When it comes to buying things, it is a common belief to have an heir and spare. This belief also applies to dive lights, a little scuba diving accessory that actually has loads of uses including illuminating routes, inspecting underwater stuff, and signaling buddies. Underwater torches are excellent at catching your dive buddie’s attention so you two won’t miss out on anything.
Before investing on a dive light of your choice, the first step would be determining your intended purpose. These are the common types of dive light applications:
If you are a recreational diver, you will need a dive light for night diving sessions. This will allow you to freely view marine animals, corals, and other underwater features. Night dives are also more convenient if you can easily locate dive buddies. Lights also act as great communication tools through movements or signals.
Another great benefit of a dive light is color enhancement. With depth, not only light is lost, but also certain color wavelengths. Normally, red is the first color that disappears. Underwater, coral reefs may look dull and plain. But in reality, they are actually shaded with bright colors. If you want to take pictures and see real colors of underwater beauty, you will need the help of artificial lighting such as a dive light.
The main reason why you’re diving is to discover what lies within the deep waters. Wrecks, reefs, and other shadowy dive sites are often hideaways of fearful, nocturnal aquatic creatures. You can choose a dive light to illuminate these areas, which may be holding hidden animals such as fishes, eels, and lobsters.
As you already know, there is less visibility if you do choose to dive during the night. For this reason, you don’t want to get lost or be separated from your diving team in the darkness. This is exactly when you need to bring an identification light. Most of the time, a small LED light affixed to your tank or BCD will suffice. Other lights are also available, along with multiple color options to choose from. You may also use these colors to identify your group members. For example, all members carry a green light as your group identifier.
More often than not, technical divers do deep into darker areas, which recreational divers don’t usually navigate to. Such areas may include dark caves, wrecks, and deep diving spots where light is less likely to pass through or completely absent. These types of sites require having a dive light, so you also navigate with ease. Technical divers, to be sure, should carry more than one dive light – one is primary and the other as backup. This way, you will have plenty of substitutes in case your primary light becomes defective.
Technical divers also use lights for communication purposes. There are two types of communication – one is passive and the other is active. Passive communication confirms presence of the diver within the diving vicinity. Active communication, on the other hand, uses certain movements to indicate signals such as attention, okay, or emergency.
Both photographers and videographers use dive lights for different reasons. Such reasons differ from that of technical or recreational divers.
Cameras capture images through light. However, the wonders of underwater are normally too deep for light to get through. Actually, even shallow waters do not permit production of perfect images. To remedy this, photographers and videographers carry video lights or strobe; helps effectively in getting high definition and good quality photos even when water is too bright.
Night divers, who are also photographers, usually carry video lights or strobe lights to capture hidden wonders of caves, wrecks, deep diving spots, or sites with dark waters. Photography lights may also be added to their list of essentials.
Aside from intended purpose, depth is also an important consideration with regards to dive light purchasing. If you are a deep diver that goes over 100 feet of depth, you will need a light that’s submersible up to your desired depth. Luckily these days, dive lights offered in the market indicate according to up to which depth they can tolerate. Always follow depth guidelines to avoid leaks, malfunction, damage, and other types of defects.
There are loads of battery choices for dive lights. Luckily, there isn’t a wrong option to begin with. Choices include alkaline, lithium ion, nickel cadmium, and others. So whichever your bet is, always make sure that you have spare kept in a waterproof bag. It’s also crucial that you test each battery before diving into the water so as to make sure that they work in action.
If you’re more on eco-friendly choices, rechargeable batteries is the way to go. The only downfall is that they are quite costly and slowly deteriorate after every charge. Regular batteries are cheaper and always fresh from packaging, however they do not break down easily like other biodegradable materials.