Lykter til nattdykking - en guide

Guide to diving lights for freediving

In this article, we talk about basic concepts such as lumen, kelvin and range, and we guide you through our lantern range by category so that it will be easier for you to find the right lantern for your use.

Are you looking for a lantern for traditional diving? See this one here.

Please watch this video presentation before reading the article:

About properties and standards

The lanterns in our range come from the quality manufacturer Orcatorch. The properties of these lanterns are measured according to the international standard FL-1, which means that lanterns of different types and from different manufacturers are comparable. These are the most important terms:

LUMEN: The amount of light we can perceive. The higher the lumen, the stronger the light.

KELVIN: Temperature of the light from warm to cold, 5000K is neutral white light, higher kelvin (e.g. 6500K) is cooler. For underwater photography and film, the light should not be too cold and some video lights also have red light to compensate for the red color eventually disappearing.

RANGE: Stated in meters and is measured on land. The range under water will never match the range on land.

BURNING TIME: How long the lantern lights up with fully charged batteries and with the batteries specified, here there is a slight difference between ordinary alkaline batteries and rechargeable batteries (Litium-Ion / Li-Ion). Please note that the burning time is shorter than stated when diving in cold Nordic water, as they are measured at 20°.

IMPACT TOLERANCE: How high a lantern can fall against a hard surface before it is no longer functional.

DEPTH RATING: How deep a lantern can be submerged before water ingress occurs.

CRI (colour rendering index): Quality of color rendering measured in video light. CRI 100 corresponds to daylight and the closer you get to this, the better the color reproduction.

CHARGING RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES: All Orcatorch rechargeable batteries are based on Lithium technology. These batteries have an internal network where electrons are sent between an anode and a cathode, and if the batteries are discharged, a coating is formed on the inside which gives less space for electrons and thus a poorer charging capacity. Because of this, these batteries should never be completely discharged, even during periods when they are not used they must be maintenance charged. The batteries have overcharge protection.

HEAT DEVELOPMENT: Diving lights generate heat and the water acts as a cooling bag. Therefore, do not use diving lights on land. The exception is small mask lights.

Underwater photo: Aleksander Nordahl,

With underwater lights you can be in the water all year round. The lanterns come in many sizes and they can be attached to the harpoon, on the wrist, in the mask (own type of lantern) and carried in the hand. The manufacturers usually state how far a lantern shines on land, but this is not directly transferable to underwater because visibility conditions can vary greatly. We can still give you some basic guidelines about which lights are suitable for what.

If you are looking for diving lights for TRADITIONAL DIVING, you can read about this in this article .

Bending lights

Visibility is extremely important, and when diving at dusk and in the dark it is a good idea to illuminate the marker buoy or raft with a marker light. The buoy light is important both for fellow divers and boats. You can e.g. use Orcatorch SD-01 mini flasher or Orbilock outdoor Dual marker light .

Also small diving lights of less than 1000 lumens can be used to mark the buoy or the raft (lights above 1000 lumens develop too much heat for this use). Put them in a small waterproof bag and attach it to the raft or put them under the padding on the buoy. The advantage of this method is that it is easier to calculate the distance to the surface when diving and the light becomes very visible. The mask torch Orcatorch D560 is excellent for this use.

Mask lantern

A mask lantern is a small lantern that is attached with a special attachment . This lights up your hands when you thread the harpoon, secure the catch, put the crabs in the net, etc. It is also handy when you are standing on land and preparing the equipment. The mask torch is not suitable as a primary light source with the exception of snorkelling along rocky cliffs in search of crabs etc. The Orcatorch D560 is our recommendation for this use.

If you are going to take children on a night dive, the D560 can be a nice little mask light they can use to explore life in the spring. This is attached with a mask attachment .

Primary light

A primary light for freediving and underwater hunting should light up an area large enough for orientation, capture the movements of a potential prey and make it possible to aim properly. Medium-sized lanterns from approx. 900 lumens and upwards can be the main light source for freediving, although we recommend more powerful lanterns, and when hunting, some choose to have a light source on the wrist plus a light source on the harpoon so that it is easier to aim.

Narrow beam (5-15°) gives increased range downwards, wider beam gives better overview of 0-5m. Light is reflected in the particles in the water, so if visibility is poor it is an advantage that the light is not too strong. Some lanterns have several settings so that you can adjust the strength of the light according to the conditions. If you only have one torch for freediving and underwater hunting , the Orcatorch D550 is a very good alternative. This can also function as a primary light to begin with, and later become a secondary light when you spend more time in the sea and want to invest in a larger light.

