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Pros and Cons of Canister Torches

Discussion in 'Dive Equipment' started by Jimnibimnibob, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. Jimnibimnibob

    Jimnibimnibob New Member

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    What are the pros and cons of a canister torch when compared against a similar spec none canister dive torch?

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Pros... Frequently brighter, longer battery life, attached by cable so can’t be dropped.

    Cons.... expensive, bulky.

    I like that they’re permanently connected by cable, so less care is needed when clipping off, transferring between hands, etc.
     
    #2 Wibble, Dec 14, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  3. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    I agree with that
     
  4. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Canister torches are the way to go but buy well and not cheap. Good products last, and can be maintained, whilst bad products are best discarded when they go wrong (or best avoided).

    On here you'll find a range. Some bought crap (e.g. Light for Me) and some still use quality items (e.g. Light Monkey).
     
  5. NickPicks

    NickPicks Super Moderator

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    Pretty much what Wibble said.

    I have a Light For Me Canister torch (4Tec) which I bought second hand. I've not had any problems with it, but I know people who have found it really difficult to get repair service if they have gone wrong.

    I know that it's better to clip it off if you need both hands free, but it is also really easy to just drop the head and let it dangle from the canister - it's not going to go anywhere.
     
  6. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    Agree with that too ! Re LFM the products are ok in my experience, however the service non existent, I have a LFM , very happy with it but wouldn’t buy again due to follow up customer service.
    Some of the hand held stuff is very good now with battery and led technology. But as the other guys have said being able to just “drop” the light head if I need to and it just hangs there can be a bonus.

    After 5 years I replaced the battery housing this year , I hope if the head goes I’ll just be able to replace that so my light has hopefully become more modular.

    A canister torch will always have the potential for a longer burn time , whilst I never exhaust that on 1 dive it’s great I can do a weekend of diving without charging.
     
  7. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Light for Me.. Alas they've gone to the dogs for customer service and have now lost their UK supplier. They 'were' good kit and excellent value for money. I've three of their batteries and two torches and do prefer them over another expensive cannister torch I bought.

    The other point about cannister batteries is you can use a large battery for both a torch and a suit heater. Several manufacturers have these. Not cheap, but they're reliable and staying warm makes all the difference to a long dive.
     
  8. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    I'm sure I saw an ad from light for me on facebook saying they were opening a uk based shop in the new year. Dont know if this will mean an improvement in customer service or if it'll be more of the same, but fingers crossed.

    I have an LfM 4Tec and like it a lot. I bought it second hand for a good price so it doesnt owe me much and if it breaks I'll see if I can fix it myself or replace with another brand. Hopefully plenty of life left in it still though.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
  9. NickPicks

    NickPicks Super Moderator

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  10. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Would be nice if LfM flogged some spares. Like the O-rings in the cannister-side connectors, or the connectors themselves.

    I've a Tec3 and NW7 torches and really like them. For me it's the lenses which work a lot better in UK waters than reflector lenses which produce a lot of back-scatter in our somewhat mucky waters. The NW7's also a half-decent video light and is great when inside things to give that overall lighting.
     
  11. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    Yep, and that is why I've never wanted to own anything from LFM light. In contrast, all Light Monkey parts are available individually for those wanting to undertake their own repairs (and potentially invalidate warranty).
     
  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It is possible to dismantle and reconnect a cable-end connector. They're big & complex - @jps has managed it.

    Never worked out how to get into the light end though! This is a real bummer if you're needing to change the cable.

    When LfM do the work it comes back in excellent condition. Problem recently (last 3 years?) is they've been shockingly poor at responding and turnaround times have been terrible.


    Another con: don't fold the cables excessively as the conductor will break.
     
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  13. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Canister torches are very expensive and, unless you're buying the latest spec, you might be surprised to find they don't offer a lot (if any) more light than a decent, modern handheld torch.

    Torch head technology has come on a lot in the last 5 or 10 years and you can get a lot of light for relatively little (price, size, weight and battery consumption) these days.

    A really good one does provide a huge amount of light, but (unless you're flush with cash and like lugging extra weight around) consider whether your need justifies the cost and weight it demands.

    Get a decent handheld first and if you still need more, you've got a decent backup.

    M
     
  14. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    LFM make some bloody good torches, but the customer service is a bad joke.

    My 4TEC was excellent but when it mysteriously got water in the light head it took many, many phone calls to get it looked at and when it was eventually returned it came back with a "No Fault Found" note and a shorter umbilical. Luckily, I'm a bit of a short arse but even so, it was borderline too short.
     
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  15. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    Can you imagine the success they'd have if they could match their customer service to the quality and price of their torches. It'll be hard to turn round the reputation they have now though.

    Just remembered, I have one of their backup torches too. That'd be a decent first torch. Bright, tight beam, takes 3 C cells, decent price, £60 when I got mine 3 years ago. I did have a problem with it within the first 6 months. A faulty battery contact which Underwater Explorers iirc fixed very quickly. It's been fine since.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    Pro: you can remove some lead from your belt
     
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  17. nickb

    nickb Well-Known Member

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    I repaired a LFM torch for a friend. There was a short in the cable - right at the battery-side gland. It was still under warranty but she didn't want to lose the torch for 6 months or more while LFM found better things to do than support existing customers.

    As she is very short, I could remove a few inches from the cable and re-wire it. But the cable glands are an awful design that don't lend themselves to an easy repair. Contrast that with the standard 16mm nylon cable glands that Light Monkey (and others) use, which are easily purchased and very easy to replace.

    It was a horrendous job to undertake and I couldn't guarantee that it would be water-tight afterwards. Fortunately it was OK and continues to work, but it was touch and go. I wouldn't offer to do it for anyone else.
     
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  18. jps

    jps Active Member
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    A very long and fiddly repair job. I managed to inject some potting compound in to the voids.

    Seems to be OK at the moment.
     

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