A dive light is a basic piece of scuba equipment but the best underwater flashlight has a strobe. You can use a strobe for scuba diving at night, underwater photography and also for signaling during emergencies.
Having a strobe light on your underwater flashlight is a very versatile and useful piece of dive gear as long as you do the proper dive light maintenance.
Reasons Why You Need a Strobe on Your Underwater Flashlight
There are many different types of dive lights available on the market, each with a range of different features and uses. Many scuba divers like to carry two lights with them, just in case one fails.
Whether you are looking to scuba dive at night, in caves, or even just use a dive light for looking for marine life, having a strobe dive light is a scuba accessory that every diver should carry as a safety precaution.
In the following post, you’ll learn why a strobe dive light is important and also about the different uses of having a strobe on your underwater flashlight.
Strobe Dive Light for Signaling & Marking
A strobe is a safety requirement for night diving but it can also be used for emergency situations during daytime diving. There are different kinds of strobes for this purpose.
Drifting too far off or losing your dive buddy can happen at any time. This is why a strobe is recommended for both diving during the day and night.
Having a strobe with you lets you signal your position. Strobes give intermittent flashes which quickly draws the eye making you easier to spot, even during the daytime. A flashing light is noticeable even when you are at the surface on a bright day or in a colorful underwater space.
Night divers also use a strobe for marking the exit point. The flashing light is easy to spot in the dark so it serves well as a guide. Usually, the strobe flashlight is attached to the dive boat or secured at the spot where you should surface.
Another safety benefit of strobe flashlights is that the flashing does not require any energy from you. You only need to turn on the strobe to get noticed. This is especially fortunate when you are adrift and don’t know how far away you are from help.
Why You Need a Strobe for Night Diving
When you are taking a night diving course, the dive instructor will tell you that you need to carry at least two dive lights. One dive light is the main light source while the second is a backup dive light.
The primary dive light is likely brighter than the backup dive light which unfortunately also means that its battery does not last as long. This is why the second dive light is usually less bright to preserve as much battery life, as possible.
But have you thought about the battery life of a strobe? The intermittent flashing of a strobe is actually the light switching on and off again.
With a good quality strobe flashlight, the flashing allows for the battery to last almost twice as long because it is actually only one for half the time.
So, if you are concerned about having enough battery life during a night dive, a dive light with a strobe is a good bet for a light source with long battery life.
Underwater Photography Using a Strobe
Do you enjoy underwater photography? Then use a strobe to elevate the lighting in your photos and videos. Look at a dive light strobe as an underwater fill light. It clears up the background and gives you better visibility of the subject.
A strobe is especially important for photography and videography on night dives. A regular dive light is not bright enough for clear images. Also, the strobe gives you another light angle which makes a lot of difference in how the fish and coral is illuminated.
Unlike an underwater strobe for diving safety, a strobe for underwater photography should be as powerful as possible.
Meaning, the strobe should be as bright as possible, and with a quick recycle rate. This gives you the clearest images and the most shooting opportunities.
Does a Strobe Dive Light Need More Maintenance?
There is little difference in taking care of a dive light with a strobe and without strobe. In fact, dive lights overall are easy to maintain. The main maintenance steps is checking the batteries and o-rings and rinsing and drying the dive light after each dive.
Greasing or replacing the o-rings is the only maintenance step that may take you a few minutes. So, whether you are a night diver, underwater photographer or want to take extra safety precautions during dives, having a strobe on your dive light is always a good idea. Visibility is one of the most important things for divers.