Dive Lights - Choices & Suggestions

51 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

MRTdiver
MRTdiver's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/04/2012 - 19:19
Posts: 274
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Dive Lights - Choices & Suggestions

Here I will give a perspective on both Primary and Backup dive lights.  To help out other divers I only want to share economical scuba lights.  So I tried to list inexpensive but well made lights. 

I am a technical diver.  I’ve dove in Germany, Israel, west & east coast of America, etc. and prefer cave diving.   Cave divers usually carry 3 lights, one canister light and two backups, while some individual may carry more backups.  

When diving inside a spring (i.e. a cave) at a quarter of a mile penetration and in pure darkness I do not WISH that my lights work, they MUST work - come on and stay on - otherwise my life could be in jeopardy.   I understand that most divers reading this will be recreational divers, but this hopefully explains why I’m going to say the things I do.

Bennett Springs, MO 

Preferences...

Simple UI (User Interface):  Multiple modes and flashing strobe is not ideal.  The idea that more modes is better is not optimal.  Instead the principle of KISS (keep it simple stupid) is most practical.   So a simple twist of the head to turn ON is preferred or magnetic twist switch.  

With one mode - ON/Off.  Or two modes:  Hi/Medium.    The idea is that in pure darkness I can access my light and quickly turn it on.  I can also grab my dive buddy’s light and do the same.

 

Design:  The light must be robust & dependable.  It should always turn on when you want it to.   That is why many prefer LED emitters rather than HID.   

To prevent water intrusion - the less openings the better.  If the light can unscrew from the front bezel, mid-section, and rear part than there are more chances of a possible leak occurring.  

And part of reliability lies with user Care & Maintenance.  The most important things you can do before diving are…   

1.  Verify battery voltage with your digital multi-meter (DMM)            see >>>

Some chargers display the voltage while charging cells (cf. TN MCC-4, Xtar VP2).

These are for rechargeable cells such as Li-ion: 18650, 26650 (buy: mtnElectronics)

2.  Regularly grease the o-rings with silicone grease (non-petroleum based) or equivalent grease - Often people that neglect this regular maintenance wonder why their dive lights flood.  Surprised

The backup light should also have a Rear Attachment Point for tying on bolt snaps with cave line (aka nylon line).  see how to tie one at bottom of post.

Stainless Steel Bolt Snap ◄ Bolt Snap (DGX)            rear attachment point on dive light◄ rear attachment point

 

Beam Pattern:   Should have an intense hotspot with generous spill.   A tight hotspot will do two things.  (1) You can cut through the muck and see further, and (2) also signal your buddies (cf. video, vid).   The side spill allows you to see the big picture and not run into things while swimming. 

bright Hotspot with Spill

     nice beam profile    Exception:  Video/Camera lighting.  For these applications you simply want a flood - a flood of light with no hotspot.  Usually this means considerable lumens.  And flood lights also work well in crystal clear water.  However, where the water is not very clear (i.e. murky) these aren't very effective.

Video Light examples:  OrcaTorch D500V, Brinyte DIV08V, DRIS Impact, DIV05V, Wolfbeam, Hi-max X-8


Brightness & Burn Time:   Usually the primary light /canister light is the brightest and has the longest run time.  Backups don't have to be bright, their primary importance is to come on when you need them. 

Because we don't like lights going out during the dive, all lights are tested to determine the duration of its run time.  The burn time must last the duration of the dive and then some.  This ensures that your light will stay on even if you get lost.

 

Canister Lights:  These primary lights are usually expensive ($200+) and used to be big & bulky.  Plus that umbilical cord can be a nuisance. I was sometimes irritated with the cord and thought there must be another way.   However they come with a large battery that should support generous run times (3+ hours).  some budget examples HERE

A concentrated beam is preferred for exploration diving. (e.g. 6-8° hotspot with spill).  Some HID canister lights have a focusable beam.  Then the light can be used both for penetrating thick muck or illuminating a large area like a wreck.  Focusable beams are great, except HID bulbs are not as durable and long lasting as LED emitters.

 

*Non Umbilical Primary Lights:  Recently with efficient emitters & high capacity cells (Li-ion batteries) we’ve entered an era where we don’t need a canister light for advanced technical dives.  In some cases lumen output and burn time is sufficient.  Here’s setups that can do that…

> OrcaTorch D500Selfbuilt review w/YouTube vid.). (Buy: LP, Ali, Ali, BladeHQ, KC).  See also D510 (LP, DD).

