We all learned in basic scuba that water filters out most colors at shallow depths. Yet under the sea you can come up close and personal with a phantasmagoric mix of animals of such colors and patterns that you will debate whether you are in a dream or on an alien world. Warm water divers may not be aware that it is cold water fauna will hold its own in a color battle.
However, at normal recreational dive depths unless you have a good dive light, even in daylight diving you will be like the deaf Beethoven at symphony. The first time I used a dive light in the day time I was stunned. There were the colors of a tropical aquarium on the sea life of to my experience the previous muted animals Puget Sound. They had been beautiful all that time, but the light removed my veil. Without a dive light, divers are all colorblind.
After diving for with a little backup light for a while, one day I took my bulky eight cell night-dive main light on a daytime dive. This opened up a whole new vista. Rather than seeing colors in pinpoints, I could now see whole fish and areas of color. Now I was on the hunt to find a manageable sized light with the power of my big light, and without the outrageous cost of tech canister light.
At a local dive shop event we came across the Underwater Kinetics C4 eLED®. Small and so incredibly bright that my dive buddies insist on pointing out everything to me so I will light it up for them. This 4 cell light is defiantly brighter than many 8 cell lights. My 8 cell Princeton Tec Shockwave LED puts rates only 170 lumens compared to the C4’s 210. A unique tech trick UK added, according to UK actually increases the brightness underwater. The twin eLEDs, focused as one, are connected to heat sink which draws on the outside water to cool the eLEDs. Additionally a power circuit control maintains uniform brightness over the life of the batteries. An optional rechargeable battery pack is available, we are consider giving a try but the first set of conventional batteries have not shown any sign of dying after months of diving with this light. The switch is easy to unlock and flip between half power and full power with any wet or dry gloves. The unit is well built and protected with a heavy rubber boot for drop protection. Of course we tested that feature without fail. The light comes in black, yellow and silver. It is comfortable and almost perfect balance between bulk and power. The only feature on our wish list is to make the pistol style grip removable.
The retail is $119. Thanks to our LDS dive show and sale (Harry Truitt’s Lighthouse Dive Center) we picked up our UK C4 for $95. We have since seen other street prices are even lower. Web prices, which I am sure to smote for quoting, are as low as $52.