Appeared in DIVER May 2006

LIGHT Aquatec LED Constant
IT MAY SEEM TRIVIAL BUT HAVE YOU EVER been frustrated when youve jumped into the water from the back of a liveaboard with 20 or so other divers, only to find yourself in the final scene from Close Encounters Its pitch dark with lamps shining everywhere and youve no idea which one belongs to your buddy. Sound familiar
When I learned to dive, shortly after the invention of air and water, night-diving was treated as a very mysterious activity. We went in with at least one back-up light in our pocket (dont kid me that everyone still does, because I know otherwise!) and we tied those chemical Glo-sticks to our pillar-valves. We chose different colours and combinations of colours so that we could always tell who was who.
Glo-sticks seem to have gone out of fashion. Whether it was the fact that they cost so much and lasted about eight times as long as your dive, or because the cyanide-based chemical within posed an ecological hazard, I dont know, but I havent seen a diver using one in a long time.
However, I have climbed a ladder followed by a buddy quite different to the one with whom I started the night-dive.
The Aquatec LED is a little, coloured, high-intensity LED powered by three LR44 shirt-button batteries, double O-ring-protected, and mounted inside a length of solid Perspex-style acrylic rod.
It is said to be waterproof to 100m (I never tested that) and to have a 50-hour burntime, which I can well believe. The manufacturer claims it will last for 50,000 hours of use.
It is not very bright, but the length of acrylic glows in the appropriate colour and the fibre-optic effect allows it to project a little beam that would be just good enough to show a gauge in the last resort.
It comes with a lanyard and in a range of colours including red, yellow, white and green.
As such, it makes an ideal marker to distinguish you from the madding crowd of other divers getting in your way, and should enable your buddy to identify you.
The Aquatec LED Constant Light comes with an extra set of batteries and costs £8.95.
  • Bristol Scuba 0117 902 0303

  • Divernet
    + Good for being seen with at night

    - Not great as a seeing aid