21. How to choose a dive light?
There are many different dive lights in the market to suit the different needs.
When we browse the specifications of a dive light, we learn a lot about its features. But sometimes we find out the specific model isn't the best choice for our goals. Now we try to help you choosing your next dive light and certainly we write about Spark Lights products' features too.
There isn't a main feature which is more important than the others. But certainly the maximum output is one thing we are interested in. For a recreational diver power isn't as important as some people use to think. We don't think you should choose the brightest available dive light. Anyway, read carefully the detailed description and look for the maximum output- sometimes the name of the specific model can be confusing.
If you are interested in underwater videography or photography, the maximum output does really matter. Inside a wreck when you want to see the whole room the wide and strong beam will be useful too. And in emergency situations a diver has better chances to sign with a brighter light. So there are reasons why you shouldn't choose a small but weak dive light.
Certainly if the output is more, the energy consumption is more too, so the dive light won't work so long without charging or changing the batteries. If you can change the level of the output, you can choose the best light level for a specific dive. Sometimes we prefer the really simple solutions, when there is only one ON/OFF switch, but for a recreational diver the possibility of changing between the different modes and levels is really useful. On the other hand, when you use a multifunctional dive light, you have to learn about its features and how to use them.
It does matter if a dive light is rechargeable or not. The Spark Lights products are rechargeable as we think it's more eco friendly than dumping empty batteries after the dive trips. Using rechargeable batteries can solve this problem and sometimes it's useful if you can change batteries immediately. Everybody knows the charging last longer.
Anyway, when you have a dive light where you can change batteries, you have to open the battery compartment. It means there is a chance of leaking if you are not careful during assembly. Often the owners cause the flooding of the dive lights when they don't take care of O-rings or proper sealing. When you can charge the dive light without opening it you don't need to worry about that- that was the reason why we implemented a special charging system for the Spark Lights products.
The size and weight of the dive light is important too. Nowadays we have to take care of the weight of our baggage when we travel by plane so we prefer lighter dive equipment. Sadly the tiny dive lights aren't too powerful. We tried to design small but quite powerful dive lights which work for many hours when they are fully charged. We chose state of the art materials, LEDs and batteries to ensure this.
Sometimes it's useful to own a dive light with different functions. The underwater photographers use the red light, during night dive it's interesting to use the UV light, the videographers need more power. We know there are different needs so there are different Spark Lights models for different purposes, not only the basic 7F multifunctional dive light. We have to mention the V1 and V2 underwater video lights which have 3600 lumen maximum output.
All of us know the dive lights sometimes fall when the dive boat is moving or they can be hit during wreck or cave dives. It's important to know what kind of materials they are built of. For special purposes the extra durable dive lights with strong metal housings can be useful, but they are quite heavy. If you are a recreational diver, it's better to choose a dive light which is sturdy and durable while they are still small and lightweight.
We have to talk about the support. It is important if there is a guarantee for the product and there is a reliable company which will help you in any case of problems. Even a cheap dive light can be expensive if it became faulty after a few dives and ruin your night or wreck dives. So the price is not the only important feature of a dive light. The value of a specific product matters. When a manufacturer build a reliable, good dive light from quality parts and materials, and offer full support, certainly it will cost more than the cheapest ones.
On the other hand you can get a state of the art dive light which you can use for many years. And a good light can be useful not only under water but in many other situations.