> Brinyte DIV08:  excellent anodization. multiple modes. (buy: DX, DX Australia, Ali, Ali, eBay).  

> Stubby Impact from DRIS:  runs on single 26650 Li-ion, and the light head can be swapped out for either a Video head (here) or regular beam head (here).   DRIS is noted for their excellent customer service (TP, SB).

 

These can be mounted on Goodman handle (DGE).  This mount has a curved bed where the light can rest.  I tightly wrap the light in bungee cord to secure it.

dive light on Goodman  Goodman Handles           Goodman handle

A Goodman handle will allow the light to be placed on top of our hand, freeing it for several tasks.  You can quickly switch hands with the handle.   See DGX metal handmount.

There is also a Goodman Glove which does the same thing (see BigBlue LP, DS; other brands - DS, *DRIS models here, here)  But you cannot readily transfer the light from hand-to-hand as with the Goodman handle.

Some recommended back-up lights. (I prefer smaller, more compact back-ups)...

> ~$37 - Brinyte DIV05 (Ali, eBay, DX, Amzn, DGX):  1-mode (Hi), single 18650, compact, simple interface, bright, robust.  See my review here

>  See Securitylng's line of dive lights.  And Brinyte's LINE & sister company - OrcaTorch.

>  XTAR D06 (buy: TIS)
 

Wear:  Two backup lights are attached to each of the two chest D-rings, one light per side. Each is tucked away to reduce drag by an elastic band strap, usually a Snoopy loop.  A Snoopy loop is strip of bicycle inner tube.  This puts them beneath a diver's shoulders, where they are completely accessible but out of the way.

Divers can always reach these lights and turn them on without unclipping them from their D-rings. Must still allow for easy one-hand removal.  Turning on a back-up light before unclipping is very important, since divers have inadvertently dropped their backup light while attempting to retrieve it.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xsbDylHOPKQ/TqLkW6k5afI/AAAAAAAAAzw/NZzLu1dRvz0/s1600/gear-backup-stowed.jpg      On shoulder strap

How To: attaching a bolt snap to back-up light.  Tie bolt snap to light or hose (DIR article).    NO zip ties – eventually they get brittle, just twist and they break.   

We tie bolt snaps to dive lights so that in the event the bolt snap doesn't operate (is stuck) you can cut the line and remove the light from your harness.

 

I've been continually doing minor corrections & adding new dive lights.  ADDED:  OrcaTorch D500, Stubby Impact,

REMOVED:  UF WF-3430 & Aleto Dive Light:  eBay seller (aletocn) - I only recommend this seller because I bought other ones and they had weak output (less bright) - and a different UI.  Edit: not recommending anymore...  switch components may rust in saltwater   

& There are several good reviews in the Diving Lights section.

נֵר־לְרַגְלִ֥י דְבָרֶ֑ךָ וְ֝אֹ֗ור לִנְתִיבָתִֽי   (Psa 119:105)   

Edited by: MRTdiver on 09/07/2014 - 09:49
MRTdiver
MRTdiver's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/04/2012 - 19:19
Posts: 274
Location: Fayetteville, NC

Novae MC-E (link) vs. Aleto XM-L 26650.   Camera settings 1/25, F 2.8, ISO 50:

Bedroom shot

 Camera settings 1/25, F 2.8, ISO 50:  Towards Garage Door

Garage Door shot

 These Camera settings changed a bit... 1/4, F 2.8, ISO 50:   Toward backyard Fence

Backyard shot

 

 

נֵר־לְרַגְלִ֥י דְבָרֶ֑ךָ וְ֝אֹ֗ור לִנְתִיבָתִֽי   (Psa 119:105)   

Ratpie
Ratpie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 11/22/2011 - 06:11
Posts: 32
Location: Norway

The ebay light you posted seems like a decent traveling-light.
(Other than the modes (might be mod-able) and many unscrew points).
How is the spot on this on? Good enough for communication?

I use one of these for traveling setups: http://dx.com/p/diving-cree-ssc-p7-c-sxo-3-mode-900-lumen-led-flashlight...
Has really served me well, but it’s getting quite old now.

MRTdiver
MRTdiver's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/04/2012 - 19:19
Posts: 274
Location: Fayetteville, NC

Ratpie wrote:
The ebay light you posted seems like a decent traveling-light. (Other than the modes (might be mod-able) and many unscrew points). How is the spot on this on? Good enough for communication?

