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High quality lights using AA, AAA, or C NiMH batteries

Discussion in 'Lights' started by 2airishuman, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. 2airishuman

    2airishuman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
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    My DGX800 light failed after several years of use ::shrug:: Nothing lasts forever.

    I have come to the conclusion that Li-ion batteries are not necessary for the type of diving I do and so I would like to take this opportunity to switch to a light that uses NiMH. I have had excellent results with Eneloop NiMH batteries (available in AA and AAA) in other applications, and have had good results with Tenergy size C batteries.

    I would like to find a high-quality LED light that uses one of these batteries. Something with a narrow beam, a 2 hour runtime, and small enough to fit on a shoulder ring on my BP/W. It should be usable topside also as I have found that to be a great convenience.

    I see that there is something called the AL250 from Big Blue that is close. Also the Edge DL9, 3 C batteries so on the large size but workable and with a 10 hour runtime.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
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    why do you want to go away from 18650's?

    Also note the 3c lights give hours based on alkaline battery capacity, so cut the run time in about a third when using NiMH for lights.
    The AL250 is going to be about a third as bright as your DGX800 and if you want 2 hour burn time from NiMH with reasonable output it will be a really big light as NiMH only has about half the energy density of LiPo which is why no one is really making lights for those batteries anymore.

    The Dive Rite BX1 was discontinued but would be a reasonable option. Goes just shy of 2 hours on eneloops, is reasonably bright, and can still use an 18650 if you want to.
    Any of the c cell lights *Halcyon, Light Monkey, etc* will run on eneloops obviously, but they're big, so you have to choose.
     
  3. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
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    I like 18650 lights or 26650 lights in principle, but had a couple (cheap ones) fail, the cheapest and first one still going and also had a 26650 cell fail in a light... The ones I have are not recommendable so. The two Big Blue Black Molly 26650 video lights I have I‘d recommend ... if found on a steep sale.
    A year and a half ago I felt I needed more reliable narrow beam lights. Desired 2 hours run time and for them to be short so there is no issue with length on a Goodman glove or handle (sticking backwards is bad, sticking forward is bad... Wanted at least two, better 3 identical ones. I would have also wanted a reliable, maybe 2 light level magnetic switch over twist on / twist off, but how does one know it holds up. Ended up getting 2 of the DRIS branded 3x NiMh lights in the link below, mostly because I liked the shortness and that I could get credit for another, tooling light I won at DRIS towards the purchase. I used them on two trips to the Philippines which followed shortly after. One with the family (where every light I had got used) and one for an advanced wreck class in SM. I liked the lights. They seem to get 2 hours off Eneloops (which I carry anyway if / when bringing the camera & strobes). I tested once before leaving, but now cannot find the data...
    Well, and then I barely dove since. But the lights I like. Cannot speak to value or longevity, but their construction is solid. 3 not to skinny o-rings.
    1k Shorty Dive Light
    4A0AE9E8-78E0-4C6F-999C-55AA88E3F464.jpeg

    Addendum: They are weighty. With 3 Eneloop AAs and tied on small bolt snap they weigh in at 392 & 393 g respectively. I guess the orange cord is a tad heavier than the beige one. I like to be able to tell them apart as one may be with fresh batteries and the other not....
    Edit 2:
    Also, they so far worked on the surface as well (supposedly protected) and the run time, by my recollection (Eneloops) went well beyond 2 hours with then diminishing brightness , but I just cannot find that data...
    They lasted longer than my DGX600 light, which I also like but I wanted to go shorter and the head not much larger than the barrel in diameter and not feel like buying an LED light that is getting old since designed. I have however no idea how long in the tooth the DRIS 1kshorty is or if it uses a more efficient LED. I just knew the DGX600 has been there for a while now...
     
  4. fmerkel

    fmerkel Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Salish Sea (Seattle)
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    UK SL3? 3 C-cells, narrow beam, fairly bright, not much spill. Much larger than a single 18650, and not as bright as many.
     
    in too deep likes this.
  5. Gary_Ward

    Gary_Ward Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Carriacou
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    I bought a set of lights from Diverightinscuba about 8 years ago which use C Cell batteries (and I use rechargeable ones on them). 1000 Lumens and its bullet proof. Lived in my BCD pocket every day for 8 years as a dive pro in the Caribbean. I think this is the same version as the one I bought...

    1000 Lumen Dive Light
     
  6. 2airishuman

    2airishuman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
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    I don't use 18650s for anything except my dive lights. Sure, they're built into the packs for my power tools and so on, but the only thing I use the bare 18650s for is dive lights. I use AA and AAA cells for all kinds of stuff and C cells for a few things. So it's a cell type I wouldn't have to have.

    There's also the hassle of safe handling and the residual risk of fire even if they're handled safely.

    Finally they lose their charge over time so I have to "top up" the charge before a dive, which isn't necessary with NiMH, I can put a dozen of them in a drawer and they'll still be charged 5 years later.

    And there's no real benefit, practically, for me, for li-ion. Sure, the specific energy capacity is around 2.5x greater by weight and around 2x by volume, but having a light that is 2.5x heavier and 2x bigger would negatively affect my dive in any way. The power density is much higher of course but that doesn't matter, at all, if you want 2 hours runtime, which I do, because NiMH has more than enough power capacity for that.
     
  7. greeniguana

    greeniguana ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I think you have their self discharge rates reversed. Li ion can be stored for years. NiMh no.

    Also Li batteries have no memory. One of the main reasons why I end up chucking so many NiMh batteries.
     
    stuartv likes this.
  8. N Budd

    N Budd Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: France
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    2airishuman posted a message on another thread re Calypso parts (easy to find). I tried a few places but no luck. Any suggestions. Mine is 1970 vintage. Thank you. N Budd (nicholas.budd@btinternet.com)
     
  9. 2airishuman

    2airishuman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
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    Store | Vintage Double Hose

    Store | Vintage Double Hose
     
  10. N Budd

    N Budd Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: France
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    This is fantastic! I haven't used this regulator 30+ years and the exhaust diaphragm dried out so it leaks. It really is a thing of beauty and lots of memories and I thought I would have to just throw it away.. Vintage Double Hose has a 2nd stage rebuild kit for $15. I was so lucky to come across your 2018 post. Thanks so much for the good advice. Nick Budd
     
    2airishuman likes this.

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