Whether you’re a hobbyist diver, an underwater photographer or just an adventurer who wants the brightest, most versatile, most waterproof flashlight possible, we’ve scoured the web, dive forums, and online retailers to find the best of the best for the money when it comes to flashlights built for regular full-submersion in water of all types.
Importance of Having Specialized Waterproof Lights
Underwater flashlights and dive torches help you to see underwater elements and you can dive quite effortlessly. But the problem with it is that ordinary flashlights cannot work under water. The ordinary batteries are sure to get ruined once water gets into them and the bulbs themselves may become corrupted, short circuiting and malfunctioning.
Not only is getting a normal flashlight wet mean it won’t be effective, it could actually be dangerous due to damaged electronic components internally. Naturally, specialized waterproof lights are required in such a scenario.
Underwater flashlights or “dive torches” as they are referred to in the dive community and among frogmen are specially designed with rubber o-rings and sealed internal components so they can be fully submerged for hours at a time and still operate at full brightness.
- BRIGHT LED ILLUMINATION: Adopts Cree LED to emit even, super bright spotlight when diving, fishing, hiking, camping, trekking or emergencies
- SUPER BRIGHT: Powerful XM-L2 LED, 2000 lumens, Neutral White light assists you observe target 100 meter away.
- EASY TO OPERATE: to click the side magnet switch to turn on or cycle through high light. Powered by rechargeable 18650 battery (included in package), recharge again and again.
- Updated CREE XM-L2 Led, super bright and more practical underwater.
- Aluminum Alloy Head and Fluorescence ABS body Design, Waterproof IPX-8, up to underwater 80ft
- 3 Working Modes, two brightness levels, a strobe light.
These bad boys do not turn off once you are under the sea and you can enjoy your ride or perform your duties quite smoothly. No dramas mate!
Practical Uses for Waterproof Flashlights
The underwater flashlights and dive torches have various uses including the following:
Night dives – If you are diving during night, that many an observer or night guards have to do, such a flashlight comes in handy. The seashore during night becomes very dark and you cannot see if there is any hard rock or malicious animals lurking. A flashlight illuminates the area and you can protect yourself.
Getting disoriented or panicking during a night dive or cave dive is a real danger. Read our guide on staying calm while diving to be prepared for the adversity of these unique dive scenarios, even if you have a powerful dive light!
Cave diving – Cave diving is an enjoyable adventure for the adventure enthusiasts. But it’s quite dark inside a cave and the lights around the cave are not enough for the diver. That’s why you better use underwater flashlights and dive torches during such a moment. You can see any steep cliffs with these lights and thereby save yourself from any potential injury.
Security – Security is a crucial concern for the adventure lovers and the coastal guards. Just as a safety valve or life jacket is important during such diving, a flashlight too is important. This will allow you to avoid any potential risk. You can also see the surroundings with a better clarity. If you are professionally a night guard you may have to protect others amidst the dark. So you better invest in a good quality underwater flashlights and dive torches to save others as well as yourself.
Photography – Who says photography is a thing better executed during the morning! Night photography or underwater photography has its charm itself. No matter whether you are an amateur tourist or a professional, these charms are sure to entice you to indulge into clicking such pictures. Now, you cannot click such pictures amidst dark or natural light as the cameras are not yet so efficient to catch such picture quality.
That’s why you better invest in a good quality flashlight to get some quality pictures. Remember, a high quality camera lens that can click pictures even in the dark costs higher than these flashlights. So you can invest in these as these are more cost effective and useful.
Different Types of Dive Torches and Underwater Lanterns Explained
There are various types of underwater flashlights and dive torches in the market. Depending on your requirement you need to purchase the right one. Here are a few of these types.
Professional vs Recreational – Professional underwater flashlights are of high quality. You should use these if you are a professional coast guard, photographer, adventure trainer, or journalist. For these purposes you will have to possess high quality flash lights that have strong power, better light range, and longer battery life. Naturally these have a higher cost.
That’s why you need not purchase it if you are looking for a flashlight for recreational purpose. For instance, if you are a tourist and travelling to a place for an adventure sport like cave diving or underwater snorkelling, you may want to purchase a flashlight for a few days. But once you come back to the regular life, you don’t know how often you will use it.
Also, there’s no point in investing in a professional underwater flashlight for ordinary purposes as these consume higher energy and are not required for everyday life. So you better invest on a cost effective recreational flashlight.
Handheld vs Head-Mounted – There are two types of flashlights in their modes of operation. As is reflected from the name, the handheld flashlight demands you to hold it in your hand while diving. These are more suitable for recreational people or if you are looking for a cost effective flashlight. Because these would demand you to engage your hands and you sure don’t want it while a professional performance.
During such a scenario, you better invest on a head mounted flashlight. Here you can attach the flashlight around your forehead and get the same quality of light and battery life. However, one of the major problems of a head mounted flashlight is that you may face a bit dizzy or feel headache if you are not accustomed with such a head mounted light.
Things to Consider When Shopping
Here are a few things that you should better keep an eye on while purchasing underwater flashlights and dive torches.