Product recommendations

The lights below are listed according to lumen strength and characteristics, from affordable to top model. The Orcatorch D580 is a budget model with 530 lumens that is not powerful enough to be a primary light, but if you are on a budget and need a light for crab lighting or snorkeling along rocky cliffs, this could be an alternative. The other models are from 1000 lumens upwards, where the D520 (1000 lumens) and D700 (1700 lumens) have a fixed strength, while the D550 (1000 lumens), D530 (1300 lumens) and D710 (3000 lumens) have several light modes. All mentioned lanterns have a clear spot light with a weaker spread around the spot light.

Powerful primary lights

Here you get lanterns that illuminate larger areas. If you dive a lot and want to put a little extra money into the equipment, these are recommended. A powerful primary light offers advantages such as lighting up a much larger area and making it possible to spot fish and crabs from a greater distance. If you want to experience night diving in its entirety and are not going to hunt, it is worth having a powerful lantern.

Powerful flashlights are rarely used for night hunting because you need to have your hands free to handle the harpoon or other hunting equipment, but a good hunting method is to alternate between one freediver lighting the hunting area with a powerful flashlight while the other hunts with a focused spot - light on the harpoon.

Product recommendations

The Orcatorch D710 is the smallest of the torches, but with 3000 lumens, a narrow focused beam and 4 light settings, it's a good buy. The D511 has 2200 lumens and only one setting, but burns for over 3 hours* (in comparison, the D710 burns for 3h and 40min* with 800 lumens). The D850 has 2,500 lumens, where it burns for a full 3h 30min* at full power. This has a better range than the other models. The D860 has 4200 lumens and has a slightly wider spot (10°) than the other models. All the lights have several light modes with the exception of the D511 .

* Burning time according to FL-1 standard, in cold Nordic water the burning time is shorter.

Cannister lanterns

Some freedivers use cannister lights (lights with an external battery pack). The battery pack is then attached to the lead vest. Do not attach such a lantern to the belt if you use a wrist attachment as you must be able to drop the lead belt if necessary. The lantern can be attached to the vest with the duvet. The advantage of cannister lanterns is that they have a large battery capacity, and these lanterns can also be used for hunting.

On a general basis, cannister lights are relatively little used for freediving and underwater hunting.

Product recommendations

In our range you will find the cannister lanterns D630 with a whopping 4000 lumens and three settings, and the lantern D620 with 2700 lumens and three settings.

Video lights

When filming underwater, you need a lantern where the beam is spread so that the light is distributed completely evenly (i.e. no spot light). In Orcatorch's product range, this type of lantern has a "V" at the end of the product name, and the lanterns are available in various sizes. They usually have neutral white light, and some models have red light and UV light in addition. The further down you dive, the more of the red light disappears.

Generally speaking, video lights have a spread of 120° and upwards, and from 1,000 to over 10,0000 lumens. Certain video lights can be used at 0-3m depth IF there is good visibility. The large video lights are only used to illuminate larger objects from a short distance, e.g. a diver/freediver or a shipwreck and these are not intended as primary lights for diving and freediving. Filming can be done with a GoPro camera etc. Small video lights are usually better suited, the D530V is perfect for this.

If a more powerful light rig is to be used, a video stand is often used. The large video lights are often equipped with a bracket that can be connected to a video tripod. There are separate mounts if you want to connect a smaller lantern to a video tripod.

Product recommendations

As mentioned , the Orcatorch D530V is an excellent GoPro light with 1200 lumens and two settings. For this use, you often do not need a more powerful light. The D910V is a more powerful light of 5000 lumens and with a solid wide angle, and is perfect for underwater photography and video. The D900V is a professional video light of 2200 lumens, with warm white, red and blue light (UV) as well as an 8 ° cold white spot light. The D950V is a monster of a video light with a whopping 10,500 lumens, this light is not suitable as a normal primary light for diving or freediving.

Accessories for diving lights

A lantern can be attached to the mask with a mask attachment, to the hand with a wrist attachment, or to the harpoon with a harpoon attachment. At regular intervals, it may be a good idea to lubricate the O-rings with silicone grease. Here is a selection of accessories you may need.

See our selection of accessories here.

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