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Updated:
8/3/2003 

Dive Lights

Dive light Reviews

Introduction

I inteded to do my Advanced open water certification shortly after my Ďregularí open water. Since a night dive was on the menu for that I bought two lights, both recommended by http://www.scubadiving.com. Here are my reviews of the Ikelite RCD main dive light and PCa, backup light.

Ikelite RCD 4 D Cell Main Dive light

First Impressions

This light seems very well made, feels solid. I like the way the battery compartment closes using a lever type action.

This shot from the back shows what I consider the lightís main drawback: the push button that turns of the light. On my first try I busted the nail on my right thumb because the hole is rather narrow. I havenít yet tried this with my 5 mm gloves on but Iím afraid itís going to be slightly problematic. Iím also concerned how well this will work once sand gets in the mechanism. Time will tell.

Note that the lanyard did not come with the light (boooo!), I made this one myself. See here for the trivial instructions.

This shot shows the on-off switch from the front. The safety is the left in this picture. It should be pretty easy to turn on the light with the right index finger. Both safety and switch will move at the same time.

I donít have batteries yet so I canít comment on the light quality.

Second impressions

To be written once Iíve used this light under water.

Ikelite PCa 6 AA backup dive light

First impressions

The thing that attracted me to this light was the fact that it is short but still contains 6 AA batteries and a halogen bulb. This makes for one powerful little light that would probably suffice as a primary light when really needed. Of course itís unsafe to dive at night with only one light. I intend to carry this light with me on all dives. Even on the few dives Iíve been on in Monterey Iíve noticed it gets quite dark under the kelp, especially on overcast days. Being able to peek under a rock under those conditions requires lighting. Because of itís short size it easily fits in my BC pocket so itís out of the way.

The on-off switch is pretty small, the safety lever is even smaller. I think itíll work OK with cold water gloves but it will be something Iíll try right away. Replacing the batteries is easy. Iím a little concerned about that fact that not the entire mating area of battery housing and lamp module is getting pushed in. Basically the lamp module is only being pushed down in two spots. Force from the battery springs tries to open the case slightly. Given Ikeliteís reputation I presume this would not be a problem though.

The PCa comes with a tiny pack of silicone grease but no indication how often it requires application.

A lanyard is supplied.

There is signifficant light leakage at the rear of the reflector. I guess this is because the halogen light is all glass and pokes through the reflector. Still, a lot of light is generated at the front.

 

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