Different Form Factors & Grip Styles:
Torch style – This is the most traditional type of underwater flashlight. You can hold it in your hand while diving. Remember these are heavier than the rest. However, if you are accustomed to the traditional torch, you can purchase these ones.
Pistol grip – This is a unique type of design. Here the flashlight is presented in the form of a pistol grip. The light is reflected from the front part of the pistol.
The best part of this type of flashlight is that you can use get a better grip here. You don’t have to hold the entire pistol and can simply balance it with the holding section. This makes the light feel lighter on hand. These are the best suitable for cave diving as you can easily hang it on the hand and dive.
Lantern style – This type of flashlight looks like a lantern. This has a unique design but not ideal for the professionals. These don’t have a good grip.
Canister – Such a design has a canister like shape. This is a perfect choice for the divers.
Different Types of Beams
Beam Angle – Beam angle is a crucial consideration while purchasing a flashlight.
Narrow beam – Here the beam is narrow and illuminates a little range of space. If you are diving in a group, such a beam can be fine as all of you have a flashlight of your own.
Wide beam – This has a wide beam. This enlightens a wider space and is an ideal choice for both the professionals and amateurs. Also, if you are working as an adventure trainer, you can purchase such a flashlight as you will be able to guide your group.
Dual beam – Here the dual mode allows you to change the beam angle from narrow to wide. Naturally, these have a higher price.
Adjustable beam – Here you can adjust the beam according to your choice. That way you don’t have to narrow down or widen the beam and you can adjust the beam in between these two extremes.
360 degree beam – This is a big flashlight used by the professionals that have a 360 degree beam angle. It enlightens a wide surface. Usually these look like the lantern.
Different Battery Types
Some of the battery types used in the underwater flashlights and dive torches include the following: alkaline and lithium ion.
Rechargeable – Keep an eye whether the flashlight is rechargeable. That way you don’t have to change the battery quite often and you can easily recharge it and use it. These are also cost effective.
Removable vs Built in – Bear in mind that if a flashlight comes with a removable battery, you can easily change it. However, a built in battery brings more hassles and you cannot easily remove it.
Bulb type – Here are some bulb type flashlights available in the market:
Most Versatile, Most Highly Reviewed Dive Torches
- 【UPDATED T6 LED BULBS】: Super bright and long service life. a lifespan of up to 60,000 hours or more, no need to consider replacing the bulbs for the whole life.
- 【IPX-8 WATER RESISTANCE RATING】: The diving flashlights is IPX8 waterproof level, Very suitable for beginner divers. If you use it on land, it's more waterproof than most flashlights.
- 【WIDELY USED】: Powerful waterproof performance, lightweight body, wristband design, whether it is scuba diving, climbing, fishing, hiking, trips, night walking can be applied.
You can use it for various purposes like diving works, underwater archaeological work, salvage operations, underwater fishing, diving, swimming, hiking, hunting, caving, sailing, scuba diving, night fishing, camping and so on.
- It has a rechargeable battery so you need not worry about spending bucks on buying new batteries.
- The battery life is appreciable with 4 hours of span.
- It is a waterproof flashlight.
- It comes with a Velcro strap that you may attach on the wrist. That way you can keep your hands free.
- It has a plastic body so you won’t find it too heavy to carry.
- Switching the item on and off can be a messy work. Here you have to twist the end part of the flashlight to your right side while turning it on. If you are accustomed to the regular flashlight, this may give you a tough time initially.
Brightest Compact Torch Style
- BRIGHT LIGHT - Equipped with high quality XM-L2 LED with over 50,000 hours lifespan. The maximum output brightness is up to 1000 lumens, gives you super bright white light underwater.
- WORKING MODES - Magnetic tail switch, 4 working modes: High>Medium>Low>Strobe. Suitable for different situations. Continuous run time up to 1.5 hours.
- SOLID CONSTRUCTION - Made of AL-6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum with military regulations III hard-anodized finish, abrasion and seawater corrosion resistance.
- It has three lighting modes as high, medium and low. So you need not worry about the battery life and light power. You can manually adjust these.
- It is a rechargeable battery so you can reuse the item for long.
- It is equipped with three strong LED bulbs
- You shouldn’t keep it under direct sunlight as it may affect your longevity. SO this is ideal for night diving, but if you have a long day and night adventure plan, you may have to purchase a flashlight separately for using during the day.
- It’s quite compact, which limits the brightness, although it’s pretty bright for most applications.
Best Entry-Level or Recreational Torch
- Bright Torch: Super bright XPL- LED flashlight the maximum output brightness is up to 1000 lumens, Dive Light can be used in maximum 80meters underwater, gives you super bright white light underwater. lifetime >50,000 hours.
- Switch 5 Modes: High / Medium / Low / Strobe / SOS. The diving flashlight has a magnetic induction rotary switch on the neck. It allows you to adjust the brightness according to the underwater environment, Suitable for different...
