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ANU Scuba Club Dive Light Survey

When it comes to dive-kit, the ANU Scuba Club has a lot of inherent knowledge, mostly built up the hard and expensive way. To try and tap into this wealth of knowledge, a survey of members' dive light experience was commissioned. The results may be useful to people looking at buying a new torch. Thanks to all who were able to provide their insights!

Naturally, the more survey responses the better, so if you would like to add your experiences, please copy the template, add your own comments and then email it to:

adamson underscore charles at hotmail dot com

Survey Results


Name:Pete
Brand: Underwater Kinetics
Model: C8 eLED
Price: Paid US $75 on Leisure Pro on 2005, now it's US $99 at same store ;-)
Primary or backup: Primary
Battery Type: C cells
Number of Batteries: 8
Dives used: ~100
Pros: Bright, batteries last very long, have to get used to pistol type torch handle
Cons: Not bright next to Chris' Alpha ;-(
Would you buy another one: Yes
Weblink: http://www.uwkinetics.com/products/detail.php?ProductID=82&cat=6
Other comment:Replaced strap with a clip for easier attachment to BCD D-rings.

Name: Pete
Brand: Princeton Tec
Model: Impact XL
Price: US $28 at Leisure Pro
Primary or backup: Backup
Battery Type: AA
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: ~20 (?)
Pros: Bright, tough, very long lasting batteries.
Cons: None yet.
Would you buy another one: Yes
Weblink: http://www.princetontec.com/products/index.php?id=21&type=0&use=2
Other comment: Was a replacement for my old backup which was a Princeton Tex Impact (not LED) I had for 5 years and used extensively.

Name: Alison and Chris
Brand: Pelican Products
Model: Super Sabrelite
Price: Not sure, bought about 10 years ago
Primary or backup: Backup, but have used as a primary on night shore dives under jetties!
Battery Type: C
Number of Batteries: 3
Dives used: 50 odd? Usually lives in my pocket.
Pros: Good price at the time, never flooded and dropped plenty of times, fits in my side pocket okay and easy to grab onto with gloves.
Cons: Outdated chunky halogen, some corroding despite never flooding
Would you buy another one: No - would rather have a newer model LED
Weblink: http://pelican.divemar.com/docs/sabrelite.html
Other comment:

Name: Arwen
Brand: Oceanic
Model: Princeton LED
Price: $99
Primary or backup: Backup
Battery Type: AA
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: 20
Pros: Very good back up torch and great for looking in those nooks and crannies. Gives a good white light. Light weight and very sturdy.
Cons: The beam is a bit narrow.
Would you buy another one: Absolutely!
Weblink: http://www.oceanicworldwide.com/indexmain.cfm
Other comment:

Name: Chris
Brand: Alpha
Model: 2000
Price: Around $450 RSP, $200 off EBay
Primary or backup: Primary - Canister style.
Battery Type: Rechargeable, originally lead acid, then LI-PO, then back to lead acid
Number of Batteries: 1
Dives used: Around 100
Pros: Very good light output. Never flooded. Original battery gives about 1 hour good light with standard lamp. Canister style means you mount the torch on your waistbelt or tank, and just carry the light head. I fiddled too much with mine, and put a fancy battery pack and HID head in it. Cried when I flooded it. Back to standard now!
Cons: Heavy. Need to watch wear and tear on o-ring - no problems so far, but it looks a bit iffy.
Would you buy another one: Yes.
Weblink:http://www.alphadiving.com/lights.html
Other comment:

Name: Tom
Brand: Technisub
Model: Lumen 6
Price: Around $100 RRP from memory
Primary or backup: Primary.
Battery Type: C cells
Number of Batteries: 6
Dives used: About 80
Pros: Good grip, and lanyard, excellent weight (for my taste). Fits into BCD pocket. Never flooded
Cons: Nil.
Would you buy another one:
Weblink: http://www.technisub.com/eng/lampade/lumenx4x6.htm
Other comment:

Name: Anita
Brand: Underwater Kinetics
Model: SL4
Price: $99 RSP
Primary or backup: Primary
Battery Type: C Cell
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: around 50
Pros: Compact, never flooded. Yellow.
Cons: Not a huge amount of light, but adequate
Would you buy another one: Yes.
Weblink: http://www.uwkinetics.com/products/detail.php?ProductID=8&cat=6
Other comment: Excellent compact torch

Name: Chris
Brand: Underwater Kinetics
Model: Sunlight SL4
Price: Around $99 RRP, won one as a prize, various freebies.
Primary or backup: Back-up, but have used as a primary.
Battery Type: C cells
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: ~100
Pros: I like this torch. It is small and rugged, with reasonable light output. Flooded it when getting grit into the O-ring on Musgrave
Cons: Tight beam - good for backup, bad for primary.
Would you buy another one: Yes, but I think I have about three of them lying around.
Weblink: http://www.uwkinetics.com/products/detail.php?ProductID=8&cat=6
Other comment:

