Dive Lights and Other Night Dive Equipment
If you think diving takes you to places out of this world, try these places at night. When diving, sometimes nighttime is the right time, to see some amazing creatures in action. In fact, in many places you can see a lot more action during the night and for that we need proper dive lights.
We use dive lights underwater for many purposes. Primarily, off course, to be able to see, when night diving, cave diving, wreck diving, when diving in low visibility. Dive lights help showing the true colors of the marine environment, as water absorb some light and colors gradually disappear as we dive deeper and deeper. Being seen is pretty important too, right? Now, how about finding your exit point- a ladder, the dock? And what about a backup plan?
Let’s view the basic dive lights we need for a safe and fun dive:
1. Primary dive lights:
You need to have a strong power and wide beam dive light.
Most recreational dive lights usually have large handles, to make them comfortable to carry.
2. Backup dive lights:
Backup dive lights are mandatory when diving at night or dark environments. These can be significantly smaller, around the same diameter as their C batteries. These can be either clipped to you BCD or left secure in your pockets. You wont see s much due to their small beam diameter, but it’ll do for safety reasons, or for extra few minutes of your dive.
3. Underwater strobes:
When diving off a boat, or a dock, or when navigation around the exit point might be tricky for you, you can always use a small underwater strobe. Clip and secure the strobe at your exit point, make sure it’s not too bright, and lights different colors than primary dive lights to avoid confusion. Some underwater strobes can flick so you know it’s not a diver or some other source of light.
4. Light sticks.
Affordable and don’t take much space, these can aid a bit when diving, as you can place them on you scuba tank or snorkel so your buddy can identify you, or use them instead of a underwater strobe to mark the exit point.
How do I choose dive lights?
1. Make sure it has a durable case. Dive lights get abused quite a lot, packed with some heavy equipment, while diving, on the boat. Make sure it can take it all.
2. O-ring seals. The less the O rings openings, the better – less chances for licks.
3. Switches- would be nice to have a lock switch. As your dealing with other equipment when diving, make sure you feel comfortable switching the light on and off.
4. Clips, wrist lanyards- to be able to free you hands while diving, make sure you can secure your dive light to your BCD, or wrist.
5. Comfortable handles, as you are about to hold it most of the dive.
Disposable butteries generally last longer. They are less expensive per unit, but, and that’s a big but- using disposable batteries frequently we don’t do much for conservation do we? Plus, if you plan to do a few night dives during the year, you make your money back on buying rechargeable ones.
Check how long your rechargeable batteries can last, after being used a few times. If it’s still good for about 40 minutes, please do us all a favor and stick to those.
Dive lights care and Maintenance:
Before the dive:
Check batteries. Visually inspect the O-ring for dirt, cuts sand and others, and then lubricate it carefully with silicone. Make sure that upon assembly, the dive light is fully sealed.
Always rinse dive lights carefully in fresh water. If possible keep them in fresh water for a few minutes.
Dry the dive lights out, only then open it up, and recharge the batteries.
Keep lights in a cool dry place.
Flooded dive lights:
Immediately turn it off. As soon as possible, open and drain, then rinse the interior and exterior with fresh water.
Alcohol might dry it faster, but can damage the O-ring. Remove the O-ring and rinse interior and batteries with alcohol.
Recommended Underwater Dive Lights