I'm trying to recommend what I consider the best, but economical too.  This is BLF after all. Tongue Out  These are powerful lights.  The hotspot is intense.  Do you know the 4/7s Maelstrom X10?   Well the beam is like that.  It beats a Hollis 16W canister light (Link)

I editted post 1 with beam shots vs. the ugly light.  See post 1.

Ratpie wrote:
I use one of these for traveling setups: http://dx.com/p/diving-cree-ssc-p7-c-sxo-3-mode-900-lumen-led-flashlight... Has really served me well, but it's getting quite old now.

Yeah I have two of these "ugly lights" (that's what ppl call them), but MC-E LED versions.  One I modded with an XM-L, which produced only a very slight upgrade from the MC-E, since I didn't change the drive current.

I had one of them cut the latex wrist seal on my drysuit.  It didn't make me happy.  Since then I've sanded down the front bezels.  No one should have to deal with a dive light with sharp crenelated bezels Frown  Except for Him.

Novae MC-E vs. Aleto XM-L with single 26650 Li-ion See post 1 for comparisons

נֵר־לְרַגְלִ֥י דְבָרֶ֑ךָ וְ֝אֹ֗ור לִנְתִיבָתִֽי   (Psa 119:105)   

Ratpie
Ratpie's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 11/22/2011 - 06:11
Posts: 32
Location: Norway

Looks pretty neat, thanks for reference picture with the “ugly” light.
Size looks better for goodman handle than the one I use for traveling. (I’ve a similar setup as yours for this one)
4 hour burn time is also quite good, heck, it’s about the same I get for my 35W HID with its gigantic 3 kg canister.

Looking forward to beam shots.

nowell
nowell's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 8 months ago
Joined: 07/13/2012 - 06:00
Posts: 18
Location: FRANCE

Hello
For the new ALETO 2013 (Diving FlashLight)
All rings are dead original (except sometimes the door)

Stretch them and you will see!

A change of office before taking the plunge
attention in changing those of the body/head interface not lose the ball.

Tape the switch towards the head with adhesive canvas.

attention en changeant ceux de la jonction corps/tête de ne pas perdre la bille.
Scotchez le contacteur vers la tête avec toile adhésive.

“Sinon la bille et les joints toriques sont ici :

Otherwise the ball and o-ring jonits are here:
“:www.aesm.tk
page : “Kit LED 2013”

nowell
nowell's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 8 months ago
Joined: 07/13/2012 - 06:00
Posts: 18
Location: FRANCE

O-rings quality and security KIT for ALETO or EDI-T.
Here on the ebay US

Number : 251242093927
“O-ring quality KIT for ALETO or EDI-T. Diving Flashlight CREE XML XM-L T6 LED

The rings of these lamps (excellent also) are almost all out of service of origin (or lack)
(Cracked, split and flattened)
Stretch them and see
Don’t risk a fatal water inlet.
Systematically change the o-rings before diving with this lamp
Glass window o-ring is generally good.
But check the about same and especially the negative presence of metal shavings

beachnik
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 04/21/2013 - 14:53
Posts: 4
Location: Manhattan Beach

@MRTdiver – great review! It’s been some time since you did the original write up. You probably have had a chance to use the UltraFire WF-3430 a little more. For others reading this, I’ll add some comments about that light.

  • Some have said that this light is made by Yelz – who knows. Mine is marked with the name ‘GoRead’ – that certainly isn’t a light maker. So, there could be some difference between the drop in module that the OP received and the one included with my light.
  • The light head on my light is different than that of the OP. Mine has an outer sleeve/shell that is either metal or metalized plastic – identical in appearance to those sold under the ‘POP-Lite’ brand name (I think those were LED Lenser knockoffs – POP Lite called their light the ‘POP Lite F2’ Cree Q5 – 4AA).
  • I bought my ‘GoRead’ T6 on ebay for $16.90 – delivered!
  • I’ve taken mine on several dives – no leaks, no problems. I didn’t check the depth, but probably around 80 feet.
  • The biggest drawback – like the OP said – it’s difficult to rotate the light head and turn the thing on. Mine does have Buna o-rings and plenty of silicone lubricant – it’s still difficult. If you put this in a light glove (or use the velcro wrist strap) – before you can get the light to twist ‘on’ – you’ll be rotating the entire light in the glove. So, for a day dive, the light / glove become a hassle. For a night dive, the light / glove are OK – just turn it on once and leave it on (it will burn for over an hour on a freshly charged 18650)
  • Color temperature is ever so slightly ‘cool’, but I’d say this flashlight is the closest thing to 5,000 Kelvin that I’ve bought (I’m not comparing it to color corrected video or strobe lights)

