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View Full Version : Which Light is better as a primary dive light?



porsche060
09-15-2007, 17:10
UK Q-40 Light
UK SL4
Princeton Tec 3 LED Attitude Light

ScubaToys Larry
09-15-2007, 17:22
Really none... those are all really considered backup lights, but if I had to use one as a primary, I'd say the SL4. For a primary, you would probably look at something more like a UK C8, or a princeton shockwave led.

jbkramer
09-15-2007, 17:24
I'm currently shopping for a light for standard open water night diving but I can't figure out how much light makes a light primary. The primary lights you listed are pretty pricey - is that primary for crazy cave diving or is that honestly what someone needs for night diving?

CompuDude
09-16-2007, 13:20
The SL4 will do as a primary for night diving, but it's definitely on the lower end of the scale. It's quite popular as a loaner at dive resorts. Give it a shot and see if it works for you... go somewhere fairly safe for the first dive, and if you feel you have enough light, you're done, and if not, you have a good backup light. :)

ScubaToys Larry
09-16-2007, 13:25
Excellent suggestion from CompuDude (which I've come to expect!). Starting with an SL4 is ok... and for 20 bucks... hard to go wrong. But the smaller lights like will a smaller lens and be pretty spotty compared to the larger lights. And a light that holds 8 batteries will not just last longer - it will be much brighter. They put the batteries in series in all these lights, so getting the voltage up with a higher wattage bulb means it's going to throw a lot more light, and throw more of it.

So get a SL4 - check it out, and if not enough, toss it in your pocket, then get another as a primary later!

jbkramer
09-16-2007, 15:28
Sold on that as a plan, thank you all very much.

franksrq
09-18-2007, 00:02
this answers my question too. i am getting my advanced cert this weekend and i just want to buy a light that is going to get me through this course. if i like night diving, then i will consider buying a 300$ "light cannon" (that name scares me a little bit)

jo8243
09-18-2007, 10:39
I think a regular 8-cell light is fine. Doesn't have to be LED or HID IMO.

ccarter
09-18-2007, 13:50
I think a regular 8-cell light is fine. Doesn't have to be LED or HID IMO.
I'd pick up a HID or LED if I was buying now.. brighter and the white light looks a lot better (to me).

jo8243
09-18-2007, 13:53
I think a regular 8-cell light is fine. Doesn't have to be LED or HID IMO.
I'd pick up a HID or LED if I was buying now.. brighter and the white light looks a lot better (to me).

Yes, but don't they generally cost a whole lot more? I could hire an army of island locals to swim behind me and hold regular lights for less money.

ccarter
09-18-2007, 14:03
I think a regular 8-cell light is fine. Doesn't have to be LED or HID IMO.
I'd pick up a HID or LED if I was buying now.. brighter and the white light looks a lot better (to me).

Yes, but don't they generally cost a whole lot more? I could hire an army of island locals to swim behind me and hold regular lights for less money.

Here's (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=eLed8) an 8 C LED for $75 probably cheaper than an army of island locals.. especially if you have to pay for their cert course. :smiley20:

jo8243
09-18-2007, 14:05
I think a regular 8-cell light is fine. Doesn't have to be LED or HID IMO.
I'd pick up a HID or LED if I was buying now.. brighter and the white light looks a lot better (to me).

Yes, but don't they generally cost a whole lot more? I could hire an army of island locals to swim behind me and hold regular lights for less money.

Here's (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=eLed8) an 8 C LED for $75 probably cheaper than an army of island locals.. especially if you have to pay for their cert course. :smiley20:

Dangit! I knew I got ripped off by those locals. :smiley36:

kroorda
09-18-2007, 14:18
The brighter light!

greyzen
09-18-2007, 15:32
yeah, I bought my first UK SL4 at my dive shop for 40
bought my second at ST for 20...
man I was pissed.


So now, I have a scuba fund... and when I get the chance I'm going to ST... asking for Joey... handing him my credit card and telling him to spend it.

