When you do some research about what pieces of equipment you need to bring on a scuba diving adventure, you’re likely to come across several articles telling you to bring dive lights. If you plan to dive only during the day, however, you may be wondering if there really is a need to bring dive lights with you.
Here’s the thing: As you go deeper underwater, certain wavelengths of lights are gradually lost. This means you lose sight of colors the deeper you go. This significantly diminishes the beauty of the underwater world to the naked eye, regardless of the time of day you go diving. By bringing dive lights with you, you can illuminate the dive site and view the corals and fish in all their brilliantly-colored glory.
If that’s not reason enough to convince you of the usefulness of dive lights as part of your scuba gear, here’s another reason that just might do the trick: Dive sites such as reefs and wrecks typically have small holes and crevices that tend to hide some beautiful but shy sea creatures. With a dive light, you can illuminate these holes and crevices so you can spot these shy creatures and get the opportunity to marvel at their beauty.
Communication is another (and perhaps a more important) reason for you to bring lights when you go scuba diving. The light is often used to signify your presence, as an assurance to your dive buddy that you’re doing okay. Some light signals are also used for active communication, such as signaling an emergency or calling your dive buddy’s attention to something.
If you plan to do some underwater photography or video recording, then dive lights become even more important. As mentioned earlier, much of the color is lost underwater, so your photographs may not be all that interesting unless you can adequately illuminate your subjects. Even when the water is relatively bright, dive lights are still very useful for improving the definition and overall quality of your photos.
These are just some of the reasons why divers consider dive lights an integral part of their scuba diving gear. When you shop for your own set of dive lights, be sure to keep in mind the kind of diving you plan to do. There are different types of lights made specifically for each of the purposes outlined above, and for other purposes as well, such as technical diving.