This puppy is fantastic! If it just had a simple pivoting magnetic switch, it would be the last light I’d buy. Speaking of which…

  • I’ve seen two Chinese sites offering a light which appears to be the original ‘POP Lite F2’ with a T6 LED. It only seemed to be offered in production quantities (which makes me think they haven’t even made one yet – they might just be on a fishing expedition).

Incidentally, my needs are different than those of the OP…

  • I’m an OW recreational diver.
  • I only dive in clear warm water
  • I’m mostly using my lights on day dives to light up shadow areas / features. (But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a great lightweight light that would travel well and function as both a day light and night light!)
  • Since I’m mostly using these for day dives, I like a light with a pivoting magnetic switch – put the light in a goodman glove and then you can turn it on and off with one hand. That’s the way my POP-Lite F2 works, but it doesn’t compare to this T6.
Rufusbduck
Rufusbduck's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/04/2012 - 15:34
Posts: 10389
Location: Golden state

For years I’ve used a Hubblelite(clone of Pelican xenon saberlite)3C that has been through a number of changes in drivers and emitters but has always been a reliable host(never flooded in 15 years) probably due to the single opening and regular cleaning and relubing w/silicon grease. Great advice and info in OP.

Also always stored the light without the o-ring installed(kept in separate plastic bag with spares.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

offroad
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/05/2010 - 08:52
Posts: 60
Location: USA

I was unhappy with the dive lights my wife and I used on our last vacation, and a search for something better turned up this thread.

I ordered one of the 26650 XM-L T6 lights MRTdiver detailed from a US fleabay seller here.
It shipped fast, came with a 18650 sleeve but no lanyard, quality is very good for the price and the four modes are well spaced.
I don’t currently have 26650’s to test with but with a fully charged 18650, my light draws 2.6a on high.

It has a tight and bright hotspot and also very nice spill, these should work much better on our next trip.
I will order another one and probably perform the mod detailed in this thread to get better thermal transfer.

Thanks to MRTdiver for posting his experience and links, anyone looking for a small bright XM-L dive light should give this one a look.

Slewflash
Slewflash's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 5 days ago
Joined: 07/05/2012 - 08:43
Posts: 1977
Location: Australia, Melbourne

A bit expensive, but maybe the XTAR D35? XTAR also sells a flashlight handle for the D35.
It’s a dive light with quite a bit of throw and output and is ridiculously big, but weight shouldn’t be much of a concern if you’re using it underwater.

Slewflash 

CarpentryHero
CarpentryHero's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 06/06/2012 - 14:31
Posts: 1530
Location: Edmonton Alberta Canada

I think UnderWater Kintetics is one of the sturdier dive lights I’ve heard of
http://www.uwkinetics.com/market/dive

Xtar make some pretty cool dive lights with variable dimmers but I’m not sure they’d hold up like a UK would.
Pelican, if they made a dive light would be good too.

http://www.brightguy.com/find/quick_search0=Dive%20light

I’d suggest leaning towards a 4aa 100 lumen light, it’ll have a tight beam and 6-8 hours of useable runtime. I use Pelican and Streamlight 4aa lights on my hardhat. There durable, trustworthy, great warranty and single mode. My Streamlight still outputs 80 lumens at the 6 hour mark.

I’m glad I’m not the only flashlight collector out there, I was beginning to think I was strange.
My name is Kendall and I’m a Flashaholic from western Canada

offroad
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/05/2010 - 08:52
Posts: 60
Location: USA

Forgot to mention the 26650 light I linked to only costs $23 shipped and are small enough to fit in a BC pocket.
If you already have 18650 batteries and a charger its a very inexpensive way to go for a bright light.

