Review: Dorcy Dive III diving light (3*AA/XM-L2)

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Review: Dorcy Dive III diving light (3*AA/XM-L2)


Manufacturer's Link


The new Dorcy 500 Lumen Dive III LED Submersible Dive Light is the latest powerhouse for you diving experience.  This 500 Lumen Dive Light is made of anodized aluminum construction and is anti-corrosion proof via its hardened finish. The Dive Light contains a CREE X-ML that offers state of the art performance. This flashlight provides 6 hours of continuous use on one set of alkaline batteries. The Dive Light is guaranteed to be submersible (IPX8) to a depth of up to 100 meters. On land, the center spot concentrates 80% of the light output while using the remaining 20% to provide a bright area around the center spot to light up a wide viewing area. Underwater more of the light is concentrated into the  beam providing superior performance. The flashlight comes complete with an adjustable nylon wrist lanyard.


Product Specifications
Run Time: 6 Hours
Beam Distance:250 Meters
Bulb Type:Cree X-ML
Batteries:3 AA
Product Material:Anodized Aluminum
Product Dimensions:9" L x 1.25" W 
Dimensions Head:1.55"
Product Weight:.8 lbs
Available Color(s):Black
Switch:Tail Cap Push Button
Additional Features:IPX8 
Retail price (Dorcy Direct)$109 USD


I'll start off by saying that the Dive III surprised me by being a much nicer little light than I expected it to be.  It's a solid bugger and built like a tank.  The output and throw belies the size of the reflector with it's focused hotspot and two stepped spill.  What really impressed me and those that played with it at the CPF camping weekend was the feel of the unusual plunger style switch.  It is a reverse clicky but instead of the usual rubber boot over standard switch it is a stainless rod with a large polished metal cap that can be easily pressed with a gloved hand.  The cool thing about this style switch that the Dive III has is that water pressure does not press on the switch like it does on the usual booted switch.

Another nice thing about this light is that it uses just three AA cells and produces an honest 500 OTF lumens at turn on.  Unfortunately the Dive III does not appear to be regulated and output continues to drop as the cells are drained over time.  The Dive III is a single mode light and couldn't be a more simple light to operate.  Dorcy claims 6 hours of run time and I will  be testing this later on to confirm.  Here are the output numbers I measured in my testing...

Initial turn on:505 OTF lumens
After 30 seconds:459 OTF lumens
Lux @ 3m (after 1 minute)1,158
Lux @ 1m (converted from 3m)10,422 cd
Throw distance to 0.25 lux204.17 meters

Like usual in my reviews, I will add comments to the pics regarding build quality and/or features.  Clicking the photos will open  the image in full size in a new window.

The Dorcy Dive III comes in a full-color corrugated box.

The back of the box has details and information about the light.

Opening the box reveals the light itself sitting inside of a vacuum formed plastic compartment which is covered in a velvet material.  A very nice diving lanyard is preattached to the Dive III.  There is also a manual and a small zip-lock bag containing 2 spare o-rings and a small container of silicone grease.

Here is the manual/pamphlet that comes with the light.

The two spare O-rings and the silicone grease for the tail threads and o-rings.

Here is the Dive III removed from the box.  You can see the formed insert that holds the light in it's box.

The first thing that catches your eye is the exposed finned aluminum heatsink.  It seemed very odd to all of us that Dorcy would expose the internal workings this way by cutting openings in the completely sealed body.  It seems to me that this introduces two more potential points of entry that need to be sealed.  I'm sure that Dorcy has made sure it is sealed on either end of the exposed finned section but diving lights generally do not need to have addtional cooling more than what this light would have had without the exposed fins.

Here is a better peek at the fins.  I tried to disassemble the Dive III to get at the internals but aside from the tail cap, the light is completely sealed and unable to be disassembled further.  Just as well in a dedicated dive light as it reduces the chance of creating potential leak points.

The fins cut into the head itself would have been more than sufficient to transfer heat from the LED into the water or air.  They are nicely spaced and cleanly machined.

Small scallops cut into the widest portion of the head help provide anti-roll for the Dive III when layed down on a flat surface.

Small ribbed areas in front of and behind the flats of the body of the light are the only things providing extra grip.

The anodizing looks like Type II to me andis evenly applied and uniform in thickness.  There are no exposed aluminum in any of the edges or surfaces.  The machining itself is a tad on the rough side.  You can easily see the machining marks on all surfaces of the light.

The laser etching is very beight and clean.  The Dorcy logo is on both opposing flats.

Here you can see the ingenious switch plunger.  It has a really neat feel to it when pressed that was found to be very appealing byeveryone who has handled it.

A look at the thick, sturdy head with its smooth reflector.  At the base of the 28mm  wide reflector you can see the perfectly centered Cree XM-L2 emitter.

Anodizing appears to be Type II and is very smooth and shiny but evenly applied.  Grip is aided with the ribbed sections on either end of the flats on the body.  The very narrowness of the tube makes it pretty easy to grip the light.  The sturdy diving lanyard should keep the light at hands reach should you drop it or it slips.

The tailcap is the only removable part on the Dive III.  I attempted to disassemble the tailcap.  Even though the Delrin insert has two indents that appear to be access points for unthreading it from the switch, I was unable to budge it in either direction.  I had no luck at getting inside to see the internals for the fascinating switch.

Properly sized dual silicon O-rings provide a water and dust proof seal against any ingress to the elements.  Liberal silicone grease is applied to the threads form the factory.  The threads are very nice and operate smoothly.  I have little doubt that the tailcap will resist any water up to the rated depths.

What makes this a unique and handy light for a diver or anyone who needs a sturdy, waterproof light, is that is uses three AA sized cells and still provides 500 lumens.  The Dive III would make a great backup light for any diver.

The main tube appears that it could take an 18650 cell easily if not for the thick, pressed in adapter sleeve designed to accept AA cells.

Here, with the cells removed, you can see the plastic adapter sleeve.

A look down the tube reveals a positive contact bushing that is sprung to absorb minor shock and to accommodate minor differences in cell lengths.

Another look at the XM-L2 emitter.  I can't detect any A/R coating on the lens.

A look at the beam spot shows a nicely concentrated hotspot with a small corona and a two stage spill.  The beam is artifact free and actually very nice.  The concentrated center spot is perfect for underwater use.  In spite of the narrow 28mm reflector the center spot is very tight and well focused.

Here is a look at some of the measurements I took.

Reflector diameter:28.33mm
Head diameter:44.56mm
Body diameter:26.94mm
Battery tube I.D. (no adapter sleeve):22.64mm


The Dive III seems to be a very well built light that as long as it has charged cells, will light every time when you need it.  It is incredibly heavy and sturdy and looks like you could drive a truck over it without harming the light.  It's AA cells are easy to find anywhere in the world and provide good output..  If you are looking for a nice, reliable backup diving light or a great light you can toss in the boat or glove box, you could do a whole lot worse than the Dorcy Dive III.

Thanks for reading!



Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:34