Secondary light source?

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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby Jon » Mar 10, 2012 8:54 pm

My main is a Sten, rarely is it maxed, the lowest two settings get the most use, alongside is a 40 some odd spill only 4 led. in my pack is another roughly 30 some odd I guess 3 led . My back up light s are just that....for finding my way BACK through familar cave NOT to try and make a connection between Lech and Jewel.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby Cody JW » Mar 10, 2012 9:11 pm

I always use a small single AAA light on a lanyard around my neck. I keep a Fennix hand held in my otter box in my pack . And a mini mag LED also. I have a Nite Ize strap with velcro that goes around my head under my Ecrin that will hold both or either hand-held. If I am in a long cave I will also bring an HP-10 in my pack as well. I have been caving over 30 years and never have gone out on a back up yet. The last 18 has been with The Duo. I feel that if you do plan on lugging an extra headlamp in your pack it is important to have it in an otter box. If I am in a deep pit I will put the head strap on with one extra light just in case. Most of the time it will be in my otter box.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby Indymonkey » Mar 10, 2012 11:57 pm

Thanks for all the post guys. Its been informative.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby harrym » Mar 29, 2012 5:41 pm

Cody JW wrote:I always use a small single AAA light on a lanyard around my neck.


That's a good way to accidentally strangle yourself.

You don't need a second light on your helmet that's as good as your primary. You just need a small light that will allow you to get out of the cave or to find a better light in your pack.

If you are a vertical caver, then you definitely want a second light attached to you helmet. If you are on rope and your primary light fails, then you can quickly switch on your helmet-mounted back-up light.

You don't want a lof weight on your helmet. Get a tiny LED headlamp and mount it to your helmet off the one side. That way it won't interfere with your primary light (and vice-versa), and it's readily reachable.

You can always use your tiny helmet-mounted back-up light to search for a larger, heavier 3rd source in your pack.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 29, 2012 5:48 pm

My 2nd primary is 750 lumens and is lighter than a Mag light. Much lighter lol. I don't see the point of a crappy secondary but I have had some unusual experiences underground.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 29, 2012 6:24 pm

harrym wrote:You don't need a second light on your helmet that's as good as your primary. You just need a small light that will allow you to get out of the cave or to find a better light in your pack.

This is a matter of opinion. What might work for you might not be the best solution for other cavers. Here is a differing opinion about having a pair of high quality, redundant lights on the helmet at all times.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby tncaver » Mar 29, 2012 6:39 pm

I totally agree with Harry M. A second light source is necessary on the helmet of anyone who is going to be doing vertical work. Some folks may even want
to go with three. For weight reduction I am satisfied with two. Both are bright. I also carry a good primary as a back up when I am going to be surveying
deep in a cave.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby Cody JW » Mar 29, 2012 8:59 pm

harrym wrote:That's a good way to accidentally strangle yourself.
Not if you have one with a weak point sewn into the loop. Not my first rodeo. I will say in 30 plus years I have never been close to that. Several friends do the same thing and they have been as long or longer than I. I always tuck mine into my undershirt.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby submassabielle » Mar 30, 2012 7:09 pm

I too am looking at picking up a couple of secondary lights. I have a Sten coming and I am looking at getting either a couple of PT Quads or a couple of PT Eos' (or one of each) for secondary's. Does anyone know which of these is better as a backup (or whether one of each might be best)? Is the flood on the Eos sufficient? Is the flood on Quad better for a back up? Does the increase in Lumens on the Eos make up for the narrower beam pattern? I might use them for camping too as well. Thanks.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 30, 2012 11:49 pm

submassabielle wrote:I too am looking at picking up a couple of secondary lights. I have a Sten coming and I am looking at getting either a couple of PT Quads or a couple of PT Eos' (or one of each) for secondary's. Does anyone know which of these is better as a backup (or whether one of each might be best)? Is the flood on the Eos sufficient? Is the flood on Quad better for a back up? Does the increase in Lumens on the Eos make up for the narrower beam pattern? I might use them for camping too as well. Thanks.

Welcome to the forum.