- Solid Durability: Made of high quality aluminum alloy material with anti-abrasive coating for waterproof, shock proof, free-scratch, 1.5 meters anti-drop capability, make sure dive lights works well in the water and out
GENWISS Entry-Level Torch
- This is made of aluminium alloy. The strong aluminium body makes the diving quite smooth as you need not worry about its breaking.
- It has a vibrant white LED light.
- It has a magnetic control.
- It has a waterproof special sealing design so water cannot get into it easily.
- Though it has a sturdy design, but if you are not an efficient or professional diver, you may find it to be a bit heavy.
- Great all-arounder but there are more powerful options and longer battery life options, for higher price points.
Most Powerful Pistol Grip/Spotlight Torch
- A POWERFUL LIGHT WHEN YOU NEED IT THE MOST. Super-bright 18 Watt LED light with three brightness settings: High (1,000 lumens), Medium (500 lumens) and Low (100 lumens). At 1,000 lumens, it’s significantly brighter than many...
- FINALLY A RECHARGEABLE SPOTLIGHT WITH SERIOUS LASTING POWER - UP TO 20 HOURS. Stop searching for batteries that are never there when you need them. This spotlight is made with a long-lasting, rechargeable 7.4 volt 18,500...
- IMPACT RESISTANT, WATERPROOF, AND DOESN'T SINK. Made from tough, impact resistant ABS and polystyrene to protect the system from drops and bumps while in use. Should you accidentally drop it in water while hiking, camping, sailing...
NoCry Waterproof Spotlight
- It has three brightness settings high medium and low. So you can adjust according to your requirement. That way you may rest assured that the battery life is not draining unnecessarily.
- Its rechargeable battery can last up to 20 hours which is a pretty decent lasting period.
- The polustyrene material helps the system from getting wasted. If you accidentally drop it while sailing, hunting, camping, or hiking, you need not worry as the sturdy material is full proof.
- It has an inbuilt detachable red light filter that doesn’t let the animals get disturbed with your flashlight. It is also light on your eyes.
- It has a good grip.
- It requires more than 4 hours to get fully charged. But given that it runs for the next 20 hours, we cannot really consider it to be a con!
- Not an official dive light, only rated for a depth of 3 ft. A better dedicated spotlight for hardcore divers would be the C8 from Underwater Kinetics.
If you are looking for a super powerful spotlight to use in dry or damp conditions, check out our brightest handheld spotlight roundup too!
Best Beacon or Emergency Light
- [IPX8 WATER RESISTANT] One-Piece Impact Resistant Body, special sealing design, double O-rings, depth tested up to 50meters.
- [SWITCH MODES UNDERWATER] Special design with rotational magnetic switch, so you can switch functions without entering the water. Two modes are available: 1000 lumens strobe mode and 160 lumens flashlight mode.
- [CORROSION RESISTANT] Made of Corrosion resistant resin, the body is ABS and transparent Cover is made of PC, make the product more durable.
TRAFIELD Dive Beacon
- It has a unique design.
- Its sealed design doesn’t let any waterdrop get into it.
- It is corrosion resistant so you can easily use it. This is not a fragile item.
- Its waterproof design, handy strap, and lightweight body made it quite popular among the users.
- It is ideal for snorkelling activities.
- Unlike the earlier examples, this has only two modes: flashlight and strobe. The strobe mode has 1000 lumens while the flash mode has 160 lumens.
- Since this is a beacon the light is quite dispersed and this isn’t a suitable navigational type torch.
Best Scuba Mask-Mounted Option
- Small & Easy to use: OrcaTorch D560 is a mini scuba headlamp, only 92mm length, 47.5g weight. It won't take up the space and weight of your backpack.
- Included MX05 mask clip: you can clip the D560 dive light with ORCATORCH MX05 mask clip on your dive mask or cave helmet, to achieve the liberation of your hands. (The mask clip can rotate 360°)
- Rotary switch: the professional mechanically head twist switch offers high reliability underwater. Screw the light head tightly to turn on the light, unscrew the light head to turn off the light. It's very easy to operate.
ORCATORCH Scuba Mask Light
- It has the fastest range of 130 meters and the maximum intensity of light is up to 3520 cd.
- Its mechanically head rotary switch delivers a highly reliable underwater experience.
- Its alloy aluminium reflector has a professional optical analysis.
- Its reverse polarity protection mode protects it from the improper battery installations.
- Seawater corrosiveness is an enemy to the flashlight. So make it a point to wipe it properly if such water gets into it.
- Because it’s mask-mountable it’s quite small, which limits brightness.
Its high maintenance can be a bit hectic for the common people or adventure amateurs. Nevertheless, this is suitable for the professionals.
Parting Thoughts from the Editor
These insights will help you to pick the right flashlights for your next adventure or professional life. Battery life, type and the design of the flashlight plays a crucial role in delivering a smooth or hectic experience.
Further, we have also mentioned a few products in the respective categories to reduce your workload. All you need is to research about the products all the while keeping an eye on your requirements and you are good to go.
Are you a professional diver? Do you spend more time underwater than above it? Have you already found the right product for you? We are eager to know! Comment below and share the word!
Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API