lights

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lights

Postby greycaver » Jan 11, 2007 10:12 pm

Gentlemen and ladies. I'm redoing my lights and helmet. The lights I used for twenty years were MSA minespots. Reliable and bright but heavy and bulky. I really want to modernize But need advice and suppliers names. Which is best? Rechargable or replaceable Batteries. Sustainable light output and brighness are paramount. Price isn't really that important. Have been reading about Brunton and Petzl as sold by Karstsport. I'm aware there are a number of brands and styles but I don't know where to research them.
Thank you.
Ken Miller

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Postby Dwight Livingston » Jan 11, 2007 10:36 pm

I would certainly have a Stenlight on your list. Personally I would have it topping your list, but that is your affair. The lamp is small, bright, rugged, efficient, and leak proof. The battery pack can last a weekend underground on a single charge, assuming you sleep some and most of the time you run on medium power, which is plenty of light for most caving. The beam is free of artifacts and output is consistent. Electronics provide thermal protection for the LEDs.

Some feel the beam is somewhat too narrow, though that may be changed by switching focusing elements. The magnets on the control switch will effect a compass, so you deal with that when surveying. The connector for the battery pack may be a vulnerable point, though I've had no trouble (I keep it inside a short length of 1 inch webbing.) Oh, and you need a standard blade mount on your helmet.

They have a lot more information on their website.

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Re: lights

Postby NZcaver » Jan 12, 2007 12:09 am

greycaver wrote:Gentlemen and ladies. I'm redoing my lights and helmet. The lights I used for twenty years were MSA minespots. Reliable and bright but heavy and bulky. I really want to modernize But need advice and suppliers names. Which is best? Rechargable or replaceable Batteries. Sustainable light output and brighness are paramount. Price isn't really that important. Have been reading about Brunton and Petzl as sold by Karstsport. I'm aware there are a number of brands and styles but I don't know where to research them.

You've come to the right place! For sustainable light output and brightness, most people are now choosing high-intensity LEDs or a combination of LED and xenon or halogen. For cost and conservation reasons, rechargeable batteries (mostly Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium Ion) are fast becoming the first choice for power. Having the ability to switch to common alkaline batteries (like AA's) is also an advantage - they can usually be found around the world at virtually any little general store.

The Stenlight mentioned above is a very good choice - which will set you back about US$300. How wet are your local caves? Are you frequently in/under the water? If so, check headlamp specs for their waterproof rating. A couple of suggestions to start you off... the Petzl Duo is a tried-and-tested caving lamp, and it's latest 14 LED version for around US$100 seems to do quite well. The Princeton Tec Apex is another extremely popular caving choice, at about US$75 each. That one has a 3 watt high beam, and 1.5 watt, 4-LED flood beam.

If you're looking for the Stenlight, I think you're pretty much limited to getting one from a caving vendor. The more "mainstream" consumer headlamps from Petzl, Princeton Tec, etc can also be got from vendors, but may be found cheaper/on sale from regular outdoor store chains, eBay sellers, and so forth. Just pick some headlamp models, and do an internet price search.

Here's a few of the lighting threads on the forum to keep you busy: :wtg:

http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?t=600

http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?t=2754

http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?t=63
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