Name: Jen
Brand: Technisub
Model: Lumen 4
Price: ~$80
Primary or backup: Primary
Battery Type: C size
Number of Batteries:4
Dives used: 300 (night dives, caves etc. as well as every dive I go on to check out the colour of nudis!).
Pros: Lots! so here we go....never flooded, beam is not as narrow as the SL4, strap doesn't have any corrosive parts- all plastic and doesn't even look like its fading etc, lockable switch- prevents you from turning it on accidentally, comfortable grip shape- means you can grip it easily and turn it on and off with just your thumb (even with small hands).
Cons: It may be difficult to operate the switch if you wear gloves
Would you buy another one: Yup but I probably won't need to for a long time yet :)
Weblink: No longer made? Replaced by the Lumen X4
Other comment:

Name: Chris
Brand: Underwater Kinetics
Model: UK Q40
Price: Around $80 RRP, got mine thrown in with some other purchase.
Primary or backup: Back-up, but have used as a primary.
Battery Type: AA cells
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: ~250
Pros: I like this torch. It is small and rugged, with reasonable light output. Have had mine flooded by other people, but not myself. Be careful with the contacts - has a tendency to turn itself on when at depth.
Cons: Tight beam - good for backup, bad for primary.
Would you buy another one: Yes, but I think I have about two of them lying around.
Weblink: http://www.uwkinetics.com/products/detail.php?ProductID=3&cat=6
Other comment:

Name: Charlie
Brand: Underwater Kinetics
Model: Sunlight SL4
Price: Around $99 RSP, $50 of Ebay
Primary or backup: Back-up, but have used as a primary.
Battery Type: C cells
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: Around 200
Pros: I like this torch. It is small and rugged, with reasonable light output. Never flooded.
Cons: Bit of a too tight beam. Contacts corroded although it never flooded!? Need to watch wear and tear on lanyard provided
Would you buy another one: Yes, I am now on my second one now.
Weblink:http://www.uwkinetics.com/products/detail.php?ProductID=8&cat=6
Other comment:

Name: Charlie
Brand: Underwater Kinetics
Model: UKD8
Price: Around $300 RSP
Primary or backup: Primary - hand held.
Battery Type: D cells
Number of Batteries: 8
Dives used: Around 50
Pros: Good light output. Never flooded.
Cons: Heavy. Replacing 8 D cells is expensive - Better to buy rechargeable batteries for this beast. Pretty solid construction, but will crack if you drop on a concrete footpath. Need to watch wear and tear on lanyard provided.
Would you buy another one: I bought a second one (cheap in Hong Kong) after my footpath episode, but I would not buy a third - with hindsight, it is too heavy and too expensive to operate.
Weblink:http://www.uwkinetics.com/products/detail.php?ProductID=28&cat=6
Other comment:

Name: Charlie
Brand: Alpha
Model: 2000
Price: Around $450 RSP, $250 off Ebay
Primary or backup: Primary - Canister style.
Battery Type: Rechargeable
Number of Batteries: One very heavy battery
Dives used: Around 50
Pros: Very good light output. Never flooded. Recharges overnight, then gives 1 hour battery life. Canister style means you mount the torch on your waistbelt or tank, and just carry the light head.
Cons: Heavy. Need to watch wear and tear on o-ring - no problems so far, but I it looks a bit iffy.
Would you buy another one: Yes.
Weblink:http://www.alphadiving.com/lights.html
Other comment:

Name: Charlie
Brand: Fantasea
Model: Frogman LED
Price: Around $79 RSP, $50 second-hand
Primary or backup: Back-up
Battery Type: AA cells
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: Around 50
Pros: I like this torch. It is small and rugged, with reasonable light output. Never flooded. LED gives 'white' light which is perfect for correctly identifying the real colours of nudis.
Cons: None.
Would you buy another one: Yes.
Weblink:http://www.fantasea.com/product_details.asp?id=86
Other comment:

Name: Kim
Brand: Underwater Kinetics
Model: Sunlight SL4
Price: $100
Primary or backup: primary (for me)
Battery Type: C Cell
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: ~300
Pros: reliable, compact enough to fit in a BC pocket, solid switch mechanism that doesn't turn on accidentally, never flooded
Cons: lanyard eventually gets tatty/frayed, spring in plastic toggle on lanyard eventually corroded through, batteries can be a bit fiddly to install
Would you buy another one: Yes
Weblink: http://www.uwkinetics.com/products/detail.php?ProductID=8&cat=6
Other comment:

Name: Bill
Brand: Ikelite
Model: PC Light
Price: One of the cheaper torches
Primary or backup: Primary
Battery Type: C cells
Number of Batteries: 4
Dives used: Lots of caves and a few night dives
Pros: Good tough torch - good on/off switch - no dynamic o-ring!
Cons: I don't have c-cell recharger. Torches that take AAs would be better for recharging
Would you buy another one: Yes - definitely
Weblink: http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/3pc_all.html
Other comment: Get one. Get one now. You can get them at the Scuba store I think.

Other Reviews:


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