LIGHTS JMD L2075/L5060 Lanterns
Up to now, the company has fought its corner with a lamp-head and battery-pack connected by an umbilical. It has proved popular with loyal Buy-British divers and is a little less expensive than some of its more exotic rivals.
     But the bigger part of the underwater lamp market is actually for more straightforward hand lanterns, so JMD is addressing that demand with two new products.
     They look outwardly similar, except that one is powered by a 12V ni-mh battery-pack while the other, smaller, model uses only a 6V battery. Naturally, the larger version has a brighter light output from its 50W xenon bulb, but the 6V version is no shrinking violet, even if its user has to be content with only 20W of consumption.
     Both lamps are built to be tough. Depth-rated to 150m, with 6mm-thick heat-resistant glass and bodies machined from tough aluminium 6082 and anodised, they look as if they could suffer turbulent times in a crowded RIB without letting you down when you need them.
     Theres no sophisticated switching system to leave you scratching your head while enjoying the sort of thought processes possible at 40m. Its on or off by means of a large knurled knob that can be easily worked with hands restricted by dry-gloves. Alongside it is a smaller knurled knob that you will never manage to get undone under water, which is lucky. Its the access-bung for the charging lead.
     The standard charger takes 12-16 hours to fill a totally flat battery, but there is also the option of an intelligent fast-charger that can reduce this to three. Thats more suitable for those on liveaboards and doing little but dive, dive, dive.
     The screw-threaded access bung is protected by a single O-ring, and I suppose this is an opportunity for those with less finesse to foul up and flood the unit. If you do damage the O-ring, you can easily replace it with one from a regulator high-pressure port plug.
     There is also the chance that you might take out the little bung for charging and put it down somewhere, never to be seen again. Or you just might forget to replace it, with disastrous results. A fluffy pocket is no place to put it for safe-keeping, either. The greased O-ring needs to be kept immaculately clean.
     The burntime of the larger, brighter version is around an hour, and remember that with ni-mh batteries you can top up without danger of memory effects. The smaller unit will burn for 15 minutes longer than its bigger brother.
     To change the bulb, you have to unscrew the front knurled section from the main body. Its well-engineered and protected from leaks by double O-rings. However, these must be well-lubricated and you must be careful as you screw the front back onto the lamp that you do not displace these O-rings. Its easily done.
     The lamps are quite sleek, in that they measure only 6cm in diameter. They are 17 and 23cm long, almost compact. I took the larger one on a diving trip and, for someone who is forever whinging about ever-lengthening arms, this was a vote of confidence.
     The unit proved to be nicely balanced in the hand and gave an exceedingly bright hotspot that was not at all mean, together with a large peripheral halo.
In a world where it is possible to spend more than half a grand on a lamp, these both look to be extremely good value. The 6V 20W JMD L2075 costs£165; the 12V 50W JMD L5060 costs£195.
  • JMD Technologies 01751 476972, www.jmdtechnologies.co.uk

  • Divernet
    + Beautifully engineered
    + Tough
    + Good value

    - The charging access plug and other O-rings require care