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2y3k » Best Scuba Dive Lights of 2023

Best Scuba Dive Lights of 2023

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Light and Motion Sola Dive 1200 S/F Light

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Many divers, particularly new ones, don’t carry a dive light. The benefits are undeniable, though, and having gained some experience a diver will soon realize that good lighting is practically indispensable.

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For recreational daytime divers, it can be a matter of pulling a small model out of a pocket to get a better look at an octopus or a mantis shrimp under an overhang or in a hole.

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Night dives obviously require a light, hopefully, one with a fairly wide-angle beam.

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For the deep or technical diver exploring a cave or a wreck, bright, narrower beamed lights with lengthy battery life and a pistol grip could well do the trick.

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Photographers and videographers will find appropriate lighting to support and enhance their work essential.

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To help you select the best dive light for your purposes, some of the best in the range are reviewed below as an introduction. There’s a buying guide to start, followed by descriptions, key features, specifications, photos, videos, a comparison table, and tips for care and maintenance.

Best Scuba Dive Lights Buying Guide

Dive Light Types

  • Primary — For day or night use, these should be larger and with enough battery capacity to last the entire dive. A rechargeable battery is optimal. You’ll want a bright narrow beam and a pistol-style grip or other convenient-to-hold feature.
  • Secondary or Back-up — This should be small enough to put in your BC pocket and will likely be cheaper.
  • Photo/Video — Specifically designed to be mounted on a camera, these models should have a wider and brighter beam.

Angle of the Beam

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A wide-angle beam illuminates the widest field of vision. This can be particularly useful on night dives. A small or narrow-angle beam is more suitable for cutting through the water with a lot of particulates that have created bad visibility. If you want to spot wildlife located in a dark or shaded area like a crevice or hole, then a narrow beam works best. Tech divers deep into a cave or wreck want a narrow beam to see as far ahead as possible.

Battery Type

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You’ll want a battery that will have enough power for the use you have in mind for your underwater light. Three types are available, each with advantages and disadvantages.

  • Alkaline — Although pretty readily available everywhere and relatively cheap, alkaline batteries have limited life and lower performance
  • Lithium — These are high performance, but more expensive and unavailable in some places. Airlines don’t usually allow you to bring them on board, but on the bright side, they are recyclable.
  • Rechargeable — The upside is they are enviro-friendly and relatively inexpensive as you can use them over and over for a longer period of time. You will need to have access to electricity for recharging and the time it takes for that to happen.

Lightbulb Type

  • XENON — These are the incandescent lights that were the only ones available for diving 20-25 years ago. They are the cheapest, but also have the least output of lumens. Lots of power is used so you have short battery life. Photographers like the more natural, softer, and less blue look xenon lights provide in comparison to LED or HID lighting.
  • LEDbulbs are brighter, more efficient, durable, and long-lasting than xenon bulbs, providing longer battery life. They do create a colder, blue look that is less natural that photographers prefer not to have.
  • HID bulbs are an older generation of LED lights that are not as efficient and are used less now.

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Below are descriptions and reviews of underwater lights that represent the spectrum of characteristics available to help you make the right decision for your own lighting needs.

Review of the Best Dive Lights

Light and Motion Sidekick Duo

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The lightweight Sidekick was specifically designed to partner with GoPro cameras and mounts with a simple adapter. Spot and flood controls are adjustable.

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Specifications (from Light and Motion):

  • A powerful LED array using CREE LEDs and enhanced firmware
  • Colored LED indicator clearly displays battery levels during use and when charging
  • Lumens: 600 (flood), 400 (spot)
  • Runtime (on low): 240 minutes
  • Runtime (on medium): 120 minutes
  • Runtime (on high): 60 minutes
  • Beam Angle (degrees): 90 (flood), 23 (spot)
  • Beam Angle Underwater (degrees): 60(flood), 15 (spot)
  • Charge Time: 4.5 hours
  • Weight: 123g
  • Waterproof: Yes (up to 60 meters)

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Suitable partner for the Light and Motion Sidekick Duo: GoPro Hero6

Light and Motion GoBe 800 Spot FC

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Fast charging, compact, lightweight, handheld, 12-degree spotlight, good above or below the surface.

