How to choose a scuba diving lamp – part 2

I've described the professional definitions, the different type of lamps, the price range and the different criteria to help and make your choice in part-1 off this topic. In the meantime I also had the change to speak to a friend and co-owner of my favorite dive center in the Netherlands 'Go Dolphins'. Her advice: "Use a lamp with a minimum of 800 lumen (LED) and take a look at Metalsub or Light & Motion". In this second part of 'how to choose a scuba diving lamp' I'm focusing on the actual lamps in the 800 till 2000 lumen category. Let's go and take a walk through the scuba diving lamps jungle.

My friend uses a Metalsub KL 1242 LED2000. A lamp with a 'spicy price' as she calls it, but with great performance. The brand 'Light and Motion' is new to me, I'm going to check it out. To get a fair comparison I compared four international webshops on their stock: Lucas Divestore, Simply Scuba, Leasure Pro and Dive Inn.

n total these four webshops offer 54 brands in scuba diving lamps and torches. This is an insane amount of choice! This is the jungle I was talking about. Some are off course familiar brands, some are well know'n but, I didn't know they made lamps and other I just never heard off. The ones I knew I marked thick. That leaves a lot of black.

Aqua Aqualight Aqualing Aquatec Best
Divers
Beuchat Big
Blue
Cressi
Dive Rite Fantasea Ferei Gerber Greenforce Halon Halcyon Hollis
Ikelite Imersion Innovative
Scuba
Intova Intovatec I-Torch Ist JW Fisher
Kowalski Light &
Motion
Lucas Mares Metalsub Moray
Divegear
Miflex Natural
shine
Oceanic Ocean
Pro
Omer Pelican Princeton
Tec
Rydec Salvimar Scubapro
Seacsub Sealife Seasoft Seattle
Sports
Snap
Sights
Spetton Sporasub Subgear
Technisub Tecline Tek-Tite Tusa UK Underwater
Kinetics
Underwater
Kinetics
XS Scuba

Luckily most of the brands are for secondary/ back-up lights. When we fill in our criteria of 800 lumen (and higher) and rechargeable batteries, the amount of brands quickly diminishes. However, there are still to many brands and different types of lamps left to make a good comparison. To get a better overview I've decided to focus on one diveshop, Lucas Divestore.This simplifies things enormously and still offers an comparison between well known brands like Metalsub, Greenforce and some of the lesser known brands. I've used the following criteria to make the comparison:

  • Amount of Lumen
  • Price
  • Maximum Burn time
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Handheld or canister

In total I compare 16 lamps below. I left out a couple of Greenforce lamps. These lamps where without battery pack and already more expensive than some of lamps below. I did add some canister lamps for the comparison with handheld.

Brand Lumen Price Name Burn time (max) Batteries Type
Light & Motion 800 € 499,- Sola Dive 800D 70 minutes - Handheld
Greenforce 820 € 295,- Hybrid 2/Tristar XPEH - 2 rechargeable 18650 Lithium batteries and a charger Handheld
Seacsub 900 € 199,- R10 120 minutes Runs on 8 normal batteries Handheld
Lucas 900 € 249,- Dive light 300 minutes Rechargeable batteries Handheld
Greenforce 960 € 399,- Hybrid 2/Quadristar XPGH - 2 rechargeable 18650 Lithium batteries and a charger Handheld
Mares 1000 € 239,- Eos 10R 150 minutes Rechargeable nickel-metalhydrate battery  Handheld
Ferei 1000 € 249,- W160 480 minutes rechargeable batteries Handheld
Tusa 1000 € 499,- TUL-1000 - - Handheld
Metalsub 1100 € 379,- XRE 1100 105 minutes Battery Li-Mangan Handheld
Light & Motion 1200 € 699,- Sola Dive 1200D 70 minutes - Handheld
Metalsub 1500 € 468,- XL 7.2 LED1500 80 minutes Rechargeable batteries Handheld
Naturalshine 2000 € 199,- Fish 2000 NGs 90 minutes 1 batterypack Li-on 3,7 with recharger Handheld
Metalsub 2000 € 565,- KL1242 LED 2000 SET 140 minutes Rechargeable batteries Canister
Greenforce 2000 € 869,- Flexi II /Heptastar Ti XPGH 120 minutes Rechargeable batteries Canister
Metalsub 2100 € 578,- XL 13.2 LED2100 100 minutes Rechargeable batteries Handheld
Metalsub 2100 € 848,- KL1256 LED 2100 (SET) 200 minutes Rechargeable batteries Canister

 

The problem with all this information is that I still have no idea what the actual difference is between the amounts of lumen. That's why I went to my favorite dive center and rented the Metalsub XL 13.2 1500 LED for a practice dive. Take a look at the video where my buddy shows the lamp.
I came to two conclusions. First, the XL 13.2 handheld with its 1.1kg is way to heavy and big for me. My second conclusion was that 1500 lumen is a lot! I'm not sure if the video shows the reality of how bright 1500 lumen really is.

My situation
- Budget: this was around € 300,-
- Burn time: maximum of three dives per day with 40 minutes bottom time = 120 minutes
- Batteries: rechargeableWith all the information available I come to two options:

 

Metalsub XL 7.2
Mares Eos R10

The other brands are to expensive for the amount of lumen or in the case of 'Naturalshine' I just don't believe what's being offered.

My choice
Budget, this is the main word in my choice for the Mares Eos R10. It's half the price of the Metalsub and to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm going to notice the lack of 500 lumen. Furthermore there is more on my wish list than solely a new lamp. If I didn't had a budget I would have went for the Metalsub, but in my current situation I'm going for Mares.

Not sure yet when I'm going to buy the new lamp, but will keep you all posted when I do. Hope some of you will find the research I've done useful.

Posted in Diving torches, Product reviews.

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