Scuba diving torches and dive lights are a key piece of scuba equipment that every diver should have as part of the dive equipment arsenal. The deeper you dive, the darker it gets, as less of the sun’s natural light manages to break the surface. Eventually you’ll get to a point where you are in complete darkness, unless you’ve got your trust scuba diving torch with you that is.

Dive torches are also great for exploring caves and searching for sea life that may be hidden in little crevices. Dive lights also come in handy when you need to check your compass or another unilluminated piece of important equipment.

Underwater torches can also be used to communicate between buddies and get there attention while exploring the ocean’s depths.

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The Basics

  • Lumens – It’s a measurement used to calculate the total light output for a diving torch. The higher the Lumens (lm) the more light is emitted. To compare; a 100watt light bulb emits about 1750 Lumens.
  • Angle of Light Beam – Depending on the angle of the beam determines how narrow or wide the light output is. The more narrow the light beam the more concentrated the light output is in one spot (great for concentrating in one particular area) compared with the same Lumen output at a wide angle beam which spreads the light output to a wider distance (ideal for lighting up a larger area).
  • Battery Life – It goes without saying that the battery life of your torch is important. Obviously if you are down for 1 hour, you want your torch to be operating at full capacity for the whole duration.
  • Weight – Whatever the reason you are using your dive torch it’s important to consider the weight. If you are looking to attach your new dive light to an underwater housing unit  then it wouldn’t be ideal to use a torch which weighs a lot as this could make it difficult while transporting your gear or navigating under the water.

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How will you use the scuba diving torch?

This is an important question to ask yourself as this will dictate what type of dive torch you need to look for. If you are just wanting a underwater torch to check out what’s hidden in the reef during the day then a smaller and narrow angled beam torch would be ideal.

If you are looking at a scuba torch for night dive then firstly for safety reasons it’s worth investing in a primary and secondary dive light; if your primary torch fails you can use your secondary as a backup. A wide angled beam would better suit night dives as this will light up more of an area rather than concentrating on one particular spot as the narrow angle beam.

Perhaps you will be using your torch purely for photography and video.

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Handle type

There are two main types of handles; the ‘Pistol grip’ handle, as its name suggests is held more like you would a pistol and the ‘Lantern grip’ handle. It will be down to your personal preference but keep in mind depending on the dive and how long you will be holding onto the light could depend what handle you choose.

Top Tip: There are handy accessories in the market where you can keep your hands free for other things such as checking your air, depth or holding your SMB. Underwater head torches, hand mounted scuba torches and even straps which hold the torch to your arm.

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Burn time

This is how long your dive torch will stay lit for before the battery runs out. Many diving torches these days now have different Lumen settings which will help increase or decrease the burn time of a torch. For example; a diving light which has a total Lumen output of 1500lm at 5 hours burn time then by turning down the amount of light output for example 750 Lumens the burn time will increase.

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Depth

How deep you will be going with your torch is also an important factor when choosing your dive light. All types of dive torches, lights and strobes will have a maximum depth which you should keep in mind.

Top tip: It’s worth purchasing a torch that can handle at least 100m in depth this way you can guarantee wherever your diving career or hobby takes you, your torch will be able to handle any depth within 100 meters.

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