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Specifications (from Light and Motion):

  • 12-degree spot beam
  • 800-lumen output
  • The design allows light heads to be interchanged
  • Waterproof to 120 meters
  • Highest level CREE LEDs and optimized firmware
  • Custom engineered lens optimizes the light to provide the most efficient and effective distribution for all your outdoor needs
  • Exclusive FC (Fast Charge) technology allows rapid recharging when used with a 2A charger
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Lumens: (12 degrees) high — 800, med — 400, low — 200, camp — 75, SOS — 100
  • Run time: high — 1.5 hours, med — 3 hours, low — 12 hours, camp — 24 hours, SOS — 36 hours
  • Weight: 178 grams
  • Size: 4.9″ x 1.9″ x 1.9″
  • Included: GoBe charge cable, lanyard

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Light and Motion Sola Dive 1200 S/F Light

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The Sola Dive 1200 is compact, rechargeable, powerful, and flexible enough to use with video or on a hand strap with 1200 lumens in a 60-degree flood or 500 lumens with a 12-degree spot.

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Specifications (from Light and Motion):

  • 1200 lumen flood and 500-lumen spot
  • Depth Rated to 100 meters
  • LED array using CREE LEDs and firmware
  • Colored Status LED for battery and mode indication
  • Multiple mounts available, including Pistol Grip, T-Handle, and Kirby Morgan helmet mount
  • Lumens: (60 degrees/12 degrees) high — 1200/500, med — 600/200, low — 300/125
  • Run time: high — 70 minutes, med — 140 minutes, low — 280 minutes
  • Charge time: 2.5 hours
  • Weight: 254 grams
  • Size: 4″ x 2.1″ x 2.1″
  • Included: hand strap, 2 amp charge

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ScubaPro Nova 220 Dive Light

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The Nova 220 is a super small, durable, extremely useful, multi-featured backup type dive light that stores easily in the smallest of pockets.

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Specifications (by ScubaPro)

  • Shock-proof rubber protection on the end of the light head
  • Double O-ring seals
  • Diamond-shaped knurling (metal indentations) on both handle and light head for a firm grip
  • Over-pressure valve releases battery off-gassing
  • Twist on/twist off activation
  • Lumens: 220
  • Burn time: 6 hours
  • Lamp type: LED
  • Depth rating: 394 feet/120 meters
  • Materials: gunmetal aluminum
  • Battery type: CR123 (not included)
  • Weight: .15 pounds, .068 kg
  • Strobe mode: yes

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ScubaPro Nova 720R Wide Dive Light

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The Nova 720R Wide Dive Light is a compact rechargeable model with an 80-degree beam powerful enough to be suitable as the primary light for night diving.

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Specifications (from ScubaPro):

  • Shock-proof rubber protection on the end of the light head
  • Interchangeable light head
  • Double O-ring seals
  • Diamond-shaped knurling (metal indentations) on both handle and light head
  • Twist on/twist off activation
  • Over-pressure valve releases battery off-gassing
  • Battery type: 18650 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (not included)
  • Burn time: 2.5 hours
  • Lumens: 720
  • Lamp type: LED
  • Depth rating: 1,000 feet, 300 meters
  • Materials: gunmetal aluminum
  • Weight: 0.45 lb/0.204 kg
  • Strobe mode: no

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Ikelite Gamma II Waterproof Flashlight

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The Gamma ll is an extremely lightweight, durable, high-performance ergonomically designed spotlight that fits easily into any pocket.

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Specifications (from Ikelite):

  • Material: aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Double 0-ring seal
  • Heavy-duty mechanical tail switch
  • No-slip grip
  • Depth rating: 400 feet/120 meters
  • 350 lumen concentrated 10° beam
  • Color temperature 6500K
  • Run time: 10 hours
  • Batteries: 2 CR123 batteries (not included)
  • Dimensions 5.6 x 1.4 in (142 x 36 mm)
  • Weight: 4 oz (113 g)
  • Comes with a wrist lanyard

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Underwater Kinetics SL4 eLED L1 Dive Light

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This is a compact, durable, versatile spotlight suitable for underwater use as well as industrial, fire, or other utility purposes.