At 2.6a on high it should give about an hour of run time from a 2600mah 18650 and much more on the lower modes.
With Trustfire flame 26650 cells which have about 4200mah, I would expect about 90-100 minutes on high.
Also, these lights are brighter on the second to lowest mode than the 8x AA lights we were using.

flydiver
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2013 - 19:16
Posts: 1308
Location: Seattle, WA

I don’t know if the UltraFire WF-3430 all come out of the same manufacturer or there are a bunch of them. I’ve gotten 2 @ $10 like this 1200 Lumen CREE XM-L T6 LED Waterproof Diving Flashlight which seems to be the same as the Yelz mentioned above.

They are put together with 2 halves apparently based on a seam presence. There is an obvious small ridge running down the threads and under the O-ring area. The bezel that screws on also has small ridges in the part that mates with the O-rings. These may weep under pressure and get worse as the O-ring ages.
In addition the first one had an obvious chunk out of the plastic under the top O-ring, a glaring defect. There was a kind of unevenness just off to the side of this flashing ridge. I spent the better part of a half hour cleaning this up as best possible with 1000 and then 2000 grit sandpaper. #1 survived an empty test dive to 140 feet. On the next working dive it functioned fine but had a few micro drops inside that would have been easy to overlook in an empty case. The outer silver part of the head came off when I tried to unscrew it. I epoxied it back on and it’s holding. I retired this light from diving as not trustworthy in the long run. This would not make a reliable backup unless you overhauled and checked it each dive as water would accumulate and destroy the electrics after awhile.

Number 2 is similar except does not have the gouge under the top O-ring. It still has ridges where glued together in the head and O-ring area along with some manufacturing anomalies under the O-ring area. It needs magnification to see, but it’s there. Water under pressure will find any flaw. Problem areas have been sanded down as before as well as possible. The 2nd one came with 1 extra ‘base/bottom’ square O-ring added in this model. This could provide additional protection. This new one has not been dive tested yet but appears more promising.

For not much more money and apparently a MUCH better light is this 1200 Lumen 12W Cree XM-L T6 LED 100m Diving Flashlight Torch for $20. It has a tighter spot with a smoother spill is made better, and will take a 26650 Lion. With a fresh battery it’s almost up to the standard of my $400 canister light.

There is more discussion on this light, including a breakdown (possible problems with thermal transfer), here: New cheap 26650 diving light at DX

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

offroad
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/05/2010 - 08:52
Posts: 60
Location: USA

Yes, the 26650 light is the same I gave my thoughts on earlier today.

I also provided a link to the thread with the mod for thermal improvement, that thread and this one is what made me decide to try one.
The thermal path improvements detailed by the OP in the DX thread would no doubt help, but I believe the OP of this thread has been cave diving with these lights as is without issues.
The advantages the 26650 light has over the plastic XM-L diving lights seem to be: they are much less likely to leak (properly maintained), additional lower modes for longer run times if needed and additional battery capacity if 26650 cells are used.

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4814
Location: USA

Hi MRTdiver! I love talking about SCUBA. Sometimes I wish I were born a fish. :bigsmile: I dont think many people realize how important the reliability of SCUBA equipment is or why redundancy is so important. Its life support equipment. Ive done some penetration and overhead but prefer open water & night dives. I used to have a dive boat in Monterey Bay, CA… so cold water/dry suit/argon/deep was the norm. Im thinking about the Cenotes in Florida next year but heard the ancient waters have been disturbed and vis is down. Not at all what it used to be.

For open water dives, my primary is the Xtar D35. I like it for its size, ruggedness, and ease of use. It has a magnetic rotating mode selection ring (no guess work for the proper mode), 3 x XM-L and uses 3 × 18650’s in parallel (safer than serial cell configurations, especially in salt water). The reflectors are deep for great throw, with a moderately tight hotspot to penetrate clear waters. It also puts out a great spill beam. IMO, the quality is top-notch and comparable to larger Olight & Fenix flashlights. Comparing high mode to high mode, it actually puts out slightly more lumens in my light box than a BTU Shocker (241k vs 227k). I measured current at 8.5A in high mode, so the emitters are well driven. I usually run mine in medium or low mode.


I got my D35 (along with an S1) from Mike over at http://www.e2fieldgear.com His kit includes the optional handle, light with case, lanyard and o-rings. Great US based seller, fast shipping and was there to answer all of my questions.

I also carry a pricey modified DiveRite 125w HID canister (and 2-3 other lights). It lights up the world and allows me to take most of the lead out of my BC. Wink

offroad
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/05/2010 - 08:52
Posts: 60
Location: USA
FlashPilot wrote:
Im thinking about the Cenotes in Florida next year but heard the ancient waters have been disturbed and vis is down. Not at all what it used to be.

