Scuba Dive Light – A Review – Kraken Dive Lights

Looking for a Brilliant Scuba Dive Light

Have you ever wanted a Scuba dive light that made you think of the lights from a lighthouse?

I have???

As anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing about lights. I mean a real thing. I have been through so many lights and am always searching for the perfect light. What I have now may not be the perfect lights, but between the Krakens I have and the Lightmonkey (wet mateable E/O connector)  with a 21 watt LED and a 21 watt HID (more on these in another post), they are close.

What’s perfect?

So what makes the perfect Scuba dive light? That’s hard to say, it’s like saying what’s the perfect spouse? It’s in the eye of the beholder, but I can list a few of the features that I believe the perfect Scuba dive light should have

  • Easy to handle with a comfortable grip
  • As close to neutral underwater
  • The correct wavelength/color
  • Last a long time (at least 2 dives)
  • Bright – I joke that when I energize the light I want it to sound like a light saber ?
  • Not just bright but penetration power – be able to punch through the particulate in the water
  • Variable focus – to be able to go from narrow beam to wide, to get into the corner of the room in a wreck or to light the whole room.
  • Powered by disposable or preferably rechargeables and easily found batteries.
  • Good storage when not using them. Do you want to hold the Scuba dive light in your hand for the whole dive? Do you want the light to change your dive profile when stored? Can you store it while swimming?

The Kraken* lineup I have/had:

Scuba Dive light NR-650
Lumens: 650 (18650 lithium) 350 (3xAAA)
Beam Angle: 10 Degrees
Burn Time: 120 minutes (18650) 90 minutes (3xAAA)

I bought this one at the same time as I bought the NR-1000. Mostly I wanted a light that I could use either the 18650 or AAA batteries. How cool is that? I also wanted a backup, but it turned out I never really used it for diving, because the NR-1000 performed flawlessly, but keep it in my truck because it is bullet proof and works great. and with a choice of batteries, I never am without it.

Scuba Dive light NR-1000
Lumens: 800
Beam Angle: 15 Degrees
Burn Time: 90 minutes

This is the second one I bought from the company, the first one had a completely different name (can’t remember it though) and after a lot of hard abuse years, using it frequently, the place where the male anode of the battery touched the head, rubbed the contact patch off. This one and the ones below seem to have a different design and I’ve had no problems with then after hundreds of dives. I tend to replace the battery after every dive. Better to have a freshly charged battery in then to have out go out on a dive. With the batteries being rechargeable it is nothing to swap them and put the used one on the charger. I keep this one as a backup or maybe a backup to the backup???. I like the Kraken NR-1000 so much that I convinced my previous shop to become a distributor ??? and they’ve sold a bunch of them.

Scuba Dive light NR-1200
Lumens: 1200
Beam Angle: 10 Degrees
Burn Time: 90 minutes
Modes: 100%/50%/25%/SOS/Strobe

If I remember correctly, I bought this one a couple of years after the NR-1000. Why? Not because the 1000 wasn’t working out well but the new one is brighter and I was in Canada and Dan uttered those famous (or infamous) words: “I got something to show you” ??? However, I hemmed and hawed so much that he sold it before I could make up my mind.  So when I got back stateside I asked my previous shop to order it and I’d pick it up the next visit North. This one has become my ‘go to’ light (unless I needed the Lightmonkey). I took this one out to a night dive at Stonington awhile back and it was incredible. Luckily you can dial down the brightness and even at 50%, we attracted so many silversides the baby squids joined us for a feast. At 100% it was a beacon, so that everyone diving with me could see where I was.

Scuba Dive lightThe new ones come with a really cool 18650 battery that can be charged directly. No need for a charger,  although I have one that charges 2 at a time with a gauge to see how much is put in. Yes, I am a nerd.



General impression of the lights:

  • Quality construction – I have had no issues with any of the lights above and I tend to be hard on equipment.
  • The switches are robust and have been used extensively. When I was diving in Stonington I used the light on almost every dive. They are great for poking in holes to see the critters.
  • The beams are pretty tight with not a lot of wasted light.
  • As dive lights go they are in low to mid price range, but with the quality I’ve seen they are well worth the price.
  • Nice power available indicator around the power switch

* I grabbed the specs from their website on 30 July 18

Not Owned (Maybe)

Scuba Dive light NR-700
Lumens: 700
Beam Angle: 15 Degrees
Burn Time: 120 minutes

It is pretty sad that I can’t remember if I have this one, it is in their inventory, but I don’t think I’ve bought it. Although if I needed another one for a gift or something, I’d probably pick this excellent Scuba dive light up.

Scuba Dive lightYears ago I bought a non-dive light that came with a great little canvass holster that would fit on a 2″ web belt. This happens to be the size of the strapping on my BC so I tried it with my first Kraken and it fit well. Now the 1200, because of the larger head has to fit in back end first. The only drawback with this is it prevents me from putting a clip on it, like I had on the 1000. Not a big issue.

One of my dive buddies even has his in a soft Goodman holder for the hand. I just use the lanyard and a double ender I keep on a shoulder clip.

Bottom Line

Would I buy the light again? The simple answer is yes. As always, I look forward to seeing the newest, not only from them, but all the companies and will continue to try out all brands of lights.

Where to get them

Where else but at your Local Dive Shop. If you are near Groton, Connecticut then it would be Seaview Scuba and if you are In the St. Lawrence area then it would be Dive Tech.

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