I have been testing a ton of lights recently and used them in real dive situations with various cameras. I have selected the ones I think worthy of a second look. I am more bias towards video so most here are for video cameras although some are so handy and small it could be used for digital still at least as a focus light if not close up photos under the right conditions.
Since well known brands that have been reviewed in so many places I keep this finding to lights made in China.
Three lights tested really hit the spot for me. They are of course LEDs. All aluminium body with depth rating of 100m. All three has this nifty lit button switch with status indicator. Blue for full, green half charge and Red for low battery. There is also a safety off circuit to prevent completely draining the battery. They are all similar in size in that they fit nicely as a hand light or mounted onto a UW housing. Small and light. Powerful adjustable. Beam width and spot beam. Small common batteries or small long life rechargeable batteries. White and Red LED options. Accessories and package case. Lastly price.
Coincidentally all three are from the same manufacturer.
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First of is the Hi-Max V14
A true Swiss Army of LED lights. This has over 2400 Lumen. Wide (flood) and Spot, Red LED, and all dimmable with levels. Even has two UV LEDs. I had so much fun switching this light to various features during my night dive. Seeing the coral glow in the dark under the UV is fun.
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Second is the V11 ( or the company updated the older version which has a magnetic switch)
Like the V14 this handy light uses a Li-Ion rechargeable battery. Like an oversize D Cell but packs in 5800 mah.
Weights only 400g - light a couple of oranges yet gives out 2300 lumens.
It has Food, Spot and Red LED and dimmable.
The front bazel with this design is thicker so more aluminium for heat dissipation. The top features a glow in the dark rings so if you drop your light in the dark you have a better chance of finding it.
Lastly the V12 is a real surprise. This is the smallest of the three. First surprise is when I open it and it takes four double A batteries. I have been waiting for such a light for a long time. Four AA not three not two. So this is much more convenient for charging four and keeping track of sets of spare batteries without mixing charged from depleted ones. Second surprise is that the light is bright. The light is 2200 lumens. It looks more than that as the beam is very bright. It is a simple light with just two power level and 110 deg. beam. Like the other two it have two o-rings and all aluminium body for good heat dissipation. The small is also good for handheld and also as a back up light.
Now just when I had tested all Hi-Max send me another one to look at. The X6. This is a dive light and is slim and light to be a carry everywhere light. It pack 1000 lumen and like all the LED used is CrEE with very pleasing colour and temperature. This is certainly a good candid as a Go-Pro companion light.
Well I have more to say and if you are interested in more just click on this:
I will post some video samples next using these light on some dive shoots.
If interested in more click on this BLOG
If you are attending ADEX this weekend drop by Scubacam Booth C19. We have all these lights to try out.