A diving torch is an essential piece of kit for helping you to see, whether on a night dive, or during the day to help you spot critters hiding in holes and crevices. Not only is a diving torch important for safety reasons, ensuring you can spot hazards and keep an eye on your buddies, it also enables you to see your underwater world more vividly - you’ll be able to appreciate the incredible colours and shapes of the marine life around you in the detail that it deserves.
We’ve established that it’s a crucial bit of kit, but the big question is, how do you choose the right dive torch for your requirements?
As a general rule of thumb, most divers will carry what’s known as a primary diving torch and a secondary diving torch. As the name probably hints at, your primary diving torch is the one that you’ll use predominantly for the entire duration of your dive. They are typically higher in power and brighter for deeper uses, have a higher lumen and a longer battery life. A secondary dive light is what you’ll bring as your backup in case for any reason your primary torch stops working. Secondary torches can also be used to focus on the smaller details underwater. They are generally smaller and lighter in weight, with a slightly dimmer beam covering a smaller radius.
When deciding on the best design and spec of diving torches for you, it’s important to ask the following questions:
If you only intend to dive during the day in good light conditions and reasonable visibility then you may only need a small, narrow torch with a fixed narrow beam. Something like the Apeks Luna Mini or Orca D710 is perfect for this. On the other hand, if you’re going to dive at night then you’ll need a powerful wide beam, like the Apeks Luna Advance, that will spread the light around, providing you with a clearer field of vision. For narrow, murky waters where visibility is poor you should use a diving torch with a narrower beam angle, such as the Scubapro Nova 850 R - this will enable you to illuminate specific spots.
Different types of specialist diving will also require their own considerations. For example, a canister style dive light is likely to be most useful for exploring caves and wrecks, whilst underwater photographers will need specialist strobe and video lights.
Another key factor to consider when choosing the right diving torch is depth. For longer dives, you’ll need to ensure that your scuba diving torch has a sufficient and reliable run time. This will be determined by the type of technology that’s used to make the torch. The most popular choice for divers these days is LED. Their high efficiency enables them to burn at full power for hours, and they’re also the most robust and durable choice. HID diving torches are more fragile, however do offer a powerful beam and so have their uses in technical diving.
You may come across Xenon diving torches - these are less expensive however they are also less powerful and have a shorter battery life. That’s why they’re becoming less common and are instead being replaced with more efficient and reliable LED diving torches.
The best way to choose the best diving torch for your requirements is to chat with one of our experienced divers in the Aquanauts team. This will enable us to talk you through our large range of torches, and advise on which models are best suited to your individual needs. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or pop into our Plymouth store to find out more.
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