The Cenotes are no doubt a facinating place to dive.
The wife and I dove the Cenotes of Tulum MX in 2009, and it was the clearest water I’ve ever seen.
Much clearer than Cozumel which we have dove many times and can reach 200ft vis.

lionheart_2281
lionheart_2281's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2012 - 18:32
Posts: 3131
Location: Brisbane, Australia

I use the Xtar D06 for diving, I like that it just fits in BC pocket until I need it. Output is a bit disappointing though. I wished it pulled more amps, as underwater overheating and thermal lag isn’t a problem.

offroad
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/05/2010 - 08:52
Posts: 60
Location: USA
lionheart_2281 wrote:
I use the Xtar D06 for diving, Output is a bit disappointing though

How many amps does the D06 draw on high?

lionheart_2281
lionheart_2281's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2012 - 18:32
Posts: 3131
Location: Brisbane, Australia
offroad wrote:
lionheart_2281 wrote:
I use the Xtar D06 for diving, Output is a bit disappointing though

How many amps does the D06 draw on high?

When the magnetic switch is set to high, it’s puts out around 800 lumens with a U2 emitter, continuously running it doesn’t even get warm. No idea exactly how many amps it pulls though…

Illuminaria
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 13 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 11:57
Posts: 327
Location: Slidell, La.

Curious, as I have a few old school dive lights. Dacor and Iklite that used plain old primary batteries. The cheap Dacors used to flood regularly but were easy and cheap to rebuild and used a lot in commercial diving.

What happens to these fantastic new 26650 lights if they flood? These batteries die peacefully?

Tia

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4814
Location: USA

IMO, water (and especially salt water) are potential recipes for disaster when mixed with lithium cobalt oxide cells contained within a small sealed metallic housing. While many cheap lithium powered dive lights have flooded without incident, the potential for catastrophic venting is still present. Given the right conditions, an 18650 can make one hell of a ka-boom. Water will also corrode everything: from protection circuits, drivers and everything else metallic in the light. A descent dive light should NEVER leak if inspected and maintained properly. If you cant easily disassemble a dive light to lubricate and maintain orings and seals, it probably shouldn’t be submerged.

lionheart_2281
lionheart_2281's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2012 - 18:32
Posts: 3131
Location: Brisbane, Australia
FlashPilot wrote:
IMO, water (and especially salt water) are potential recipes for disaster when mixed with lithium cobalt oxide cells contained within a small sealed metallic housing. While many cheap lithium powered dive lights have flooded without incident, the potential for catastrophic venting is still present. Given the right conditions, an 18650 can make one hell of a ka-boom. Water will also corrode everything: from protection circuits, drivers and everything else metallic in the light. A descent dive light should NEVER leak if inspected and maintained properly. If you cant easily disassemble a dive light to lubricate and maintain orings and seals, it probably shouldn’t be submerged.

100% agree, which is why I use a quality torch and batteries. Also, any dive lights should have double O-rings, which should be removed, cleaned and re-lubed after every dive.

Yellowhorse
Yellowhorse's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 11/26/2011 - 19:16
Posts: 432
Location: Deepest Darkest West Virginia

Cutting corners on equipment that could cost you your life is dumb beyond words. Reliable lights for cave diving are an absolutely necessity! Anything from SOLA would be a great choice for your primary dive light. They run from $299 up to $1000. Check them out. If money must be saved, save it on the backup lights. Princeton is a good choice ($60 – $200). There are some serious professional dive lights available (the Polarian Abyss comes to mind) but for $2K you could buy 2 or 3 top of the line SOLA models. There are several other top quality dive light manufacturers available. I only mention these three companies because I am familiar with them.

Whatever you get – be safe.

MRTdiver
MRTdiver's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/04/2012 - 19:19
Posts: 274
Location: Fayetteville, NC

I never had any of these dive lights flood on me.  Me and my dive buddies use a lot of Li-ion powered dive lights - actually we ONLY use Li-ion dive lights now.    I don't ever use xxx-fire cells.

Remember in my first post I recommended dive lights with only 1 opening.  So the chances of water leakage is minimized.  And to regularly apply silicone grease to the o-rings - believe me this is where we fail most - in basic dive light care.