FlickaDaFin
12-04-2007, 20:03
Got an opportunity to test a lot of equipment this past weekend and lights were part of the tests. At $60, the UK C8 Light worked great for a primary, but hey I'm one of those guys that likes overkill, so I'll be opting for the Underwater Kinetics Sunlight C8 eLED Plus.

I always want to have more than I need, than need more than I have. Besides, acquisition of toys is half the fun, isn't it?

bubbletrubble
12-05-2007, 01:16
I fully endorse the LED lights (UK, Princeton Tec) for 2 reasons other than the "white-ness" of the light:
(1) Generally speaking, you get more usable light hours for a given set of batteries
(2) The LED bulb(s) are more durable and longer lasting than their tungsten counterparts. It's pretty easy to bust a Light Cannon bulb by dropping it...and replacement bulbs aren't cheap!

Grin
12-05-2007, 07:57
I'd try the UK C8 LED. I have a PT Shockwave LED which is basically the equivalent of the UK C8 LED. I don't think it's very bright, but it is OK. I just ordered a Light Cannon a few days ago. There is really nothing in between those two that one might consider, except some halogen stuff etc... I like the switch on the UK much better then the PT also. Basically, I tryed the best reasonable priced LED stuff and the next step is HID. The Light Cannon is the cheapest HID available and should be 3+ times brighter than the LED stuff. But it is delicate, whereas the LEDS are very durable. I have a regular UK D8 with the rechargable 30watt(I think) bulb in it. It is much brighter than the Shockwave LED, but it's twice as big and eats batteries. Maybe the UK C8 LED is a little brighter than the PT Shockwave LED. I'd try it, as it can't be much differnce and can only be brighter. And it has a nicer switch, if it's like a regular D8 switch?

LiteHedded
12-05-2007, 08:05
I think a regular 8-cell light is fine. Doesn't have to be LED or HID IMO.
I'd pick up a HID or LED if I was buying now.. brighter and the white light looks a lot better (to me).

Yes, but don't they generally cost a whole lot more? I could hire an army of island locals to swim behind me and hold regular lights for less money.
but can the locals be trusted??

ScubaJW
12-05-2007, 12:35
My primary light rocks! It's UK 100 cannon, it's pricy but awesome... My dive buddy has a eLED Plus, very nice light as well!

MSilvia
12-05-2007, 12:43
is that primary for crazy cave diving or is that honestly what someone needs for night diving?
Primary lights for "crazy cave diving" run upwards of $1100, and are in a totally different league. They make a UK HID100 look like a glow stick.

bjoseph
12-21-2007, 11:57
Searching for a dive light has been fun if not interesting. I am really surprised that even the smaller lights are designed with a pistol grip type setup. When you are looking into holes or straight down I guess this would be good. However it would seem that for divers who are looking straight ahead, a light with a handle on top of the light would be more ergonomically correct and comfortable.

bjoseph
12-21-2007, 12:18
Has anyone here ever had any experience with the Edge Brightstar HID Underwater Dive Light (Junior Torch)? (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=EdgeBrightstarHIDJuniorTorch )The Junior seems to put out a ton of light in a relatively small package... it's pricey but so is everything else in Diving.

I am looking for a good, high quality, BRIGHT light.

CompuDude
12-21-2007, 12:29
Searching for a dive light has been fun if not interesting. I am really surprised that even the smaller lights are designed with a pistol grip type setup. When you are looking into holes or straight down I guess this would be good. However it would seem that for divers who are looking straight ahead, a light with a handle on top of the light would be more ergonomically correct and comfortable.

The UK Light Canon (and their similarly-size eLED) is available in both the pistol grip and lantern grip configurations.

http://bluewaterhunter.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/media/uk_lightcannon100.jpghttp://www.discountdivers.com/pix/canon100s.jpg

I vastly prefer the pistol grip, and find it very comfortably to hold. Although, since I moved to can lights, my light canon is a backup light only and lives in the bottom of my gear bag. Nothing beats a Goodman handle.

CompuDude
12-21-2007, 12:32
Has anyone here ever had any experience with the Edge Brightstar HID Underwater Dive Light (Junior Torch)? (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=EdgeBrightstarHIDJuniorTorch )The Junior seems to put out a ton of light in a relatively small package... it's pricey but so is everything else in Diving.

