LED vs. HID dive lights

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XTAR

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When you take a close look at dive lights technology of producing light, there are LED, HID two main categories of illumination methods. Which is better? More info shown below.

*High Intensity Discharge (HID)
HID dive lights use an electric arc to produce light in a bulb. Formally known as gas-discharge burners, these lights emit more light, up to five times more, at a given level of power consumption compared to ordinary halogen bulbs. HID bulbs produce 5% of their output when first ignited, requiring a few seconds, usually 15s-20s to reach full output. Also, if power to the lamp is lost or turned off, the arc tube must cool before it can be re-struck and produce light. Despite its delicate nature, these HID dive lights are powerful, mainly used for technical diving.

*Light-Emitting Diodes (LED)
LEDs are light sources utilizing diodes emitting light when connected in a circuit. The effect is a form of electroluminescence, where LEDs release many photons outward. The LED is housed in a bulb, which concentrates the light source. For each recombination of a negative and a positive charge, a quantum of electromagnetic energy is emitted as a photon of light. This photon has a frequency determined by the characteristics of the semiconductor material, usually a combination of the chemical elements gallium, arsenic, and phosphorus. LED is illuminated solely by the movement of electrons, making them energy efficient and resilient over long time.

Based on the different features of HID and LED, HID dive lights have a definite advantage for signaling, technical diving. For LED, as it doesn’t have a filament to burn out or break, so they last much longer. It’s durable and tends to last thousands of hours. Moreover, LEDs are instant on, thus convenient for use in frequent or potential on-off cycling. Conversely, HID lights are more fragile and have to warm up 15s-20s during ignition. Many divers think that LED dive light will be the way to go. It’s highly cost performance, lasts much longer, also has the huge potential for development.
 

Rol diy

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In my opinion leds have come a long way in the last 10-15years, led flashlights was almost a joke,
25 leds all in one spot, but had good run times,

I am glad I jumped over HID light technology, and went to LED,
Even though I really wanted HID at the time,
 

broncobowsher

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Having owned both, LED is better. HID is delicate. The bulbs break easy. There are issues of the bulb not striking. But once going, they are a pretty good light. So long as you want that single level of light output. There is no turning the light up or down. They run full power until they don't run at all. HIDs also somethings have a little flicker to them as the arc dances around on the electrodes. Not always, but have seen it enough times to recognize it.

LEDs have come a long way. The power, color, aim are wonderful. The costs make way more sense. The are not fragile like the HIDs are. The real big thing about LEDs is different power levels. Sometimes you don't want so much power. The ability to dial back the light and gain time. There is the user selectable version of this as well as the automatic you are running low on battery so you are going to get less light but at least you will still have light.

Even in the automotive headlight world, where the HIDs first came to light to the masses. Today most everything has gone from HID to LED. I hear really good things about the newest generation of light, laser. Waiting to see one in person someday. I hear it is a whole new level of lighting.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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