How to Select a Dive Light
Learn which Dive Light is right for your diving situation
Choosing the right dive light can greatly enhance your dive experience and is crucial for your safety.
Our lights allow you to view and photograph brightly colored plants and animals in their full vibrancy while also offering you the utmost reliability for a safe dive.
Types of Dive Lights
It is important to consider your dive needs and environmental factors when selecting your light. We’ve outlined the different styles and functions to help you choose the right light:
Primary Dive Lights
Our Primary Dive Lights include the C4, C8, AquaSun, Light Cannon, and D8. These range from the smallest, the C4, to the largest, the D8.
Primary dive lights can be used for daytime or nighttime dives. They are typically larger, with wide beams, come in pistol grip or lantern grip and both Xenon and eLED® versions. Some divers prefer a smaller, more lightweight primary light like the C4 for daytime dives because there is more natural illumination available.
Secondary or Back-up Dive Lights
Our Secondary Dive Lights include the Super Q® eLED® Rechargeable, Mini Q40, SL3, SL4, and the SL6. These range from the smallest, the Super Q, to the largest, the SL6.
The main purpose of a secondary, or back-up, dive light is to protect the diver during a nighttime dive in the event the primary dive light fails. Secondary dive lights are typically more compact, lightweight, and feature a narrower beam.
Secondary dive lights are smaller, so they easily fit into a BC pocket and are also ideal for exploring under ledges or the cracks and crevices of a reef. We design our secondary dive lights incredibly compact; the Super Q® eLED® Rechargeable and Mini Q40 are virtually unnoticed in your BC pocket. The SL3 and SL4 are a little bigger but will also fit in your BC pocket. Most of these compact secondary dive lights also come in rechargeable versions.
Additionally, our Mini Q40 has a mask attachment strap which provides hands-free lighting for viewing gauges, camera controls and marine life up close.
Featured Dive Lights - New and Improved
Our new and improved Light Cannon eLED and the SL4 eLED not only feature the latest in LED technology but have more efficient and compact designs offering divers superior performance with higher lumen counts and longer burn times.
The new Light Cannon eLED’s lumen output nearly doubles the older version with over 820 lumens, while also increasing burn time by an impressive 4 hours. Additionally, the new Light Cannon eLED comes equipped with UK's pioneering “lumen booster” technology which removes more heat from the LED, increasing both lumen output and burn time.
The new SL4 eLED boasts over 400 lumens, tripling the output of its predecessor, yet is still rated to 500 feet, emitting a narrow penetrating beam for scanning ledges and switches easily with the thumb or index finger. And with its compact size, lighter weight and longer burn time, the SL4 eLED is perfect for back-up as a secondary light, for personal safety, or for the traveling diver. Learn more about both these lights in our latest blog article.
Disposable versus Rechargeable Dive LightsMany frequent divers prefer Rechargeable Dive Lights, which typically cost a little more initially, but ultimately save money on batteries and are more environmentally-friendly. Rechargeable batteries can provide more power and are necessary for any light that produces over 10 watts. However, since rechargeable batteries go bad over time, occasional divers storing their lights for long periods between uses should use disposable batteries which they install before going diving.
Xenon versus LED and HID Dive Lights
Many of our primary dive lights and secondary dive lights are available in Xenon (Incandescent) and LED (Light Emitting Diode) versions. Currently, we do not have HID (High Intensity Discharge) version dive lights available.
Dive lights using Xenon are generally less expensive, but typically do not provide the brightness of an LED or HID and tend to use batteries more quickly. The chief advantage of Xenon is its vibrant color rendering. Xenon lamps give warm natural colors versus the bluish colors of LED and HID which are similar to a fluorescent light.
The principal features of LED and HID are their unmatched brightness, longevity, and energy efficiency. The incredible intensity and high color temperature of HID lighting which caused a major upwelling of excitement in underwater lighting is being surpassed by next generation LED lighting. The fragile glass HID lamp has been replaced by rock solid LED semiconductor construction. LEDs offers higher efficiencies as well as improved life and ruggedness over HID. Best of all the increased luminous efficiency of LED has more than doubled the brightness.
Divers are advised to carry at least two lights when diving at night: a primary dive light to illuminate your dive and a secondary dive light, or back-up dive light, in the event your primary dive light fails. It is also advantageous to use a mark light like our 2AAA Dive Beacon—a small light attached to your tank valve or snorkel that helps a diving partner to locate you.
Underwater Dive Light Paks
Save money while also enjoying a perfect dive with one of UK’s Dive Paks--collections of some of the world's best selling dive lights, knives, and accessories. We’ve expertly created each collection to provide all the equipment you need for great diving in one convenient package. Which one best suits your needs?Fathom Pak ProPak Sea Turtle Pak
Consider your diving activity and situation
DaytimeEverything begins to look gray at 30 feet underwater, even during the day. Many divers prefer at least a compact secondary light that is easy to carry, but also powerful enough to illuminate the dazzling colors underwater.
NighttimeNight divers are advised to have both a primary and secondary dive light. For maximum visibility in nighttime waters, select a light with a wide, bright beam that will penetrate the darkness.
Low VisibilityLike fog lights on cars, lights used in low visibility conditions need to be both powerful and without peripheral light that can bounce back in the diver’s eyes and impair vision. UK Dive Lights with our proprietary CPO Technology are the best for low visibility like murky waters.
Under LedgesFor searching under ledges, an effective light must be small enough to place in cramped areas and emit a narrow penetrating beam to illuminate the farthest corners.
VideoWithout use of a light, your underwater subjects lack color and are only illuminated by surface light. Select a light with beam that is wide and even to successfully illuminate your subjects.
Lights designed for video may be creatively used for modeling and special effects. Spotting lights must be small and have a narrow, but intense, beam. The Super Q® eLED® Rechargeable is ideal for this use.