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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Best Dive Lights

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Best Dive Lights Posted in: Dive Lights, Scuba Product Guides
Dive lights on a Manta Ray

Dive lights on a manta ray. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Updated April 3, 2013

Different divers have different needs when it comes to dive lights. Wreck divers and cave divers need more powerful, longer lasting lights than the typical recreational diver out on an infrequent night dive. Some divers never even partake of night dives or venture into caves, but still want a handy light for looking into crevasses and under deep ledges. This Top 5 list for dive lights keeps these varying needs in mind, presenting options for everyone while weighing the wants of the many against the specialized needs of the few.

–For a complete list of underwater flashlight reviews, click here

 Top 5 Dive Lights

1. Oceanic Arc LED Dive Light: We had previously named the Oceanic Arc a “Best Buy,” because it represented a good balance between performance and cost. The dive light produces a 300-lumen beam of light, is handy and compact, and costs around $75. There are cheaper dive lights around, just as there are more powerful dive lights as well. However, not too many have this baby’s combination of solid power output and low price tag, making it a good choice for the typical recreational diver.*

2. Light and Motion Sola Dive 1200 Dive Light: Our #2 choice represents the best dive light available for primary use, regardless of cost. The Sola 1200 ain’t cheap, packing a hefty price tag that comes in at close to $700. However, it has great flexibility through its spotlight and floodlight settings, plenty of stamina, and a high power output. The latter is particularly staggering, as the highest spotlight setting cranks 1,200 lumens! Topping it all off, the light unit itself is a little thing, meant to be strapped onto the back of the hand. If you have the resources, it is a great light.*

3. Princeton Tec Miniwave LED: This is a handy, compact, durable pistol-grip style flashlight. At 337 lumens and with a beam that balances coverage with clarity, the Miniwave has just the right power output for the typical night diver, and in a package that is just the right size and can absorb some punishment. It even has a little flexibility in the form of low and high beam settings. The only reason this Princeton Tec light comes in at #3 is because it’s price tag is a little higher than some of the competition, but overall the extra money is worth it.*

4. Moray Diver Communication Torch (DCT): The Moray DCT combines a middling dive light with what is basically a rattle. The result is a two-in-one tool, and when you consider that a noisemaker is especially handy when underwater in the dark, the logic behind that combo becomes plain. The drawback of the Moray DCT is its middling light output, rated at only 175 lumens. A beam like that is merely satisfactory for night diving.*

5. XS Scuba DL5 Dive Light: The DL3 isn’t the least expensive dive light around (the Pelican Nemo comes to mind on that score), but too often that cheaper price comes at the cost of producing a dive light so anemic as to be of minimal use. The DL5, on the other hand, turns out 169 lumens of light, easily sufficient for tunnels and probing crevasses during daylight, albeit not quite enough for adequate illumination on a night dive. The small size and low cost make the light a good choice for a cheapie travel dive light, or a back-up for serious night, wreck and cave divers.

* Held over from 2012’s list