Night Diving: Not As Scary As You Might Think! Here Are Some Tips


Mother Ocean transforms herself once the sun sets. Descending into inky blackness seeing only the things our light beam lands upon is a feeling like none other. A bit spooky, yes, but if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out on a big part of the joys of diving.

What Will You See at Night?

spanish-dancer---night-diveAs the light fades, many marine animals hide in crevices and under ledges, whereas others emerge from their hiding places.

    • Larger animals such as octopi, rays, eels, cuttlefish and sharks prowl the reef and surrounding areas in search of dinner. Some are less spooked at night and you have some great photo ops if you’re into underwater photography.
    • You may see lobsters scuttling across the bottom in search of prey.
    • Smaller creatures such as corals can look very different at night when their polyps open up.
    • Anemones, nudibranchs and the enormous variety of invertebrates come alive when illuminated by just your dive light. The reef teems at night with hundreds of creatures you often miss during the day.
    • Due to bioluminescence, or the ability for organisms to create and emit their own light, your eyes are in for a spectacular show as jellyfish, squid, sea stars, shrimp and phytoplankton parade before you.

You Become a Main Attraction

One of the most thrilling things about night diving is that many creatures are attracted to your light (not usually dangerous ones!). Many colorful fish and squid are attracted to lights and some species such as rays, lionfish and barracuda have learned to hunt with the aid of diver lights.

A Few Night Diving Tips


Dive the site during the day. Familiarize yourself with the layout, currents, and where you enter and exit the water. Shallow wrecks and wall dives can be good options since you’re less likely to get disoriented. You’ll be surprised at how different the same site can look at night!

Dive lights:

Use the correct lights. Often smaller lights are easier to carry and work just as well. Bring an extra light you can stow in a pocket. And last but not least, attach a light or environmentally-safe glow stick to your tank. “Fluo” or diving with fluorescent lights is gaining popularity due to the brilliant, glowing colors invisible to the naked eye. Never shine your light in another diver’s eyes!


Work out communication with your buddy in advance. You won’t be able to see each other well, so you must either use your lights to communicate or shine them on your hands. If you become separated, get upright and circle with your light pointing out (like a lighthouse) and you’ll likely find each other.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie:

Many species such as sea turtles and parrotfish sleep at night, so just as you wouldn’t want some giant shining a huge light in your face as you slumber, give them the same courtesy.

Relax and Take It Slow:

One of beauties of night diving is you can slow down and focus on the amazing small things. Go at dusk, which gives you a chance to gear up while there is still some light, but you’ll experience the magic of the night. Plus this is the “shift change” when some animals hide and others emerge!

It’s natural to feel anxious since we’re very visual creatures and we’re entering a world where our visibility is limited. After the first night dive or two, most divers realize the monsters of the deep they imagined were exactly that — products of their imagination. Overcoming your fears is well worth what you’ll experience in the fascinating world of night diving!

At Scuba Toys, we have a great selection of dive lights and lights for underwater photography and video. Or call 972-820-7667 or swing by our shop in Carrollton, TX.

Have you tried night diving? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section below!


Manta ray image attribution:

Spanish dancer image attribution:

Article Name
Night Diving: Not As Scary As You Might Think! Here Are Some Tips
If you're hesitant to try night diving, you're not alone. However, once most divers try it, they realize night diving opens up a new way to enjoy scuba diving. Follow these tips to overcome your fear.

6 responses to “Night Diving: Not As Scary As You Might Think! Here Are Some Tips”

  1. Zane W. says:

    I enjoy night diving – it’s totally different than day. The first few times I went, I was nervous, but now I can just chillax and take in the amazing sites. My buddy is really into underwater photography and he prefers night.

  2. Rusty Lucken says:

    I could not get my girlfriend to ever go on a night dive with me and finally she went. We saw manta rays, nurse sharks, eels, lobsters in Saba – all on her first trip! She still prefers day diving but she admits that night is pretty cool.

  3. Allan says:

    I wish I could get my wife to go with me at night. I actually prefer a night diver over day and she refuses to try it.

  4. Benzel says:

    There’s definitely something special about night diving. I’ve seen some night diving specialty courses. Allan, perhaps one of those would benefit your wife.

  5. Artur says:

    Night diving is awesome. I try to do it at least 2-3 times per year.

  6. S. Nicodemas says:

    I’m planning my first night dive. My friend is an instructor so I’m pretty confident all will go smoothly.

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