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Best canister light for signalling in poor vis ?

Discussion in 'Lights' started by SaltyWombat, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. halocline

    halocline Solo Diver

    I was pretty unimpressed by the focus when I saw it in use for a week recently in Mexico, which, granted, is clear water. My LM 20W LED was much brighter and a better color. But....it's true that the LM LED light head is not great for signaling. The overall spread is good, but it lacks that center hot spot. I have heard from someone whose opinion I trust that the UWLD lights are similar, even the newest supposedly tighter beam.

    The focus has a square, yellowish hot spot, and it is very well defined, but I doubt that it would cut very well in bad vis. There was also a big blue 4800 in our 3 person team for a few days, and that light actually did pretty well comparatively. But it only has a burn time of 2 hours and it does get dimmer (not very noticeably) towards the end of the dive.

    The best in terms of signaling that I have ever used, by far, was my old LM21W HID. I wish that thing still worked. If you could find one at a low price, so that you're not crushed when either the bulb breaks or the ballast goes belly up, I would go for that. The LED lights are overall brighter, smaller, and have better burn times, and are more reliable. But the focal point and character of the HID is still the best IMO.
  2. flymolo

    flymolo DIR Practitioner

    If you can find a used focus 1.0 for a good price that may be sufficient. A couple years ago I picked up one used and I've been using it almost exclusively while my LM 32w (the non focusable one) sits on the shelf. While the LM is far brighter, the non focusable beam isn't good for signaling, and on high the wide angle beam it tends to bounce off particulate in the water making it harder to see.
    laikabear likes this.
  3. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    that's the key with the big powerful lights and why UWLD has made sure that on "low" even the big boys knock back far enough to not give too bad of backscatter. Part of it may be because I'm a polar bear so I have long enough arms to keep the light away from my face, but the LD-40 on low is similar to the Focus series on high so that's important to remember.
    laikabear likes this.
  4. Jimchris

    Jimchris Support your local dive center ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Everett, Washington State
    HID still gets my vote, but that's me.
    JimBlay likes this.
  5. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lexington, SC
    A buddy bought the LM 32VF. I dived with him with that light several times. I was not impressed with the beam or the variable focus. It's "tightest" was not that tight. Wide was not really wide. Then his broke 2 or 3 times. He sent it to LM to fix the first 1 or 2 times, then fixed it himself the last time, then bought a UWLD LD35 because he no longer trusted the LM - and I don't blame him.

    I subsequently got a UWLD LD40. I love it! It is true that, on High, it is so bright that you need to be in pretty darn clear water or the spill will blow out any particulate and make it harder to see. But... you can run it on Low or Med.... Where it is still putting out as much light as a Focus...?

    Some other things for me that makes me particularly like the UWLD are:

    - Charging it requires no disassembly. I don't have to take anything apart. No risk of charging, then putting a cap back on that could allow it to flood.

    - The modular design of the "stack cap" arrangement is awesome. I have one cap with a sidemount-style gland that has the light head on it. I have another that has a heat controller on it. I can use either or both on any dive. Sometimes, viz is fine, but I want heat. I can do that dive with a heat controller but not have the extra cord for a light head adding any "untidiness". Sometimes, I want light, but don't need heat, so, ditto. And when it's cold AND dark, I can have both and still only have one battery canister attached to me. I bought the biggest canister (160 W-Hr), so it is plenty to run the light and a heated shirt on any of the dives I'm doing.

    - No switches of any kind on the battery canister. Unlike some of my friends with other brands, I never have to worry about forgetting to turn on the canister and then trying to reach it after I'm in the water.

    - The small design details like the awesome soft Goodman, but also a hard Goodman as well, if you prefer that. The plastic cover that fits on the light head one way to prevent accidental turn-on, and fits on the light head the other way to keep them together without being in the way of operating the on/off switch. The relatively low bulk of the light head.

    - No latches on the battery canister. Nothing to snag on anything or to accidentally pop open.

    - A piezo switch button on the light head for on/off. Low profile and reliable. No moving parts. Nothing to break or leak. And the LED ring around the button that lets you easily monitor the battery status.

    - Can fly with it.

    The only things I would probably change if I could are:

    - I mount my canister on the right side of my rEvo CCR. And, I'm 6' 1" tall. So, the light head cord could be a few inches longer for me to have full range of motion with the light head on my left hand. It's ALMOST long enough, as is. If I'm diving OC and mount it on my right side waist belt, then it's long enough.

    - The heat controller cord could be a lot shorter.

    - It would be nice if the light head had an additional brightness level. The lowest setting is still brighter than I want, sometimes. The lowest is 1000 lumens. A 250 lumen option would be useful, I think, for night dives and, maybe, as an option for an ultra long burn time.
    laikabear likes this.
  6. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    @stuartv and to anyone else reading, custom cord lengths are an easy option. All of mine are custom length for sidemount diving. If you ask nicely, @Bobby may be able to put an extra brightness option on if it gets sent in
    stuartv likes this.
  7. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lexington, SC
    Thanks. I have been meaning to ping Bobby and ask about the cord lengths. But, life happened, and dealing with that hasn't percolated to the top of the To Do list yet...
  8. Ulfhedinn

    Ulfhedinn DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: So CAL
    UWLD LD40 is awful tempting every time I hear about it. @tbone1004 Just so I understand as the site doesn't allude to this but you can customize the length of the cords? Choose different heads such as one for heating, one for lights, one for heating and lights? Wonder if @Bobby would let me purchase one in all black with no blue?
  9. SD Climber

    SD Climber DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Diego, CA
    FYI the cords (at least on the light head) are now black and very supple, no more blue sheath.
    stuartv and Ulfhedinn like this.
  10. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    all of the heads and controllers are anodized and changing the color is something I've harassed him about for years but haven't gotten anywhere, custom lots of anodizing is not cheap.
    Ulfhedinn likes this.

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