I have an EOS stored somewhere, but haven't used it in years. The flood is not bad but most of the beam is focused in a spot. It's fairly robust, but there are a lot more efficient light options these days. The Quad appears less robust, but I haven't used one personally. Both these lights use AAA cells, which may not be the most efficient choice. You might be better off with a Zebralight or Fenix using a single AA. There's an old EOS topic here if you're interested.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby submassabielle » Mar 31, 2012 9:25 am

NZCaver, Thank you for the reply. I realize that some of these newer lights might be better overall. However, I have a gift card for Scheels that I want to use, and they don't sell those lights. They do have the Corona, but for my secondary's, I have narrowed it down to these two (EOS or Quad) because they are lightweight, waterproof, and I can buy them with a gift card (which is good, because I just spent enough on my Stenlight).
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 31, 2012 12:51 pm

submassabielle wrote:NZCaver, Thank you for the reply. I realize that some of these newer lights might be better overall. However, I have a gift card for Scheels that I want to use, and they don't sell those lights. They do have the Corona, but for my secondary's, I have narrowed it down to these two (EOS or Quad) because they are lightweight, waterproof, and I can buy them with a gift card (which is good, because I just spent enough on my Stenlight).

Understood. I'm thinking overall the Corona would be a more effective and redundant secondary light, otherwise go with the Quad if you want a little more compactness and flood or the EOS if you want a little more spot. Haven't looked into brightness versus runtime, but you can probably find that online.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby harrym » Apr 11, 2012 6:14 pm

NZcaver wrote:
harrym wrote:You don't need a second light on your helmet that's as good as your primary. You just need a small light that will allow you to get out of the cave or to find a better light in your pack.

This is a matter of opinion. What might work for you might not be the best solution for other cavers. Here is a differing opinion about having a pair of high quality, redundant lights on the helmet at all times.


No, it's not really a matter of opinion. You don't need a second light on your helmet that's as good as your primary.

I agree with the person in your reference that you should have a redundant light, not a "backup." My 2nd source is just as good as my primary, by intent.

But you don't need that redundant light source on your helmet at all times. You just need a "backup" light to get into your pack and find your redundant source, and replace the dead primary on your helmet. The other reason for a small "backup" light on your helmet, as I mentioned above, is for vertical work.

In actuality I carry 4 sources of light:
1 primary
1 redundant primary (fits in the same position as the primary)
1 carbide (heat and light)
1 helmet-mounted "backup"
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby NZcaver » Apr 11, 2012 7:34 pm

harrym wrote:
NZcaver wrote:
harrym wrote:You don't need a second light on your helmet that's as good as your primary. You just need a small light that will allow you to get out of the cave or to find a better light in your pack.

This is a matter of opinion. What might work for you might not be the best solution for other cavers. Here is a differing opinion about having a pair of high quality, redundant lights on the helmet at all times.


No, it's not really a matter of opinion. You don't need a second light on your helmet that's as good as your primary.

Er... perhaps you don't need one, but what if others have different needs to yours? That's what I meant about opinions. I too carry multiple sources of light caving, but I like to have two independent and reliable ones on my helmet either of which will allow me to exit the cave. I feel my pack isn't the best place to keep my redundant light, even though I may have additional spares in there. My pack isn't necessarily on me at all times, and it doesn't need a good light to see where it's going.

Virtually all cavers are of the opinion they need at least one additional source of light capable of allowing them to exit the cave, and one they can activate easily if the primary light were to fail. For this specific purpose, it would need to be "as good as the primary" but not necessarily the same light. I think we're just approaching a similar conclusion from different perspectives.
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Re: Secondary light source?

Postby potholer » Apr 11, 2012 7:51 pm

Given that lights have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, I'm not sure why 'as good as the primary light' is taken as some kind of standard.
My current light is about 10x as bright as the one I had 8 years ago, but my light from 8 years ago would be more than adequate for getting out of any cave I'm likely to be in, either at home or on expedition.

Since I can fairly confidently put the chances of main-light failure at small fractions of a percent, the chances of any given trip being spoiled by having to switch to a much less bright/less nice backup light are extremely small, which is something I'd take into account when working out what other light sources to take with me.
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