I HAVE REVIEWED A PLETHORA of very expensive lamps recently, and there are more to come, but right now its time to look at one that everyone can afford.
Lamps have progressed enormously in recent times, thanks to both battery and LED technology. Those of a size that used to be considered as back-ups now produce enough light to be used as primary diving lamps. The Underwater Kinetics SL3e LED is a case in point.
This handy little lamp is around 19cm long and 45mm at its widest point.
By using ABS plastic, UK has almost done away with any need to maintain this lamp. The body is well ribbed for a good grip, and the shroud has a rubber grip.
A stainless-steel pressure-relief valve takes care of any expanding gases that may emanate from the batteries.

Light Source
This product from the US producer of economically priced lights has a high-performance LED that uses an efficient reflector combined with CPO optics (a lens) to ensure a tightly focused beam.

Im no lover of the system that requires the diver to screw down the front bezel of a lamp to make a good electrical contact and fire it up. Too many divers seem too cack-handed to manage it without flooding their lamp.
This one has a double O-ring seal. Im told that it takes three turns to release the seal of the first O-ring, and around five to release that of the second.
I still think its a good idea to go into the water with the lamp already turned on, and not to turn it off until youre safely out again, but this would prevent you from keeping it in your pocket as a back-up for if and when another lamp lets you down.

The beam produces a bright spot with almost no peripheral light, reducing the effect of backscatter. It doesnt light up the whole reef, which allows you to be quite selective in what you look at - on a night dive, for example.

Power Supply
The SL3e LED has a clever thermal-recovery system that recycles waste heat from the lamp back to the batteries to increase burntime.
The power consumption of the LED is so low that three C-cells will last up to 30 hours of continuous use.

Comparable lamps to consider:
Aquatec 5W LED, £50
Intova LED, £62
Seac-sub Luce LED, £65

CONTACT www.sea-sea.com
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