think of to mount a light.
- Multiple power modes are available in some lights to make the best use of battery power.
- For night diving, divers also use chemical glow sticks, underwater strobes or other small marker lights for safety.
How to Choose Your Dive Light
- Decide where you’ll likely use your light the most an how often. Then think about how diligent you’ll be taking care of the batteries.
- Pick up and carry a few lights around. It’s best if they have batteries in them, but realize that they’ll be lighter in the water.
- Evaluate the grip for your hand.
- Test how easy it is for you to turn it on and off.
- Think about how comfortable it will be to hold the light for an hour-long night dive.
- Consider other special features, such as included lanyards or multiple power modes, and then choose the best light for your dive needs. Ask the dive professional at your PADI Dive Center or Resort for help. Get a good light – you won’t regret it.
Take Care of Your Dive Light
- If you buy a light with rechargeable batteries, the first thing you must do is read and follow the instructions for your batteries to get the best performance and longest life out of them.
- Like any piece of dive equipment, rinse your dive light in fresh water as soon as possible after each use.
- Inspect the battery contacts and clean them, if necessary, with a pencil eraser.
- Remove and inspect the o-rings for any nicks, cuts or wear.
- Store your light in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Protect it from being damaged or dropped. If you won’t be using the light for an extended time, store batteries separately.