IT WAS ONLY A YEAR AGO that I was hauled off a plane ready to depart from Grenada’s airport, because there was said to be something suspicious in my bag. It was a mid-European-made Finn Sub lamp with battery-pack and lamp-head on an umbilical cable.
The official didn’t believe me when I told him that it was a lamp, so I demonstrated by pointing it at his eyes and switching it on. Whoops! My mistake!
He got the point, but probably didn’t see much more that day in his dark little room with its X-ray scanner. That’s how bright it was.
Wind forward a year, and I found myself about to set off across the world yet again, this time carrying the latest version of that lamp. It’s called the Finn Light Long 1400 Smart.
Finn Sub lamps were at one time brought into the UK by Suunto. Now their distribution has been picked up by Atomic Aquatics in Europe, along with Stahlsac bags and Bare diving suits and, whether you’re a believer or not, Britain is part of Europe.
Atomic Aquatics is known for its exceedingly high-quality products, so Finn Sub accordingly has to live up to expectations.

Light Source
The three-LED lamp screws into the lamp-head and will produce up to 1400 lumens. Is that bright enough for you It should be!
Even at its tick-over setting, this unit produces 100 lumens, which is more than a lot of major lights did at full power only a decade ago.
It produces a beam of light that is claimed to be about 10°, providing a very even beam at the centre and gradually fading off in a satisfying way. It’s not as even as a video light might be, but it’s pretty nice all the same.
The light sources are Cree XP-G LEDs that shine at a cool 6300°K, which is about the colour of the light encountered on a brightly lit ski slope.
All this light produces quite a lot of heat, so operating the lamp when not under water is ill-advised unless you use it at minimum power. However, the light output even at minimum power is quite useful, and those doing cave explorations with lengthy dry sections will find it a boon.

Power Source
The “Long” in the name refers to the burntime. Combine low-wattage LEDs with a high-output battery-pack and this is what you get.
The lithium-ion battery is enclosed in a Delrin canister and permanently wired into the lamp-head. The battery-pack is best threaded through a camband that secures it to a tank. I used the camband of my BC.
Depending on the light output chosen, burntimes from a fully charged battery can be as short as five hours or as long as an amazing 48 hours.
The fact that the battery-pack is permanently hard-wired to the lamp-head in the factory absolves the user from getting it wrong.
You need only to be able to screw in the business end with the LEDs. That part is removed to substitute the charging connection when required.

Switching
The Delrin and anodised aluminium head has a rotating magnetic switch that works in conjunction with smart electronics to provide three brightness settings: full-power, half-power and 1/14th power. You turn the ring in any direction to get the next power setting, so there’s no groping in the dark.
The whole thing is mounted on a substantial Goodman-style handle that’s wide enough even for a bricklayer wearing thick diving gloves to get his hand through.
The smart electronics provide overheating and total-discharge protection, and check that there is sufficient battery power each time at start-up. There is also a low battery-charge alert.

In the Water
The beam of light at the full-power setting seared through the water in the manner of Luke Skywalker’s light sabre. It easily competed with bright daylight, even close to the surface.
There were times when I was not sure to which brightness setting I had adjusted it, but that’s because half-power is still so bright.
If I have a criticism, it’s that the umbilical cable was slightly shorter than I would have liked.
I had the battery-pack inverted and mounted on my BC camband so that the cable came under my arm, but I felt it was limiting my reach once my gloved hand was firmly inside the handle with the lanyard round my wrist.
The cable is a metre long, but my long arms would have preferred to play with 1.2m.
Once I got back from diving and wanted to unscrew the head to fit the charging cable,I found that I had very little to grip. There was a tendency to turn switch rather than head.
To get the necessary purchase to undo it, I resorted to adding a piece of gaffer tape to the sliver of smooth metal that is all that’s left to get a purchase on. I can foresee owners adding this permanently to their lamps. Perhaps Finn Sub might give this part a milled finish in future

Comparable lights to consider:
Metalsub KL 1256 XRE5000, £1115
Hollis LED16, £875
Halcyon EOS LED, £795

SPECS
PRICE £711
DEPTH RATING 200m
BATTERY Lithium-ion rechargeable
LIGHT SOURCE 3 x Cree XP-G LEDs
BURNTIME 5-48hr
CONTACT www.finnsub.com
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