As I prepared for my first-night dive with my Scuba instructor, I was on the outlook for a dive light. I could have borrowed one from my dive instructor but also wanted to get my own one to be more familiar with my gear. This is the advantage of owning your own dive gear, you get familiar with it and know how it handles and how to handle it. As with so many other things, there is no upper limit on how much you can spend on a dive flashlight. There are well-known and trusted brands out there, which cost multiple hundred dollars.
As it was my first night dive and I wasn’t sure how much I would like it, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I might never use again. Unlikely, but you never know. Also while night diving, you are always should bring a backup light. My backup was a light I borrowed from my instructor.
On my search for an affordable light, I ended up, as so many others, on Amazon.com. There are so many choices but one stuck out. The Volador DF 60.
Volador DF 60 Dive Light
So when I browsed the list of search results on Amazon, the headline of this light definitely stuck out. The Volador DF 60 is supposed to be a 6000-lumen dive light.
6000 lumen are very bright. An HID car headlight puts out about 3000 Lumen. The numbers on advertisement and product descriptions always show high numbers but are they actually reasonable?
To be honest, I can’t tell you if the light has a real 6000-lumen output. But I can honestly tell you, the light is bright. Very bright. It has 4 levels of brightness which can be adjusted by a rotary switch just behind the head of the light. This rotary switch turns very easily. In my opinion a little bit too easy. If you bump it slightly the light can already turn on. This might even happen in your bag when you transport your light to the dive site.
You also have to be aware that the flashlight creates a high amount of heat, especially on its highest level. Therefore, the manufacturer doesn’t recommend you to use the flashlight outside the water. It is basically a water-cooled flashlight. 😉
Don’t worry, it won’t burst up in flames. You can use it outside of the water even on the highest level, but only for a short amount of time. I never had the highest level on for more than one minute. If the flashlight gets turned on and left on outside of the water for an extended amount of time, it could get eventually damaged, start a fire, or damage stuff, like your gear bag in which you store the light.
Be aware, before you turn the light on for the first time, you have to remove the small isolation strip which is in your battery compartment between the battery and the compartment cap.
As mentioned, I bought the Volador DF 60 dive light on Amazon. There might be other stores selling it as well. The light set me back $89.99. A fair price for what you get and well competitive with other brands.
It seems the light is now available under a different brand name called Willcrew. It looks 100% identical to the Volador. Why the name change, I don’t know. Both “brands” are still made in China by a company with a similar name.
- Body made out of high-grade aluminum alloy, military grade oxidation and anti-wear treatment, thermoelectric isolation copper substrate-quickly derives the heat generated by the LED
- Six XP-L2 LED bulbs give you maximum output of 6000 lumen at a color temperature of 5350K – 5700K.
- 50.000 hours LED lifespan (according to manufacturer)
- Rated for depth of up to 150 m / 492 ft (IPX8 rated)
- Two rechargeable 26650 Batteries power the flashlight
- Double O-Ring at the battery cap
- Rotary switch to activate 4 different lighting power modes
- Dimension: 57 mm head diameter, 36 mm tube diameter, 198 mm long
- Weight: 332 g without batteries
I am sure you wonder about the battery life of such a high powered light. Here are the official numbers from the manufacturer in the different modes.
- Low: 15 hours
- Medium: 5 hours
- High: 3.5 hours
- Super: 2 hours
Now my experience with battery life. I did an hour-long night dive with not even charging the batteries. The light had just arrived in time in time before we headed out for the dive. Therefore, I didn’t had a chance to charge the batteries. It made it through, the just over one-hour-long, dive and I used it mainly on the modes High and Super. I will do further testing to see how well the batteries hold up. Also remember, the older the batteries get, the worse their battery life gets.
- Volador DF 60 flashlight body
- 2x 26650 batteries
- 2x Batterie adapter tube, for smaller batteries to be used in the flashlight
- 2x spare O-rings for the sealed cap
- Dual Battery Charger with a USB cable. However no actual wall-outlet adapter. You have to use the one from your phone or a spare one.
- adjustable hand strap
- Quick Start User Manual
Pros & Cons
- Very bright diving light
- Well sized flashlight (personal opinion)
- Durable materials and built
- Affordable price for pretty much everyone
- For some, the light could feel heavy
- The cap for the battery compartment could have another hole for better customization
- Batteries charge very slowly
Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tips if you purchase one of these lights to make your experience better. I added a swivel bolt snap to the flashlight to be able to clip it to any of the D-rings on my BCD. This makes it very easy to take the light into the water and back out. You have your hands free during the giant stride or when you roll off from the side of a boat. I used a small line to attach the bolt snap to the hole in the cap of the battery compartment. I like to attach my bolt snaps with a small line instead of a metal ring or other hard-to-cut materials. If my light ever gets snagged on something, I can cut it off with my dive knife at any time.
Because there is only one hole in the battery compartment cap, I attached the hand strap to the bolt snap. After I am in the water, I can unclip the light from my BCD and I use the hand strap to secure the light around my wrist. If I have to, I can leave it dangling from my wrist if I have to use my hand otherwise.
Safe the small insulation piece, which comes mounted between your batteries and your battery cap to avoid accidental switching on-off the light. I use this piece if I store the light for a few days in my dive bag to avoid accidental turning on of the light.
After every dive, you should rinse off the dive light. Especially after diving in saltwater. It also helps wash out smaller particles that could get into the rotary switch. Therefore don’t drop the light into the sand to avoid sand getting into the rotary switch and eventually messing it up.
Before every dive make sure the cap is sealed, secured, and tight to avoid accidental loosening of the cap. Infest in some O-ring lube to keep your O-Rings lubricated which expands the lifetime tremendously. Also, check the O-rings every time you open the battery compartment.
I have now done multiple dives with my light. Mostly on night dives but I also took it out on a regular dive during the day to be able to shine some light on coral reef ledges and cracks. Overall it’s a great piece of gear and I am happy to have it in my dive bag. There might be better hand-held dive lights out there, but that’s the only one I have tried so far myself during multiple dives. It is definitely bright and works great for night dives. The only thing I noticed, but it was only on land while shining the light on a wall, is that the light is not evenly distributed in the beam. You also can’t focus the beam. It’s not an issue for a regular dive light. If you look, however, for an underwater movie light I wouldn’t recommend this light.
I don’t think it actually puts out 6000 lumens of light. I think this is a theoretical number the light could achieve under the best conditions in a lab. I don’t have the necessary equipment to measure it. Nowadays it’s all about marketing and how has the better numbers. However, I can’t complain about the brightness of the light but I also don’t have much to compare it with.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.