Appeared in DIVER September 2006

LIGHT Micro Frogman
It is, however, fraught with the danger of the lamp becoming switched on in your pocket due to the pressure at depth, with you blissfully unaware that the battery is being run down. Or it could flood, because you unscrewed it too far when you switched it off.
The Frogman Lenser torch was well received mainly because it had a high-intensity LED fired up by AA batteries, and was turned on by unscrewing the front bezel slightly, rather than the other way around.
Now two new Micro-Frogman torches have arrived in dive shops, and are very similar to the Lenser in that they use the same design and technology but are simply smaller, at just 125mm long, and use AAA batteries instead.
The inexpensive Micro-Frogman Triplex uses three LEDs to provide a light. The more expensive Micro-Frogman Power Chip, in common with a lot of other similar torches competing for this market, uses a single high-intensity LED.
Like its bigger brother, the Micro-Frogman Power Chip uses a solid lump of clear plastic to form both the reflector and front lens, and the result is a focused beam from its high-intensity LED that is actually useful under water.
The lamp is small enough to be secreted away in a pocket and forgotten about until you need a back-up. The similar-sized Triplex has three unfocused LEDs, which are useless for anything other than reading a book under the bedclothes.
It is really useful to a diver only as a beacon, because it is better for being seen with than for seeing by, or perhaps for reading instruments, but nothing more.
With only one opening protected by a single O-ring, the tough ABS construction of these Frogman lamps allows them to be rated to 60m.
Both will survive deep plunges, but dont expect to switch them on while at that depth. In common with the bigger Lenser Frogman, you will find that the water pressure makes it impossible to turn them on by unscrewing the front bezel until you get a lot shallower.
Both torches have an expected burntime of around 50 hours from a set of four AA batteries, so provided it survives, you can expect to get a lot of use from a handy little back-up lamp such as the Power Chip.
Dont bother with its cheaper sibling, unless you want something for the cupboard under the stairs, or for use during unexpected power outages!
You get what you pay for, too. The Micro-Frogman Triplex costs around a wasted£20 while the Micro-Frogman Power Chip costs around a well-invested£30. Batteries and lanyard are included.
  • Alpha Distribution, 01709 515157

  • Divernet
    + Long burntime
    + Small size
    + High output

    - Difficult to turn on at depth