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What's the best light for the best value??

Discussion in 'GoPro Video' started by tphelps, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. tphelps

    tphelps Course Director

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hilo, Hawaii
    Greetings fellow bubble-makers,

    My question is regarding dive lights. I am looking for something that I can use mostly for a night diving but also doubles as a video light. I currently have the Hero2 but I will probably be upgrading to something else in a couple of years.

    What's the best dive value and quality light?
    Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. toozler

    toozler Barracuda

    Some folks have been experimenting with some China made "Archon" lights. If we consider "best value" a function of price, power and beam angle, then that's hard to beat: they sell for about $170, have 1400 lumens (in theory) and a 120 degree beam.

    If we throw in that formula the longevity and customer support, they might rank a little lower.



    I am myself very inclined in getting one of these lights, maybe not the 1400 lumen but two of the smaller 860 lumen version (~$75) to cover the whole frame.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  3. jwelburn

    jwelburn Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oahu
    DiveRightInScuba.com. (DRIS) 1000 lumen light for 90 dollars. A great light, great price. They've got two, one that uses 3 C cells and one that uses 3 AAs. Can't go wrong! Customer service is great and you'll find a lot of love for the lights here on the board.
  4. toozler

    toozler Barracuda

    If we are looking at the same light (Model: 1000lumenINS), that's a great $ per lumen, but will require to be modded (i.e. remove reflector, insert diffuser) in order to spread the beam, which is 11.5 degrees only, as per specs.
  5. 00wabbit

    00wabbit Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Anywhere,USA
    Dive right in scuba is a great light and is backed by their shop so of you have a problem they will help you out.

    It may not make a good video light though without some sort of homemade diffuser because it has a very bright narrow beam.
  6. dfx

    dfx Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Binbrook, ON
  7. RockyHeap

    RockyHeap Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: BubbleLand
    I still think all inclusive multi-function, SOLA lights kick assp.

    Considering I spent $65 for a higher end performance snorkel after going through 2-3 cheap $35-40 crappy ones gathering dust in the garage, that's false economy.

    buy it once, buy it right.

    But there will always be the Tink-a-teer diver that wants to save a buck or two, at the price of performance........

    there is no right "one" magic pill answer.
    krukster86 and Interceptor121 like this.
  8. mkhilario

    mkhilario Photographer

    # of Dives:
    Location: Philippines
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  9. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

    I agree with RockyHeap on this one.

    For night dives you want a spot light not a flood otherwise the fish will see you and run off before you can approach. For video instead you need flood light as you want a wide beam. Right now I am not aware of anything else than a Sola that does this, you can reduce power 800/400/200 lumens and change spot/flood so it eliminates a torch the cheapest one that has all those features is the Sola Dive 800 and it costs $499.

    All other lights that I am aware such as Epoque EL1000L A105 $195 can be dimmed but it is flood only so you will be noticed for sure and at 10% is too weak to spot anything.

    Now if you consider:
    decent video flood + a separate torch = $300
    Sola dive 800 $499

    Is it worth to you to have a single light that covers both instead of two for $199 more or not?

    Also don't be too worried about legends that you need 100+ degrees you only get even lighting with two video lights and two 60 degrees cover the whole gopro field of view. With a Sola 800 you have a decent starting point for an upgrade as surely this model will be on the market for years whilst your chinese lights will be difficult to find in two years and you must have the same lights for a video set to avoid weird effects
  10. Qasar

    Qasar Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: UAE
    Just alittle add to toozler, the archon W25VR (1400 lum, 120deg, no hot spot) is sold for 138$ by Archon directly. I cannot provide comparison, but I'm quite happy to dive with them on day light.
    One important characteristic for the light is how the transition between between out of light area and lighted area is done. When you look at some movies, you have exactly the shape of the light with a kind of boundary.

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