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Ammonite or LFM

Discussion in 'Dive Equipment' started by Bones, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Bones

    Bones New Member

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    Hi guys,

    After some advice for a primary handheld dive light, having read the previous threads on here and other sites I'm stuck between a LFM xml or xml mini and an ammonite led one or led two or stingray.

    So for now I'm just after a primary handheld for poking around wrecks in the UK and abroad and also for night dives. It would be good if I could also use it as a backup when/if I move into tech/cave diving in the future - I'd much prefer to spend a few quid more now and not have to re buy in the future.

    From what I can gather the LFM are great value for money, the only thing that puts me off is the short burn time, will this make them useless as a back up in the future. I'm assuming around 2 hours at best? Whereas the ammonite are >5 hours but the specs show them being not as bright. I understand it's difficult to compare lumens but 260 in the LED one, will this be enough for a handheld primary? The LED two is 800 lumens and 7 hours burn time which sounds like the best of both worlds but does anyone have any experience with one?

    Thanks in advance, Wayne
     
  2. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    My backup lights are Agir 4w and Light Monkey 3w and both have served me well for many years.

    For a primary light I'd be looking for something with a bit more attitude. My current primary torch is the Light Monkey 32w variable focus which allows output to be stepped down from 4000 lumens to as little as 25 lumens.
     
  3. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    I use a Halcyon Focus as my primary and am very happy with it. I’ve also just invested in another full-fat primary but I won’t comment on that until after I’ve used it for a while.

    I use LED Ones and sometimes UK Mini Q40s as my back-ups - I wouldn’t be particularly happy with either of these as primary lights aside from for peering into the odd crevice.

    I think you should go for the big-boy primary now, but have a good think about what you’re after and what you’re likely to be diving in the medium-term - you don’t need an umbilical if you’re not going to be that concerned about decent power combined with burn time and/or training with an agency that demands one.
     
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I've a couple of Ammonite torches for backups, a LED one and a LED two. I like these as they look and work like new after several hundred dives. The LED two is definitely brighter and has a nice beam spread. As it takes 'C' batteries it lasts longer. They're currently attached to my caving helmet but normally live on my harness, one on each chest strap.

    I've two primary umbilical torches, both Light For Me: the excellent 4Tec which has a nice narrow beam and a NW7 which has a both a narrow beam for signaling and a wide light which is great for video and enclosed spaces. These are a lot more expensive than the handhelds. The NW7 needs big batteries if you use both beams - it'll empty a 7AH battery in just over an hour.

    Narrow beams are best for signalling but a wider one's nicer for looking around. The problem is that you need a much more powerful wider torch than a narrow one as the power goes up with the square of the width.

    E.g. If you've a 6 degree beam at 1000 lumens, you'd need four times the lumens to give the same point brightness for a 12 degree beam. (Yes the beam's round, but the point is the same)

    If you're looking at technical training in the nearish future, you'll need a narrow beamed primary for signalling which is best mounted on a Goodman handle.
     
  5. John F

    John F Member

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    Fin sub by Sunnto do a good light for about £650, they had them at SimplyScuba.
     
  6. Bones

    Bones New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies - looking at the next few years diving I don't imagine I will be needing an umbilical any time soon, but if I did suddenly decide I wanted one the idea would be that the torch I buy now would then be demoted to back up.

    Would you say either of the Ammonite torches are bright enough to be used as a half decent primary just for looking into wrecks/crevices?

    If the same torch such as the LFM XML and the LFM XML mini were to use C Cell or 18650 batteries would the C Cell last a lot longer or is there not much in it assuming you are using good quality rechargeables?
     
  7. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    It depends on the batteries. Rechargeable c batteries are typically around 3000mAh whereas the 18650s are about the same, you can get higher capacities in both types.

    One benefit with C batteries is that if you are away from home and they run out you can just go into a shop and buy some Duracell’s to get you going again.

    My girlfriend has a pair of XMLs and they are nice and bright, they’d work well as a primary.
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I've both Ammonites. I'd choose the LED two as it has a good beam and decent battery life. Downside is it's expensive.

    Personally I'd like a Goodman handle for comfort and security.
     
  9. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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    Not sure where you are getting the 2 hours burn time from: I have the LFM XML (Three C-cell version) and happily was getting a full week of liveaboard out of it with night dives etc, or a long weekend away in the UK. Mainly used as a backup now, but the beam is nice and tight for signalling. I also have the Tektite Expedition, but find the beam is a bit wide.
     
  10. Bones

    Bones New Member

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    Yes I thinks that's the one I was leaning towards as it has a good balance between lumens and burn them but as you say it's expensive, I could get 3 XML torched for that price.

    That burn time is from the LFM website, I did email them to check the difference between the XML and XML mini and they said both are around 1.5 hours before they start to get dimmer. But good to hear they lasted you a few dives, I'll probably get one of these and see how it goes.
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Just a general point. Torches seem to fall into two categories, lens-based heads and reflector-based heads. The beam from a reflector has a central bright spot and a lot of overspill making the beam wider which makes it excellent for night or underground use. Lenses tend to have a single bright spot with little overspill which makes them better for signalling.

    I noticed this a lot from a couple of new Mini Q40 torches I've bought for helmet mounting which have quIte sharp spots which is going to make them less useful underground, compared with the two Ammonite torches I'd used previously.
     
  12. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Got my new torch today. Can’t upload a photo as it’s too big.
     
  13. Tewdric

    Tewdric Member

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    I have a 4TEC as my primary and a pair of XMLs as backups. all have been reliable solid workhorses. The XML is bright enough to be useful in its own right as a primary. I went for the c cell versiond as batteries are easy and cheap to come by.
     
  14. JasonP

    JasonP Member

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    I've also got the 4TEC as primary but went for the 3XPGs as backups as they have a 3 hour burn time and the wider beam is arguably better for night diving on holiday.
     

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