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Canister - or not?

Discussion in 'Lights' started by kaaralex, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. kaaralex

    kaaralex Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shanghai
    For my tec diving, I want to buy a primary light. I dive both cold and tropical waters, and no caves. I am big fan of LEDs, so it will probably be some LED light, the technology is already mature enough.

    The remaining question is whether I should buy a canister light or a light w/o canister. There were times, when canisters were the only option how to provide enough output for long enough time. Is this changing already?
    There are three advantages of canisters for a primary light which i can see (pls feel free to correct or add other ones):
    1) higher capacity and deeper rating - both important for future longer and deeper dives
    2) when attached to a canister, it seems to me that it should be really difficult to loose the light
    3) i plan to do Fundies in near future, and canister light is a standard DIR piece of equipment. (Now i have a pocket on my right hip under which i tuck my long house, so not having a canister there should not be a problem, I guess..?)
    There are some disadvantages as well:
    1) canisters are heavy and bulky, which comes at expense when travelling
    2) some of them are difficult to charge, and add another level of complexity with all connections and O rings: it does not seem to be coincidence that so many friends of mine have got their lights flooded.
    3) to put it simply, they introduce "yet another hose" to take care of

    I would appreciate your experience or informed opinion. Thanks a lot!
  2. chrpai

    chrpai Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cedar Park, TX
    GUE Fundamentals | Global Underwater Explorers

    FWIW, Fundies says that the light requirements only apply to tec training. If you are taking fundies from a rec perspective to improve your diving, you don't need it. If you are wanting to cross over and get a tec pass like I've heard others do, you'll need it.

    I'm not a tec diver and personally I'm quiet happy with my own non-so-DIR approach. ( I showed it to a DIR diver and while he couldn't give me a reason it was bad I certainly got the get a can light 'shrug' ).

    My approach is a DRIS 1000 with a boltsnap clipped to my wrist mount compass shock cord. If I let it go, it hangs down and I can easily recover it. It's plenty of light and run time for my Lake Travis diving.
  3. GrumpyOldGuy

    GrumpyOldGuy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Texas/NH/CA
    I have on the of DRIS 1000 LED lights and for non-cave/tec diving it has as much light and run time as you will ever need.

    The only issues I have is holding it, the Goodman handles on the canister lights are appealing.... Just not enough for me as a tec diver to spend the big bucks on.

    OBXDIVEGUY Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    If you do any extent of tech diving, you will want a true canister light. They are brighter, and usually have a much longer run time. One other advantage is since the battery is mounted on your side (or where ever you put it), the bulk isn't in your hand. Your hands are essentially completely freed up for other tasks.

    Of course the major, and obvious disadvantage is the cost of these things. Well, welcome to tech diving.

    I do deep wreck and cave dives regularly, and we have a very active community of tech divers in south Florida. It is very, very rare that someone would not use a can light.

    If you do go that route, I highly recommend Light Monkey. Their 12 watt LED is a great entry level light that is powerful enough that you won't immediately grow out of it. Their customer support and service are impeccable too.
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    If you have a non-canister light with sufficient reserve burn time for your purpose, which fits into a Goodman handle that allows a temporary hold with the other hand AND a temporary and permanent clipoff when engaged in activities that require that, you're fine with a non-canister light. But it's pretty difficult to find those things -- most setups for mounting a backup or hand-held light onto the back of your hand don't permit an easy temporary hold or clip.
  6. mathauck0814

    mathauck0814 Assistant Instructor

    Don't discount that the 2lbs of negative buoyancy that the canister represents is a functional part of your weighting and gives you a place to route your hose. Also, being able to hang it around your neck and have it shine on what you need it to when you need to be hands free and doing something (sometimes even having a goodman handle a light can be "in the way"). I travel at least monthly with my canister in my carry on, so "big and bulky and hard to move around" doesn't really apply. Honestly, other than my shearwater, I don't think I have another piece of equipment that I'm so happy to own than my LM 21W LED can light.
  7. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    For tec diving, just get a decent canister light. You will need it for a fundie tec pass. And I still stand that although canister light is expansive, it is a small portion of tec diving expanse as a whole. It is worse to buy something that you have to replace in near future because you venture into tec
  8. lucca brassi

    lucca brassi Photographer

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Kocevje , Slovenia , Europe
    you can be heared to others with your light underwater , othewise without it , they are deaf to you

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