 

No need to buy expensive $100+ dive lights.  I've bought them.  Not impressed.  In fact one of my $200+ back-up lights was one that failed from a new Alkaline battery that leaked.  Destroyed the battery carrier inside.

It was about 1 or 2 years ago that I realized this after reading a post from Forrest over on Cave Diver's Forum (CDF) and then buying and using these so-called "cheap Chinese lights"  Smile

If you don't believe me then try some of those I mentioned above.  They're inexpensive as far as dive lights. The Brinyte DIV05 - I think you can run over with your car and it would be fine.  I'm also very interested to see how the X-Beam dive light fairs - it has a magnetic switch - so it's not another opening to the inside.

נֵר־לְרַגְלִ֥י דְבָרֶ֑ךָ וְ֝אֹ֗ור לִנְתִיבָתִֽי   (Psa 119:105)   

Illuminaria
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 13 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 11:57
Posts: 327
Location: Slidell, La.

OK, so never buy cheap lights for cave diving, yes “dumb beyond words”, no? I was fishing for info, trolling to speak 0:)

I was a habitat ET for Taylor Diving based in New Orleans during the 80’s. So, the lights used during that time frame, were all primary based with both plastic and metal housing. In the commercial environment, they all flooded. Today, in a commercial environment, I dive ROV’s to 3k meters. We use 40 led 110vac modular lights. These and just about every 1 atmosphere and oil filled can or cable has flooded on these subs. Point fingers and critique all you want but any equipment in rough daily year round use floods by human error or act of the gods.

By the tone of the posts, most of you would not leave the boat without LiIo lights and that all can still type is a very good sign and a vote of confidence. I would think that, advertising dollars aside, the dive magazines would publish warnings if people were regularly injured with these lights.

Looking at the lights I would feel better if the lights had end caps, secure by 0-ring grooves, that would allow end cap to vent if flooding and gassing were to occur. I have had issues with cans that flood at depth and are under great pressure on the deck. Our halogen lights have glass globes that allow pressure to vent from their sealing O-rings when coming to surface.

cheers

MRTdiver
MRTdiver's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/04/2012 - 19:19
Posts: 274
Location: Fayetteville, NC

yeah Illuminaria, I knew from your first post when you mentioned "commercial" that I couldn't recommend or give advise for that application, that is just wayyy too deep. 

 

Hopefully if I helped in any way I want recreational and technical divers to see that there are some inexpensive alternatives.  Because many, especially tech. divers think that they need to spend $75-$300 for a good backup dive light.   And $400-$2,000 for a quality canister light.  

 

I'm just trying to find an alternative, even if means modding a light.  Like for example the Ultrafire W200, which I have a simple & inexpensive way to mod that light making it more dependable, plus a little GITD.  

stock the W200 is crap - many reports of flickering.  So this is only a light to buy if you intend to mod it.

Are there guys out there that currently own this light and it flickers?   See my mod here.

with GITD (glow-in-the-dark) o-rings added.  Glow lasts about 7 mins.  Whenever the light is turned on the o-rings are re-charged  Smile

 

נֵר־לְרַגְלִ֥י דְבָרֶ֑ךָ וְ֝אֹ֗ור לִנְתִיבָתִֽי   (Psa 119:105)   

flydiver
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2013 - 19:16
Posts: 1308
Location: Seattle, WA

Those are large O-rings. What’s your source? I’ve been looking for some replacements for some of the standard lights. Some of them aren’t made very well with seams and bits hanging off. I even went to an O-ring local store and they had little that would fit properly.

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

FlashPilot
FlashPilot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
Posts: 4814
Location: USA
usermode
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/05/2012 - 09:53
Posts: 36
Location: Poland

Hi,

im looking for a good diving light(under 40$) with magnetic switch without parasitic drain. Does it exist ? ( except those yellow cheap flashlights )

MRTdiver
MRTdiver's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/04/2012 - 19:19
Posts: 274
Location: Fayetteville, NC

usermode wrote:
Hi, im looking for a good diving light(under 40$) with magnetic switch without parasitic drain. Does it exist ? ( except those yellow cheap flashlights )

There's a couple lights with magnetic switches here (see bottom two), but the DIV04 is a little over budget. 

נֵר־לְרַגְלִ֥י דְבָרֶ֑ךָ וְ֝אֹ֗ור לִנְתִיבָתִֽי   (Psa 119:105)   

Pages