MARRIED MEN WILL KNOW that there is a distinct difference between going away on a trip abroad with your mates and travelling with your wife. If things don’t work out so well, if any aspect is not quite right or disappointing, you’ll just get on with it with your mates and make do, whereas your wife may give you continuing earache about it.
That’s why I’m very careful to choose the kit for my wife when she goes away on a diving holiday. Woe betide me if anything is not perfect, and if it’s a trip on which I am accompanying her, I’d better make sure everything is perfect or she’ll let me know about it, again and again and again!
We went away together to do some intensive diving on some Pacific war wrecks, intending to do a lot of penetrations of engine-rooms and holds. I was very particular about the primary lamp I chose to pack for her, having recently made a mistake of my own in choosing the wrong lamp for a previous trip.
The right lamp would be easy to operate, comfortable to hold and produce enough light in a wide beam to allow her to see everything among what would sometimes be the tangled metal of a warship.

The Underwater Kinetics C4 eLED L1 lamp would have been too big to fit in a normal pocket of a BC, but the missus was going to be using her favourite Buddy Trimix wing, which has an enormous handbag fitted at the waist. Otherwise, she would have just had to carry it or use the lanyard to dangle it from her wrist.
The UK lamp has a design that has been in production for years, and only the electronics have changed. The body is of injection-moulded ABS, neatly doing away with any maintenance problems connected with salt water and metal.
A heavyweight rubberised shroud protects the front part of it.
It has a fixed pistol-grip that provides a comfortable way to hold it, as the air space within the reflector gives it a certain amount of buoyancy that is balanced out by the weight of the batteries behind it. It feels natural, and nobody gets tired using it for long periods. It comes with a lanyard.

Light Source
Underwater Kinetics employs electronics to squeeze the most light possible out of its LEDs. This lamp has two LEDs that pump out 190 lumens at the lower setting and 275 lumens on full power.
Because the lens is of plastic, there would be a danger of it getting too hot, but UK has designed in a heat sink of metal that protrudes from the front and takes care of that problem.

Power Source
The lamp is powered by four C-cells, and some alkaline cells are provided when you buy it. It gives eight hours of burntime on full power and twice that at the half-power setting.
It was more than enough for Mrs B during six days of diving, and we never needed to change the batteries. There is a more expensive version available that comes with a rechargeable LR14 battery-pack.
You can access the batteries simply by unscrewing the front part that contains the light source and switch. A single large O-ring protects the unit from leaks.
UK has a lot of confidence in its products after using the same design for so many years, and the lamp is rated to 160m deep, which was certainly enough for Mrs B.

The switch is mechanical and easy to understand. You pull it out to unlock it and twist it either way for full- or half-power.

My wife liked the way this light gave her a broad hotspot for what she wanted to look at, yet also provided a wide peripheral beam so that she could get her bearings and didn’t get tangled up in those wrecked engine-rooms.
I liked the fact that it was bright enough for me to record it while taking photographs of her using it deep in the submerged bowels of ships.
She liked the way it was easy to turn on, and it felt comfortable to grip.

We normally let the prices of things speak for themselves. Only the buyer knows if he is prepared to pay the price asked for a particular product. However, the £112 asked for the UK C4 eLED L1 is remarkably low for a product that gives such a high performance.
I expect to see these in common use by dive centres and liveaboards worldwide, as rental lamps for those who omit to bring one of their own. All in all, Mrs B approved. Phew! n

Big Blue FF1x5 250 lumen £125
Mares EOS3 £85
UK Light Cannon eLED £165

PRICE £112
BATTERIES 4 C-cells included
BURNTIME 4 – 8 hours
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