The Perfect Dive Light—and How to Choose One (or Two!)

Every diver needs a dive light. It’s better to have two—and not just because you’re planning a night dive. Flashlights are one of the most frequently overlooked pieces of gear, but dive lights are important safety equipment that you should carry on every dive. Lights come in different sizes, brightness, and price points.

At Jupiter Dive Center, we can help you choose the perfect light to fit your needs.

Safety First

Day or night, dive lights do more than bring out the muted colors of a deep dive. Lights make great signaling devices—both under and above the water.

They are also essential safety equipment for wreck and night divers who should carry two lights: a primary and secondary in the event the primary fails (when was the last time you charged or changed your batteries?).

JDC Safety First Nova-850Tec-torch

A Bit About Lumens

JDC A Bit About Lumens 300x300

There are a lot of different ways to describe the output of light, but without getting too technical, the term lumens describes a light’s brightness. Primary lights are used in a variety of circumstances and tend to be brighter than 600 lumens. Secondary lights are often referred to as backup lights and that’s exactly what they are meant to do—fill the gap if the primary dive light fails.

These lights tend to be smaller. And while we’re on the topic, there is a third type of light that is available: underwater photography and video lights. The deeper the dive, the darker the environment, and the density of the water absorbs light differently than on land with colors in the red spectrum disappearing first (then orange, yellow, green, and finally blues). Bringing your own light source restores the ability to see (and photograph) those colors.

Deep down you want the best, and Scubapro recently released the new Nova flashlight line—and it’s a winner! Let’s break them down.

We’ve already determined that every diver should carry a light and Scubapro bills their new Nova 250 as a versatile option that can be stored in your smallest BCD pocket. It offers three modes: 100% power, 50% power, and Flash, plus it’s equipped with an over-pressure valve to release battery off-gassing, making it the safest small light on the market. Delivering 250 lumens of illumination, the Nova 250 is powered by a CR123 battery (rechargeable or disposable). The light measures 3.9 x 1.0 inches and comes in at a svelte 2.5 ounces, making it easy to forget you’re carrying it—until you need it!

Where performance, reliability, and simplicity are the keys to success, nothing beats the no-nonsense Nova 850 Tec. This rugged single-mode dive light delivers intense 850-lumen illumination with a focused beam, ideal for lighting up those dark compartments in wrecks and hidden crevices in deep-water reefs. The light is machined from heavy-duty aluminum so it is both lightweight and built to last. It’s also easy to use with a simple twist-on/twist-off activation. Divers looking for simple yet serious underwater illumination for night dives as well as day dives will find this light a smart choice. 

 

Offering the same intense illumination as the Tec, the Nova 850R is ideal for lighting up the dark spaces and bringing out the vibrant colors on night dives as well as day dives. This light offers 850 lumens and a focused beam angle of 8 degrees. Bonus, the extended light head shroud helps prevent you from blinding your buddy!

 

 

The Nova 850R Wide delivers the same illumination but offers a wider 80-degree beam, making it a great choice to use as a primary night diving light. 

Both models are machined from heavy-duty aluminum with a rugged matte black finish so they are both lightweight and built to last. They’re also easy to use. A 50% mode allows you to increase burn time if you don’t need the full power. Each model is powered by a single 18650 li-ion rechargeable battery (not included). A good dive light is an investment and like the Tec, both models have over-pressure valves that release battery off-gassing, and double O-ring seals that ensure watertight integrity, making this a choice that will serve you well for years.

Many divers know of Sealife for their cameras and strobes, so it’s no surprise they offer flashlights as well.

 

Featuring 900 lumens, the compact Sea
Dragon Mini 900S
dive light offers divers tremendous brightness and a long-range spot beam. All light functions are easily accessible with a one-handed operation to cycle through five light modes: full power, half power, quarter power; one-second flash signal, and emergency SOS signal, both at full power.

JDC SEALIFE sea-dragon-Mini-90
JDC Sealife Sea-Dragon-1300S

 

 

The Sea Dragon Mini 1300S Power Kit includes the powerful 1300S Dive Light, battery, and USB charger.  The light offers users impressive lighting and a narrow 8° long-range beam.  All light functions are easily accessible with a one-handed operation to cycle through five light modes.

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The UK SL3 eLED L2 dive light will give you the most lumens for your dollar. Take it with you on vacation to look under ledges and into cracks along the wall or use it as a backup or secondary light for more advanced diving at night. This light features a twist-on/off bezel and a bright center spot with low-level peripheral lighting.

JDC UK Yellow UK SL3 eLED L2
JDC UK Mini-Q40 MK2

Mini-Q40 MK2 is a compact and reliable dive light in a small package. Equipped with a convenient push-button switch that's easy to use even with heavy gloves on, this light provides 250 lumens for 5 hours of run time and provides divers with a focused beam. The light runs on four standard AA batteries. Its small size makes it perfect for travel, and the light only weighs 6 oz and measures 7.5" in length. An included mask strap allows for hands-free usage—great for the lobster season!

As this post suggests, there are a lot of choices when it comes to dive lights. Stop by our shop or give us a call and let Jupiter Dive Center help you select your perfect dive light (or two)!

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