I am looking for a good, high quality, BRIGHT light.

I've read of a couple of people who own them, but those suckers are HUGE and somewhat unweildy. Frankly, if you're going to spend that much money, you'd be better off putting it towards a canister light. For $389 or less, it's VERY easy to get a lightly-used 10w HID canister light that is better in every way. I picked up a nice DiveRite 10w can light for travel a few weeks ago for $350.

Damselfish
12-21-2007, 12:35
I think a regular 8-cell light is fine. Doesn't have to be LED or HID IMO.
I'd pick up a HID or LED if I was buying now.. brighter and the white light looks a lot better (to me).

Yes, but don't they generally cost a whole lot more? I could hire an army of island locals to swim behind me and hold regular lights for less money.
An LED may cost more, but if using disposable batteries after awhile you'll spend the difference and more feeding a Xenon or halogen. Also, I've found when I go to get a replacement bulb for any of these anymore, they're really hard to find and/or expensive.

bjoseph
12-21-2007, 12:41
Has anyone here ever had any experience with the Edge Brightstar HID Underwater Dive Light (Junior Torch)? (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=EdgeBrightstarHIDJuniorTorch )The Junior seems to put out a ton of light in a relatively small package... it's pricey but so is everything else in Diving.

I am looking for a good, high quality, BRIGHT light.

I've read of a couple of people who own them, but those suckers are HUGE and somewhat unweildy. Frankly, if you're going to spend that much money, you'd be better off putting it towards a canister light. For $389 or less, it's VERY easy to get a lightly-used 10w HID canister light that is better in every way. I picked up a nice DiveRite 10w can light for travel a few weeks ago for $350.

Which model did you pick up? I have seen these cannister lights before but thought that they would be even more unweildy than a torch. Where do you wear the cannister? I guess I just can't picture hoe the setup would look or feel.

bjoseph
12-21-2007, 12:44
oops... check the spelling in the last post... "hoe" should have read "how".... I don't want to get the same public outrage and public flogging that Don Imus got.... :-)

CompuDude
12-21-2007, 13:10
DiveRite 10w fixed head. Can lights are by no means unweildy. You wear a small canister on your waist belt, and a small, light-weight light hand goes on a mount with a hand loop. You put your hand in the loop and the light disappears, from your standpoint, since you have full use of your hands but a nice 10 HID light pouring out at all times.

Large battery canister completely out of the way:
http://www.gue.com/Equipment/Config/rhea_farnsworth0240.jpg

Small light head on the back of your hand:
http://www.gue.com/Equipment/Config/rhea-bimini098.jpg

MSilvia
12-21-2007, 13:18
"hoe" should have read "how"
Did you see the Jeopardy champion miss that one? They asked something like, "A garden tool, and also a person of questionable character."

He answered, "What is a hoe?"

They were looking for "What is a rake?" ...apparently "hoe" and "ho" are spelled differently.

now back to the thread...

Nice pics CompuDude. That should help folks picture it.

CompuDude
12-21-2007, 13:24
"hoe" should have read "how"
Did you see the Jeopardy champion miss that one? They asked something like, "A garden tool, and also a person of questionable character."

He answered, "What is a hoe?"

They were looking for "What is a rake?" ...apparently "hoe" and "ho" are spelled differently.

now back to the thread...

Nice pics CompuDude. That should help folks picture it.

Thanks. Stolen right off the GUE website (http://www.gue.com/Equipment/Config/index.html); I'll bet they felt the same way! LOL

bjoseph
12-22-2007, 05:04
I like the light head on the back of the hand. But what makes a cnnister light so much better than a regular light? Is it that much brighter?

Also, while the cannister might be tucked conveniently out of the way, even from the pics it seems like the cord from the cannister to the light head could be a pain in the neck and a potential drag/entanglement hazard.

Have you ever found this to be an issue?

