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Thread: too many lights for a newbie to choose without help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    United States

    too many lights for a newbie to choose without help

    Hi! Newbie diver looking to purchase light for myself and 5 other newbies. We dove last week in Texas lake with visibility of 2-5 feet. Was able to see light on dive buddies camera. Now we know we need lights. Dove our first dives in Arkansas and did not need them. So many lights to choose from. Many more dive trips to come. Budget is limited. These are lights I have narrowed down to. Any Info or suggestions are appreciated.
    Scuba Mini U Beam 5ED $12.95
    Fantasea No Spotter $12.95
    Princeton TEC League 100 $50
    Underwater Kinetics Mini Q40 LED $60
    Aeris A3 LED $80
    Pelican Nemo 2010 LED $81
    DRIS 1000 lumen $90
    Mares OE 2 $95
    1K Shorty $105

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Wichita, KS
    Welcome to the forum 4D.

    When it comes to lights, the big things that should help you narrow your search are:

    1. Lumens – how bright it is, the higher the lumens, the brighter it is. Also be aware that in murly water, super bright is not always your friend if it’s too bright it will blind you with the reflection, like driving in fog with high beams
    2. Batteries – your choices are either rechargeable or replacement. Rechargeable is good in overall cost as you’re not running down to Interstate Battery, buying in bulk, but cost more up front. The downside is that there is a time delay when you’re recharging. Non-rechargable requires replacement batteries but is quicker to replace when you’re dead and are planning a second dive. Make sure whatever battery you need is readily available on the open market and doesn’t have to be special ordered from Shangri-La or someplace more remote.
    3. Battery life expectancy or burn time – the longer the better but is a trade off in lumens. The higher the lumens the shorter the burn time
    4. Size: You don’t want too small but you don’t want too big.

    The rest is what you like. Around here you will get personal preferences and possible start a light fight.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  3. #3
    Dominus Diabolus Urinatoris ST-Forum Mod DevilDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Corinth, Texas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Ottawa, Canada
    To add to Navy's excellent list -
    Weight. In these days of high baggage charges, you don't want to eat up too much of your allowance with a light. I have a Princeton Tec Shockwave LED that takes 8 "C" cells and weighs over 2lbs. I used to have a UK that used 8 "D" cells and could anchor the Queen Mary.

    LED vs "Edison" bulb. An LED draws very little power for the light produced. I can't remember when I last changed the batteries in the Princeton but it is still going strong after at least 3 week long trips and many night dives. Older style bulbs would have needed new batteries after each trip = $$$. LEDs are also more robust, able to absorb the knocks of life without breaking.
    And on the eighth day, God said, "OK, Murphy, you take over"

  5. #5
    The DRIS 1000 Lumen would be my choice. I own one of them and many of my buddies have since gotten them too. I think it gives the best bang for your buck. It has a nice tight beam for throwing the light a long distance without as much backscatter and it has a 5 hour burn time. We have been known to use them for primary lights when cave diving. I always have one with me. It works well for wreck or night diving too.

  6. #6
    Administrator "Forum Admin"
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    Scubatoysjojo's Avatar
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    United States
    Just to chime in here as well. That is a great list. But one thing I would certainly consider. Warranty. These are flashlights that we take in to the water. There is most likely going to come a time when you will have an issue one way or another. Princeton Tec and UK has lifetime Warranties. I have seen all brands of lights flood over the last 17 years of working in a dive shop. It' almost a certainty, so I would suggest something from one of the brands that will actually support you and replace the light rather than just offer you a discount off the next light you will undoubtedly have to purchase.

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