Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

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Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

Postby Antillothrix » Sep 24, 2015 12:11 pm

Hello,

I'm new to the forum, but I've been caving on and off for several years, and a cave diver for a little more than a year. I am also a primate paleontology doctoral student and researcher working mostly on extinct Caribbean primates (almost exclusively found in caves). I've only worked sites underwater up until now, but I am undergoing vertical training to access some dry sites and hard-to-reach submerged sites to look for primate fossils in the Caribbean and Madagascar.

On my most recent research trip to the Dominican Republic I found that, as expected, A LOT of light helps A LOT when searching for small remains often stained and matching the color of the sediments they rest in. That was underwater, where light is particularly important and inefficient. Now, I am looking to finish my dry-cave kit with a powerful headlamp that can do triple-duty as a caving light, a flood for excavating dry sites, and a supplement to my diving lights during underwater search and excavation. This means a light with flood and spot settings, long life, and submersible to >40-50m

I consider myself knowledgable about cave diving equipment, but I could use some help finding a headlamp that can crossover from dry to submerged. Cost is a concern, but sometimes high-quality equipment manufacturers offer support for research by way of discounts, so it may still be worthwhile to look into some of pricier options if they fit the bill. Thanks very much for any tips.

Cheers,
Zach

:bat2:
About paleontology in flooded Caribbean caves: http://www.zklukkert.com/News_%26_Views/Entries/2013/3/25_Caribbean_PaleoPrimatology.html
About the new primate fossils in Madagascar: http://www.zklukkert.com/News_%26_Views/Entries/2015/1/8_Amazing_time_capsule_of_malagasy_fauna_discovered_in_underwater_cave.html
Antillothrix
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Re: Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

Postby DStud » Sep 25, 2015 9:58 am

I'd go with the El Speleo dive 1500, great quality light for a fraction of what some of the other high end lights sell for. They don't stay in stock very long when he builds them though.

http://www.elwork-speleo.hr/cd/1119/l/E ... iving-1500
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Re: Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

Postby Antillothrix » Sep 25, 2015 10:44 am

Thank you DStud and Jon (wherever you are). So far I've found(or others have directed me to) these contenders:

Model: Phaethon Dual
Flood: Yes
Spot: Yes
Depth rating: 250m (!)
Max Burn on high: 25min
Max Burn on med: 6.5hrs
Max burn on low: 80hrs
notes: Piezo switch is very attractive, but international shipping and fees will raise price

Model: Pulsar Magnetic
Flood: Yes
Spot: Yes
Depth rating: 100m
Max Burn on high: 1h48min
Max burn on low: 43hrs (+backup led time)
notes: "backup led" is an appealing safety measure. light appears large and bulky, and international shipping and fees will raise price.

Model: Stenlight
Flood: no
Spot: Yes
Depth rating: 10m (though I'm told it can handle 35m+)
Max Burn on high: 2hrs
Max Burn on med: 7.5hrs
Max burn on low: 72hrs
notes: light lumen output claims very low, but says brightest portable LED available. Hard to gauge output. very small, lightweight, available in the US all attractive features.

Model: El Speleo Dive
Flood: no
Spot: Yes
Depth rating: 100m
Max Burn on high: 2hrs
Max Burn on med: --
Max burn on low: >100hrs
notes: Delrin battery case and piezo switch very attractive. limited availability.
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Re: Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

Postby Steven Johnson » Sep 25, 2015 12:34 pm

Scurion makes dive-rated versions of their headlamps (-150m); I am not a diver but I have been using their cave-only headlamp for years and it's a totally amazing piece of kit.

http://www.scurion.ch/jm/index.php?o...=49&Itemid=114

That said... Scurion is pretty spendy, but if you can afford it, it's totally worth the money; it's rock-solid, amazing light output, and I've never had it fail despite lots of caving abuse.
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Re: Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

Postby MUD » Sep 27, 2015 9:18 am

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Re: Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

Postby Antillothrix » Nov 3, 2015 7:02 pm

I got a Scurion! It's beautiful. I'll share a link to my blog post once I try it out.

Thanks for the replies.
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Re: Light recommendation: Cave excavation + Cave Diving

Postby Marbry » Sep 10, 2016 3:34 pm

In case anyone else is looking this little lamp, very cheap (I think I paid $14), actually has done pretty well. I've only had it to about 35' though. https://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Swimm ... +head+lamp
The switch gets gritty in mud, but still works and can be cleaned out.

Big Blue also has several headlamps in the $90 - $160 range that are rated to 100m.
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