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wolfeeldiver

NiteRider vs Greenforce HID lights experience

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We'll I'm finally going to invest in a Gates HC7 housing for my little Sony HC7 for some serious recreational underwater video shooting. (no I'm not a pro, but a serious amatuer with two kids at home and a budget constraint.) However, I'm having a tough time deciding which way to go with lighting; I cant decide if to invest in either twin GreenForce Squid 50s, a single Greenforce 250 Squid, or the NiteRider Pro 20 system. My budget for the lights is around $2000 , and want to get the most bang and reliability for the buck. Any real world experience and recommendations with these products (or other suggestions) is greatly appreciated. I've heard one story about the Greenforce batteries on/off system being so-so and troublesome. Do the NiteRiders have switches? I think so... How's bouyancy of these products? Are real world burn times matching up to the printed specs? Any comments about how the color temp looks?

Edited by wolfeeldiver

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Hi,

 

I too am a keen amateur. I have been using a pair of Niterider Pro 10s for four years now. In that time I have had to replace the battery once (just the cells not the pack) and have burnt out one bulb.

 

The 20s were not available when I bought mine. The light is perfectly adequate for macro work by day, and also medium to close at night. They cannot cope with wide angle, although I did get some good footage in the Mexican Cenotes in pitch black conditions. Both my Sony DV and now my FX7 will give excellent colour at night on auto white balance. I have the battery pack that clips onto the cumaband (if thats how you spell it :D ) of my BC and is connected through a cable with wet connectors to the light heads on Niterider's flexiarms. This means there is very little effect on bouyancy as the lights are not heavy. I sometimes remove a kilo off my weightbelt, but usually forget :excl:

 

The burn time is good, although I do break the rules and turn them off except when needed. If it is the same battery pack then the 20s will only last half the time. I think there is an option to just use one of the bulbs in each twin unit. I use a small spotter light at night and turn on the Niteriders for filming otherwise any light haters head for the inner reef :D

 

I cannot compare with the Greenforce as I haven't used them. BTW if you are resident in the US the prices for replacements are half those in the UK!!!

 

Cheers

 

Roger

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I have the nightrider blackwater 3000 and a few of the NimH battery packs from my techie days. I still use the battery packs because they are compact vs the tubes of the greenforce which I used on a few trips. The wet connectors of the Niterider system can be a bit problematic as they age and corrosion sets in. You have to clean the contacts with a brillo brush and then HAMMER it to get the contacts back into shape. Otherwise they work very well and have given 8 years of good service. It's my battery of choice for light travel. I have a modified 50W watervision tungsten and Sartek 24W HID lampheads made for those E/O connectors. Only when I need more heavy duty lights do I bring the 200W Hartenbergers or HMI.

The beam from the lampheads on the Niterider system is pretty narrow. 10W is good for macro at night but as fill in daylight, they are too weak. In fact, without the ability to dim the power, they can be too bright. The construction is pretty plasticky which doesn't hold well for durability but is great for buoyancy and travel weight.

The Squid 50 I have used but not the 250. I can't vouch for the reliability of the lights but the beam is wider for WA. But then again there isn't enough. The aluminum construction makes it slightly more negative and heavier as well.

There are other options on the market. Patima, Sartek, Keldan etc.

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The wet connectors of the Niterider system can be a bit problematic as they age and corrosion sets in. You have to clean the contacts with a brillo brush and then HAMMER it to get the contacts back into shape.

I agree with Drew on this point. It is easy to clean the male connectors. I have found that the little interdental brushes are good for the female sockets. I load them with some metal polish. Mine haven't lost their shape, just get tarnished.

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Thanks Drew and Roger for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated.

I'm not too concerned about the contact cleaning.. sounds like what I do now to maintain my still flash EO connectors. (yes, I still use those old things.)

 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do... I just wish that I had unlimited budget that would solve my delima. get the smaller lites for macro, the bigger ones for WA... I sometimes dive in Seattle waters, cold and dark here.. many a dive is like a nite dive due to overcast skys, low vis. .. but I also will make a few annual warm and clear water trips.

 

Guess I'll just keep probing for opinions and watching comments, and thanks for the alternative product suggestions too.

 

Do the niterider Pro 10s have switches for on/off? located on the head?

 

What do you mean by the smaller lights are inadequate for daytime Wide angle? Is that because the background is bright the smaller / weaker lights are just not powerful enough to "fill" correctly?

Edited by wolfeeldiver

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Hi Wolfeeldiver,

 

The Niterider Pro 10s do not have a switch on the head. They have a switch on the battery pack. As this is attached to the BC you just put your hand down and turn the switch. If you should only want one light then you can pull the individual lead from the "Y" wet connector.

 

The lights are just not powerful enough for wide angle. You can use them to highlight foreground objects as you do with still photography, but then there can be problems with CC filters that you might be using for the WA shots. You need a lot of power (and money) to light full WA.

 

Roger

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I have the niterider pro 40 hid setup now, and had the greenforce 100 hid, before this. i can say that as soon as funds allow, i will be getting the dual greenforce 250 setup. i think the quality of the light is much better, and the wider beam is nice for when you need it. plus you only have to worry about replacing 2 bulbs at a time and not 4 :blush:

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Hi Wolfeeldiver,

 

The Niterider Pro 10s do not have a switch on the head. They have a switch on the battery pack. As this is attached to the BC you just put your hand down and turn the switch. If you should only want one light then you can pull the individual lead from the "Y" wet connector.

 

The lights are just not powerful enough for wide angle. You can use them to highlight foreground objects as you do with still photography, but then there can be problems with CC filters that you might be using for the WA shots. You need a lot of power (and money) to light full WA.

 

Roger

 

Not necessarily. You may for HID/HMI but halogen tungsten lampheads are still cheaper by comparison.Although my prices aren't up to date, the watervisions lampheads were under $400 a few years back. Battery packs such as the E/O connector NiteRiders are under $370 each.

The Watervisions can run HLX 100W bulbs which have 3600lumens each (or 50W HLX at 1600lumens) at 12V. A 4amp battery will work for 25 mins or so at 100W and a little under 55 mins at 50W. More serious 24V battery backs allows you the use of 150-200W bulbs which are sufficient for moderate WA use.

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Thanks all for all the input.

Anyone have any quality issues with any of the products? GF or Niterider?

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Thanks all for all the input.

Anyone have any quality issues with any of the products? GF or Niterider?

 

I used a quad GF 100 setup and a dual GF 250. I never had a problem with those and those lights where not treated with golden gloves. Ribs, inside wrecks, ... they got knocked around a lot.

 

I can really recommend Green Force.

 

Peter

Edited by PCDiver

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Does Green Force have a manufacture website? I've tried Google, but only get retail outlets as results.

 

Thanks

Vic

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Anyone know what the story is on the Niterider's new LED video lights?

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