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 "Underwater Lighting Basics: Which Light Is The Best..." 
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Post "Underwater Lighting Basics: Which Light Is The Best..."
Underwater Lighting Basics: Which Light Is The Best Light For You?
by: Eric Abbott




Every diver must think of underwater kinetics at some point. Unless you want to feel around in the dark every time you go under the water you’ll have to consider what kind of flashlight you need. Here are a few tips for choosing the right scuba light.

First, let me give you an introduction. The basic types of light include LED, HID, and Xenon. Each, of course, has its special characteristics and which one is right for you depends on your diving goals. Let’s examine each type of scuba light on its own merits.

LED

LED stands for light-emitting diode. These lights are long lasting and use very little power, which makes them quite useful to divers.

HID

High-intensity discharge lights are useful if you need more light at longer distances. They tend to be more expensive but worth the extra price if you are charting darker territory.

XENON

Xenon lights use the highest intensity available for more light, longer durations and super super power. These are the underwater lights for the experts.

All three kinds of dive light have a host of features you can try on for size. You can get them with lanyards, clips, head mounts, key rings, fiber optic probes, and various battery sizes and unique features for type of light. But which one is right for you?

What type of diver are you? Do you dive for sport and entertainment, are you an instructor, or do you go on dangerous shark hunting missions? That makes a huge difference in the type of light you need. For most of us, a simple LED light is ideal. This is especially true if you are a beginning diver.

If you are new to diving you should get a mini-light. They are less bulky and chances are you’ll be going out with a more experienced diver who has a more powerful light. But you’ll still want one of your own.

If you are more experienced and tend to dive for longer periods of time then you will want a more powerful light. If your dive sessions tend to be for hours on end then you want a light that can stand the test of time. You want one whose battery isn’t going to fizz out while you explore those coral reefs.

For divers who like to explore dark, unexplored corners of the sea, you’ll want something that offers some brightness. What sense does it make to go into an underwater cave with a flashlight that only operates at 2 lumens?

Are you a photographer? Do you like to shoot pictures of marine wildlife? Then you’ll definitely want a head lamp. Get something that has enough power to illuminate at greater distances, particularly if you plan to photograph exotic sea life or dangerous creatures like sharks and other aqua predators. It’s imperative that you have your hands free to fiddle with the camera.

If you dive in places where there is a possibility of bumping into other divers then you should probably wear a beacon. This lets other divers see you before they harpoon you. Put one on your back because you will not always meet other divers eye to eye. But you’ll also want to wear one on the front side of your body as well. If possible, put one on your head and one on your foot or leg as many divers like to scale the floors of the waters in which they dive. You want your beacon to be seen from any direction – front, back, side, top or bottom.

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a diving light, next to safety, is personal style and taste. What makes you comfortable? Do you like holding the pistol grip in your hand and pretend you are James Bond under the sea? Or do you prefer having your hands free? Do like your light bouncing around as you dive as they tend to do with a lanyard, or do you prefer to have them clipped to your wetsuit or other gear?

These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when you are shopping for a diving light.

About The Author
Rick Abbott is an avid diver, part time author, and consultant in the IT field. For more dive articles and tips, go to http://www.divervillage.com. If you are a writer and like writing articles about diving, submit your articles to http://www.divervillage.com where divers can read them online. Also, visit’s Rick’s diving blog at http://divervillage.blogspot.com.

Article Source: http://www.divervillage.com




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Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:17 pm
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