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Sola 500, 800, or 1200?

Discussion in 'Lights' started by Tanked, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Tanked

    Tanked Extreme Non-poster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: South Jersey!
    Which of these would be best for diving off of NJ? I don't want to spend the $700 on the 1200 if it's going to be overkill.
    I currently use the UK Light Cannon, which is just right for the low vis that I sometimes deal with. I'm just tired of the pistol grip.
    Anyone know if the 500 is brighter than the Light Cannon?
  2. gasgirl

    gasgirl DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC
    At the risk of being accused of hijacking this thread, I would also like an opinion on whether the Sola 500 (or 800) is "enough".

    I originally looked at the Sola 1200 thinking it would serve multifunctions as a photo and video light but now I am just wondering if I can really justify the extra expense if the Sola 500 is all I need for a primary.

    Do must people who have the Sola 800 or 1200 find that they use it at the 500 spot setting?

    Or do people find that they actually use the flood setting at it's highest setting?
  3. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    For primary light in low viz water, I don't think any of the solar is a good choice. Their beams are very wide. At night, it will produce backscatter, distract your night vision. Even Lumen value may be high, it lack of hot spot intensity. In day time it will be ineffective. For that kind of money, you are looking at a canister light like the Hollis LED15, which should be a much better light for low viz primary. I would even say Hollis LED5 or DRIS1000 handheld lights are better for low viz due to their higher intensity hotspot and narrower beam.

    Solars are good video light and good focus light tho. And they can be a good light for good viz water at night.
  4. oldschool

    oldschool Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Temple TX
    I have to disagree. Yesterday, i had the opportunity to try out the Sola 1200 in Lake Travis. Where I was diving was 64 ft deep with viz of 20 ft +. Above 45 ft, the vis diminished significantly to 8 ft or so. I was able to test it in both good and not so good viz. I was very impressed. In the spot mode, it provided a tight beam which penetrated quite well. At 64 ft, I switched it to the flood mode just to get an idea of the area it would cover. It easily filled a 15 ft circle with light. Of course, the spot was better for where I was diving but I can see that the flood would be great in clearer water, ie Cozumel, Bonaire, etc.
    Tanked likes this.
  5. FlyinV

    FlyinV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington State
    I have both some Sola 1200s and a light from Watershot.
    Both were comparable on price $600

    I greatly prefer the watershot as I can easily get 2 dives out of it where the battery on the sola last 1 dive (or less)

    I use the Watershot as a dive light and I use my 2 sola 1200s on my video camera if I happen to be filming.

    Dark cold waters of the Pacific NW .. Can never have too bright a light.
  6. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    FlyinV: I assume you are using your Sola 1200s at full power if they last less than one dive. I use mine at the lowest power setting and can get three dives out of the good one (one of my Sola 1200s has had problems). I only switch it to medium or full power if a subject needs it.
  7. FlyinV

    FlyinV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington State
    Yes that would be full power as the water here is really dark most of the time and its long diving 80 minutes or so.
    One of them is also first generation/production run so it might not get the same runtime as the latest version.

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