MANY YEARS AGO, I bought an expensive car and was appalled to discover that the lower front end was made of plastic.
We used to sneer at things made of plastic. Brunel would never have used the stuff. I’m not sure how he would have felt travelling on a modern airliner.
Those of us who see our kit regularly bathed in seawater know how corrosive it is to metal. Brunel used thick iron, riveted heavily and well painted to combat this. Modern plastics enable us to be a little more cavalier in our attitude.
The front end of that car never suffered rust from stone chips and flying debris.
However, it’s undeniable that there’s something attractive about the weightiness of the metal from which an item is constructed. It gives it shop-counter appeal. I suppose there’s a little bit of Brunel in all of us.
The Californian diving lamp manufacturer headed up by Alan Ukay and known as Underwater Kinetics or UK (geddit) has always eschewed the use of metal in its products.
Polycarbonates and ABS plastics (like my car front) will never corrode, so that is the route this long-established lamp manufacturer took, and it’s still steaming ahead, just as Brunel’s ss Great Britain might have done if it hadn’t become outdated.

Power Source
The outward design looks unchanged since the introduction of a similar lamp that employed a conventional bulb and a big wodge of batteries when I first started diving. When
Don’t ask!
You can run this one on eight alkaline C-cells, individual rechargeable ni-mh C-cells, or an optional UK ni-cad battery-pack. The burntime can be as much as nine hours, and that’s certainly enough for a week’s dive trip. I like the fact that a set of alkaline batteries are included.

Light Source
A little bit of “e” in the form of electronics enables UK to get a lot of light out of two
water-cooled high-intensity 5W LEDs. In the American language they call this “a lumen-booster for 10 watts of power”.
How do they do the water-cooling A metal heat-exchanger (Brunel would have been proud!) protrudes 3cm from the front polycarbonate glass, and disperses heat produced by over-running the LEDs. The manufacturer claims 825 lumens at full power.

Construction
A rubber shroud covers the whole front section. Complete with LEDs and electronics, it unscrews to give access to the battery compartment.
It bears down onto a single O-ring, and UK is confident enough to give it a 150m
depth rating.
The control switch passes through the battery compartment and engages with the appropriate part when you screw down the front. The front section is so shaped that you cannot misalign the switch connection.
The switch itself has a detent that is pushed in to prevent accidental use, and you pull this out to operate either one or both of the LEDs. One disadvantage of plastic is that you should avoid operating the lamp when it’s not surrounded by cooling water.

In The Water
The first LED Light Cannon gave a slightly disturbing blue light. LEDs have developed since then, and this new one gives a much better, more natural light, in an exceptionally broad and evenly illuminated beam.
You can fit a handle to make it a lantern, or a pistol grip. I found the latter much more comfortable to use, as the displacement of such a large plastic item tends to make it front-light.
It’s hard-wearing and, provided you avoid turning it on for more than a moment when it’s not submerged, it should last a lifetime.
Otherwise, it’s quite a big lump in comparison to other lights now available.

COMPARABLE LIGHTS TO CONSIDER:
Mares EOS 3, £85
Hollis LED5, £72
Metalsub XRE 500, £144

SPECS
PRICE £154, pistol grip, lanyard included
BATTERIES 8 alkaline or rechargeable C-cells
BURNTIME 9hr
DEPTH-RATING 150m
LIGHT SOURCE Two 5W LEDs
LUMENS 825
WEIGHT 1.1kg
CONTACT www.uwkinetics.com
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