Appeared in DIVER August 2008

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John John Bantin has been a full-time professional diving writer and underwater photographer since 1990. He makes around 300 dives each year testing diving equipment.

LIGHT WISELED ADAPT DIVER KIT

WOLFGANG WAS VERY PROUD OF HIS LAMP.
I had never met him before the dive trip, but when I found myself paired with him for a night dive, he said I would have no trouble identifying him in the dark. He motioned towards his big German light source.
Unfortunately, I knew it was him, once we got under water, from his big lamps old-fashioned yellow glow.
I felt a bit embarrassed for him, and kindly turned the power down on my tiny Danish lamp.
Thats the trouble. Technology has overtaken the old brute force of amperage in the lighting department, and the tiny WiseLED lamp strapped to the back of my wrist and powered via a lead to the discreet battery-pack I had slipped into the pocket of my BC was wiping out the effect of his big battery and old-fashioned tungsten bulb.
The wrist-mount was good. The lamp-head of the Adapt mounts via a plastic socket to give a ball-and-socket effect. I found that I needed to heat up the plastic part with warm water before I could squeeze the ball in, but the tight fit meant that it was never floppy.
The wrist-mount is adjusted using a broad Velcro strap. One could as easily strap it to the body of an underwater flashgun if you needed an aiming light.

Light Source
Not only was my lamp brighter than Wolfgangs, but its beam seemed to penetrate the water much further, thanks to its high colour temperature.
Thats the result of having a cluster of three high-output LEDs behind a clever system of lenses that makes sure all the light produced ends up going in the direction in which you point it.

Power Source
The WiseLED is part of a modular system of lighting, and I was using the entry-level combination of parts. The lamp-head can be connected directly to the battery-pack so that it looks like a conventional torch, or theres the option of an umbilical cable.
Connections are simply push-fit, always being careful to line up the two matching red dots.
There wasnt much in the way of an O-ring in evidence when using the lead.
When I pulled the bits apart after the dive,I noted some ingress of water, but as this didnt seem to stop the lamp from working I guessed these were wet-connectors.
It did mean washing out the contacts with fresh water after a dive, which felt rather unusual. When I queried this, Nathan the distributor told me that he discourages users from pulling the units apart during a dive.
The battery is a rechargeable lithium-ion pack that recharges via its little intelligent charger in one hour. The manufacturer suggests keeping the unit permanently connected to the live charger when it is not in use.

Switching
This kit may seem a bit twee, but it is precision-built, rather like those sound systems that also come from Denmark.
A solitary switch on the battery-pack controls the light output. You push it once to initiate it, then you push and hold it in to reduce the light output in a continuous adjustment to suit.
Burntime significantly increases from three hours at full power to 20 hours at 35% light output, and the lowest output setting is still pretty usable.
It automatically reduces power as a precaution against overheating, too. Pushing again will switch it off.
Putting it into contact with any ferrous metal object while it is switched off gets the Adapt into SOS signalling mode. It could be useful too, because it is claimed that the light can be seen at the surface over three miles.
The position of the switch was the only flaw I could detect in the design. You always needed access to the switch, so the battery-pack had to be stowed where it could be reached during the dive.
With the battery-pack being so small, I was not sure what advantage the umbilical lead conferred. I ended up with the lamp-head strapped to my left wrist and the battery and control switch on my other side, taking it from my BC pocket whenever I wanted to adjust it.

Beam
The very penetrative beam had a clearly defined edge, yet was even across its width. I started using it at reduced power because it was more than bright enough.
It didnt appear to be overtly blue in colour temperature, either. Im looking forward to trying other, bigger lamps in this range.

OTHER LIGHTS TO CONSIDER:
Dive Rite 300 LED, £335
Effesub Pharo 330 LED, £199
Salvo HID, £286



Divernet
SPECS
PRICE
£370
BATTERIES 12V li-ion
BURNTIME 3-20 hours
WEIGHT 540g with lead and wrist-mount
DEPTH RATING 150m
CONTACT www.cpspartnership.com
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