CaribbeanDiver
12-22-2007, 07:41
Has anyone here ever had any experience with the Edge Brightstar HID Underwater Dive Light (Junior Torch)? (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=EdgeBrightstarHIDJuniorTorch )The Junior seems to put out a ton of light in a relatively small package... it's pricey but so is everything else in Diving.

I am looking for a good, high quality, BRIGHT light.
have you looked at the Photon Torpedo by Gulftex? gulftex (http://www.cnsales.net/photontorpedopage.htm) it is a very well made light; extremely durable, very bright and moderately priced.

Grin
12-22-2007, 09:15
Update: I've been diving this Light Cannon for a week now and it absolutly is sweet. Vis this week has been a crappy 10-15 ft and that is what I bought this light for, and it's more than adequate. It blows my PT Shockwave LED light away by a mile. I am keeping the LED light for clear water conditions. Something tells me I'll never use it again. When trying to light up caves with bad vis, to see what's in there, I found myself face to face with Moray Eels and sharks etc... before being able to identify the critter. Yikes! It's another damn Eel! from 3 ft away. Now I can light up ledges and caves from 5 times the distance. It's still working on the batts it came with also. Excellent light for my kind of diving. :smiley20:


I'd try the UK C8 LED. I have a PT Shockwave LED which is basically the equivalent of the UK C8 LED. I don't think it's very bright, but it is OK. I just ordered a Light Cannon a few days ago. There is really nothing in between those two that one might consider, except some halogen stuff etc... I like the switch on the UK much better then the PT also. Basically, I tryed the best reasonable priced LED stuff and the next step is HID. The Light Cannon is the cheapest HID available and should be 3+ times brighter than the LED stuff. But it is delicate, whereas the LEDS are very durable. I have a regular UK D8 with the rechargable 30watt(I think) bulb in it. It is much brighter than the Shockwave LED, but it's twice as big and eats batteries. Maybe the UK C8 LED is a little brighter than the PT Shockwave LED. I'd try it, as it can't be much differnce and can only be brighter. And it has a nicer switch, if it's like a regular D8 switch?

CompuDude
12-22-2007, 12:54
I like the light head on the back of the hand. But what makes a cnnister light so much better than a regular light? Is it that much brighter?

Also, while the cannister might be tucked conveniently out of the way, even from the pics it seems like the cord from the cannister to the light head could be a pain in the neck and a potential drag/entanglement hazard.

Have you ever found this to be an issue?

The cord isn't an issue. If it was that much of a hazard you can be sure tech divers would not be using them on incredibly advanced dives in dangerous conditions every day.

A 10w HID is a 10w HID. If you compare the UK light cannon to a 10w canister light, the same amount of light will be put out. The difference is you get much more burn time out the can light, since you have a large battery pack that is out of the way, and it's much less fatiguing to carry. I have a UK light cannon, and while it's certainly not that big of deal, it's weight (with 8 C cells on in your hand) is much more noticeable... plus your hand is always full, unlike with a goodman handle. With the can light, it's like it's not even there.

Despite the same raw output of the two bulbs, however, the difference in light output is very noticeable. The difference between the two comes down to focus. The UK light put out a very wide floodlight. Quite nice, actually... except in low-vis conditions, then you're just lighting up the back scatter. Also not very good for signaling. The can light head is very tightly focused, giving you a hot "spear" of light that really penetrates the murk and is very good for signaling and getting someone's attention. The focusable can lights (a small step up in price) can be de-focused to give you the broader floodlight when you want, but I rarely have the need.

Duckydiver
12-22-2007, 19:46
I recently purchased the Princton LED lightpack from ST. It was a good startup package for advanced open water.

dannybot
12-23-2007, 10:07
You might take a look at this: Princeton Tec Shockwave LED - Princeton Tec Dive Lights - LED Dive Lights (http://www.divesports.com/mall/princetec_lts_shockwaveLED.asp)

bjoseph
12-23-2007, 10:20
This is all great info... Thanks a lot! I think I will probably be investigating a cannister light purchase as my primary and will do a bit more research for a backup. Although i must say that the Gulftex light looks like a great backup light option!

Now to find a great deal on a cannister light.....