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Specifications (from Underwater Kinetics):

  • Dimensions: (L W H in/cm): 6.20 x 1.70 x 2.50 in / 15.75 x 4.32 x 6.35 cm
  • Battery Type: 4C Alkaline / LR14 Disposable
  • Lamp Type: eLED
  • Lumens: 400
  • Burn Time: 10 hr
  • Weight: 15.2 oz / 426 g
  • Depth Rating: 500 ft / 152 m
  • Single-handed switching with thumb or index finger
  • Durable LED will not break when dropped and lasts thousands of hours
  • Controlled output for constant brightness during battery life
  • Rubber bezel
  • Non-corroding ABS and polycarbonate plastic construction

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Underwater Kinetics Light Cannon eLed (L1) Rechargeable

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An extremely bright underwater light, it can combine three LEDs into one powerful 2100 lumens beam that lights up the whole reef on a night dive and is great for a wide-angle view inside a wreck or cave.

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Specifications (from Underwater Kinetics):

  • Battery Type: NiMH rechargeable airline safe battery pack — acceptable to airlines for checked or carry-on baggage
  • Lamp Type: eLED
  • Lumens: 2,100 (high) / 900 (low)
  • Burn Time: 16 hours (high) / 20 hours (low)
  • Weight: 36.00 oz / 1.02 kg
  • Depth Rating: 500 feet/150 meters
  • Waterproof to 500 ft / 150 m
  • Triple high intensity LED array
  • The patented cooling system keeps LEDs from overheating
  • Can be used with a pistol grip, lantern grip, or a video arm
  • Lanyard Included

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SeaLife Sea Dragon Mini 900S Power Kit

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The Sea Dragon Mini 900 Power Kit includes this compact, powerful diving spotlight with 5 light modes and a USB recharger.

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Specifications (from Sealife):

  • Anodized aluminum head and rubber armored polycarbonate body
  • One button operation
  • Five light modes — full power — 900 lumens, half power — 450 lumens, quarter power — 225 lumens, blinking — one second at full power or emergency SOS signal
  • Safety pressure release valve
  • Depth tested to 330 feet/100 meters
  • Rechargeable 18650 Li-Battery
  • 18650 USB Battery Charger
  • 900 lumen LED
  • 14° beam angle (10.5° underwater)
  • Lanyard with BCD Clip (Included with light)

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SeaLife SL671 Sea Dragon 2500 UW Photo/Video Dive Light Kit

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The Sea Dragon 2500, an ultra-wide beam light, is designed to accompany cameras like the SeaLife Micro HD, 2.0, or GoPro series. It uses modern LED technology which closely simulates natural light and color. A Flex-Connect Single Tray, Grip, and fitted case are included with the light.

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Specifications (from SeaLife):

  • 2500 lumen LED light using the latest COB LED array technology
  • One button control — one button to power light on/off and select brightness
  • Three brightness levels: 100%, 50%, and 25%
  • Hidden emergency signal mode: 1-second blink interval and SOS Morse code
  • 60 minute burn time at full power and constant brightness
  • Depth rated to 200 feet/60 meters
  • Easy to expand with Flex-Connect™ trays, grips and Flex Arms, handle, Y-S, ball joint, cold shoe, and other accessories
  • Quick-release button to detach light and aim in crevices and hard to reach areas
  • 120° wide beam angle evenly illuminates the subject with no hot spots (90° underwater)
  • Corrosion-proof metal light head for heat dispersion and durability
  • Removable 25W Li-Ion battery w/ charger and international plug adapters included
  • Waterproof battery compartment
  • The universal mounting screw fits SeaLife and other brands of underwater cameras w/ standard ¼-20 tripod mount

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For information on cameras which the SL671 supports, click here:

What do you need to do to maintain your underwater light?

  • After every dive rinse it thoroughly with fresh water like all your diving equipment. Saltwater is corrosive.
  • Check the battery contacts and use a pencil eraser to clean them, if necessary.
  • Familiarize yourself with rechargeable battery maintenance and follow prescribed procedures.
  • Thoroughly inspect 0-rings for any deformities and replace them if they show any weakness, nicks, or other imperfections.
  • Between dive trips store your light in a dry, cool place out of the sun and remove the batteries.