The most important pieces of scuba diving equipment are the ones that help ensure your safety underwater—which is technically pretty much all of them. But one of the most crucial for both your safety and enjoyment is your flashlight, which should always be on hand whether you’re diving during daytime or nighttime.
Beginner divers normally go as deep as 50 feet and reach almost 130 feet once they gain more experience. But at just 30 feet, everything loses its color and will simply show up in shades of blue and gray—and that’s not exactly ideal if you’re in it for the unique visual experience of seeing underwater sceneries up close.
A decent scuba light will be your best friend during your dives, as it will not only help reveal the beautiful colors of underwater life but also guide your path to safety in darker, deeper waters. If you’re looking to purchase one for your next scuba or freediving excursion, we’ve compiled a quick guide to help you navigate the different types of scuba diving lights available on the market.
But first, here are a few things you’ll need to consider:
What activities will you be engaging in? Do you often dive during daytime or nighttime?
As there are different types of scuba lights, you’ll need to consider what activities you plan to engage in so you can choose the best light source for your needs. If you’re planning on going spearfishing, for instance, then you’re better off with a dive light that can be mounted to your weapon or to a part of your body, leaving both hands free to operate your weapon and other tools; or if your dives consist mainly of exploring underwater caves and mysterious shipwrecks, you may find a large primary light more useful.
A dive light’s beam angle is another thing you should consider when choosing the right type of underwater light source. A wider beam angle is what you’ll need for night diving as it provides maximum visibility while a narrower beam angle will be more useful for illuminating specific spots—such as when you need to see into an underwater crevice or underneath some rocks. It’s also the better option for murky, low-visibility waters.
How deep will you be diving? What is the usual duration of your dives?
Obviously, the longer your dive light’s power duration is, the more reliable it will be during deep dives. This depends on the type of material that a dive light is built with: Xenon (incandescent), LED (light emitting diode), and HID (high-intensity discharge).
Xenon is usually less expensive, less powerful, and has a shorter battery life. The main reason why many serious divers still go for Xenon dive lights is that they give off warmer colors, which can help make marine life look better in photos and videos.
LED and HID scuba diving lights offer more powerful light and for longer durations. LEDs, however, have become the most popular type as they are more energy efficient, robust, and durable compared to HID dive lights.
The deeper you dive, the darker it gets—which is why it’s crucial to choose a powerful light source. If you tend to do longer dives, make sure to also choose a dive light that offers longer battery life.
What is your budget?
Dive lights become more expensive when they come with more powerful bulbs and longer operation times. But given the fact that dive lights help ensure your safety underwater, they become very worthy investments in the long run. This is particularly true for LED lights, considering they last longer than HIDs and provide more power than Xenons.
Then again, even affordable lights can rack up the bill when there’s a need to purchase multiple pieces and a rig to put them all together—which is often the case for photography and videography. Using cheap disposable batteries also tend to make you spend more in the long run than if you had invested on rechargeable batteries, so keep that in mind as well.
The key is to understand when you can and cannot compromise, so you don’t end up overspending on gear that you don’t need or on low-quality equipment that will need replacing sooner than later.

I recommend you use the XTAR D06 series diving flashlight, which has good performance.
High illumination output, cree XP-L2 V6 that emits 1200 scorching lumen, ideal choice for underwater photography/fish hunting/wreck&cave diving. Up to 85° floodlighting enables you to see a broader view, which is much safer when you are fishing and diving. Wildly available with 1*18650/2*CR123A/2*16340 batteries. When the battery voltage is lower than 4.2V, the flashlight will flicker 3 times in every 3 minutes, which remainds you to change battery ASAP, prevents you from the situation of battery with no power and ensures your safety on the sea.
Primary dive lights are handheld light sources. They are typically large and bright and are designed for use during daytime and nighttime dives in murky or deep waters. Armed with either a pistol grip or lantern grip, divers normally find this type of dive light to be more comfortable to use than stick lights. The coverage is pretty wide and its power is mostly focused in the center beam, so it can penetrate through the most turbid waters without the need for any additional light sources.
This powerful dive light can be pretty expensive, mainly because they are very durable and can last up to 10 years. It can use either rechargeable or disposable batteries and offers three different bulb choices: inexpensive halogen bulbs that give off that traditional warm lighting; pricey HID bulbs that produce up to five times the power of halogen bulbs; and the long-lasting LED lights that offer more light power than older halogens, but at an affordable price.
When you’ll need it: Night and deep-water dives in low-visibility waters

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