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what should I be looking for regarding cannister lights? what are the pro/cons to Nimh vs lead acid batteries. should I get 10w to start because the 21w are just far to $$$.
I have looked at the nite-diver.com and Halcyon.net but I am not sure what to get as they both have many options. Anything would be brighter than my UK D4. I thought it was ok until diving with friends with their underwater sunbeams. I don't want to be taking the battery in and out every dive if at all possible. If I could just unplug and plug in a charger would be best. and over charging is another concern.
opinions and experiences welcomed.
On the batteries, NiMH is the way to go. They don't have memory and can be charged with out being fully discharged. On my when I finish a dive, I just rise the light and plug it in until the next dive. The charger also shuts off automatically, and the light has a charge meter on it.
If it were up to me what I would do is to get as large a light as possible. Halcyon, Sandroff and I'm forgetting the third guy all make 18-21 W lights. Since you live in Vancouver, I would stay with something that can be shipped in North America for servicing. If you own a can light eventually you will need to get work done on it.
An 18-21 W will be very helpful for you on the rare days that the water is clear and sun is beating through the water and you still want to signal. Great in tropical water.
thanks for the suggestions. I am looking into the Halcyon cause my LDS deals with them. I like the NiMh charging. All that is holding me back is the $$$. Just bought another reg set. must pay that off 1st. Any other recomendations are welcomed. As far as servicing is there any problems with the Halcyon been reported? I was looking @ the Helios9 model. 18w.
Check out http://www.salvodiving.com. He does a kickass 10W and a nice 21W. The color temperature of the 10W (and the Halcyon 18W) is higher than the 21 Watt and I prefer those personally. A lot wouldn't notice ...
IOn the batteries, NiMH is the way to go. They don't have memory and can be charged with out being fully discharged. On my when I finish a dive, I just rise the light and plug it in until the next dive. The charger also shuts off automatically, and the light has a charge meter on it.
The "NaCad memory myth" lives on.
Modern NiCads do not have memory any more than NiMH. There are significant advantages and disadvantages to both types. NiMH is available in higher capacity, while NiCads will withstand more abuse and can deliver higher current.
The decreasing capacity that many people witness with NiCads is most likely due to overcharging. NiMHs are much more vulnerable to overcharging than NiCad. Having a smart charger will save your batteries from abuse! Once fully charged, they begin to warm up. If allowed to overheat, the damage is proportional to the temperature and time while overheated.
Electric RC car racers use NiCads quite a lot for the increased power while reserving NiMH for endurance events. Good quality Sanyo NiCads can stand a lot of abuse: rapid charging and discharging hundreds of times. While it's generally considered best practice to fully discharge the cells for long-term storage, if you fully discharge a pack, one or more cells is likely to reverse voltage, damaging the cell. So don't sweat it - leave them charged. Top it off when you need to. Racers have special discharge tools that individually discharge each cell in a pack, so they avoid this problem.
NiMH is a great choice for lights because of the higher power-to-weight ratio. Be careful not to overcharge them - use a smart charger like the one that came with djkpsu's light.
My first light was the UK HID Light Canon. I had nothing but problems with it, and the replacement that they sent me was a piece of crap as well.
I have used the OMS Phantom HID 21W for a dozen or so night dives and find it to be more than adequate at significant depth and in wrecks. It actually provides more light than I needed ... it is like having a lighthouse strapped to your arm. Not "too much" light, just more than I need. However, I find it to be just a bit too large to take with me on every dive.
I received the Halcyon Helios 4.5 10W today that has a much smaller profile (about half of the size of the OMS) and provides excellent lighting for pretty much all situations. For my diving needs (Tech/Rec), this one provides the perfect balance between size and power. However, if you are going to be caving, you probably need the biggest one that you can find.
If $$$ is an issue, check ebay for used lights. It is a good way to find out which one you like best without investing too much money. If you don't like one that you receive, turn around and sell it back on ebay and try another.